Should You Continue to Invest After Retirement?

Written by Becky Wilcox

How much money is enough for retirement? Although that’s a common enough question, the answer may surprise you. Any number you come up with for your lifestyle will be something of an educated guess. In other words, it’s unlikely to be accurate. While it would be wonderful to establish a figure that defines a comfortable retirement, there is one problem with coming up with anything close to an accurate reckoning: the goal post keeps moving. Some variables that confound any calculation is that the rate of inflation, the cost of living, and confidence in the social security system keeps changing. In addition, with medical science making rapid advances every year, your chances of longevity keeps improving.

It’s unrealistic to simply hope to stockpile enough money to live out your retirement years. Rather than hoping you won’t outlive your money, it makes more sense to continue to generate passive income during your retirement years. Some investment vehicles that would be a good option for continuing to invest in your retirement years include precious metals, real estate investment trusts, dividend-paying stocks, US Treasury notes and bonds and Treasury inflation-protected securities.

Gold Bullion

When you invest in gold bullion, you’ll be joining a trend that has become increasingly popular during the last decade as the US debt has increased at an alarming rate. With the US national debt rising by an average of $3.8 billion a day and government borrowing at the rate of $5 billion every single business day, faith in the stability of the US dollar has been shaken. Consequently, gold is seen as a hedge against hard economic times.

People who are interested in gold bullion find it easy to buy and sell gold and appreciate the accuracy with which gold content can be verified after purchase. They believe that investing in gold has significant upsides in an uncertain economy.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

When you buy Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), you make money as a shareholder. REITs make money by purchasing property and then renting, leasing, and selling them. REITs are made available to the public through IPOs, or initial public offerings. After your purchase, you will be pleased to observe that 90% of a REIT’s taxable income is regularly distributed to shareholders like you.

Dividend-Paying Stocks

When you buy stocks, you will receive dividend payments. The best way to make money from your investments in stocks is to find companies that have developed an excellent reputation for increasing their dividend payments every year. These companies will continue to pump money into your bank account year after year. And, of course, as you add more shares to your portfolio, the more money you’ll make.

Municipal Bonds

When you buy municipal bonds, usually refer to as “munis,” you are lending a government entity money. A muni, then, is a debt obligation issued by a government entity to fund its diverse projects. In exchange for your loan contribution, you will receive a fixed number of interest payouts over a predetermined schedule.

U.S. Treasury Notes and Bonds

When you buy U.S. Treasury notes and bonds, you will be paid interest on a discount bond upon maturity. This is a bond that you can buy for less than its face value. You will then be paid the full value of your bond when it matures.

Treasury Inflated Protected Securities

When you buy Treasury inflated-protected securities, otherwise known as TIPS, you will benefit from inflation protection. The primary disadvantage of TIPS is that you will earn a lower interest rate than if you were to buy other types of government securities or if you were to buy credit securities. In addition, your tax bill will be higher.

In conclusion, you should continue to invest in your retirement years. Although you might expect to only spend a third of your retirement savings to cover your living expenses, this evaluation may not be accurate. In reality, much of your savings will be used to cover costs that you had not anticipated. For instance, the rise in the cost of medical expenses may be much higher than you could have predicted.

Conquer Your Retirement Challenges and Enjoy the Great Life You Deserve

Written by Felix Steinmeyer

Though retirement ought to be a time when you are finally able to let out a deep breathe and relax, there is no getting around the worry that comes with entering that stage of life. After all, any major life event can be awfully stressful, and there is no denying that leaving your career is a major life event. The greatest retirement worries are losing one’s sense of purpose, not having enough money, being lonely, and being in poor health. But, you do not need to fret because you can indeed conquer your retirement challenges and enjoy the life for which you have worked your entire life.

What Now? Create, Follow Your Retirement Plan

Although most retirement plans focus on finances, the truth of the matter is that to truly enjoy your retirement, your plan needs to cover more than your budget. Actually, the retirement plan I suggest that you create will be a life plan, not a spending/income plan. Your retirement plan, will answer that question that nearly everyone has when they retire: “So, what now?”

When creating your retirement plan, think long term. The further out you can make it, the more excited you will be about the future. Schedule your plans around the full twelve months of the year. If Spring is your favorite season, plan a trip to the Southern Hemisphere in October so you can enjoy the greenery and blooms when it is winter back home. Also, list the birthdays of your loved ones and plan visits over the next 24 months so you keep on having a great event to look forward to.

Also sit down and determine what is important to you. Is being a grandmother, the role you love the most? Or, perhaps, mentoring young business people is something you have always wanted to do. Regardless of what gives your life meaning, make sure you include it in your life plan.

Break that Plan, be Spontaneous

Now, with all of that having been said about the life-meaning your plan can give your retirement, it has got to be said, that there will be times when you ought to break your plan. There will be times in your retirement that call for spontaneity.

