(Editor’s note: This content is sponsored by Acts Retirement-Life Communities.)
You’ve worked hard all your life. When it’s time to retire, you can finally enjoy a well-earned break, and it’s precisely because you’ve put in those long hours on the job and saved your pennies that you can have the opportunity to enjoy a long and relaxing retirement. Of course, thanks to better medical care, people are living longer every day, which means your retirement money needs to last longer than ever before.
Thankfully, making your retirement money stretch as far as possible isn’t nearly as difficult as it might seem. There are some great, easily-obtainable methods for maximizing your retirement budget so that you can enjoy yourself in comfort and style. Here are a few of the best examples for how to make your retirement money stretch further.
Reduce Your cost of Living
The best way to make your retirement dollars stretch further is by reducing the amount of money you need to spend on your general cost of living. There are dozens of ways to accomplish this, including but not limited to the following methods.
That big home of yours was great while raising a family, but now that empty nest is more like an albatross hanging around your neck than anything else. Whether you’re paying through the nose for utilities, constantly spending money on upkeep and maintenance or being drained by property taxes, that cherished family home of yours might be costing you more than you think. Downsizing to a smaller, more modest home, such as an apartment, semi-detached home or a cottage in a retirement community setting, can unlock significant savings while actually improving your day-to-day lifestyle.
Related to downsizing, relocating to an area where it’s all-around cheaper to live is another fantastic method for making your retirement money last longer. Moving from a state or a city with a naturally high cost of living to one where your living costs will be much lower means that you’re saving at least a few pennies on just about everything, from sales tax to the cost of a loaf of bread or a gallon of gas. These myriad savings add up when taken together over time, translating to significantly fewer costs in the long run. This, in turn, enables you to enjoy your retirement better, and enjoy it for a longer period of time as well.
Community Living: Unlocking the Best Retirement Savings
Either downsizing to a smaller, less expensive home or outright relocating to a state or city that’s less expensive to live are surefire ways to make your retirement money stretch farther. There’s a way to combine both of these methods in one package and reap even more advanced economic rewards as well, though: moving to a retirement community that combines the best of all possible worlds.
There are several different types of retirement communities, but they almost all have things in common such as a flat monthly fee that covers all your living costs, including any possible maintenance, landscaping and upkeep, and often even utility use as well as amenities such as swimming pools, clubhouses and even fine dining. Here are the different types of retirement communities and what you can expect from them.
Independent Living Communities
An independent living community is nearly indistinguishable from other planned communities that you see everywhere. Often consisting of gated neighborhoods of townhomes or cottages and coming with impeccable landscaping and a bevy of indoor and outdoor amenities for residents, the cost of homeownership and maintenance is typically lower than most other places. The only major difference between an independent living community and a “regular” planned community is that residency is reserved for those typically 55 years of age or older.
Assisted Living Communities
By contrast, an assisted living community focuses on providing necessary medical care to those who require it. If you have medical issues that necessitate a home health aide or daily visits from a nurse or other medical care provider, these communities ensure that you receive this care as part of residency. These communities are often less spread out than an independent living community and are usually configured closer to an apartment complex to make it easier for both residents and medical care providers. Otherwise, these communities offer similar amenities such as places where residents can gather to socialize and enjoy each other’s company.
Continuing Care Communities
Finally, there is the continuity of care community, which can adapt to your needs as you age in order to provide you the best care that you need, when you need it. Healthy retirees can enjoy the perks associated with an independent living community knowing that, as they age and their needs change, they will not have to face the possibility of relocating to an assisted living community but can instead continue living on their same campus, surrounded by their same friends and comforts. In a continuing care retirement community, the monthly rate does not increase solely based on increased health need, which means you can establish a budget and know that you will be able to live off that budget for many years to come.
Stretch Your Retirement Budget So You Can Enjoy Your Retirement
It’s important to ensure your retirement budget is configured in such a way that you’ll have plenty of resources. It’s also important to keep in mind that retirement is more than just having a place to lay your head at night — you’re supposed to enjoy yourself.
Managing your retirement budget carefully by minimizing your living costs means having more money left over to do the things you enjoy. Whether that’s taking vacations someday, dining out and catching the occasional show or simply spending time with your family and spoiling your grandkids, it’s up to you to decide how you want to enjoy your retirement years. Keep that in mind and you’ll be able to choose the best money-saving strategy for you and your lifestyle.
For more information on retirement, read these articles by Acts Retirement-Life Communities:
- What is the Average Cost of a Senior Independent Living Community?
- What Do I Need to Retire Comfortably?
- Where are the Most Inexpensive Places to Retire?
Acts Retirement-Life Communities is the largest not-for-profit owner, operator and developer of continuing care retirement communities in the United States. Headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, Acts has a family of 23 retirement communities that serve approximately 8,500 residents and employ 6,200 in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida. For more information about Acts visit actsretirement.org.
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