Budgeting for Retirement: How to Stretch Your Retirement Savings

08 24, 2022
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Budgeting in retirement is crucial, especially when you live on a fixed income. It doesn't matter if you retire early or you have a late retirement. With careful retirement planning, you make your nest egg last as long as you need it to.

In this article, we discuss how to stretch your retirement savings in order to make them last longer. We cover budgeting strategies and how to make your money work for you.

Budgeting Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Retirement

Making a budget is an important step to ensure your retirement savings last. In short, when you have a budget and spending plan, you can better track and assess the things you need to pay for in life.

With that said, before we delve into more specific money saving tips, let’s explore how to set up your budget in the first place!

Before we start your education on budgeting for retirement, you need to figure a few things out.

How Do You Start Budgeting for Retirement in Canada?

The first step to take when budgeting for retirement is to estimate your retirement income. This includes all sources of income, such as pensions, government benefits, and investments. Once you know how much income you'll have each month, you can start making a budget.

How Much Retirement Income Do You Need?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The amount you need each month depends on factors like your lifestyle, health, tax-costs, and where you live. However, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to need about 70% of your pre-retirement income.

If you know how much you'll get from your social security, and how much tax you get charged, you can use that to start planning.

How Do You Calculate Retirement Expenses?

Once you have an estimate for your retirement income, you can estimate your retirement expenses.

You'll need to account for out-of-pocket costs like housing, food, health care, tax payments, as well as investment or transportation expenses. Remember to include leisure and entertainment expenses. And, of course, you'll need to account for unexpected expenses.

What is the Biggest Expense in Retirement?

The biggest expense in retirement is often housing. This includes costs like mortgage or rent payments, property taxes, and maintenance. Other significant expenses include food, transportation, and health care.

Traveling in your retirement is expensive but can be a great way to grow an education of the world as you age.

What Expenses Increase When You Retire?

The monthly cost of health insurance premiums often increase in retirement. This is because you'll likely need to spend more of your income on health care than young people. Knowing your family health history is one of the best ways to guess what you might need to pay down the road.

Another common expense that increases in retirement is travel. So long as you have the income, spending time in new places around the world is great personal care, as it helps you feel more fulfilled in life.

What Expenses Decrease During Retirement?

There are a few expenses that tend to decrease during retirement. One is work-related expenses, such as commuting costs, business attire, and income tax. Another is child and family care related expenses, such as education, or your child's wedding.

You also won't have to spend on social security payments or income tax when you receive your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).

How Do I Retire on a Small Retirement Budget?

If you're on a small budget, there are a few things you can do to reduce your monthly expenses and extend your retirement savings.

Here are some tips on how to budget your retirement savings:

1. Review Your Monthly Expenses & Make Changes Where Needed

You'll want to take a close look at your expenses and make changes where necessary. This may include cutting back on non-essential expenses, such as dining out or travel. It's also important to make sure you are not overspending on housing costs.

In short, you'll want to ask yourself, "Does this help me achieve my financial goals?" If the answer is no, it may not be necessary.

You also won't have to spend on social security payments or income tax when you receive your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).

2. Cut Spending: Get More Budgeting Bang from Your Retirement Bucks

One of the best ways to make your retirement savings last longer is to live below your means. This means spending less than you earn from your pension and saving the difference. When you live frugally, you have more money to live your best possible retirement life.

For seniors who've fully paid their mortgage, downsizing to a smaller dwelling can save a lot of money on things like property taxes, utilities, and maintenance. Since you don't need to go to work, try relocating to a walkable or bikeable neighbourhood. You won't have car payments, and you'll get exercise while meeting people in your community.

You can reduce the taxes you pay, whether property tax or retail sales tax, by reassessing your spending habits.

3. Give Your Future Certainty: Get a Excelsior Plan

Excelsior life insurance can help your loved ones cover the cost of final expenses, like your funeral and outstanding medical bills. It is a really good idea to get one of these personal insurance plans, especially if you have debt in your retirement years.

That's because these plans ensure your spouse and family won't inherit your debt (or its rising interest rates) in order to pay for your final expenses. Your benefits could even be used to make charitable donations on your behalf!

At the end of the day, life insurance gives your future the certainty needed to fully enjoy retirement life.

You can reduce the taxes you pay, whether property tax or retail sales tax, by reassessing your spending habits.

How to Maximize Your Pension Income When Budgeting for Retirement

Pensions don't always pay us what we need for spending cash. Here are some ways you can increase the cash you have to spend on what's important to you in life.

Start a Business or Get a Part-Time Job

With all of the extra time you might have, starting a small business can be a great way to generate income. However, keep in mind new businesses mean new expenses, and new expenses will affect your income and savings. The last thing you'd want is to spend all of the nest eggs saved in your retirement accounts!

That's why another way to bring in some extra cash is to get a part-time job, whether it’s working in a retail setting, food service, or even part-time for your old employer (That is, if they were a good employer!).

You also won't have to spend on social security payments or income tax when you receive your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).

Use Coupons & Shop Around for Deals

Everyone can save money by using coupons and being strategic about where they shop, but this is especially important for retirees who are living on a fixed-income.

Plus, there are often a lot of free or low-cost services and activities available to Canadian seniors, so take advantage of them!

Join a Seniors’ Club or Group

Clubs and groups for seniors often offer discounted rates on things like travel, education, and recreation, so this is a great way to save cash while also meeting people in your community.

Find out if your community has senior gym memberships. Not only do gym memberships help you meet people, but staying active is a great way to reduce health care expenses down the road.

One of the biggest factors for improving your life in retirement is getting exercise and meeting people in your community.

Make Your Own Entertainment

Instead of going out and spending too much of your budget on entertainment, stay home and find ways to have fun for free or very cheap. For example, try calling up some old friends to have a karaoke night.

Another example, reduce your monthly expenses by switching from cable to streaming services.

Live with Others

If you have extra space in their home, you may want to consider taking in a lodger or renting out a room. This can help offset some of the costs of living alone while providing you with a bit of company.

Plus, investing in your home by building a secondary dwelling can significantly raise the total amount of your home's value!

You can reduce the taxes you pay, whether property tax or retail sales tax, by reassessing your spending habits.

Conclusion? Budgeting Your Retirement Savings is Simple!

Creating a retirement budget is an important process that will help you make the most of your golden years. By estimating your retirement income and expenses, you can develop a plan that will allow you to enjoy your retirement and stretch your savings.

Key Takeaways of Budgeting for Retirement

  • Whether a late or early retirement, budgeting is an essential part of retirement planning
  • Create a budget by looking at the income you expect from your pension, then calculate your expenses
  • Stretch your fixed-income by assessing your spending habits and cutting out what's not important in life
  • Don't be afraid to make big changes like downsizing your home — you'll spend less each month
  • Get life insurance so your spouse and family don't get burdened by your final expenses and debt

Ready to Stretch Your Retirement Savings?

Creating a budget plan for when you retire helps your life savings last as long into the future as possible. A excelsior plan helps you account for the unexpected costs in retirement. That way, you can make your savings last worry-free.

One of our professional advisors is waiting and ready to help you get the insurance coverage you need today!


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