The following is a guest post from Chuck Price, President and Wealth Manager for Price Financial Group Wealth Management Inc. He is the author of Investing Simplified: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You. Price has more than 40 years of financial experience and hosts a popular radio show, “Investing Simplified,” that airs on Freedom 970 in Portland, Ore.
Many retirees and those nearing retirement express a common fear. They worry about running out of money; finding their bank account drained with years of life still ahead of them. The reality is that a large percentage of Americans simply don’t have the kind of savings they need.
When that’s the case, there are other strategies they’ll need to consider.
Suggestions for Stretching Retirement Dollars
- Work Longer. Nothing says you have to stop working at a particular age. You can continue in your career, find a new one or just work part-time. Even temporary employment can help keep the cash flowing so you don’t have to tap into your savings too much.
- Cultivate Alternative Income Streams. You can reduce your reliance on your retirement portfolio by cultivating income streams. This could be done through a side business or maybe by making investments outside your retirement portfolio that pay dividends. There are a number of ways you might be able to come up with some extra income.
- Cut Costs. Are there expenses you can get rid of if money becomes too tight? Maybe you don’t need to play golf every day or dine out so often. Are you paying for insurance on an extra car that you really don’t need anymore or for a motorcycle you rarely ride? Retirement is supposed to be fun, I know, but in tough economic times you’ll have to make decisions. If your situation improves, you can add some of those luxuries back later.
- Reconsider the Financial Help You Give Others. Older people often want to help their children and grandchildren financially, but you might need to cut back on your charity. If your own survival and financial situation is being threatened, you need to pull back a bit. You’re trying to make your money outlive you, so it might be necessary in times of economic turmoil to reduce how much you provide to others.
On the upside, it’s worth noting that expenses in retirement might not end up being as much as you think.
Most people spend less money as they get older because they stop driving, traveling and buying clothes. The main exception is if there’s a need for long-term care, which can be very expensive.
But most of my clients in retirement, usually after about age 80, aren’t spending anywhere close to what they planned for.