Jan 14, 2023

Tips for organizing your retirement and senior living expenses

Manny Cominsky

It goes without saying that it’s a good idea to plan for your retirement years before you retire to make sure that you can build up sufficient financial resources to provide for yourself and your senior living and senior care when you’re no longer able to work full time. But while many people realize the value of planning ahead of time, it’s also vital to make sure that you are on top of your budgeting when you enter your retirement years. It may take some time to get used to life on a fixed budget, and so it’s never too early to start thinking about how you’ll organize your retirement expenses. Follow these tips to help organize your expenses and to keep on top of your retirement and senior living expenses. 

Know your stages of retirement

While people tend to talk about retirement as a single unit of time, your retirement years will most likely be broken into several stages. At the beginning of retirement, many people get out and about doing things they always wanted to but couldn’t with the demands of work and family such as traveling. Later on in retirement, people start slowing down, often spending more time at home or relaxing by the pool or beach. Knowing the general path you’ll want your retirement to take, as well as what activities you’ll want to take part in each step of the way, is a helpful first step in thinking about how much you’ll spend in retirement.

During the first years of retirement most people yearn to do the things they wouldn’t have the time or resources to do otherwise, such as traveling, achieving bucket list items, or treating themselves to a rare experience. Many people will budget for big trips or other big expenditures as a way to kick off their retirement.

The early stages of your retirement are likely to involve lots of travel and activities, but be sure to plan for all stages of your retirement.

After these heady first few years of retirement, many individuals start to settle down and get into the resting and relaxation part of retirement. This stage of retirement occurs after you’ve returned from that dream vacation or just finished accomplishing those life-long goals. Typically, these years are spent with family and friends, relaxing at home, and possibly picking up a new hobby. 

In the later years of your retirement, particularly as you start to think about longer term care options like senior living or at-home care, medical and living expenses will probably start to make up an increasingly large portion of your budget. Some may prefer at-home nursing during this stage, and others may prefer to move to an assisted living community. While it might be uncomfortable to think of these last years, it is important to budget for the greater medical expenses that can come with assisted living or at home care.

Create a plan

Once you’ve made a basic outline of your retirement years you can begin to lay out a financial plan. Speak with your employer to gain information about retirement benefits, health insurance, and other major financial factors in your life. This will give you an understanding of what you have to work with when you’re officially retired. Income can include your pension, retirement savings, and Social Security benefits. Confirm all essential information such as your beneficiaries, insurance, taxes, and all other necessary components so you don’t have to worry about these later down the road. Lastly, lay out your expenses. This can include dental work, home maintenance, cleaning costs, utilities, big purchases, healthcare, food, and all other factors that play into your overall expenses. Having a good understanding of where your income was going while you were in the working world will help you plan for a future when you are no longer working.

Work with a financial planner

It is always a good idea to consult a financial or tax professional before making any sort of financial or planning decisions. Financial planners can be extremely helpful when you are saving for retirement as well as when you are making a budget to carry you through your retirement. Professional financial planners can provide you with tips about retirement funds, saving opportunities, and other methods by which you can maximize your income while in retirement.

It is always a great idea to consult a financial or tax professional before making any long term planning decisions.

Be sure to shop around when looking for a financial planner, looking for individuals whose fees fit your budget and who have experience with retirement planning.

Use technology

Technological solutions can be intimidating, particularly where your finances are concerned, but modern technological solutions are a great way to bring order, transparency, and security to your retirement finances. Technological solutions are particularly good when it comes to financial planning as they can help show you all your sources of money and all the things that you spend your money on, as well as provide tools to help forecast how long your money will last.

Technological solutions like Sunbound can help make paying for senior care easier, more transparent, and more secure.

Using technological solutions to do things like set up online payments, lay out your expenses and income on a spreadsheet, and access your online bank accounts can help save you time and effort. If you want to use an online solution to pay for senior living, Sunbound provides seniors and their families the ability to pay for senior care on their terms. We pay a senior living resident's entire rent bill at the beginning of each month to their community and then allow seniors and their families to pay Sunbound back over the next few weeks on their timeline

Take advantage of discount programs for seniors

One of the undoubted benefits of your retirement years is access to countless great discounts. From cheaper tickets at the movies to amazing tax benefits for seniors, there are all sorts of ways to save money in your retirement. One great way to find amazing discounts for seniors is to join a senior-focused organization. The AARP is a great first step, but there are countless organizations and groups committed to saving seniors money (such as Sunbound!). In addition, make sure to look for the full range of discounts and benefits provided by your state and local governments. Along with tax breaks, your local chamber of commerce or town government might have amazing discounts or benefits for local seniors.

One of the most common challenges people have in their retirement years is making sure that they are able to support themselves and their loved ones financially. After years of planning and preparation, make sure to think through how best to budget and make your savings last. Hopefully the tips in this article make budgeting as a senior a little bit easier. 

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at info@sunboundhomes.com or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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