Sunday, January 29, 2012

Save Money with Senior Discounts

One way to save money is to take
advantage of sales and discounts!
Did you know that there are a large number of discounts available to senior citizens?  Although some individual companies have their own discount programs, one of the easiest ways to access a large number of different programs is to join AARP.  

Money is a major issue for the vast majority of retirees who are living on a fixed income.  As inflation eats away at their disposable income, more and more of us are looking for ways to save money.  Unfortunately, many of us don't even think to ask for some of the discounts that are available to us once we reach our 60s and, in some cases, even sooner.

When I received my new AARP card, they mentioned some of the discounts that are available simply by showing my card.  In addition, I thought about some of the other discounts I know about, and did a little research to find those that are new to me.  There's no way that any list here can cover all the possible discounts available.  Some discounts that are currently available could be discontinued or changed. In addition, some local businesses in your area may have savings programs that I don't know about.  To be on the safe side, always be sure to ask if there is a discount for people over 55.  Even if they tell you that you will have to wait until you are 60 or 62, at least you'll know.  If they act surprised that you're even asking, take it as a complement.  It means that they don't think you look old enough for a senior discount!

Here are a few of the discounts that I have found.  Check with businesses in your area and compile a list of discounts at businesses you use frequently.  Keep the list tucked in your wallet, and you are less likely to forget about a discount when you are eating out or shopping.

Denny's Restaurant - 20% off evenings w/AARP card (55+)
Applebee's - 15% off w/Golden Apple Card (60+)
Ben & Jerry's - 10% off (60+)
Burger King - 10% off (60+)
CiCi's Pizza - 10% off (60+)
Fuddrucker's - 10% off senior platters (55+)
IHOP - 10% off (55+)

Banana Republic - 10% off (50+)
Big Lots - 10% off
Goodwill - 10% one day a week (day varies)
Kmart - 20% off (50+)
Salvation Army Thrift - up to 50% off (55+)
Rite Aid drug store - (20% off on the first Wednesday of the month)

Amtrack - 15% off (62+)
Avis - up to 25% for AARP members
Best Western - 10% off (55+)
Comfort Inn - 20% - 30% off (60+)

AMC Theaters - up to 30% off (55+)
U.S. National Parks - $10 lifetime pass (62+)

There are many other restaurants, hotels, car rental companies and theaters that offer discounts.  Don't forget to ask at the local businesses that you patronize.  You will be glad you did!  In addition, if you see a discount mentioned here that has been discontinued, please mention it in the comments section.  I will delete it from the article.  Feel free to also add any of your favorite discounts as an aid to others.

If you are interested in learning more about planning a successful retirement, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles about where to retire, financial planning, medical issues, and family relationships.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Retiring Former Hippies Spark a New Generation Gap

Former Hippies are Getting
Close to Retirement!
Much to my surprise, when I opened my January 30, 2012 issue of "Time Magazine" and read the column near the back written by Joel Stein, I was stunned to discover that he had devoted a portion of his weekly column to Laguna Woods Village, the retirement community in Orange County, California where I live.  The comments he made were a bit embarrassing and, I'm forced to admit, entirely true.

Marijuana Use in Retirement Communities

Somehow, Joel Stein heard about the little fuss we had in our community last year over medical marijuana plants that are quietly being grown by some of the retirees.  Apparently many of my neighbors are able to qualify for prescriptions that allow them to grow and possess small quantities of pot, and they are taking full advantage of the opportunity.  Needless to say, this has once again created conflict between the Baby Boomer generation and the older retirees who lived here peacefully without marijuana for the past 40 years!

Some Baby Boomers were growing marijuana plants in the garden center, resulting in secret night-time raids by neighboring young people looking for easy access to the plants.  The Boomers wanted the homeowner's association to hire guards!  Instead, the board told them that, if they have a prescription, they can legally grow small amounts on their own patios.  Who knows how many pots of pot are now popping up?

Generation Gap in Retirement Communities

As Joel Stein points out in his column, the issue of whether or not marijuana should be grown in Laguna Woods Village is not the only problem to come between the Baby Boomers and the older senior citizens in this and other retirement communities.  It seems that the Generation Gap that was the focus of the 1960s has reared up once again, especially in 55 and over communities! 

