They say that the only things in life that are certain are death and taxes. I say I’d add one more to the list: You have to eat. And food costs money. Grocery spending has long been hard to nail down by the folks that do this kind of surveying, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average consumer spent $3,624 in 2010 on food “at home.” That’s about $300 a month. Whether you generally spend more or less than that number, groceries likely account for a big chunk of your budget.
We know that pets cost money – the ASPCA notes that first year costs can run up to $1,843 for a large dog and $1,035 for a cat (a fish, not surprisingly, is the cheapest option, closely followed by a small bird).
Often, when it comes to charity, coming up with the cash to donate or the time to volunteer is the easy part. Finding the right organization to support is a bit harder.
That’s because while you can allow your heart to lead you in a general direction, the final decision needs to be made by your head. Why? Because when you are considering giving away a limited resource—and your money and your time both fall into this category—you need to understand there are more than one million organizations in this country with their hands out. And they are not all equally deserving of your efforts.
You’ve heard this plenty, so I’ll only say it once: Medical costs in retirement can be sky high. I’ve heard estimates that Medicare beneficiaries can spend anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 a year on out-of-pocket expenses, and Fidelity Investments estimated last year that a 65-year-old couple would need $230,000 to cover medical care throughout retirement.
Divorce is, of course, primarily emotional. But it’s also very much financial, particularly if it occurs later in life after a lot of assets have been accumulated. One thing you’ll have to eventually tackle – once you’re emotionally ready – is how to handle the money aspect of the equation.
Marriage after 50 is, in a lot of ways, the same as marriage before 50 – with one or two exceptions; namely, you may be entering the union with children, bulky retirement accounts, and other assets, like houses.
As you go through the process of getting organized, I think it’s really important to eliminate clutter. The problem with financial clutter, though, is that you have to hang on to much of that paperwork for years. But some things can and should be tossed after a month or two, so I’ve created a handy guide that can help you tame the paper tiger:
Now more than ever, retiring doesn’t mean kicking back for the next 30 years in a rocking porch on your front porch. A recent poll from the Associated Press and LifeGoesStrong.com found that 73% of baby boomers plan to work into their retirement years.
You know you need a good credit score to buy a home. You know you need a good score to purchase a car or take out a new credit card.
One kind of insurance that can be particularly important for baby boomers – and you may be surprised to hear this – is renters insurance. Why? Because if you aren’t already a renter, you may become one in the very near future. Many people decide to downsize in retirement, and either rent a home permanently or rent something temporarily while they decide what their next step will be. And with the housing market in a rut, renting is even hotter right now.