Planning for retirement: Financial tips for seniors

Managing finances is an important part of planning for retirement living. Whether you’re currently residing in a senior community or you’re thinking of making the transition soon, developing a budget is essential for ensuring your funds are exactly where they need to be.

While you may be able to manage finances on your own, it is always worthwhile to seek the assistance of a loved one or a financial expert to glance over your final budget. This way, you can ensure your money is properly accounted for and your budget is of the utmost quality.

Organization is key
Creating a system that can help you keep track of and plan for purchases is the first step to making your new budget. Electronic formats, such as spreadsheets or money-tracking websites, are easy ways to store financial information, as they can be quickly edited and reformatted if factors change over time. For example, as grocery prices fluctuate, you can alter these numbers in your spreadsheet to better reflect current trends. Additionally, these formats generally contain formula functions, meaning that they can add all of the funds from one column and create a cohesive total at the bottom.

For those who prefer pen and paper, investing in financial planners or grid paper is the best bet, as these items provide easy organization for different columns and pricing models that you may require.

Examine your past expenses
After developing the baseline for your budget, it’s time to examine past expenditures. Experts recommend that seniors look at spending patterns from the last three or four months to accurately gauge monetary habits. Seniors should create their budget to reflect these past choices, accounting for food, transportation, living and entertainment costs. If you’re looking for places to cut cost corners, examining past spending is the best way to remain objective about buying patterns. Purchasing a small cup of coffee for a few dollars each morning may not seem like much in small increments, but learning that you spend around $60 on coffee each month may cause you to reconsider consistent, small expenses.

Set goals for your future
Sticking to your new budget may seem like a difficult feat, but once you’ve developed a solid system, abiding by your standards should be a breeze, as long as you have set tangible goals for the future. If you are trying to eliminate unnecessary spending habits, you should consider tailoring your goals to reflect this desire, such as picking a particular amount you would like to save over the course of the month.