Remember that the Baby Boomers are the children of a generation that grew up during the Great Depression, willingly supported and fought in World War II, and were very frugal with money.  The Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are the generation that listened to Rock n' Roll, loved to travel, and (in some cases) did not support the war in Vietnam.  During the past few years it has not been unusual to see Boomers sitting in lawn chairs on street corners in our community with signs declaring their opposition to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Beyond the issues mentioned by Joel Stein, I've also noticed that Baby Boomers and the older generation are struggling to come to agreement about how to run the community.  While the older generation is satisfied with things that are old and a little worn, as long as they are still functional, the Boomers want facilities and services that are modern and new.  For example, many Boomers are unhappy with our local community cable television station, because we are unable to access some types of programming, such as MTV and Pay-for-View.  The elderly volunteers who serve on the boards do not consider these services worth the extra cost.  Another issue has been our recently completed, elegant new golf and tennis clubhouses, which were resisted by some of the more elderly residents.  The younger residents have been able to get these new facilities built, despite the efforts to stop them, but it has not been easy.

Peace, Love and Rock 'n Roll after Retirement

Overall though, despite the bad publicity and the occasional disagreements, Laguna Woods Village (as well as the other over-55 communities I have visited) is a pretty peaceful place.  There is so much to do in these communities, that there are plenty of opportunities for people to find the types of activities they enjoy, including enjoying dances and music from a variety of time periods. 

It is also possible for residents to quietly putter around their own patios, whenever they want to enjoy some relaxation, peace and quiet.  Of course, from now on when I see one of my neighbors relaxing on their patio, I'm going to wonder if they are actually cheerfully tending their marijuana plants.  Whatever the cause, peace and love are still the rule of the day in Laguna Woods Village!

If you are interested in staying up to date with other issues important to retiring Baby Boomers, use the tabs or pull-down menu at the top of this page to find links to hundreds of additional articles about where to retire, financial planning, medical concerns, family issues and more.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gifts for Baby Boomers and Retirees

Photos are a thoughtful
gift for Baby Boomers!
Have you ever thought about how hard it is to buy gifts for Baby Boomers and retirees?  Most of us have trouble coming up with ideas for our Baby Boomer or retired spouses and friends.  Imagine how much more difficult it is for our children and grandchildren to come up with gift ideas for us.

Below are some suggestions that will help anyone who is trying to come up with gift ideas for retirees or anyone who is over the age of 50.

Photo Gifts for Baby Boomers

One ideal present that is sure to please is a photo gift.  This can consist of a framed family photo, a family history loving compiled into a photo album, or a favorite photo that has been printed onto an apron or coffee mug. There are lots of places where you can purchase gifts like this online.

If you are interested in some specific ideas about where to buy personalized photo gifts, you might want to check out my InfoBarrel article, "Thoughtful Photo Gifts for Mothers Day."  It gives you the names of several stores, as well as a variety of useful websites.

There are a number of excellent reasons why you may want to give a photo gift.  In fact, in a pamphlet I received from Prevention Magazine, they reported that researchers had discovered that looking at personal photos was one of the best natural mood enhancers.  Amazingly, spending time looking at personal photos worked better at elevating your mood than chocolate, wine, TV or music.  So, not only are you giving them a gift they'll love at the moment, but it will elevate their mood every time they look at it.  It's hard to find a better gift than that!

Hobby Gifts for Baby Boomers

Many people are struggle to afford their favorite hobbies after they retire because of the expense.  There are several ways you can help out.  You could have them give you a personal "wish list" or add items to a wish list to a website such as Amazon.  Then, you would know exactly which gifts they would most appreciate.  Or, if you would rather, you could give them a gift certificate to their favorite shop.  You could even give them a gift certificate to a place like a golf course or to go to a similar facility for a special day enjoying their favorite hobby.  Whatever decision you make, you know you will be giving them a gift that will delight them, as well as one they will enjoy over and over again, as long as they pursue their hobby.

Birthstone Jewelry Gifts for Baby Boomers

Grandparents often enjoy receiving a necklace, pendant or ring that has the birthstones of all their grandchildren.  It it a wonderful reminder of these beloved children, and an charming conversation piece.  In other words, when asked about their jewelry, they can use it as an opportunity to tell their friends a little about each of their grandchildren.  This is a piece of jewelry that they are certain to love!  If you aren't sure about what birthstones go with each month, you may want to read my InfoBarrel article, "Top 12 Birthstones and Their Historical Meaning."

