Pattie Lovett-Reid: How to ensure you don't outlive your money
There is one thing that will make a difference to your retirement.
We all know there are wild cards that could derail your retirement plans. If inflation picks up, it could erode your purchasing power. If the markets turn south, your nest-egg could dwindle. Your health could deteriorate and costs escalate.
There are many unknowns in retirement and while you can’t control all outcomes you can control some of the variables. So what can you do to ensure you don’t outlive your money?
Cut your spending.
Mom has always insisted she needed to get the biggest bang for her financial buck and that is a good starting place. Where is it you get the greatest pleasure when you are spending money? What discretionary costs can be eliminated? And how can you stretch your dollars further?
To begin, we all need to take a look at our balance sheet to see how we can be more cost-aware and that is different from simply being cheap. This isn’t about depriving yourself it is about spending wisely. Understanding where all your money is coming from in retirement is critical (pensions, savings, investments, real estate and so on) and recognize what it is you are spending all your money on. Only then can you identify where you can cut costs.
Here are a few dollar drains that you can avoid to help ensure you don’t outlive your money:
1) Don’t spend what you don’t have. Debt in retirement is a double hit given the interest charges and payments.
2) Continue to enjoy a coffee date, but dump the designer coffees and cut your costs in half.
3) Consider eating out of the fridge so to speak - instead of eating out.
4) Look for budget vacations. Travel during off-periods, take advantage of last-minute bookings, and explore local treasures. Use the luxury of time to your advantage.
5) Transportation costs can be a drain. Do you really need two vehicles or do you need a vehicle at all?
6) Explore your living options. Downsizing in not only footprint but dollar amount can result in savings from taxes, to insurance, to home maintenance.
Lifestyle considerations drive how much you need to save for retirement. Ensuring you have exposure to the equity market to keep up your purchasing power and planning on living to 100 doesn’t mean you can’t also live for today. It is about not spending as if there is no tomorrow.
Do what so many others simply aren’t prepared to do and change up your lifestyle. Small tweaks can be golden in your golden years.