10 Unconventional Money Tips For A Happy Retirement
1. It’s not about money.
As we work with baby boomers, we have seen people from all different walks of life and financial status enjoying purpose driven lives and a happy retirement. We are not saying that money is not important. We do believe that your attitude toward money is important. If money is all you can think about, either because you don’t have enough or because it drives everything you do, then you can’t have the best retirement.
2. Determine what is most important to you before you retire.
If you determine what you value most before you retire, then you won’t waste money chasing dreams that aren’t yours. Let’s say you buy a fancy motorhome to travel all over the country because that is what others do, or you think it will make you happy. Maybe really what you would enjoy most is living in the country growing a garden and taking walks in nature. What will make your retirement most fulfilling?
3. Don’t wait until you retire to start to be frugal.
After losing my job at age 58, we found all kinds of things we could do to live on less and not impact our quality of life beyond what we thought was reasonable. We determined, though, that had we lived the frugal life for even a year or two before that, we could have been completely out of debt and lived more comfortably in this new phase.
4. Eliminate debt.
Treat debt, and the consequent interest, as public enemy number one to a happy retirement. Can you even remember what purchases those credit card payments are for? Anything beyond a house payment and maybe a car payment should be avoided. As you get close to retirement, and during retirement, make an unbreakable commitment to avoid debt.
5. Make money on the side doing what you love.
Many of us Baby Boomers will need to have some extra income during retirement, but you can earn that money doing something you enjoy. Evaluate your skills and desires and look for ways to turn that into the extra income you need. Staying busy is one key to a happy retirement, and doing work you love will help you do that. It won’t even seem like “work”.
6. Stay healthy through eating right and exercise.
Poor health can be expensive and eat up your retirement savings quickly. It can also reduce your chance of having a happy retirement, because your ailments may prevent you from doing what you had always hoped to do when you retired.
7. Don’t shop unnecessarily.
When we shop, we buy. Have you ever gone to “look” at new furniture or a new car, and come home with something you really shouldn’t have afforded right then? Sometimes innocent shopping can lead us to believe we really need something that we would never have desired before our shopping excursion.
8. Seek out free fun.
There are countless ways to enjoy life without spending money. Some of our best vacations have been when money was really tight and we had to be creative. Even a trip to Vegas can be less expensive than you think. Oftentimes you can find cheap flights, and there are so many things to see and do for free that you can easily fill a vacation.
9. Be flexible and adventurous.
Just before school started this year my wife, a teacher, was really wanting a beach fix. So one early weekday morning, we gathered some food from the cupboards, jumped in the car with ¼ tank of gas and $ 80 cash, and drove 250 mile to the beach in California. We spent all that afternoon and evening on the beach, then slept in the car that night. The next day we never left the beach. We took in the sun, watched all the beach activity, played in the waves, slept, talked and read, then headed home in the early evening. We got home with the fuel gauge on empty and $ 3 in our pockets. Extreme? Probably. Foolhardy? Maybe. Fun and memorable? Most definitely. But the point is, look “outside the box” for ways to get what you want. If something is really important to you, find a way to do it.
John D. Rockefeller believed that if he stopped giving money he would stop making money. A recent study found that if you have two identical families in every way except that one gives $ 100 more to charity, that family will earn an average of $ 375 more than the family who didn’t give. (Arthur C. Brooks, BYU Magazine, summer 2009). Give whatever you can to a cause you believe in. Generosity pays.
All baby boomers are invited to visit http://happyretirement.net for insights about a happy retirement and purpose driven life. Also pick up your free eBook: It Is Time… To Do What You Have Always Wanted To Do at http://happyretirement.net/2011/07/its-time-free-ebook/.
Benefits of Online Financial Calculators on Your Website
Mo Mora and Megan Bailey from TimeValue Software talks about the benefits of having financial calculators on your website.
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Category: Personal Finance