Nostalgia Gifts for Baby Boomers

Another idea for Baby Boomers is to give them gifts that make it easier for them to recall their youth.  When I bought my husband an iPod for Christmas a few years ago, one of our daughters flew down from San Francisco to Southern California to help my husband load some of his favorite music from his teens and to show him how to use it.  Not only did we enjoy the impromptu visit from her, but he now loves using his iPod to listen to some of his favorite old music.

The Gift of Time

The above paragraph reminds me that one of the most precious gifts you can give a retiree is the gift of your time.  You could take them to lunch or to a movie.  Offer to take them shopping.  Spend the day with them at the beach or enjoying a sport or activity together.

You might also to perform some chores that need to be done around their house ... whether it is raking leaves, cleaning the gutter, trimming the hedges or painting a room.  Even giving their house a thorough cleaning could be an appreciated gift.

The Gift of Services

What if you would like to help out with those services mentioned above, but you cannot because of your own time constraints or physical health.  Why not give the gift of a service.  Hire a window washer, maid service, lawn service, or other helper for a day.

Many senior citizens would appreciate these types of helpful gifts ... whether you perform them yourself or pay someone else to do them!

More Useful Information for Baby Boomers

If you are over 50, and you are either retired or hoping to retire someday, use the tabs or pull down menu to find links to hundreds of additional articles about where to retire, family relationships, financial planning, health concerns and more.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stop Sitting and Start Walking for Your Health!

Walking May Be The Only
Exercise You'll Ever Need!
Over the past few years, there has been a lot of information on the news about how unhealthy sitting is for us.  I have even heard reports that sitting too much can be as dangerous for our health as smoking!  I don't know if that is true or not, although some researchers certainly seem to believe it is. 

Dangers of Sitting Too Much

Whether or not sitting can harm your health as much as smoking, it does appear that spending long hours in a chair can increase your chances of diabetes and cancer, and lead to an early death.  These health risks alone should make us want to get out and start moving.

Sadly, the older you are, the more likely you are to spend hours sitting each day; thus, the dangers of sitting can have severe health consequences as we age.  Researchers highly recommend that, at the very least, people should get up and move around for at least 5 minutes out of every hour.  Use those television commercials to get moving!

The January-February 2012 issue of the AARP Bulletin had an insert that enthusiastically proclaimed that walking may be the only fitness exercise you'll ever need.  They suggested that everyone should get out and walk more if they hope to improve the status of their health. 

How to Start a Walking Program

If you plan to start a new walking exercise program, be sure to get yourself a good pair of walking shoes.  If you do not like heavy walking shoes and you do not plan to participate in a marathon, I have found that the Sketcher's GoWalk shoes (available here from Amazon) are very comfortable and meet the needs of most casual walkers.

Start out slowly, and only go a short distance if you are not accustomed to walking very far.  Start with 5 or 10 minutes, and work up to 30 minutes a day.  If you can't walk 30 minutes all at once, split your time up into smaller segments.  For example, you could walk for 15 minutes twice a day, or walk for 10 minutes three times a day.  If you are willing to wear a pedometer or fitness bracelet like the Fitbit (also available from Amazon), your ultimate goal should be 10,000 steps a day, although it may take you a few months to reach that level.  If you have been sedentary, however, be realistic.  You may be getting less than 5,000 steps a day at first, and that is perfectly OK.

Benefits of Joining a Walking Group

Personally, I have found it really helps to have walking partners.  I walk several times a week with two friends.  In nice weather, we walk along the beach.  If the weather is chilly or drizzly, however, we stroll through the local mall for 45 minutes to an hour.  Either way, we end our walk with a cup of coffee or tea, and some fun conversation.  It's a delightful outing that we all look forward to, and it's good to know that it enhances our health, as well.

If you are a Baby Boomer, you may be interested in keeping up to date with current information affecting our age group by using the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles on how to stay healthy, where to retire, financial planning, changing family relationships and more.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

How to Make Your Money Last the Rest of Your Life

Managing Your Money Well
Helps You Enjoy Retirement More!
Many people worry about whether or not their money will last the rest of their lives.  This is not an unreasonable fear, and several of the posts you will see on this blog have been about how to cut your costs down before you retire so that you can live comfortably on Social Security and whatever other income you can expect to receive.  I've also mentioned a few times that it is wise to work as long as you can, in order to maximize your earned income as well as Social Security benefits. 

