Running out of money in retirement isn't something I like to contemplate. However, the closer I draw to my golden years, the more threats I see to my financial future. Issues with Social Security funding, popping economic bubbles, a wild stock market, recessions, and all sorts of other financially disfiguring events could transpire before I reach my retirement or once I'm already there.
In an effort to ensure stability when I'm old and gray, I'm taking some steps to lay out a retirement plan that prioritizes my finances.
Just as in pre-retirement living, there will be necessities and discretionary spending to prioritize in retirement. Therefore, setting things like a mortgage, health insurance, medical expenses, and utilities, ahead of items like travel costs, entertainment, holiday expenditures, and certain miscellaneous costs could be key to stretching dollars.
And drilling down even further into such expenses can help put greater prioritization to my expenses. When it comes to housing costs, things like a mortgage and property taxes will come before expenses such as general repairs and updating projects. In transportation costs, vehicle insurance, maintenance, and fuel will come before for road trips and other entertainment-related travel costs. The same could go for utilities expenses in which costs for electricity, natural gas, and water/sewer will be prioritized over cable, internet, and phone expenses, or food costs in which meals at home will be prioritized over fast food or dinners out.
Carry work with me
To further ensure that my money lasts in retirement, I plan to carry certain work or income earning options with me into my golden years. While I may not have to take advantage of such options, at least having them there as supplements to retirement income could help me preserve my retirement savings.
As a self-employed freelance writer, it's a job I don't mind taking with me at some level into retirement. Online work such as writing, blogging, and selling on sites like eBay or Etsy can also make for easy income opportunities to add to retirement or maintain funding.
The final step in working to ensure my money lasts in retirement is to prioritize spending. At this point, and with some substantial time until I eventually reach my retirement years, I've already formed an idea of how I'd like my asset drawdown to occur.
First off, I will certainly be making use of any Social Security benefits that might still be available come retirement time. Those will be my first line of spending when it comes to retirement income. Next, I'll be utilizing any income I might be earning from work carried with me into retirement. Then I will start drawing upon assets that are invested and earning income of their own such as dividend earning retirement accounts, interest earning government savings bonds, or stocks. I will balance any additional income needs with further reductions from these areas as well as any cash savings such as funds in checking accounts, savings account or certificates of deposit.
In this way, I hope to utilize funds that are non-interest or dividend earning first, then draw upon the funds that are still earning for me in an effort to maximize and make my money last in retirement.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.
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