Even though retirement may be years down the road, there is no time like the present to begin planning and saving for the cost of assisted living. The ribbon experiment and squirrels hoarding for the winter both depict the importance of saving more than you think you will need for retirement. Retirement savings don’t always take us as far as we would like to believe.

With life expectancies now reaching 76.4 years for men and 81.2 years for women, saving for a years of retirement is now more important than ever. For some, time is becoming a liability as modern medicine increases longevity. Experts now believe that retirement can now last as long as 30 years.

With the financial and housing crisis of 2008 impacting our savings and expenses such as mortgages ahead, it can be challenging to save for the future when there are so many demands in the present. Along with retirement comes many changes. The day will come where it may be time to consider moving to a retirement or assisted living facility.

There are steps you can take now to ensure you can afford your future plans. Here are our do’s and don’ts to make your retirement savings go father.

Do…

  • Start making contributions to your 401(k) early when you have plenty of working years ahead to save.
  • Take advantage of the power of compounding interest.
  • Sacrifice the small luxuries now in order to have more cushion during retirement.
  • Get a handle on debt now to begin building a savings.
  • Try to pay more than the minimum balance due each month to avoid paying more in interest than the original balance.
  • Consider a personal loan which will consolidate debt into a fixed monthly payment at a lower rate.
  • When paying off a credit card, begin with the highest interest rate first.
  • Think about continuing to work during retirement to give you a sense of purpose, camaraderie and more spending power.
  • Stay active and healthy to create a better lifestyle.
  • Invest in Long-Term Care and Life Insurance to pay for the medical bills and funeral expenses that are not covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.
  • Work with a “fiduciary” for legal advice that is in your best interest to defer or avoid tax burdens.
  • Save more money than you think you will need.
  • Plan for the unexpected such as natural disasters, medical issues or job loss.
  • Remain flexible and consider financing care through companion living, VA Aid and Attendance funds, reverse mortgages, or low interest bridge loans.

Don’t…

    • Make time a predator, instead make it an ally.
    • Let money “burn a hole” in your pocket.
    • Allow credit card spending to spiral out of control and lead to debt.
    • Borrow from the tax deferred money in a retirement account to pay down debt. In most cases, doing so will result in penalties for removing the money early.

Rely on Social Security to see you through retirement.

Discipline and savings can help to make your retirement dreams a reality. Whether you want to tour the world, leave something for your children to inherit or simply be self-sufficient, planning ahead will pay off in the long run.

Our September 2015 and February 2016 blogs also provide more advice on paying for assisted living and enjoying retirement on a limited budget. Planning and taking action now can help pay for care when you need help with the tasks of everyday living in an assisted living community.

To learn more about Rosewood Retirement Community in Fort Oglethorpe and the services we offer, please call, 706-866-4443.