The 4% Withdrawal Solution

One area of concern for many people, however, is how to manage the distributions from your IRA, your 401K, or any other retirement savings that you have in place.  How much can you take out in order to insure that your assets will last?  I recently read about the 4% solution, a concept that is simple and makes it easy for anyone to figure out whether or not they are on track.  Here is how it works:

When you retire, at approximately age 66, total up the value of the stocks and cash that you have in liquid assets.  These are the assets you plan to draw down in order to supplement your Social Security.  To keep the math simple, let's assume they add up to $50,000.  Now, make a record of that number, as well as 4% of it, or $2,000. 

If you withdraw no more than $2,000 a year from these liquid assets, they should last 25 years, even if you get a 0% rate of return on the balance.  This means that, if you retire at 66, these assets should last until age 91.  If you get any interest or dividends during that time, which is quite likely, your assets will last even longer.  In fact, with a very conservative 2% rate of return, they should last years longer.

A More Conservative Approach to IRA Withdrawals

If you want to be ultra-conservative, you might start out taking less than 4% during the first few years of retirement.  Then, as you need the money, you can gradually increase how much you draw out each year. 

If, in later years, you want to make sure you are not drawing your money down too quickly, here is how to do a 5 year check on the principle:

After 5 years of withdrawals, you should have 80% or more of your original balance.
After 10 years of withdrawals, you should have 60% or more of your original balance.
After 15 years of withdrawals, you should have 40% or more of your original balance.
After 20 years of withdrawals, you should have 20% or more of your original balance.
After 25 years of withdrawals, you will have depleted your cash assets, unless you have earned dividends and interest over the years to stretch your assets out longer.

If you expect to live to be 100 or older, you may want to start making your withdrawals at an older age than 66, or you may want to only withdraw 3% a year instead of 4%.  At 3% a year, your cash assets should last for over 33 years, or until you are 99 years old or older, if you began withdrawing money at age 66.  Again, this is assuming that you have earned no additional interest or dividends.

Comparing This Method to an Annuity

Some retirees choose to purchase an annuity when they retire, using the money in their IRA or 401(k).  Before doing that, however, you will want to see if the payments you will receive from an annuity will be much larger than what you would get by using the 4% solution.  If not, the 4% solution might be a better alternative than an annuity, since you maintain control of your assets and can get a higher rate of return if interest rates go up.

However, if you decide to do this, you have to be disciplined about not spending down your assets too fast.  IF you start spending more than 4% during the early years of your retirement, because you want a new car, would like to travel, or have other expenses, you may find yourself poverty stricken in the later years.  If you do not think you will be that disciplined, then purchasing an annuity might be a better choice.  At least you will know for sure that you will always have the extra income.

Whichever plan you use, your assets should last the rest of your life if you manage them wisely.  Sadly, far too many people burn through their IRA's as soon as they are able to remove the money.  They are only postponing the time when they will run out of cash, and have to live solely on Social Security ... a very meager sum for most people.  Use your assets wisely, and your money will be there when you need it!

If you need other retirement information, including financial planning, where to retire, health concerns, and changing family relationships, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How to Slow Down Alzheimers Disease

Get exercise, learn a new skill, and
spend time with others!
A little article in the January, 2012 issue of Reader's Digest has spurred me to pass on this information about how to postpone the development of Alzheimer's Disease.  The article was a summary of the main points in the new book, available from, "The Alzheimer's Prevention Program," by Gary Small, an M.D. at the UCLA Longevity Center.  If you suspect that you are at particular risk of developing this dreaded disease, this book may well be worth reading.

The Reader's Digest article, and a sidebar accompanying it, relayed some information that could be invaluable to every Baby Boomer.  Dr. Small estimates that people could prevent or postpone a million cases of Alzheimers every 5 years if they would just make one healthy change to their lifestyles.  Below are some of the changes that they recommended.

Lifestyle Changes That May Slow Down Dementia

* Increase your exercise.  Exercise actually increases brain muscle, according to Dr. Small in the Reader's Digest article.  I knew that exercise was good for us, but I had never heard it put in those terms!

* Challenge yourself mentally.  Sitting and doing crossword puzzles is not enough.  Sign up for a college class, learn a new skill, or get into a political discussion.  I have also heard that learning a new language in our 60's can be beneficial.

* Eat healthy food, but not too much.  If you are overweight, you have a significantly higher chance of developing dementia.

