Seniors Can Bridge the Gap Between Working and Retirement Life

By: Jody Smith

Retirement, done well, takes big bucks. While income shrinks after giving up a regular paycheck, expenses just keep rolling in. There are the same old bills, like utilities, phone, internet, car expenses. There may be ongoing medical expenses, and then again there may be increasingly expensive medical costs as age may lead to not only wisdom but sometimes also to poor health.

Research what Medicare will and will not cover for you. Get familiar with the terminology like co-payments and premiums, and the numbers associated with the medicalese terminology. Don't leave this aspect of retirement life in the shadows out of fear of what you might find or wishful thinking that everything will magically work itself out. Be prepared for whatever your medical/financial scenario will be after retirement.

Big retirement dreams may not always come to full fruition where the reality of the retirement numbers are concerned. Generally, Social Security will be enough for just less than half of your regular expenses. Many seniors will only need about 80 percent of what they were making before they quit work. Now they're not driving to work, buying lunch, buying work clothes, so some expenses will drop a bit.

But here you can see where the balancing act may begin. There is that gap between what Social Security offers and what is actually needed. Retirement savings earning interest and a pension plan in place may bridge at least a portion of that gap. Another way to fill the hole is to pick up a part time job. Making the gap smaller by downsizing is also a workable facet to the retirement plan.

Got two cars, but only need one? Paying down your credit card debt to decrease your monthly payments? Selling the big house to buy a smaller one, buying less and budgeting more, are forms of money management that can make retirement a more pleasant and workable experience.

Old people can get creative too. Taking in roommates or boarders isn't a money-saver restricted to young people just starting out. Homesharing can turn out to be a very practical money-saver. You may also find that it offers other unexpected benefits as well.

If you are having a little trouble with some of your daily routines and duties, having a roomie might make the difference between being able to stay in your own home or having to move into a care facility. It can make a difference in some smaller but important ways. If the gardening is too challenging now, and your roommate hates to cook, a division of labor can be worked out to everyone's satisfaction.

If one of you can't drive, teaming up will promote mobility and keep isolation at bay. And if you are prone to falling or live with a heart condition or some other chronic situation, having someone sharing the house could offer peace of mind to you and your family members.

Jody Smith is a freelance writer for EmpowHER.com.

Sources:

Financial Problems for Seniors in Retirement

http://www.ehow.com/about_7350509_financial-problems-seniors-retirement.html

Senior Homesharing

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/senior-homesharing-30159.html

Related Links:

Older Americans Look at Retirement Through a Different Prism

http://www.empowher.com/wellness/content/older-americans-look-retirement-through-different-prism

Heart Disease and Social Security Disability

http://www.empowher.com/heart-disease/content/heart-disease-and-social-security-disability

Social Security – If Your Claim Is Denied

http://www.empowher.com/wellness/content/social-security-if-your-claim-denied

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