As a federal employee, you will someday enjoy one of the best retirement system out there. And like everyone, you probably dream of your retirement, looking forward to the freedom you will feel when you leave your working years behind.
For some people, however, no matter how great their retirement system is, retirement doesn’t feel nearly as “free” as they imagined. That’s because transitioning to a fixed income can come along with its own challenges and restrictions. If you’re eyeing your retirement date sometime in the next decade, more or less, then start implementing these six steps now. You will find that they help you stretch your retirement income a bit farther, so that you can enjoy your retirement more.
Plan for healthcare needs. After housing, healthcare is the largest expenditure for most retirees. Since unexpected events can have a major impact on your budget, make sure you’re prepared for them. Setting aside some cash in a savings account can help to cover large co-pays, for example, or long-term care insurance can protect your retirement income in the event that you need specialized nursing care.
Delay claiming Social Security. Try not to retire before your full retirement age, so that you can reap your full scheduled benefits. And if you can, delay that claim a bit longer. For each year that you wait beyond full retirement age, your checks will grow by about 8 percent.
Take on a part-time job. Retirees often find themselves bored after a few months of retirement. A part-time job can be the perfect opportunity to keep yourself engaged in the community, making new friends, and learning something new. Plus, the extra income is a terrific boost!
Ask for a discount… everywhere. Discounts abound for senior citizens and federal employees, but they aren’t often advertised. Ask about these discounts everywhere you go, from the hair salon to car rental companies to motels and restaurants. You’d be surprised how these discounts add up to help stretch your budget.
Adjust your budget before retirement. Some of your expenses will change once you retire, such as the cost of commuting. But it’s still a good idea to get an estimate of your expected retirement income, and then live on an adjusted version of that budget for at least a few months before you retire. This can help you ease the transition to your new budget, and let you take it for a “test drive” first.
Consult with a professional. For help estimating your expected retirement income, and other solutions to help you transition into retirement, give us a call. We help federal employees make the most of their benefits, so that you can enjoy the freedom of a secure retirement.Read More