Financial Challenges of Senior Citizens
While retirement years are depicted as a period of relaxation and fun in advertisements and movies, the reality is many face financial challenges as senior citizens. If you are helping someone with their retirement planning, or are planning your own retirement, a few strategies can help you cope with feelings of anxiety or worry.
Managing Financial Security
It is common for individuals to think they will be able to manage their finances on their own throughout their lives. But for many, this is not the reality. Receiving support to juggle medical bills and investment accounts is often needed. This is especially true for seniors on a tight budget. Increases in day-to-day living expenses combined with the chance of an unexpected medical expense can create stress.
Talking through the issues. Working with family members and financial professionals (when appropriate) can help to abate some worries of older adults.
Trimming Your Expenses
It can be helpful to cut your budget down when you are facing the financial challenges of senior citizens. For example, there are senior discounts to take advantage of and, if you want to travel, you can choose trips that fit within your means rather than spending money without careful thought.
Of course, it is always helpful to continue working past retirement age, too. This doesn’t have to be a full-time position either. If you are a senior who is in good health, a part-time job within your community can help shore up finances and can be beneficial for your mental health as well. Working with others and being social is a good way to help your mind stay emotionally fit.
Finding a Balance
On the flip side, it’s not healthy to become obsessed with being frugal either. There have been studies that show some senior citizens become too tight with their money which can impact their how happy they are and decisions they make about their own self-care.
Carefully planning your finances and staying on course can help to dissipate any discomfort you are experiencing around money issues. Look through your sources of income and establish a baseline for living expenses. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Often people find it is simplest to think of their Social Security funding their living and medical expenses. From there, if there are funds available in IRAs or other savings accounts, those funds can be used for entertainment, leisure, and travel.
Your health comes first, we all know that money is not the key to happiness, but having your finances in healthy shape can be helpful in your post-retirement years. This is because financial security can provide peace of mind for yourself and your family. Plus, if funds allow, money can provide access to travel and education to boost healthy social connections.
If you would like to talk about financial challenges you are facing as a senior citizen, reach out. You are not alone and help is available.
About the Author
I’m Kendall Van Blarcom, the founder of Van Blarcom Consulting. For over 25 years, I have provided personal consulting and counseling to over 1,000 clients around the world.
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT) based in California. I have decades of consulting experience and a genuine desire to help my clients.
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