No matter how much of a nest egg you’ve saved up for retirement, it’s important to maintain a sharp financial focus even after you’ve left the working world. This means being smart with your money – not just in terms of how you spend it, but how you manage and grow it in retirement.
Part of your focus should be avoiding common mistakes in retirement that could cost you money down the road. Beyond that, you should look for ways to bolster your savings with an eye toward remaining financially secure during what could be a decades-long retirement.
Here are seven money moves to help keep your retirement funds secure.
Delay Claiming Social Security
Although you can file for Social Security benefits as early as age 62, the best move is to wait as long as possible. For example, research shows that waiting until age 70 to collect instead of age 62 will boost your monthly payment by more than three-quarters. If nothing else, you should at least wait until full retirement age to ensure you get the full benefits you are due.
Stay Organized and On Budget
This is a good idea no matter your age, but it’s especially important in retirement. Shawn Plummer, CEO of The Annuity Expert, recommends making a list of assets such as bank accounts, retirement accounts and insurance policies. If you have multiple checking or savings accounts at different banks, consider combining them into a single account to get the best service, convenience and amenities. You can do the same thing if you have multiple IRAs or 401(k) plans. Similarly, minimizing your expenses (e.g., using one credit card rather than several) can simplify your budget and make it easier to stick to.
Keep Cash and Bonds at the Ready
According to a blog on the Synovus Financial website, it’s a good idea to put a certain amount of your portfolio into cash and bonds to protect yourself in the event of a prolonged stock-market slump. Synovus recommends keeping one to three years of cash in the bank and an additional three to five years of bond investments to cover living expenses.