There are several steps that a retired person can take to increase their income. The first is to “unretire.” Retirement is overrated. Working has positive effects on a person and when the work is meaningful it can add years of enjoyment. It can certainly stretch your retirement budget. Even before you retire you can discuss this with your employer to determine if there is some way you can return to the workforce as either a consultant or contract worker. It would be best to determine which aspects of your work you enjoy and what type of projects you want to do. Enter into an agreement to work on those things that interest you. I know a teacher who shows up two periods of day to teach Physics and then gets in his car and drives home. He enjoys what he does and doesn’t want to participate in the wider campus life.
Sometimes it isn’t possible to continue to work for your current employer. In those instances make an inventory of work in which you excel. Armed with that list contact people who need full or part-time help in your area of expertise and offer your services, or contract for your services. If you cannot find an employer who needs your talents consider working for yourself. There are a variety of ways to advertise your skills and there are people looking for your talents.
If you want to try something altogether new there are franchise opportunities available. These opportunities run the gamut from stores to on-line services and sales. Finding a program that suits your capabilities and temperament should be relatively easy. Some of these opportunities can become quite lucrative. I have clients who are leaving their employment long before retirement because their on-line sales business is flourishing.
Obviously working provides income and it also reduces the number of years that you will depend upon your retirement savings to provide income. If you are drawing retirement income this will give you money which you can put into a Roth IRA to fund the period when you finally do stop working altogether.
One of the most important things that working does is to allow you to delay receiving social security. For a long list of reasons it is usually to a retiree’s advantage to delay the start of benefits until they reach age 70. The increase in benefits is substantial to the worker and to the widow it is amazing.
Working provides a great deal of emotional satisfaction and a sense of freedom.
Another technique to increase your retirement income is to tap into the equity of your home. Regardless of whether the mortgage is paid or not, you can take out a reverse mortgage after age 62. A reverse mortgage will allow you to tap the equity in your home. This is a complex transaction and the only transaction that I can think of where an applicant must be counselled by a disinterested party. It is the right move for some, though and could make your retirement more comfortable.
Another way to stretch your retirement dollars is to determine what you own of value that you no longer need. If what you own can be converted to cash it might help stretch your retirement income assets. Selling things on the internet is relatively inexpensive and can be quite fruitful. I advertised an accordion on the internet and was besieged with interested buyers. Estate sales demonstrate that there are things that are not being used by the retirees that are of interest to the public. Often cars are no longer being used, undeveloped land lies idle and jewelry lies unused in a safe deposit box.
Another way to stretch your retirement income is to determine what services are available to seniors in your location that cost you money currently. Many places offer discounts and sometimes services can be free. Even utilities companies participate in programs to lower costs for seniors.
With almost 50% of retirees depending on Social Security for their retirement income it is very important to understand how you can stretch that income and even increase it.