The Baby Boomer Balancing Act: Saving, Spending, and Investing Throughout Retirement

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According to Pew Research and the Social Security Administration, there are an estimated 10,000 baby boomers entering their retirement each day in the United States. And while they face many challenges -- the rising costs of healthcare, for instance -- this generation controls 82 percent of financial affairs in America with an estimated $26.2 trillion in investable assets. Of course, that kind of market power is only acquired through years of hard work and savings. Going into retirement, it can be difficult for boomers to adjust their mindsets when it comes to spending. While it’s important to continue making responsible choices and not spreading resources too thin, it’s equally important to enjoy yourself in retirement. Doing so is far from impossible; it simply requires balance.

Preparing for Long-Term Care

Knowing you have major expenses covered can provide the peace of mind you need to loosen up and spend a bit more freely when you want to. Approximately 58 percent of men and 79 percent of women aged 65 and older will need long-term care at some point. The costs of long-term care can be astronomical, costing as much as $100k per year depending on the state and type of care provided. Investing in long-term care insurance ensures you get the care you deserve without putting your family in a financial predicament. To find the best long-term care insurance companies and a policy that works for your retirement budget, shop around online through sites like Consumers Advocate. To make the most of your policy, ask your insurer about adding on a burial insurance rider that additionally covers end-of-life expenses, such as funeral cost and medical bills.

Smart Spending Advice

When it comes to buying things for your retirement, live by the mantra “never pay full price.” Smart seniors know how to find discounts on everything from travel deals to their next meal, but sometimes you have to be a little more creative with hunting for deals to avoid paying full price. For example, if you like shopping online, install a few browser extensions that automatically find coupon codes while providing cashback initiatives for popular sites. If there are particular websites you shop through frequently, sign up for their email lists to get in on their best sales and deals. And make the most of your savings by using an app that stashes the extra money in a market or savings account that grows with interest in time.

Finally, always buy used items whenever you can. Some of the best things to buy secondhand include designer clothing and fine jewelry, furniture, cars, sports equipment, tools, books, and musical instruments. To find quality used items, check out sites like eBay that allow everyday folks to sell their gently used items through auction.

Keep Investing

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to stop investing. If you’re smart about it, you can turn some of your investments into another source of passive income during this period of your life. While it’s okay to be conservative, don’t be too conservative with your investments. Diversify your portfolio with a few stock options that can provide substantially higher return when compared to more stable bonds. Mitigate the amount of taxes you’ll have to pay on your investments by purchasing enough municipal bonds to pay what you’ll owe from your other investment incomes. Finally, take advantage of the free time you have in retirement and keep a close eye on your portfolio. Periodically rebalancing your portfolio ensures that you maintain your desired mix of stocks and bonds to meet your investment needs.

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As more and more baby boomers enter retirement, they have to shift their mindsets and spending habits to effectively control their wealth while living their best lives. Protecting future finances with insurance plans that cover the costs of long-term care and end-of-life arrangements provides peace of mind so you can make purchases with confidence. But when you do make those purchases, make sure you’re smart about it and never pay full price. Finally, don’t get out of the investment game just because you’re no longer working. A well-balanced portfolio can provide passive income in retirement.