You’ve worked hard, saved, planned and celebrated your retirement with friends and family. Now the panic sets in. How will you make that money last for the rest of your life?
After spending decades saving money, many retirees find it counter-intuitive and stress-inducing to make withdrawals. Keeping a few guidelines in mind you can make your golden years truly golden.
Your budget has never been more important than in retirement. You probably have used a tool like Hughes Federal Credit Union’s Plan It™ to create a retirement budget. The tough part is sticking to it! Keep close tabs on your incidental spending, charitable donations and gifts and/or loans to your family. These costs, coupled with your standard living expenses, can quickly throw your budget out of balance.
Let your money work for you, especially after you’ve stopped working for it! Sock away any extra funds you receive or earn in an interest bearing savings account and watch it grow.
Withdraw only the scheduled amount from your retirement fund. Save your tax-deferred accounts for last. This is why your budget is so important. Being forced to draw extra money from your retirement accounts because you didn’t honor your budget could slowly drain your accounts, taking years off your reserves.
Consider taking a part-time job. Now could be the perfect time to explore careers that were of interest but you never had the time to try. Earning just a little money from a part-time job can reduce the amount withdrawn from your retirement accounts, helping to extend the life of your funds.
Reduce or eliminate use of high-interest credit cards. Just as you were advised when preparing for retirement, dealing with your debt before you stop working is ideal. Do not fall victim to accumulating new debt after you’ve retired.
Finally, partner with a trusted financial advisor. A professional can help you reassess your withdrawal plan and adjust it as necessary.
(Editor’s Note: Elisa Ross is the Vice President of Sales at Hughes Federal Credit Union. Hughes Federal Credit Union has been serving Tucson since 1952 as a member owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative. Hughesfcu.org.)