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Five Easy Steps That Stretch Your Retirement Budget

Retirement can be pricey, says a survey recently conducted by Wells-Fargo. Shockingly, 59 percent of participants questioned revealed that they don’t anticipate retiring — ever.  What’s the top reason given for reaching such a dismal conclusion? There’s not enough money left over to save after paying bills. Check out these five easy steps that stretch your retirement budget and hopefully save you some extra money for retirement!

It used to be that only the cost of living large was out of reach for most Americans after retirement. But with the results of this new survey, financial specialists fear that the simple act of retirement, itself, may come with too high a price tag for the American Middle Class. If you’re one of the savvy few who have managed to make it to that coveted plateau that most people strive a lifetime to reach, it’s vital to find strategies that make the most of the money you’ve saved.  These five easy steps can help:

1. Use a Credit Union Instead of a Bank

According to U.S. News and World Report, credit unions are the go-to choice when you need higher interest on your savings account and lower rates on loans: two factors that can help stretch your retirement budget further. Most credit unions are smaller than local banks, and funds are just as safe. Money kept in a credit union is insured by the National Credit Union Administration up to $250,000, and buying a car through your local credit union can net you an interest rate that’s nearly half of what you might pay at a traditional bank.

If you’re retired and keeping your money in one of the big bank chains, check out Members Plus Credit Union and take advantage of the low fees, the higher savings rates and the personal service.

2. Consider Annuities

After retirement, holding onto what money you have becomes even more important, meaning that for most people, this isn’t the time to indulge in high-risk investments. Make an appointment to go over your current portfolio and consider moving any funds wrapped up in risky investments to something safer such as fixed annuities. With a fixed annuity, your principal investment is guaranteed. And if you mix immediate and deferred annuities, you can receive payouts on portions of your money while the rest collects interest.

3. Reduce Spending and Streamline Your Expenses

Good advice at any age, this suggestion takes on new importance after retirement. This is the time to consider downsizing your home or moving to a less-expensive neighborhood. You might also take a second look at life insurance payments. If providing for dependents after your death is no longer a necessity, cutting back on coverage could free up quite a bit of cash.

4. Trade Up on Credit Cards

Take a look at the perks offered by your credit card companies and ditch any cards that don’t fit your needs. For instance, if you’re not a frequent flyer, that card that gives you airline miles might not be as beneficial as one that offers cash-back on qualifying purchases.  Click here to learn more about the new Rewards Mastercard being offered at Members Plus Credit Union.

5. Be a Savvy Consumer

Now is the time to take advantage of off-peak entertainment. Hotels and campgrounds offer lower rates during off-peak times, so does your local putting range and that movie theater down the street. Taking in matinees, traveling out-of-season and catching the lunch buffet instead of dinner will all help you stretch your retirement budget accordingly.

Source

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/10/24/retirement-health-care-social-security/3169827/

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/01/06/the-pros-and-cons-of-a-credit-union-versus-a-bank

https://www.mycreditunion.gov/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/retirement/07/stretch_retirement_budget.asp

http://money.cnn.com/retirement/guide/annuities_basics.moneymag/index2.htm


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