In the 2015 U.S. of Aging Survey, both seniors and professionals were asked how prepared they feel those over 64 are for retirement. While professionals feel that only 1 out of 10 seniors are very prepared, 4 out of 10 seniors feel they are. What’s more interesting is the difference in what each group feels is the key to affording retirement.
Both groups agree that saving money for retirement is important, but that’s where the similarities end.
The Two Things Seniors Feel Are Key
Seniors named two things when asked on the best way to afford retirement. The two items were cutting entertainment budgets and using senior discounts. Senior discounts can help save money, but only if the discount is on something your parent really needs. If your dad is saving coupons for a free coffee with a $5 purchase on donuts, he’s buying things he doesn’t really need.
Loss of socialization is a big concern after retirement. If your dad and mom are saving money by eliminating their entertainment budget, they’re going to stay at home. This puts them at risk of becoming isolated. It’s best to trim the entertainment budget and leave some money for evenings out with friends.
The Two Things Professionals Feel Are Key
Asked the same question, professionals picked working past the average age of retirement and reducing household expenses. Depending on your age, most men and women must work until they’re 65 to 70 in order to claim full retirement benefits. Medicare requires you to be at least 65. Many people hit that target age and retire. Working longer actually puts more Social Security in your pocket.
The other goal is to cut household expenses. When your parent is ready to retire, it’s important to see what programs will help with expenses. Some power companies extend discounts to seniors over the age of 65. States may help pay for medic alert systems like Lifeline. Property tax discounts, free or discounted bus passes, and discounts on phone bills are other options to look at.
If your parent’s home is huge and costly to maintain, downsizing to a smaller home or condo may be better. They still have their freedom, but they have a home that is cost-effective and easier on the bank account when it comes to heating, cooling, and maintenance.
Make sure your parents enter retirement with their well-being in mind. Many seniors reach retirement and become isolated and lonely. Talk to your mom and dad about the benefits of home care. They don’t have to give up privacy or independence, but they gain a friend who can drive them to stores and appointments, help them cook meals, and assist with housework and laundry. Call our home care agency to learn more.