What if you’re nearing retirement and you determine that your retirement income may not be adequate to meet your retirement expenses? If retirement is just around the corner, you may need to drastically change your spending and saving habits. Saving even a little money can really add up if you do it consistently and earn a reasonable rate of return. And by making permanent changes to your spending habits, you’ll find that your savings will last even longer. Start by preparing a budget to see where your money is going. Here are some suggested ways to stretch your retirement dollars:
• Refinance your home mortgage if interest rates have dropped since you obtained your loan, or reduce your housing expenses by moving to a less expensive home or apartment.
• Access the equity in your home. Use the proceeds from a second mortgage or home equity line of credit to pay off higher-interest-rate debts, or consider a reverse mortgage.
• Sell one of your cars if you have two. When your remaining car needs to be replaced, consider buying a used one.
• Transfer credit card balances from higher-interest cards to a low- or no-interest card, and then cancel the old accounts.
• Ask about insurance discounts and review your insurance needs (e.g., your need for life insurance may have lessened).
• Reduce discretionary expenses such as lunches and dinners out.
By planning carefully, investing wisely, and spending thoughtfully, you can increase the likelihood that your retirement will be a financially secure one.