Saturday, October 13, 2012

7 Tips on Income Security for the Over 50 Crowd

Over the past 25 years we have seen the slow and steady decline to government benefits and pension plans. As we reach the age we begin to think about retirement, is there such thing waiting for us?

Before allowing ourselves to feel victimized by the economy or misleading financial plans offered by employers, it might be a good idea to make a plan and take massive action now, even if retirement has already started. Protecting your personal finances in middle age and beyond is still within your power. When we stop relying on employers and banks to save for our retirement, we put the power in our own hands to make the smooth transition into retirement and have enough to keep our lives running.

Setting Up Your Personal Finance Plan

1 Count Your Money – Take a lined sheet of paper with four columns and list:
  • All your sources of income.
  • All Your Unchangeable expenses (bills)
  • All your debts
  • All your regular expenses (groceries, entertainments, gas…)
Don’t forget to include all your personal property, debts, credit card balances, mortgages, car payments, insurances, personal belongings, properties, withholdings, 401k’s, pension plans, savings and any other source of income, debt or savings you have currently.

2 Money Flow – Start with a number that is less than your current income and then deduct payments and expenses you cannot change such as car, home, insurance, and debts. Then, carry a note book around with you for a month and write down everything you buy from the coffee out to the toll ways. Don’t judge yourself; simply write down where your money goes, even if it is a gumball machine or your change jar.

3 Make a Budget – Sit down and figure out where your money is going after your month of note taking is up. Decide if you can pay yourself and your savings more first while reducing expenses elsewhere. Are there debts you could pay off too? The idea here is to start living on less so you have more to live on later. As for the portion you pay yourself, you don’t ever spend it, it is simply yours to keep and then invest in plans that make the money earn money for you.

4 Get Help – If you find yourself stressed over the idea of deep changes or can’t see where you can shift income around, then get a trusted friend or family member to help you. There is also great financial software out there to use. By simply inputting your notes into the program daily you can get detailed reports with charts to see where your money is going.

5 Seek Credit Help – One huge way we can start saving more money is by changing our credit card debt. Sit down with a financial advisor and have them help you look at that debt to see where you can consolidate loans and debt, even credit cards themselves. Can you move the debt to a lower interest plan? Can you consolidate? Would a second mortgage be cheaper than the debt and then use it to destroy your credit cards all together?

6 Lower Living Costs – Can you Move to a smaller home and reduce utility bills. Or how about turn in your car for one with cheaper payments and insurance?

7 Increase Income – Most people don’t stop to ask themselves if they are being paid their true worth for their expertise and experience. Get up the courage to ask for a raise or find a new job where your talents are paid for.

Now that you have worked on your income and re-situated where you money flows to and from, sit down and ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you want to live once you are retired. Set forth a plan, even if it includes a part time job or well-paid hobby, that covers the lifestyle you have saved for and want. Being realistic about where we are now and how we get where we are going can make us feel less like a victim of the economy and employers and more in control of our futures.

Author Byline:

Kelsey is the editor in chief for She loves to write article and ideas that parents & nannies would be interested in hearing. She helps society on giving information about nannies through nanny services. She is a professional writer & loves writing on anything.

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