Formerly the Lehigh Valley Senior Services Council

Budgeting tips to keep your golden years golden

(BPT) - You've earned your retirement, and while it's a chance to relax and relish in your deserved time off, it's still important to keep track of your finances, savings and budget. With that in mind, here are five ways you can maintain a healthy budget and enjoy your dream retirement.

  1. Understand your expenses. Your life as a retiree is different now than it was during your employed years. Gone are the day-to-day working responsibilities; and here to stay is more free-time to explore hobbies and spend with friends and family. To learn how much money you'll need for your new lifestyle, it's a good idea to create a budget. Record all expenditures month-to-month, and assess where to add on or cut back. Make note of large expenses (trips or big purchases), but don't disregard them as one-offs. It's often a good idea to anticipate and save for the next big purchase.
  2. Discover cost-cutting options. Whether in your home or out and about, it's important to stay connected. However, standard cellphone plans can be expensive and often cause you to pay for services you'll never use. Tracfone is one mobile provider that offers a more cost-effective alternative by offering you reliable service on the nation's largest and most dependable network without any contracts or hidden fees.
  3. Stay healthy. Medical bills can get expensive very quickly, so maintaining good health is essential to managing your budget. Take a cooking class, join a gym or make positive changes to your diet. Anything you do to protect your good health will pay dividends in the years ahead.
  4. Practice moderation. Budgeting can feel constraining, but you don't want to deny yourself the simple luxuries in your retirement. There's no need to tighten the belt, but everyone can benefit from moderation. Instead of taking trips every year, plan for every other year. If eating out is your ideal treat, cut back to once a week as opposed to multiple nights out. Exercising moderation will help you manage your money and make those moments when you do indulge even more savory.
  5. Control your debt. Don't throw your years of hard work away by falling into the trap of debt. Keeping credit card use to a minimum is one way to protect against debt, and if you do have outstanding debt, allocate excess money to pay down debts with the highest interest rate first. Then, move on to the second-highest interest rate. This will reduce your overall debt more quickly.

By understanding your budget and planning accordingly, you'll make the most of your retirement and establish financial security for the months and years ahead.

The Lehigh Valley Senior Services Council was created in 2009 to promote awareness of resources available to older adults and their families. The LehighValley Senior Services Council is comprised of experts in the Geriatric and Elder Care Arena. Our goal is to provide education, guidance and solutions to families with regard to determining how to best care for their aging family member or for planning for future needs. We can offer our expertise to you in the following areas:

Most individuals are concerned about making the right decisions for their loved ones. The LehighValley Senior Services Council can help you do just that. If you need help with planning for the future of your loved one or help with a crisis, contact us now to speak with one of our talented and compassionate specialists. Phone: (610) 674-2210; Email: LVSeniorServices@gmail.com.

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