* Reduce your stress by meditating, getting a massage, going for a walk, or taking classes in tai chi or yoga.  The better you manage your stress, the lower your dementia risk.

* Socialize with others.  Having friends can reduce dementia risk by as much as 60%!

* Take a few supplements.  In particular, you should take a multi-vitamin, fish oil and curcumin (which is in turmeric, the powder that gives curry powder that yellow color).

These are all simple activities, but they are extremely important in improving the quality of life we will enjoy during the years after retirement.  In addition, if you believe that you are developing serious signs of dementia, despite your best efforts, you will want to see your doctor right away.  There are treatments that can help slow down the progression of the disease.

Whether you are already retired, or just preparing to retire soon, you may also want to get more information by using the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this page to find links to hundreds of additional articles on where to retire, health issues that could develop, financial planning, travel, family relationships and more.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Symptoms of Alzheimers Disease vs. Normal Memory Loss

Are you getting forgetful?
As much as we joke about it, most of us start to worry every time we forget an appointment, or misplace our keys.  Is this the first sign of dementia?  Could we be developing Alzheimers?  These are serious fears, because none of us want to become dependent on our spouses or children.  We don't want to spend our final years in a fog of forgetfulness.  So, how do we know if this is normal memory loss, or a sign of developing dementia?

Normal Memory Loss

According to the website for Alzheimers Disease, there are clear differences.  

* In the case of normal memory loss, it is not unusual to occasionally forget names or appointments.  After all, we live busy lives and things will sometimes slip our minds!  

* It is also normal to occasionally walk into a room and forget why you are there.  

* It is not unusual to start to say something, and then forget what you were going to say.  Most of us will also sometimes struggle to find the right word ... insisting that it is "right on the tip of our tongue."  

* Once you retire, you may also sometimes get confused about what day of the week it is, and where you have to be.  

* Certain daily activities can become more difficult as we age, such as balancing a checkbook or remembering where we put something, like our wallet our keys.  

* It is also a normal part of aging to sometimes feel sad or moody.

Warning Signs of Alzheimers or Dementia

If all of those behaviors are normal, when should we be concerned about our memory loss, or changes in the behavior of someone we love?  

* One key sign of serious memory loss is if we begin to forget information that we recently learned, or we become unable to do things that we have routinely done for years, such as prepare a meal, make a phone call, or play a game.  

* A person who is developing Alzheimers may have trouble remembering the names of common items, such as a toothbrush or pencil.  

* Alzheimers also causes people to easily become disoriented; they may get lost in their own communities, and not know how to get home.  

*  There are often behavioral changes, such as wearing the wrong clothing for the weather, or giving away large sums of money.  In fact, dealing with numbers and money can become a huge challenge for them. 

*  They may also frequently misplace items because they have put them in strange places.  In addition, they may experience major mood swings with little reason.

What to do if You Suspect Dementia is Affecting You or Someone Else

If you suspect that you, or someone you love, could be developing problems more serious than normal memory loss, you will want to see your doctor.  There are treatments that could slow down the process.

You will also want to get all the information about the disease that you possibly can.  For example, some forms of dementia could be caused by medication, lack of sleep or other problems.  In those cases, some simple changes could completely reverse it.

If you are living with someone with Alzheimer's, you may feel uncertain about how to communicate with them.  If so, a friend of mine recently wrote a beautiful article called "How to Help a Person With Alzheimers and Yourself."  You will find this article is very helpful as you try to navigate the complexities of living with an Alzheimer's patient.

If you are looking for more information about retirement planning, common health issues, where to retire, changing family relationships and more, use the tabs or pull down menus at the top of this page for links to hundreds of additional articles.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Popular Retirement Cities That are Right for You

Horseback riding is an amenity I
wanted in a retirement community!
Have you decided what you are looking for in a retirement community?  Some people plan to live in over-55 communities.  Others do not want to live in an area where children are not allowed to reside.  Some people want to be near the ocean; others prefer the desert.  You may be looking for an artist's colony; or perhaps you want a great place to play golf the year around.

One choice is to move to a mid-sized city that offers a variety of activities and affordable prices.

U.S. News and World Report, in their article "The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012," came up with their list of ten American cities that could appeal to retirees for a variety of reasons.  Below is a list of their favorites.  The home prices listed below were 2012 prices.

Popular Retirement Cities

Flagstaff, Arizona has good year-round weather.  It does get snow in the winter, but it rarely lasts long.

