How Much Does Average 25 Year Old Have In Savings Managing Money in Retirement

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Managing Money in Retirement

“After more than 36 years in the public service, I’m retiring in a few months. I’m a little confused about how to make sure my retirement money is invested properly. I’m also afraid that my pension and savings will not be enough for my needs. What can I do to feel more secure in retirement?”

In theory, retirement should be a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of labor. In reality, many people face retirement with dread, wondering if this life change will bring better or worse. One of the main sources of worry for retirees is uncertainty about money: how will they survive without a steady paycheck?

Financial experts often offer a lot of advice on how to plan for a successful retirement. But what about managing your money in retirement? How can you take control of your finances and be free to enjoy your newfound free time? Here are some steps to help you take charge of your finances.

Prepare for your pension

Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure your pension is in order. It is advisable to apply for retirement benefits a year in advance, since you work in the public service. This will ensure that as soon as your salary stops, the pension will be taken over. If you had invested in retirement insurance plans, talk to your agent several months before you retire to make sure your investments are on track. If you had been contributing to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), visit the NIS office at National Heroes Circle to claim your benefits.

Budget carefully

Budgeting is the key to managing your retirement money. It’s important to keep track of your monthly expenses, especially when you’re no longer working. Estimate those unavoidable costs, such as auto insurance and repairs that don’t occur regularly, and divide those numbers by 12 to get the average monthly cost. Set spending limits on variable expenses such as clothing and entertainment. Plan large amounts for medical needs that may increase at this time and include additional expenses for healthier foods and vitamins.

Your goal when preparing a budget is to calculate the average amount needed to pay your expenses each month. When you are clear about this figure, you will know if your pension will be sufficient, or if you will have to supplement it with your investments.

Adapt your investments to your needs

One of the most important goals in retirement is the need for current income and liquidity. Your money should provide consistent returns and be available for any emergency. If you are struggling to meet your monthly bills, it may be a good idea to sell any long-term assets, such as land or stocks, and place the proceeds in an interest-paying account. Talk to your financial institution for guidance on how to rebalance your investments.

You’ll also want to invest in low-risk products that give higher returns than regular savings accounts. Once you’ve identified how much you’ll need for your monthly expenses, ask your advisor to show you the best way to invest your money so you can earn enough interest.

Look for tax-free statements

After years of paying taxes, the last thing retirees want to do is keep paying withholding taxes on their savings. The government has granted allowances for seniors to have tax-free income and savings up to certain limits. There is currently an automatic exemption of $193,440 per year once retired, an additional $45,000 per year if you are over 65 and an additional $45,000 per year if you are a pensioner. Call the Taxpayer Audit and Assessment Department at 922-3470 or visit your nearest tax office to learn more about the documents you will need to apply for a tax exemption.

In addition to claiming tax credits, you can also invest in tax-free accounts. Everyone has the right to invest up to 1 million Jamaican dollars each year in a tax-sheltered account and receive interest tax-free. These investments must be held for five years to be tax-free, but you can take 75 percent of your interest periodically. The extra 25 percent stays in the account in case you have to break the five-year contract. So, instead of losing that money to withholding taxes, you’ll be able to receive that extra amount in a few years.

These are just a few of the ways you can take control of your retirement funds. Next week we’ll look at how retirees can spend less money and meet their needs by earning more income.

Copyright © 2006 Cherryl Hanson Simpson

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