Don’t follow comedian Steven Wright’s advice and procrastinate being spontaneous. A bit of spontaneity will work your creativity muscles. It will keep you fresh and flexible. It will keep you from turning into that grumpy old man or woman. It will bring you joy.

Finding Work, Not a Job

Even if you do not need a job, you might need work. But in retirement, the work you do can be what you enjoy. This could be volunteering or even doing something, such as gardening or pet sitting, for some spending. The key here is to find work you enjoy. Remember, you’re retired, no more jobs.

 Stop Worrying about Money

A major challenge you will probably need to overcome in retirement is worrying about money. In fact, some studies have found that soon-to-retire people are more concerned about not having enough money than they are about dying. Now, that is quite a worry, eh?

To conquer this financial worry, you must first understand that it is perfectly normal. Odds are, most of the people around you feel the exact same way. Once you accept this, you can move on to the next step of figuring out if you have a legitimate reason to worry about finances in retirement. Thankfully, there are some great online tools, such as the AARP retirement calculator, that can give you a quick snapshot of your current situation while offering suggestions as to the steps you can take to help you meet your retirement lifestyle goals.

Shoring up Your Finances Late in the Game  

You still do not need to worry if it turns out that you do indeed need to improve your financial situation. You can overcome this retirement challenge as well. There are many ways you can make money while retired from selling items you have acquired over the decades to getting a reverse mortgage, life insurance settlements, shopping around for better interest rates on investments and credit cards, and so many more.

Though they are not income, discounts are a fantastic way for seniors to save money, lots of money. Did you know that Americans who are at least 62 years old can buy a lifetime pass to all of America’s national parks for just $80. That is a stunning discount when you consider that everyone else has to pay that same amount for just a one-year pass. You can find other great prices at private and public attractions, hotels and resorts, restaurants, museums, theaters, and nearly everywhere else that caters to the public.

Collect Experiences, Not Stuff

What makes you happy? According to research, your experiences give you much more happiness than do your things. As you are creating and following your retirement life plan, covered above, make sure you pack it with experiences instead of purchases. Remember, there may come a time that it will be difficult for you to travel and experience good times.

Some of the greatest experiences you can have in retirement will also keep you active. Geocaching, golfing, bird watching, pickleball, hiking, and gardening are all great ways to collect experiences that will also keep you active and give you the opportunity to make new friends. All of this will likewise combine to conquer your fears of being lonely or losing your health prematurely.

Retirement Need Not Be a Time of Worry

You can conquer the retirement challenges that most of us will face. You just have to plan and take them on honestly.

Small Comforts: The Many Advantages of Apartment Living

Written by Sally Perkins

When it comes time to retire, many of us oftentimes think this means finally moving to our dream home. However, while this dream may seem feasible in our minds, it might not make sense financially to sign onto another long-term mortgage payment. Rather, renting an apartment may be the best choice for living out your retirement.

Apartment living not only gives you the opportunity to rent, downsize and save money, but it has a range of advantages for people who have retired. Many retirees will be happy to learn that selling a home and renting will present an opportunity to earn capital that produces an income. Besides being a great option financially, here are some other benefits of choosing a small, comforting space for your retirement:

Let the Maintenance Team Do the Hard Work

With more than two-thirds of Americans leaving the workforce by age 66, retirees are not always of an age that want to be doing yard work and making home repairs. One of the undeniable benefits to renting modern accommodation is that many apartment complexes come with a maintenance team. This eliminates the issue of having to keep up with tedious tasks like raking leaves, mowing the lawn or shoveling snow.

Plus—who really wants to be doing that kind of hard work when you’re retired, anyway? Retirement is a well-deserved time to finally relax and not work. By having a maintenance team on hand any time something in the apartment goes wrong, breaks or needs repair is an extremely convenient feature for retirees, as it greatly reduces any anxiety over performing these tasks on one’s own.

Plenty of Privacy with Company Nearby

Another bonus of apartment living during your retirement years is the small comforts and privacy that come with downsizing. With less space to fill with your things and fewer rooms to clean, you will be more appreciative of the things you value and cherish most. Since we all crave privacy, this is a great option, as it offers the chance to put your personal touches on a smaller space.

At the same time, living in an apartment complex gives you plenty of new neighbors. By living in close proximity to other people who are a similar stage in life as you, you can easily seek out new social activities and meet new friends. Especially in complexes that are only for retirement-age individuals or couples, there will be many opportunities to interact with your other neighbors, which is important to avoid feelings of isolation.

In addition to the handy maintenance team and added privacy of apartment living, retirees have the chance to make friends with like-minded people and enjoy all of the comforts of downsizing to a rented space.