Are you stressed about making ends meet or meeting financial obligations in retirement?
If so, you need to know that you are not alone—and you don’t have to feel ashamed.
Many seniors struggle with finances in retirement. This means many people just like you are also stressed out about paying off debts and sticking to a tight budget.
If you want to put an end to your worries and spend time enjoying your golden years, you should know that regaining control of your finances is possible.
In fact, you can use the 6 practical and effective tips below to find peace of mind when it comes to money concerns—and find peace in life.
Find Ways to Relieve Stress
If financial worries have you feeling stressed all the time, you could be put your health at risk.
All of that chronic stress can lead to deadly consequences if you’re not careful. These include heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, and even premature death.
Stress can also put you at a higher risk for cognitive disorders, like dementia and Alzheimer’s, especially if you are 65 years of age or older.
So, while it’s important to figure out your finances, it’s perhaps even more important to figure out self-care routines to help you reduce tension. This could include getting more exercise or getting better rest.
Sleep is essential for your overall health and well-being. It can keep you strong and focused enough to work on improving your finances.
Plus, you can protect yourself against chronic health issues and disease by getting quality sleep, which can help you avoid added healthcare expenses.
On top of these benefits, sleep can be crucial for preserving your body and brain as you get older.
So, don’t let financial worries rob you of the quality sleep you need to thrive in retirement.
Make a Plan to Pay Off Debts
Now that you are managing your stress levels, it’s time to take a good look at your finances.
Debt can be a source of financial stress for many seniors, but there are actions you can take to pay yours off.
Start by gathering all of your bills and statements and then sitting down to figure out how much debt you currently have.
It’s helpful to write out this information and use a calendar to keep track of due dates and payment amounts. You will then have a clearer picture of how you need to tweak your budget to make those payments.
Once you have the basics written out, decide whether you want to start by paying off smaller debts first or those with the highest interest rates.
Paying off small debts can provide immediate satisfaction and motivation to keep going, whereas paying off high-interest debts will save you more money in the long run.
Whichever you choose, just know that either can provide some relief and help you regain financial control and regain some calm in your life.
Look Into Debt Relief Options
If paying off your debts alone feels overwhelming, it may be time to ask for help.
Depending on where you live, you may take advantage of debt relief and financial assistance programs that can help you come up with a plan to tackle that mountain of debt and take back control of your golden years.
Now, the sort of debt relief program you choose can depend on several factors other than your location. Such factors include your employment status, your debt amount, and your ability to pay off debts. So, do your homework to find a program that works for you.
While several debt relief programs are reputable and reliable, keep in mind that it’s also important to be on the lookout for scams that could lead to more trouble.
Seniors can be vulnerable to these schemes, so know how to spot signs that an offer is too good to be true.
If a debt relief agent requires payment of fees upfront or asks you to cease all communications with your creditors, it’s a good idea to walk away and report applicable information to authorities.
Use Home Equity to Pay Debts
Whether you need help to make your monthly payments or want to pay off much larger debts, you could free up extra cash by refinancing your home.
Refinancing can be an especially smart move when interest rates on loans are low and taking advantage of these rates could help you lower your monthly housing payments. You can put the difference towards your debt relief payments and you will still be able to age in place at home.
So obviously refinancing makes much more sense if you don’t plan on downsizing or moving homes for some other reason during your retirement years.
If you need a large amount upfront to take care of debt, cash-out refinancing is another way to leverage your home in order to do so.
With this sort of refinancing deal, your current loan is replaced with one for a much larger amount. The difference can be paid out to you in one lump sum or monthly payments.
However, keep in mind that your monthly payment may go up. If you’re already having trouble making your mortgage or other payments, such an approach may not be the best choice for you.
Instead, you may need to consider selling your home or other options.
Research Federal Benefit Programs
While debt can be a source of financial concern for many seniors, sometimes it’s a lack of income that leads to the most stress and worry.
If you are trying to live on a limited income and are having a hard time paying bills or paying for essentials (including medical care and prescriptions), you need to make sure you are receiving all the benefits that may be owed to you. These benefits include social security payments and Medicare or Medicaid coverage.
There are also programs available that can help you with food, utility, and caregiving costs. Lowering your healthcare and prescription costs, though, can already provide a huge amount of financial relief.
Other potential sources of benefit many seniors can overlook are those available to veterans. If you or your spouse spent time in the military at some point in your lives, you may be entitled to these enormously helpful assistance programs.
Programs for eligible veterans and their surviving spouses include monthly pensions, assistance with home loans and home modifications, and access to free and low-cost healthcare.
It can take time to apply and get approved for any of the benefits mentioned, so try to keep this in mind if you need help fast.
Reduce Retirement Costs and Expenses
Last but most certainly not the least, you need to look for ways to keep your expenses low in retirement if you want to live with less stress in the years to come.
If you have used any of the tips mentioned above to save money, pay off debts, and reduce healthcare costs, you have already taken some basic steps towards trimming your retirement budget.
If you still have worries about making ends meet, you may need to make even further cuts.
Thankfully, you don’t have to give up on enjoying your retirement to trim your budget, but you may need to make simple tweaks.
Some of you may have never even thought of this before, but these changes can save you a ton of money in your golden years. For example, instead of living on your own and paying your mortgage solo, you could always get a roommate.
Renting out a room or two in your home could free up the cash you need to still retire comfortably. Not to mention that you will be less prone to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Other money-saving steps you can take include using public transportation, searching for bargains, and renting out your home to vacationers.
These are painless options for keeping your retirement costs low, and they shouldn’t cause you any additional stress. Best of all, by making these painless changes, you will be taking the steps needed to take back your life from worry.
Your retirement years are called “the golden years” because they are meant for relaxing and enjoying your life.
If money woes have you worried or anxious about retirement, though, you may end up missing out on what should be some of the best years ahead of you. That’s no way to spend your retirement, and it’s no way to live at any time.
So spend some time figuring out how to pay off debts and reduce expenses that are causing you so much stress. Above all, reach out for assistance when you need it.
Because you deserve to be happy in your golden years.
Jim Vogel focuses on helping ensure seniors are able to thrive throughout their golden years by sharing pertinent resources and information.
For more tips and resources for improving your health, aging well, and protecting yourself against chronic illness, visit PrevMedHealth.com.