Learn How to Retire on Social Security Alone

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Aug 19 2017
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Lately, many have started to wonder and worry if they’ve saved up enough for retirement. This is understandable, as the cost of living in the U.S. has started to increase while earnings often remain the same. While you should most certainly make an effort to save up for retirement, know that it’s entirely possible to retire just on Social Security if you’re willing to put in some effort in the years leading up to your retirement.


Wait Before Claiming Your Benefits

If possible, wait as long as you can before you start drawing on Social Security. This means paying attention to the latest retirement age so you know how old you have to be to access all your benefits without worrying about being penalized. Know that it’s entirely up to you to decide when to start drawing from Social Security. Those who wait as long as possible after the age of retirement, up to the age of 70, can access more of their benefits. Additionally, do everything possible to avoid accessing your Social Security earlier than the most current retirement age.


Think About Roommates

Engaged Couple

Rather than living alone or just with your spouse as you get older, consider living with other people. Shared housing is a great way to save money on common living expenses. You may have thought your days of having roommates were done when you graduated college or the years immediately after college, but retirement is a great time to start living with other people again. Another nice thing about living with other people is you have a built-in social system, which is essential for elderly individuals, even if they’re married.


Consider Moving to a Place That Has a Temperate Climate

If you’re already thinking about moving elsewhere for retirement, think about a place that has a temperate climate. This is because heating and cooling can become a serious drain on your finances during the hotter and colder months of the year. As you’re looking at new locations, be sure to inquire about the cost of local insurance so the money you save on cooling and heating isn’t spent on more expensive policies.


Start Getting a Retirement Plan Ready

Grandparents with Grandkids

Even if you’re decades away from retiring, it doesn’t hurt to start assembling a plan for your golden years. To help with this, talk to friends and family who are already retired so you have a solid idea of some of the common costs associated with retirement as well as those you may not have thought about. Depending on where you live, there might be job opportunities perfect for retirees, such as working in a library or museum, so you can make some extra cash and get out of the house. Also, now is a good time to start accruing assets you can use when you retire.


Pay Off Your Debts

Do your future retired self a favor and pay off as much of your debt as you can now. You should also do everything possible to keep from accruing any more debt, which can cripple your retirement plans. If you get closer to retirement and it becomes apparent you won’t be able to pay off all your debt, at least pay off as much as you can before you retire so you’ll have as little debt to worry about as possible.


Attend to Your Health

Healthy Couple

Because health can be a major expense in your older years, take proper care of your health and body in your younger years. Start and maintain an exercise regimen, and pay close attention to what you eat. Take steps to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, since they play a huge part in how much you pay for health and life insurance.


Despite what you might think, it’s possible to fund your retirement entirely on Social Security. The key is to plan early and adjust your lifestyle for the better.

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By staying in your job longer or finding part-time work in retirement, you can earn a paycheck that can help you postpone drawing on Social Security benefits early.

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