Guidelines for Seniors Seeking Relief from Financial Worry
Guest Post from Dan Hall
Financial stress can be especially burdensome for older adults who see fewer resources on their horizons. The burden of financial worry is compounded when age has brought with it health complications that limit one’s options and create added money worries. It’s important for seniors, as well as their caregivers, to be alert to the dangers of financial decline and be aware of resources to assuage anxiety over money when problems arise.
About Aging Parents offers the following guidance when navigating these difficult situations.
What are the most common financial problems seniors deal with?
Some of the financial worries that plague older adults include the threat of financial scams, the effects of cognitive decline, healthcare costs, and simply the fear of running out of money. In an ideal world, all these worries would be addressed well in advance of one’s Retirement years. But not everyone has the opportunity or resources to plan sufficiently, and life can drop surprises on us we haven’t planned for. Seniors who find themselves in the middle of financial troubles can still take control of their situation and find a way out, as well as develop good habits for coping with financial anxiety.
Consider working with a financial consultant
If you can find an affordable and reliable financial specialist, this can go a long way toward relieving both the real pressure of financial problems and the mental strain of trying to correct them. A financial consultant can assist you in creating your budget, investing wisely, making good insurance choices, and managing your debt. Read reviews carefully to be sure you are getting a reliable consultant in pricing that works for you.
Create a budget
Whether you are working with a consultant or going it alone, having a budget is crucial to good financial planning and ultimately digging yourself out of financial difficulties. Having a budget will allow you to assess where you might be overspending and how much debt you have to deal with, then plan better for future emergencies. Your budget will form the basis of your strategy for reducing or eliminating financial worry.
Carefully manage service needs
It’s inevitable that your home will require maintenance and upkeep, and you may not be in a position to tackle these tasks yourself. While hiring out services will be necessary, it pays to be careful and diligent about whom you hire. For example, when the time comes to have your gutters cleaned, look for local contractors with the exact skills you need by using search terms like “rain gutter cleaning near me” or “residential gutter cleaning.” Sites like Angi make it easy to turn up contractors, and some providers even offer seasonal discounts or specials.
See which expenses you can cut
Once you have a comprehensive budget, you can see where you might be spending money needlessly. Check to see whether you have any automatic withdrawals to stuff you don’t really use or need, such as streaming services or magazine subscriptions. See which of your expenses can be reduced by switching providers or service plans. Internet, television, and data use may all be available to you more affordably. You may need to cut down on some larger expenses, as well. This might involve choosing a different insurance provider or even relocating to a smaller home or more affordable neighborhood. Another option is refinancing to lower your monthly mortgage payment. This option is best suited for seniors planning to reside in their home for a while.
Work to eliminate debt
If you are paying off a lot of debt, see where some of this can be eliminated. A financial consultant can help you determine whether some of these debts can be paid off in full, or whether debt consolidation is right for you. Be very cautious when it comes to debt management, however, as there are scammers out there who will try to take advantage of you with fraudulent programs.
Seek financial aid
If you’ve consulted a specialist, made a budget, reduced expenses, and consolidated debt but still find yourself in financial distress, don’t panic — there are programs out there to assist you. These include programs to assist with housing, food, medical expenses, and utilities. Even if you are not technically below the poverty line, if you are struggling to make ends meet, look for information on financial assistance for seniors.
Seniors ought to be able to enjoy their Retirement years without these anxieties, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Luckily, many resources exist to assist seniors so they enjoy the peace of mind and security they deserve.