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Get ready for an adjustment period

Even if you have a smart plan for retirement, there’s still an adjustment period where leaving the labor force means far less money coming in and more going out. And let’s face it, pre-retirement habits and assumptions can be difficult to change.

Make sure to look over your budget before you retire, not after. Where and what do you spend on? What’s your projected cash inflow?

Crunching these numbers might feel overwhelming, especially if it looks like you’re going to have to make some big changes to your lifestyle, so it’s a smart idea to sit down with a financial advisor and take stock of your situation.

If you don't have one yet, researching and calling multiple advisors can be a hassle, but there are easier ways to find one fast.

WiserAdvisor is an online platform that will match you with a vetted financial advisor based on your own unique needs.

The process is simple: Just answer a few quick questions about yourself and your finances, and they’ll set you up with a free, no-obligation call to connect you with an advisor who’s a good fit for you.

Make sure your loved ones are protected

No one ever feels ready to start thinking about life insurance. But the truth is, the younger you are when you purchase a policy, the lower your premiums will be. Life insurance can be used by your loved ones to make up for lost income, pay outstanding debts, cover unexpected expenses and pay for funeral costs.

With Lifeplans — an online marketplace of insurance companies — you can connect with insurers near you that suit your needs and will take a bit of the stress off your family when you pass.

All you need to do is fill in a bit of information about yourself and your coverage needs and in under 3 minutes you can browse rates and coverage amounts to determine which is best for your future.

Have a Social Security strategy

If you take your Social Security starting at age 62, you’ll miss out on additional funds you’d reap at a later retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

If you wait until you hit 66, the SSA calculates that you’d reap $1,000 instead of $750. Further, you could receive delayed retirement credits should you wait until full retirement age, which stops when you reach 70.

To be sure, managing your bills might not make deferment possible, but you may be able to lighten some of your debt load by rolling all your debts into a single loan with a lower rate.

You can use a free online service called Credible to compare loan rates in minutes and find the option that will save you the most.

Depending on how much you currently owe, consolidating your debts could save you thousands on interest payments in the long run.

Prioritize your expenses

Want to travel? It’s a delicious luxury but it’s incredibly expensive when you factor in food, lodging, flights and frequency of trips. Want to renovate your home or buy a seaside getaway? Interest rates on first and second mortgages these days are through the roof.

Before you break open the coffers and live it up, get a sense of your “nice to haves” versus your “need to haves.” You can also take steps to lower the cost of those “need to haves” so that you’ve got more money leftover for the fun stuff.

For example, you may be able to save more than $1,000 a year by shopping around for better rates on your insurance.

Using OfficialHomeInsurance, you can compare rates from dozens of home insurers to find the best deal available in your area in just minutes. Plus, it's completely free.

According to data from Forbes Advisor, the national average cost for car insurance in 2024 was $2,150 per year, almost $180 per month.

But, depending on which state you live in, your driving history and the make and model of your car, you can save up to $820 a year on your car insurance.

Luckily, BestMoney, makes it easier for you to comparison shop instantly. Choose the best available car insurance quote for you in minutes so you can start saving.

Keep adding to your savings

Once it’s time to retire, many folks throw their savings plan out the window of the cruise ship or dream home. That’s the wrong way to go. Saving not only offers a buffer but also a means to make even more aspirations possible.

If you once put 10% of each paycheck aside, you could now aim for 10% of each Social Security check. Even just 5% is better than nothing, especially if you invest it wisely.

Yes, the stock market may be rocky these days, but there are other ways to invest for your future than just dumping your savings into stocks.

In times of persistent inflation, gold has historically been known as a trusted safeguard against economic volatility, making it a favored choice for investors to grow their savings.

Goldco can help you set up a gold IRA that allows you to incorporate physical gold and other precious metals into a tax-advantaged retirement account.

This strategy combines the tax benefits of an IRA with the inflation-hedging properties of gold, offering a way to diversify your portfolio. You can receive a complimentary free gold IRA kit to learn more about opening a gold IRA with Goldco.

Moneywise Moneywise Editorial Team

The Moneywise Editorial Team is a group of passionate financial experts, seasoned journalists, and content creators who are deeply committed to providing unbiased, relevant, and accurate financial information. With years of combined industry experience, our team is dedicated to maintaining the highest journalistic standards and delivering informative and engaging content. From personal finance and investing to retirement planning and business finance, we cover a broad range of topics to suit the financial needs of our diverse readership. You can trust the Moneywise Editorial Team to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to make wise financial decisions.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.