Sage Advice for Seniors Facing Financial Troubles
Are you one of the growing number of seniors carrying heavy financial burdens into their retirement years? Debt, combined with increasing costs of living and decreasing income opportunities, are psychological stressors that impact quality of life. You did a lot of right things to get to this point in life, so celebrate this accomplishment and don’t let financial troubles get you down. Instead, make a proactive effort to resolve these issues so you can get on with a rewarding life.
Get into the right frame of mind and begin with an honest assessment of your situation. Identify the root causes of your financial struggles and explore possible solutions. Formulate a plan of action, implement it and measure success by the results. Now is the time to start thinking this way—not tomorrow, not next week, but right now!
Understand the primary financial stressors for seniors. Research shows these are usually mortgage debt and credit card debt. However, student loans are becoming more common these days because so many seniors are helping their children and grandchildren foot the bill for a college education.
The cost of living expenses is on the rise, too. In addition to debt, many seniors face the daunting reality of recurring high monthly expenses associated with:
● Health care
There are often multiple solutions to any financial issue you’re faced with. Focus on what you can do and apply your efforts there. Assess all your options, then, assess them again. Don’t rush important decisions.
Often, your home is your greatest financial asset. Consider selling it and downsizing. Strategic use of your home equity could stop the financial hemorrhaging and get you back on the right track immediately. The equity is your home’s value minus the mortgage balance. Get an appraisal, secure the services of a trusted realtor and get your home in shape to bring top dollar in the sale.
If selling your home is not an option, consider securing a reverse mortgage. This strategy allows you to borrow against your home’s value without having to make payments. For many, this is an effective option.
Consider other options that might work well combined with the above strategies. If your issue involves cash flow, you may seek assistance from government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. There are many financial programs designed specifically for seniors. Discover community resources available to you as well. Churches, nonprofits, and similar organizations are willing to assist in times of need.
Make a Plan of Action
You can solve your financial problems by creating a plan of action. Focus on ways to increase your income with creative work opportunities and to reduce your living expenses. Craft a workable budget and stick to it.
Most importantly, in the course of solving your financial problems, be sure to take care of yourself. A solid self-care regimen ensures your peak performance in this marathon. Diet, exercise, and quality relationships, among other things, are critical to your success.
Measure Success by the Results
Your budget is your benchmark for measuring success. Let your budget shape your thinking. Be so bold as to strive for more income and fewer expenses than your budget indicates. This requires tremendous self-discipline, but you will be glad you did.
It pays to be proactive in your efforts to solve financial problems. Get back on top of things by pinpointing the causes of your problems, discovering solutions, implementing a plan of action, and measuring your results. This is part of living well.
This article is brought to you by Dan Rhoads Health & Wealth, where my mission is to use the wisdom gained from personal experiences to help everyday people gain independence in health and wealth. For more information, please contact Dan today!
Photo via Pixabay
“Household Debt Among Older Americans, 1989-2016,” Congressional Research Service. Published Sept 11 2019. https://sgp.fas.org/crs/misc/R45911.pdf
“Snapshot of Older Consumers and Student Loan Debt,” Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Published Jan 2017. https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201701_cfpb_OA-Student-Loan-Snapshot.pdf
“How to Calculate Home Equity,” Redfin. Accessed Mar 8 2022. https://www.redfin.com/guides/how-to-calculate-home-equity
“Guide to Reverse Mortgages,” by Amy Fontinelle. Investopedia. Updated Mar 6 2022. https://www.investopedia.com/mortgage/reverse-mortgage/
“Elderly Assistance Programs,” NeedHelpPayingBills.com. Accessed Mar 8 2022. https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/senior_assistance_programs.html
“The Best Work-from-Anywhere Jobs for Older Workers,” by Adrianne Bibby. Flexjobs. Accessed Mar 8 2022. https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/best-work-from-anywhere-jobs-for-older-workers/
“20 Ways to Cut Retirement Costs: When You Are Rich in Time It’s Easy to Spend a Little Less,” NewRetirement.com. Published Aug 28 2019. https://www.newretirement.com/retirement/20-ways-to-cut-retirement-costs/
“Seniors,” resources from the American Institute of Stress. Accessed Mar 8 2022. https://www.stress.org/seniors