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The holidays are an excellent time for getting together with family, feeling nostalgic, and sitting by the window with a warm cup of cocoa. But, without proper planning, the holidays can be expensive and even frustrating. When you’re making do with Social Security or a change in cash flow during retirement, you’ll need a little extra planning to ensure you don’t overspend. To help you avoid holiday stress for more than just spending, here are a few helpful tips.
Make a Budget
First and foremost, retirement is often a time where seniors tighten their belts and beef up their budgets, so if you’re already budgeting for your monthly spending you might find transitioning for the holidays much easier. If you’re new to budgeting, using the holiday season as a trial period will help you adjust better in the long term and let you get your feet wet. One of the first things you can do is set a spending limit by reviewing your bills from last year to get a better sense of what you’ll need. Try to challenge yourself and make the number smaller than you might feel is possible. From here, you want to begin by hunting for bargains. Thrifted gifts can be just as meaningful as something new and shiny, and curbing any sort of impulse buying can help you pace yourself and your spending.
Plan Your Trips Out Wisely
Although you might already be considering the spending dangers of the holiday season, you’ll also want to give some thought to the crowds. We’ve all heard the horror stories from Black Friday sales, so likely you aren’t planning to go out the day after Thanksgiving. Still, as the holidays get closer, remember that shoppers are still going to be out in droves. Going to the mall or other stores in the morning on a weekday helps ensure you’ll miss a large part of the crowd. You also might consider bringing a caregiver or friend along who can help carry bags and load your purchases into the car. Lastly, collecting gifts beginning in the late summer with an eye out for bargains and sales will help you slowly build up your holiday gift supplies as the season approaches. That way you can avoid any last-minute shopping when the crowds are sure to be plentiful.
If you’re interested in avoiding crowds altogether, you might prefer shopping online. There are regular sales through many online vendors like Amazon’s Prime Day, which happens in June and is great for early shoppers, as well as online Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals you can still benefit from even if you never leave the comfort of your own sofa. However, make sure you review your budget before clicking to your heart’s content. Online shopping can easily become compulsive, which will make sticking to your holiday budget even more of a challenge.
However, if you’re in a spending rut this holiday season or simply looking for a creative way to increase your cash flow during the holidays for traveling or gift giving, fortunately for you there are some unique options that apply specifically to seniors. If you still maintain a life insurance policy you no longer need, did you know you can sell all or a portion of your life insurance policy for an amount greater than the cash surrender value? Life settlements (also known as viatical settlements) can provide the extra income you need. Our website has answers for you, to these questions and others, like, “What is a viatical settlement?” Visit Life Settlement Advisors and learn more.
Robert purchased a life insurance policy for Helen 15 years ago. Helen passed away last year and Robert no longer needed the coverage and the policy premiums were going up. Robert sold his life insurance policy for $195,000 and donated the funds to his favorite charity.
Life Settlement Advisors