After reaching the retirement age, you may no longer have the same magnitude of opportunities for income. You’ll most likely end up relying heavily on your retirement savings. But with limited activity, how long can your hard-earned retirement fund last? Here are ways to help extend the life of your funds.
Reduce Your Fixed Expenses
Your retirement plan must include finding out what fixed expenses and must-haves you should decrease or eliminate to lower your expenses during retirement. This is especially applicable for those who don’t have any other income source after retiring. These expenses may include food, transportation, shelter, insurance, utilities and minimum loan payments.
One way to do this is to downsize your home, therefore reducing mortgage payments and other property-related costs like utilities, property taxes, and insurance. If you decide to go car-less, you’ll be able to save around an average of $9K a year from its maintenance budget. Experts also recommend paying off your debts before you retire.
Maintain Income Flow
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, your annual standard of living could be increased by 33% if you delay the start of your retirement from 62 to 66. You can avoid withdrawing more from your savings by setting up another income source like a part-time job or a business venture, to help extend your retirement fund.
Make the Most Out of Your Social Security
Retirement experts recommend delaying the start of your Social Security benefits. The bigger checks you receive after the delay may be more than the combined smaller checks you were supposedly able to receive had you started earlier.
People who live longer have the tendency to get through their savings and just depend on their Social Security benefits, so the delayed, yet bigger, checks can ensure the longevity of your retirement fund.
Retirement experts also recommend that the spouse who earns higher should delay their Social Security benefit as long as they can.
Acquire Guaranteed Income
It is recommended to have a guaranteed income that is enough to cover your basic expenses during your retirement days. Experts say that you should consider purchasing immediate annuities as it can be a stream of income for life. However, you have to pay the entire lump sum upfront.
Control Your Withdrawals
You risk draining your retirement savings faster when you withdraw big amounts during your first year into retirement.
Financial planners say that withdrawals shouldn’t go beyond 4% of the fund during the first 12 months of retirement. You can increase the withdrawal in the next years depending on the inflation rate.
Protect Your Health
There are illnesses that we couldn’t control, but we can take the right steps to prevent them from happening. Getting regular screenings, seeking proper medical care, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the costs that treatment for chronic health conditions could entail.
You wouldn’t want to deplete your retirement savings because of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease or arthritis.