On a Budget: The Penny Pincher’s Mini Guide to a Richer Retirement

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For many of us, there are always plenty of things you need to spend your money on rather than put it away into retirement savings.

The problem comes when retirement suddenly looms on the horizon and you realise that you don’t have as much money as you would like to retire with, but still want to try and lead a good life after you stop working.

Some people are unfortunately forced into early retirement as a result of an accident or injury, but as you will see on their website, there are companies like Claims Direct who are specialists in helping you make a claim and not miss out on any compensation you may be due. This will often be what you need in order to meet your financial needs and obligations.

If however you make it to retirement unscathed, there are some budget tips you can follow to make the most of the money that you have and enjoy a richer retirement than you might have thought possible.

Put back the date

The first suggestion to put forward is hardly a palatable option for anyone looking forward to the day when they can finally put their feet up, but delaying your retirement is a plan that could work for your finances.

If your current retirement pot is not sufficient enough to provide you with an income that either replaces your current salary or covers your expected living expenses with something to spare, putting back your retirement date might be an option worth considering.

The issue with working longer is that it could boost your finances but put a strain on your health as you get older, but the government has recently increased the retirement age anyway as part of its pension reforms, so it might even be inadvertently giving your finances a timely boost.

Clear your debts

More of us are reaching retirement age with some existing debt to deal with, in the shape of credit cards, loans and possibly even a mortgage.

The thinking behind the strategy of clearing your debts in preparation for your retirement is that having fewer expenses will mean that you will need a lower income in order to live.

If you live in house that has some equity available, it may work to sell and downsize, freeing up some cash to clear your debts and hopefully give yourself some more money for retirement and a smaller place to live in.

Live below your means

If you have already have a bit of a reputation for being a penny-pincher then living below your means will be a philosophy that you already subscribe to.

Spending less money that you earn is financial no-brainer and is a fundamental reason how some people manage to achieve financial independence. It is not something that all of us are good at however, or there would be no credit card and loan companies around.

Getting into the mindset of living below your means takes a bit of willpower and honesty about your current financial position, but by addressing what you spend your money on and what you could really do without, can be quite liberating when you see the difference it makes to your bank balance.

Adopting these strategies before and when you reach retirement age could transform your finances and make your later years a bit more comfortable than you imagined.

Robert Cook has worked for many years in retirement-planning services and is now a consultant. He likes to share his ideas online and has posted his insights on a number of retirement and money related blogs.

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  • One major benefit of getting rid of your mortgage is that you now have a significant chunk of income to keep each month. You obviously still need to pay taxes and insurance. Still, most people’s mortgage eat up $1,000+. Having that back in their pocket makes retirement much easier.

  • I completely agree with the steps you mentioned. My husband and I recently sold our home, payed off the remainder of our debts, and fully funded our emergency fund. One thing I would add is, depending on age, to take calculated risks. Some of our family members thought we were crazy to sell our home to rent, but we knew it was right for us and took the calculated risk. The results have been great!

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