Worried that you’ll never really be able to retire? Don’t let your lifestyle decide when you should begin your next chapter. Retire faster, happier, and with more financial breathing room when you follow these seven tips.
1. Get rid of debt and loans.
If credit card debt and/or your mortgage are gone by the time you retire, there will be fewer bills each month, as well as peace of mind. Pay off those loans bills with the highest interest rate first and work your way down from there.
2. Sort out healthcare.
Decide on supplemental coverage now. One illness or injury could leave you with portions of very large bills not covered by Medicare, as well as prescriptions they do not cover.
3. Pick up and move.
Have empty bedrooms? If you can’t pay off your mortgage in time, or you’d like to be paying much less, move to an area with a reduced cost of living. Get a home just your size, and save a ton of money each month.
4. Snap up every discount.
Senior discounts are not always advertised clearly. But from the grocery store to the airline, almost every big company has a policy on this. One of the best things about getting older is that you never have to pay full price.
5. Time it right.
There are penalties and reduced payouts for not taking care of retirement on time. Retire too soon, and Social Security is reduced. Sign up for Medicare too late, and there’s a penalty. Do all of these things in the timeframe that allows for the biggest returns.
6. Consider the car.
If you own your car outright, tally up the cost of maintenance, gas, and insurance to see if it’s worth it. If you have an outstanding loan, sell the car and buy a more cost-efficient used model. If you don’t do very much driving, you might not need to own a car.
7. Stop paying for everyone else.
By far, the hardest thing for many retirees is to stop paying their family’s bills. Let your kids and grandkids know in advance that you plan on retiring and will no longer be paying their way. They’ll have a little time to figure out how to afford their own lifestyle.