Boone, North Carolina is an affordable mountain town.  There are three ski resorts in the area, and it is much cheaper than Vail or Aspen.  In fact, the median home price is about $215,000.

Traverse City, Michigan is on Lake Michigan.  You can buy a house near the lake in the $155,000 price range.

Walnut Creek, California is much more expensive than the other areas, but it has pleasant weather, a lot of retirees, and is an easy drive into San Francisco.

Ithaca, New York is a charming college town, home to Cornell University and Ithaca College.  You can take classes at the colleges, and enjoy spending your time learning and having stimulating conversations.

Lincoln, Nebraska was listed as a great place to launch a second career.  There are good career opportunities for older workers who are interested in technology, government, higher education and healthcare.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has a good mix of amenities and affordability.  Homes can be purchased for under $100,000, yet this is a city with a ballet, symphony, highly ranked hospitals and, of course, the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Port Charlotte, Florida is a bargain for people who want to live on the water in affordable housing.  Homes can be purchased on the waterways for as little as about $60,000.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts is a spot you may want to consider if you are an older single.  52% of the people who are age 55 or older in Pittsfield are single.  However, there are nearly twice as many single women as men, so that does create an unbalanced dating scene.

Santa Fe, New Mexico is the place to consider if you are looking for art galleries and a historic cultural blend of Anglos, Hispanics and Native Americans.

More Things to Consider When Choosing a Retirement City

When we chose our retirement community, we wanted to live in a adult community near the ocean, with lots of amenities.  Since we owned horses for many years when our children were growing up, I was thrilled to discover a place where I could continue to horseback ride, without the responsibility of owning and caring for a horse of my own.  My husband wanted a place where he could play golf whenever he felt like it.  The town of Laguna Woods Village in Southern California met our needs perfectly.

However, this would not be a good choice for someone who wanted to live near a ski resort or who loves to walk in hardwood forests.  There is currently no football team in the Los Angeles area, although you could drive down to San Diego.  When you pick a place to live after retirement, there are many things you need to consider, including the types of activities you enjoy.

Even if you are still a few years away from being fully retired, it is not too soon to start giving some thought to the type of community where you would like to live.  You may want to travel to some of these places on your next vacation, and get a feel for what it would be like to live there.

If you are interested in more information about where to retire, financial planning, medical issues to consider, travel and changing family relationships, you will want to use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Save Money in the Coming Year

What is your
New Years Resolution?
Back in 2010, the Washington Times reported the top New Years resolutions that were made that year.  The top 5 were: give up smoking, cut back on alcohol, exercise, lose weight, find a soul mate. 

While watching Dick Clark's "Rocking New Years Eve" on television in 2012, they listed the top New Years resolutions for that year.  They were very similar, with one notable difference.  The top resolution by the end of the recession was "Save Money".  This is not surprising, considering that many people are still struggling financially.  Many people, and not just Baby Boomers, are trying to learn how to reduce their expenses so they can survive on a lower income.

How to Save Money

However, the fact that saving money was not even on the list in 2010, and was number #1 in 2012, shows just how much our economy changed in a few years.  The AARP Magazine for December 2011/January 2012 addressed ways to save money in a short article called, "Boost Your Savings."

Here are some of the suggestions they had to help people who are having trouble making ends meet:

1.  Have a budget, and use it to decide whether or not you have any expenses that are no longer needed.  For example, if you no longer have any dependents, do you really need as much life insurance?

2.  Instead of cutting out things you enjoy, replace them with less expensive activities.  For example, if you enjoy eating out, share meals or find less expensive restaurants. 

3.  Find a less expensive place to live.  If you look through some of the other blog posts here at Baby-Boomer-Retirement, using the tabs or pull-down menu at the top of the page, you will see a large number of suggestions for affordable places to live on Social Security.   All of these posts list locations across the US where the housing is affordable and there are other amenities that appeal to retirees.  Since housing is the largest expense for most adults, finding a less expensive place to live is one of the best ways to save money.

4.  Finally, AARP recommends that Americans work until they are at least at their full retirement age of 66 or 67, and continue working until age 70 if that is possible.  These years of extra work will maximize the amount of Social Security you will receive.  If you can't keep working at your current job, see if you can find part-time work while you still have your health.  This can make a significant difference in your financial situation after retirement.

If you are looking for additional ideas for how to save money in retirement, where to retire, health issues, changing family situations and more, use the tabs or pull-down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

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