retirement planAfter decades of working hard, you are definitely ready to retire. While you are looking forward to some carefree days doing what you want to do with your time and catching up on all of the tasks you have been putting off until retirement, you are also a bit concerned about having enough money for your golden years.

Fortunately, if you are careful with your funds and make some prudent financial decisions, you can definitely grow older in a way that is relaxing and enjoyable as well as financially secure.

Manage and save with a fixed income

If you will be receiving a pension and/or Social Security payments, it is wise to come up with a workable budget for your new fixed income. The first thing you should do is determine exactly how much you will coming in; one bonus of a fixed income is that you can predict your income for months at a time. Then, make a list of all of your monthly expenses, which can include rent or mortgage, utility bills, groceries, insurance and car loans. Next, jot down all of your non-essential living expenses, including vacations, eating out, and services like landscaping and housekeeping. If your fixed income covers both non-negotiable and non-essential bills, great! If not, no worries — focus on which variable expenses you can trim back on or eliminate. Use budget software like Mint to see where your money is going and where you can save, and strive to spend 50 percent of your income on essentials, 30 percent on variable expenses and put 20 percent into savings.

Avoid identity theft

The senior demographic is a popular group for identity theft. In general, older adults are not as likely to check credit scores as younger people, and sometimes seniors have a larger savings account or higher credit card limits that make you attractive to online thieves.

To avoid identity theft as much as possible, make copies of insurance cards and leave the originals at home — then, block out the last four digits of your Social Security number. This way, if your purse or wallet is stolen, no one will have access to your sensitive info. Also, instead of tossing credit card offers into the trash — even if you rip them into two or more pieces — invest in a shredder and shred them, along with bank statements and all other documents and letters with your personal info on them. Investing in an identity theft protection plan can also help provide comprehensive coverage and peace of mind. This type of service will closely monitor all of your accounts 24/7 and immediately alert you to any activity involving your personal data. Since you will be busy enjoying retirement, an identity theft protection plan can give you priceless peace of mind, knowing that a reputable company has your financial back.

Consider switching to lower risk investments

If you have played the stock market for years or have money tied up in somewhat risky investments, it may be a good time to meet with a financial planner to see about moving at least some of your money into more stable options. As U.S. News and World Report notes, a good rule of thumb is to subtract your age from 110; the number is the percentage of your portfolio that can still be invested in stocks. Your financial planner can advise you on IRAs, bonds, CDs and other options for at least part of your savings.

Enjoy retirement — you deserve it!

After all of your hard work, you deserve a blissful retirement. By getting your financial ducks in a row, doing what you can to avoid identity theft and working with a financial planner who can advise you on the best types of accounts for your money, you can relax and enjoy your golden years in financial prosperity and peace.

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