With retirement may come personal spending restrictions. Once retired, your budget will likely be different from any other type of budgeting you may be accustomed to. Perhaps you should not wait until after retirement to plan for the retired budget you will need. These tips on budgeting are for baby boomers, or anyone that is retiring soon.
There is some debate in the United States concerning the span of years in which ‘baby boomers’ were born. It may be from 1946 to 1964. Or it may be from 1943 to 1960. (1) The latter case includes me.
The difference between the ‘romance’ of hearing about retirement for a baby boomer, and the ‘cold, hard reality’ of actual retirement may be vast. It may, likewise, be frightening. Not all ‘boomers’ had the education and skills to maintain a good paying job to be eligible for a pension. Like this ‘boomer’, they also may not have saved sufficient funds for a ‘golden’ retirement.
What is a baby boomer to do upon retirement when he discovers not enough money to provide for life, as he previously knew it?
Tips for budgeting after retirement, saving money and for watching your money carefully while still living a good and fulfilling life are derived from this writer’s hard won personal experience plus some after-the-fact deep thinking.
1. Scale down your living expenses before you retire.
A. Cut back entertainment costs. Rent cheaper movies. Subscribe to cheaper cable or other TV services.
B. Reduce phone bills, if you have both landline and cell phone, switch plans, features; drop one or the other; seek less expensive phones.
C. Instead of fast, pricey Internet service, drop back to slower, less expensive service. The ‘fast access dsl’ at its slowest speed is still light years faster than that old dial-up modem type Internet service from just a few years ago.
D. Change grocery-shopping habits: don’t just pick the first things you see; don’t just shop at only one store. Shop sales; check store ads; buy ‘house brand’ items.
2. Scale back purchases with credit cards well in advance of retirement. Remember, monthly payments will still be due, even after you retire, whether you have sufficient income or not.
3. In buying a home, if an option to ‘pre-pay’ on the principal is available, you may be wise to do so. Scale back on living quarters; ‘downsize’ your house in favor of less expensive space. After retirement it’s a burden making monthly house payments.
4. Avoid major credit purchases such as new appliances not needed or automobiles or boats.
5. ‘Sock a little away for a rainy day’ is a good slogan to remember.
6. Plot out on paper expected income and outgo. Use a manila file folder, mark off a grid for six months; list all monthly expenses. As each bill is paid, circle it so you know exactly what you have left to pay that month.
With these helpful tips, after retirement you can adjust to less personal spending. You can also take your retirement budgeting in hand and enjoy being retired in spite of less income for your retired budget.
(1) en.wikipedia.org; baby boomer