How Your Golden Years Can Be Your Best Years — Even on a Fixed Income
Living on a fixed income is commonly seen as being limited in the lifestyle you live. While it’s true that this can be the case, it doesn’t have to be. By budgeting, eliminating debt, and making a few other moves, you can live a restriction-free, fulfilling life in your golden years. If you want to know more about how to live well on your fixed income, read on for some practical tips from Boomers Retirement.
Make a budget you can stick to.
The first part of thriving on a fixed income is creating a budget. And to make a budget that you can stick to requires you to be realistic about all of your expenses. So, list all of your fixed expenses, including your mortgage or rent, insurance, groceries, and utilities. Then, subtract those expenses from your total monthly income (from all sources). This will show you how much money you have left for discretionary spending.
At the very least, creating a budget should show you where you can make adjustments so that you can make the most of your money, even if that means undergoing a major life change to free up your finances for other things.
Knock out debt.
There’s no getting around it: debt is a killer. If you are straddled with debt, there’s little opportunity for you to spend money on the things that bring you happiness. The first thing you need to do in order to enhance your budget is to work toward eliminating your debt. Pay off your credit cards as soon as possible, and avoid using them in the future unless you can comfortably make the monthly payments. This will help you avoid the staggering interest rates that come with them.
Along with tackling your debt, think of ways that you can pad your income. If you are able to work, look around town for part-time opportunities. Chances are there are a number of organizations and companies that will value your experience. This could mean picking up shifts at a local coffee shop, restaurant, art museum, or even at a company that specializes in the industry in which you spent your career.
Another thing to consider is going freelance. The freelance market is massive, and it includes almost any industry you can think of. For example, if you have customer service experience, you can use your skills as a freelance customer service agent. If you are a retired teacher, you can teach remotely in a part-time capacity. Even if your experience is in engineering, accounting, or consulting, you can find work-from-home opportunities through online job boards.
See where you can cut.
Finally, evaluate your budget and figure out where you can cut expenses. For example, if you live in a house that is much too big for your lifestyle, downsizing could save you a ton of money on mortgage, insurance, utilities, and taxes. Or, if you’re leasing a car every few years, you could save big by purchasing a late model or used car and driving it until it quits. Also, reassessing how you buy and use groceries can be a major money-saver.
Try your hand at starting your own business.
For many retirees, adjusting to life on a fixed income can be difficult, even if you have no trouble sticking to your budget. Sometimes, you just want to enjoy a little more flexibility and a larger financial cushion. You can accomplish this by starting a side hustle right from your home! Many retirees find fulfillment in small business ownership.
Perhaps you’re already excited about a particular business idea. Once you’ve decided on a name, you’ll need to go about filing for a business entity in your state. After all, you need to make sure that your personal assets are protected, and naturally, you’ll want to find ways to save during tax season. If you’re not quite sure how to approach this process, don’t worry - you can work with an online formation service if you have lots of questions.
Just because you’re on a fixed income doesn’t mean your life has to be limited or unrewarding. Draw up a realistic budget, work toward eliminating all your debt, look for employment opportunities, and cut expenses where possible. Implementing these tips can help put you in a better position to flourish in your golden years.
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