canstockphoto13779951Many people nearing retirement don’t have any idea how their expenses will be affected. They are looking forward to sleeping late since they will no longer have to get up early in the morning for work. Have you really thought about the expenses you’re likely going to face in your golden years?

Whether your idea of retirement includes taking a trip to the Caribbean or spending time with your grandchildren, there  are going to be expenses that you underestimated or haven’t thought about. It’s very important for you to take the time to accurately estimate your expenses if you want to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Here are a few examples:

1. Entertainment. One mistake many retirees are making is assuming their recreational expenses will remain the same. There will be some drastic changes. You should consider that while you’re working on a regular job, it takes up much of you day. There is a great chance that you’re away from home for around 10 hours a day if you include driving back and forth to work.

You will probably spend much of the day doing something other than sleeping late and watching television. Dining out, traveling, playing golf and shopping is a lot more expensive than going to work. Consider that you’re replacing a full time income with activities that will potentially cost money.

2. Household expenses. Once you retire, there’s a list of household expenses that you’ll have to pay. Hopefully, you are close to paying off your mortgage. Just because your home is paid for, you will still be responsible for the property taxes. Other monthly bills to consider are the utility bills, cable service, internet and other basic expenses.

Your utility bills are certainly going to increase in the future. It’s important to take this into consideration when you’re planning for your retirement. Remember the cost of food, gas and insurance is also on the rise.

3. Medical expenses. Ultimately, health care expenses are usually the biggest expense for many retirees. The average costs of medical expenses are currently over $220,000. Seventy percent of seniors over the age of 65 will require long-term  care in their lifetime. Keep in mind assisted living average $3,500 per month, private nursing home is approximately $8,000 per month and in home care from a home health aide cost around $50 per hour.

Depending on the option that you choose, it can get very expensive.

4. Unexpected expenses. There’s a great chance that you will have to pay for the upkeep of your home and you’ll need to get car repairs. Building an emergency fund is a great way to prepare for expenses that will pop up instead of using your credit cards.

Planning for retirement can be a challenge, especially when your income and expenses are changing. While it’s impossible to predict how much all of your expenses are going to be, you should still make preparations. You may want to spend that time with interesting and fun activities. Start planning for your retirement today. Consider the lifestyle that you would like to live and the expenses required to maintain it.

5. Miscellaneous expenses. You’ll never know what new hobbies and interests you might develop over time. Maybe golf never sounded interesting before, but you may develop friendships with those that love to play. Perhaps you will develop a love of art and would like to start collecting or visiting art galleries. Assume you will find new activities to participate on a daily or weekly basis and plan accordingly.

These are just a few things that you need to prepare for when you retire. Start making plans today to enjoy a comfortable bt-free retirement.

canstockphoto8732083How important is it to save for your retirement? It is essential to save up for your retirement savings as early as  possble. After all, the days of employer funded pensions are long gone and the retirement age is often delayed since Social Security is running out of funds.

Some financial advisors strongly recommend that people save enough money to cover at least 75% of their pre-retirement income to fund their retirement savings.

Many people find it challenging to save money to pay their bills since the cost of food, housing and healthcare is constantly on the rise. No matter your age or how much money you’re currently making, there are easy ways you can boost your retirement savings.

Use these tips to increase your retirement savings and ensure that your financial future is secure:

1. Start saving money right now. If you haven’t already started contributing to your 401(k) or any other retirement plan, start now. If you’re unable to contribute 10% of your income, start small. You should try to save 1 or 2 percent of your gross income. Increase the amount that you contribute, especially if you get a raise or receive bonuses from your employer.

When your employer matches a percentage of your 401(k) contribution, you have a 100 percent instant return on your investment. Contribute at least the minimum to qualify for any match offered by your employer when you enroll in the company’s plan.

Open an IRA or Roth IRA if your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) plan. IRAs can help you to lower your annual tax bill that can give you hundreds of dollars you can use to increase your nest egg. Don’t make the mistake of spending your savings!

2. Delay your retirement. Working longer and retiring at a later age will boost the amount of money that you will receive for your Social Security benefits. This will also shorten the length of time you’ll need to draw from your retirement savings.

As you’re approaching retirement age, look for ways to make additional income streams that are separate from your salary. You can use your skills to freelance your expertise or start a small business or a home-based business. Increasing your income will allow you to add more to retirement savings.

3. Get out of debt. Before you retire, make sure all of your debts are paid off. Most budgets are comprised of debt payments. Therefore, it will make it nearly impossible to add to your retirement savings. The best solution is to create workable budget that will eliminate outstanding debt over a certain time period.

Plan to get out of debt before you retire so that you’ll need to save less for your retirement. As you’re decreasing your debt, you should remain disciplined rather than falling into the trap of experiencing more financial woes or wasting money that can be saved for your retirement fund on unnecessary purchases.

4. Downsize your lifestyle. When you create your budget, take a good look at how much you are paying on your rent or mortgage. Determine if you should move into a smaller house with lower costs. If it have a negative affect on your budget, consider getting a smaller place with lower costs for the upkeep. In addition to downsizing your home, you can sell items that you won’t use any longer and add the proceeds from the sale to add to your retirement savings.

Finding ways to save up for your golden years can be a difficult and time consuming task if you don’t know what to do. However, if you implement these tips, it will make it easier to boost your savings to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

canstockphoto9190666Do you find yourself without money before payday? You may find yourself  borrowing from friends and family or go without money altogether. If you are struggling every month trying to make ends meet, it is time to give your family a Money Makeover. There are some adjustments you can make that will make your money stretch beyond your belief.


Look For Better Deals

You can find better deals on anything from groceries to your monthly cable and mobile phone plans. If you find yourself spending a large amount of money for groceries, there are online coupon websites where you will find great deals on food, beverages and even clothing. Saving 50 cents to one dollar off an item may not seem like such a big deal, but this will save you a lot of money down the road.

Another way to save money is by searching for better cable television and mobile phone plans. If you are struggling to pay your monthly bills, contact your service provider and ask if there is a way you can change over to a cheaper plan. If you are not under a contract, you have the right to go with another company or do without the service altogether.

You can also find better deals on insurance policies. If you feel that you are paying too much for your car or health insurance, do some comparison shopping. Before you renew your insurance, you may find that it’s cheaper to buy insurance online than by going to an insurance company in your local area.

If you are comfortable with your current insurance agent and do not want to shop elsewhere, contact their competitors to find out if they have better deals. If you find one, check with your current insurance holder and see if they will match the price. People are more likely to match prices to keep your business, especially in today’s competitive market.


Set Up a Savings Plan

If you do not already have a savings plan, now is the time to take action. It’s really important for you to have a savings account that will sustain the household for three to six months in case of an emergency. You can start building up your savings by putting away a small amount of money from your paycheck each pay period. Once you have enough money in your emergency fund, then you can focus on building on your savings even more.


Plan Your Retirement

Having a retirement plan is important, especially if you don’t want to spend your golden years working on a stressful job. Social Security programs are running out of money and may not be available when it comes time for you to retire. This is why it’s important for you to plan ahead. Look into IRAs or other interest-yielding accounts for you to build up enough money for your retirement. If you need help contact a financial advisor at your bank.

You and your family will have a lot to gain by giving yourselves a Money Makeover. By shopping around for better deals, building up your savings for retirement and family emergencies, everyone is doing their part preparing for the future. Implement these money savings methods where possible and watch your nest egg grow.