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Tips for Improving Your Retirement

Most of us spend the majority of our lives looking forward to retirement. Reaching the age of retirement is a milestone that signals a time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. It is a time when we can finally relax and enjoy life. If you or a loved one is a retiree, here are some retirement tips to make your ‘golden’ years pleasant and stress-free.

Downsize Living Spaces

 

6 Retirement Tips that Can Benefit

A large home may be a necessity for families with growing children and pets. As children leave the nest to create their own homes, a large home can become a burden. Retirees can benefit financially and physically from downsizing their homes. A smaller home can save thousands of dollars on maintenance, and property taxes not to mention reducing the stress involved in taking care of it.

As people age, homes with stairs and ample living space can be a physical hassle. Illness and disability may prevent some retirees from climbing stairs and navigating through large homes.

If you built up equity in your old larger home you can use that equity if you downsize and move into a less expensive home or condo. One advantage of condo living is that much of the outside maintenance is covered by your condo fees so you have less responsibilities and stress. But some condo fees can be expensive so be sure to include those fees into your monthly budget calculations.

If you are a  military retiree you can secure a VA loan to buy that smaller home or condo. A VA loan can be a good solution for those who don’t have a lot of equity because it has low interest rates and no down payments associated with it. Being treated like a hero is important and services like those available at Low VA Rates can provide interest rates that are more affordable for veterans. Many retirees find that these kind of loans are the perfect vehicle to help them create their new lives in retirement.

Assess Your Living Expenses

Living on a fixed income will require adjustments. Once you have reduced your housing expenses you should review your other bills to determine how your income stacks up compared to your expenses… Since you will be on a fixed income in retirement money is something that must be constantly monitored, even into later years.

Business Ventures

If you have cut your expenses to the bone and your income is still not meeting your expenses you might consider ways to generate more income. But after commuting to work for more than half of their lives,  retirees may balk at the idea of getting a part-time job. But many retirees who have been at home for a few years become bored and actually enjoy an excuse to get out of the house. A part-time job provides additional income and social interaction. But that doesn’t mean you have to join the legion of Walmart greeters.

Many retired folks decide to turn a treasured hobby into a going enterprise. The best part about starting a business during your retirement years is that risks are minimized and unlike hobbies business expenses are tax deductible. Many people believe that in order for you to deduct expenses your business must show a profit within the first 5 years. This is not exactly true. You must attempt to make a profit and you must treat it like a business. That means you must track your income and expenses in a business like manner and spend time attempting to make a profit… perhaps including advertising or setting up a booth to display your product at a local show.

A major advantage of setting up a business after you retire is that since your monthly expenses are paid by your retirement income, you have a safety net to cover your basic living expenses while you get the business off the ground. Another benefit of starting a business is that it provides you with the opportunity to be creative. This will help keep your mind sharp and alert and give you a reason to get up in the morning. And if you are generating income while doing something that you truly enjoy it won’t seem like work at all.

Volunteer

Volunteer

If you don’t need the extra cash and would rather help improve others lives you can volunteer your services to organizations that are in desperate need of assistance. This not only will make you feel better about yourself but it can make a big difference in others lives as well.

Volunteer opportunities are abundant and can make a major difference in people’s lives. A volunteer organization called Texas Baptist Men Retiree Builders responds to natural disasters not just in Texas but around the world providing food, shelter and comfort.

Other volunteer opportunities include: Hospitals, Schools, Shelters, National Parks, Food pantries, Churches, Habitat for Humanity, Libraries, Museums, Political Campaigns, YMCA, and Coaching. If you are a bit more adventurous and enjoy travel there are even volunteer opportunities abroad ranging from 2 weeks to 6 months or more.

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About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+