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How Seniors can Manage Post-Retirement Life Without Savings

Posted on January 23, 2017 with 0 comments

The thought of retiring is exasperating for most Americans and a huge part of it is because an overwhelming amount of Americans have not saved enough for life after retirement. Earlier this year Time Magazine reported that 1 in 3 Americans have $0 worth of savings. So many Americans are overburdened with the financial demands of the present that they are unable to think of saving for the future. With the cost of education and healthcare on an all-time high and the culture of living in the present while heavily relying on credit cards, Americans cannot sufficiently save up for their post-retirement life.

A survey conducted by GoBankingRates found that that 33% of Americans have $0 savings, 23% had less than $10k while 13% had a huge $300k or more saved. This discrepancy in the numbers shows that saving for retirement is not impossible but too many Americans either don’t comprehend the importance of savings or lack the discipline that is needed to put aside an amount of cash for the future.
According to the survey, women struggle with savings much more than men, with 63% saying they have no savings or less than $10k. However this could be due to the gender pay gap as men and women are as likely to save $10,000-$99,000 but men are twice as likely to have a savings balance of $200,000 or more. Women are also more likely to have gaps in their employment to accommodate raising their children which also reduces their earnings.

What so many Americans fail to understand is that with retirement comes mental and physical deterioration. A growing numbers of seniors become victims of depression and in some cases this even leads to suicide. The stress that arises from financial instability and with the decline in their health, can make this phase of life more difficult than it needs to be.
Elders need to be able to pay for themselves if they do not have financial support. At some point they are going to need help and supervision to be able to live independently. If they get really ill, hiring homecare is a more affordable and practical option for seniors but even in that case, they still need to be capable of spending on their health.
For all those Americans who have not saved a sufficient amount, they have the following options:

Living off Social Security:

You can choose to live off social security but bear in mind that the social security for retirees is a mere $1,287. The social security benefits can help ends meet but for the majority of Americans, it will not be enough to maintain their previous lifestyles. If you’re single you can live off Supplemental Security Income and Social Security but if you’re paying off a mortgage or supporting adult children, you cannot.

Get a roommate:

This might seem like an awful inconvenience at a later age in life but getting a roommate and splitting your expenses can help ease your financial burden. You can consider renting out a room to someone in need to bring in some income. For seniors who suffer from loneliness or require the company of others, getting a roommate can be an adequate solution. You may have to move in with your adult children if you do not have any other options.

Change your lifestyle:

It’s not a surprise that you’re life isn’t going to be as grand as it was after retirement if you have not saved. Be prepared to move into a smaller, cheaper space and avoid shopping unless its necessary.

Continue working:

If you’re ill or too frail to work, this will not be an option but for all those seniors who have just retired and are healthy, you can choose to work after retirement. Although it’s not the ideal situation to keep working so late in life, it is one of the better options. Working past retirement has many benefits, instead of getting overwhelmed by your growing expenses, you can choose to be productive and bring in income.
Here are a few examples of the type of work you can do post-retirement.

1) Become a consultant or a free-Lancer:

Don’t let all those years of experience go to waste; take advantage of consulting companies who offer project-based work. Start-ups or companies that are downsizing constantly look for freelancers to fill gaps in the staff, seniors can try their hands at online bidding sites to work as freelancers on assignments.

2) Research for businesses or universities:

Universities and research agencies require extra help for data collection, seniors have the time and the intellect to help with research studies.

3) Work for the government:

There’s less age-discrimination in government jobs and the government also offers part-time and seasonal work.

4) Seasonal Work:

Think of when retailers are at their busiest (Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc.) and keep an eye out for part-time work during those seasons.

5) Teach or tutor:

Teaching or tutoring is always a great option for seniors. Not only does it help them monetarily but it also prevents cognitive decline which comes with aging.
For some strange reasons Americans undermine the importance of saving up for retirement. Those that have saved up can up carry on living comfortably, even if they do get sick, they have the option of opting for home care services. For those that have not saved up are vulnerable to stress from financial pressure and inability to pay for medical care.

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