Reaching a point of financial security should be a top priority for aging Americans, says Senior Retirement Specialist Ana Fajardo.
When it comes time to retire, many adults face concerns about financial security. While the goal is to save up for decades in preparation, the reality is many aren’t as far along as they need to be to fully fund retirement. One study from Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research found that 36% of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 can’t cover even one year of minimal care.
Ana Fajardo is a Senior Retirement Specialist at ValuTeachers and is focused on helping people retire with financial peace. She recently spoke about top tips for helping retirees find financial security as they retire. “I want people to be able to relax and feel comfortable in their retirement—even if the economy is in flux and things seem uncertain,” she says. “I recommend people don’t try to hide their heads in the sand but empower themselves with strategic planning. This is just a numbers game, and the sooner you prepare, the easier it is to make sure those numbers work out in your favor.”
Ana Fajardo says retirees should plan while expecting change. “It’s impossible to plan for every circumstance, but strategies will really help,” she explains. “Ultimately, though, you have to be flexible. The economy will change, the costs will change, tax laws will change, your needs will change—your retirement strategy needs to include an honest assessment of what you have and a flexible path forward that allows you to adapt as you go.”
It’s important to know spending budgets and stick to them, says Ana Fajardo. She notes that overspending on restaurants, trips and luxury items can be particularly tempting. She also says seniors must avoid being too generous and overextending themselves to help loved ones struggling with house payments, college loans, car payments or medical bills. A retirement strategy gives seniors a hard line in the sand that helps them avoid spending excessively.
She says it’s a great idea to plan on some form of work even through retirement age. “There are so many part-time jobs that offer opportunities to stay active and feel valued,” Ana Fajardo says. “Even a very small job with a simple requirement will give you something to do every day and bring in a small income stream. There are things you can startup from your home, or you may want to invest in things that will offer revenue streams down the road—like purchasing properties or businesses.”
Exercise and healthy eating will reduce unnecessary medical bills, says Fajardo. She encourages seniors to pursue healthy lifestyles that support longer independence and lower medical bills in order to reduce retirement costs.
She recommends seeking out a reliable retirement planner. “There are so many ploys out there,” she says. “Scam artists are after everyone, and it’s really sad how many people lose money they can’t afford to lose. Ask for professional advice if you get a new offer or someone says you need to pay them. Always get a second opinion, because these scammers know how to sound legit.”