Expenses Cutting into Savings?
For those who are getting close to retirement years, there are ongoing expenses that put a major dent in retirement savings. There are ways to increase retirement sources without increasing your income, and they have to do with monthly ongoing expenses that can be reduced.
Your mortgage is most likely your largest debt, so if you can refinance at a lower interest rate, you could save a significant amount of money that can go toward your retirement savings. Experts say if you can reduce your rate by a least 1%, refinancing probably makes sense. You should also look into refinancing other loans you have such as your automobile.
Credit cards are another source of debt that eats into your retirement savings. The average household pays over $2,600 in credit card interest every year that could go toward retirement savings (Source: Investopedia.com, September 15, 2017). Ask your credit card company for a rate reduction or transfer balances to a lower-rate card. You can also look for a card that offers a 0% interest rate for 12 to 18 months.
Most people probably don’t think they can save significant money by becoming more energy efficient, but you’d be surprised. If you make home modifications, such as weather-stripping, caulking, using a programmable thermostat, switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, insulating your hot water heater, and reducing your water heater setting to 130 degrees, you could save up to 20% on your utility bills.
According to experts, there are things you can do to cut your annual grocery bill in half. Strategies include making a grocery list and sticking to it, buying advertised specials, using both paper and electronic coupons, buying items in bulk, and stockpiling when they are on sale. Also, if you take your lunch to work and stop buying that morning coffee, you could save approximately $1,900 per year.
First, shop around for less-expensive car insurance and look at raising your deductible, if that makes sense for your family. Also, if you are in an area with good public transit, the American Public Transportation Association says you could save up to $9,600 per year (Source: Investopedia.com, September 15, 2017).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average American spends $2,800 per year on entertainment (Source:Investopedia.com, September 15, 2017). Take a serious look at what entertainment expenses you can cut or reduce. Think about things you may not be using, such as subscriptions to newspapers or magazines, club memberships, a different cable package, or cell phone plans. By employing some of these strategies, you could be putting thousands more toward your retirement savings. It’s certainly worth doing the math to see how much more you could be saving.
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This newsletter was prepared by Integrated Concepts Group, Inc. The opinions expressed in this newsletter are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation. The views expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by PlanMember Securities Corporation. Material presented is believed to be from a reliable sources and PSEC makes no representation as to it accuracy or completeness.