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An enjoyable, stress-free retirement is the end goal for many workers, but once you ride off into the sunset, you’ll still have to plan your finances. Without a regular source of income, except perhaps a pension or Social Security, you’ll have to rely on making the most of every dollar that you’ve saved. With a few lifestyle adjustments, however, you can free up some space in your retirement budget and enjoy yourself more without making major sacrifices. Here are a few ways you can still enjoy retirement even if you’re on a budget.
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Start a Small Side Gig You Enjoy
Yes, most people look forward to retirement as an end to their work life, but picking up some work in a field you enjoy can offer twofold benefits.
First, you’ll keep your mind stimulated and do something you actually like. This can completely remove the “work” part of what you’re doing. Many people want to retire to get out of jobs they hate, but if you do some work in a field you love, you might be surprised how much you want to stick with it. Depending on what you enjoy and where your skill set lies, these side gigs can range from lecturing part time at a university to selling woodworking crafts out of your garage.
Second, picking up a side gig can add to your monthly cash flow, which will make your retirement funding stretch much longer. Think about it this way — if your retirement withdrawals and Social Security checks exactly match your expenses, the extra $500 or $1,000 per month or more you pull in from your side gig will be completely discretionary income. This means more vacations, more time with family, more concerts or ball games or whatever you enjoy doing, making for a stress-free retirement.
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Many retirees have a fixed income once they decide to stop working. Although Social Security payments are indexed annually for inflation, you generally won’t be growing your income in retirement like you were doing during your work years. One easy way to effectively get an income boost is to move to a more affordable area. Imagine, for example, moving from Manhattan, New York, to Manhattan, Kansas. On the same amount of income, you can likely enjoy a much more extravagant lifestyle. Certainly, you’ll need to have the personality to make such a switch, as those two cities could hardly be more different. But if you don’t mind the change of pace, housing, …….