As people age, it is common to find new ways of establishing a budget. Most senior citizens don't have as much income as they once did, if they have any at all. While retirement is certainly a reward after a lifetime of work, it can also be stressful if money hasn't been managed correctly.
Changing up lifestyle habits at such a late point in life is never easy. Although inflation has been sluggish, many costs continue to surge, such as medical expenses. Seniors need to be aware of factors impairing their ability to save, and ways to remedy these problems. If you are a senior citizen concerned about how much money is going out the door compared to coming in, then consider these following tips for better managing your finances:
Be aware of medical costs
There are always going to be costs that you cannot plan for. While an emergency fund is a wonderful resource to have, you might be one of many seniors without one, or have been using it occasionally over time.
"Medical bills are a major factor in many people's debt."
One example of an item that might require emergency spending is a medical bill, or perhaps several. Medical bills can be costly, and are a main factor in many people's debt, not just seniors. However, there is no denying senior citizens are more prone to emergency costs than others. But medical treatments shouldn't put you behind. You just have to plan accordingly.
Speak with the facility about your treatment, and see if there is any leeway pertaining to having unnecessary items or mistakes removed from your overall cost. Then, once your bill is final, set up an automatic pay-back system. According to Woman's Day, setting up automatic payments will help you keep on top of your monthly bills. This will prevent you from getting behind on payments.
Also, pay only as much as you can afford, but make sure you speak with your lender about this. If your monthly balance is too high, don't just pay a minimum each month. Instead, establish a payment plan that works with your finances. Make sure you have this monthly amount factored into your budget moving forward, so you don't spend too much in a particular month, and then overspend because of your automatic payment.
Know about scams
While it is scary to think about, seniors must be aware they are often targets for scams. Whether these scams come in the form of emails or phone calls, scammers often go after senior citizens, according to NOLO financial and law blog.
It is hard to spot scams sometimes, but there are certain warning signs. For example, if you receive a phone call regarding a medical bill, and the person on the other end asks you for personal information, do not give it away. The same goes for any bills or payments you owe. Also, if you receive a questionable phone call, make sure you call your bank or insurance company right away and ask if a representative of the institution actually called.
These phone calls or emails usually offer lower rates on your medical bills, or perhaps a discount on medication you might take on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is to assume that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Budgets change as people's lives progress. This is true for seniors as well. There are many items you may have once gotten much use out of, such as subscriptions or memberships, which you simply don't use any more. Just because you have had these items available to you for so long doesn't mean you need to keep them around.
If you no longer use your golf membership or read those gardening magazines, then perhaps it is time to stop paying for them. You might be surprised how much money you could save by eliminating little things here and there.
If you are a senior citizen and looking for ways to improve your financial management, check out the credit repair services provided by Lexington Law. There are many ways to go about maintaining a solid budget and building good credit, and this is important no matter how old you are. Having a professional on your side can help you build credit, avoid scams and have a strong financial footing throughout your golden years.