If you have recently retired, congratulations! You have joined the nearly 30 million retirees who have recently entered retirement. While this is such an exciting time for most Americans, you may have some fear about retiring, because you aren’t sure you will have the finances to continue to enjoy retirement. If you are in the process of retiring, you need to know that there are financial resources available to help you through retirement. Here is more information about your financial options during retirement.
Use Your House to Generate Income
If you have paid for your home, you can use it to generate monthly income, or you can receive a lump sum. Reverse mortgages allow you to use the equity in your home. You can figure out how much income you could generate from your home by using a reverse mortgage calculator. If you have a reverse mortgage, you get cash for your house, not move out, and not pay a mortgage. You may be able to alleviate a lot of your stress through the reverse mortgage process.
Look At Councils on Aging
Many states have councils on aging, and large local cities have councils on aging as well. In many states throughout the country, councils on aging can provide a lot of financial services free of charge. For example, councils on aging have financial counselors that will help you do your taxes for free. Also, counselors can help with debt counseling, loan repayment, scam or fraud alerts and other financial matters.
Councils on aging have a lot of functions, depending on the community. They hold medical clinics, they provide food and supplies to seniors who are struggling, and they provide information on additional resources in the community. If you aren’t sure whether you have a council on aging, you should check with your local and state community leaders.
American Association of Retired Persons
Originally, the AARP was a lobbying organization campaigning for the rights of seniors. Now, the organization offers a retired person tons of information and help. If you are struggling with financial issues, AARP can offer you all kinds of discounts. The organization has discounts for members on home and car insurance, phones, hotel and restaurants, and flights. AARP is also a great place for information on financial hardships and things you can do to trim finances, pay off debt, and stick to a budget.
Consumer Debt Counseling
If you are feeling overwhelmed by debt, you may want to get some credit (or debt) counseling. Many states have credit counseling services that are available for retired people for free or at a greatly reduced rate. Credit counseling services can work with your creditors and establish a payoff plan. This is amazing because it means you don’t have to talk to the creditors yourself. Instead, you’ll entrust the credit counseling agency to work for you. However, there are drawbacks to credit or debt counseling. The largest drawback to credit counseling is that you’ll most likely have to cut up your credit cards. If you are really in over your head financially, this is the perfect solution for you.
Over the past 50 years, churches have noticed that their parishioners were struggling with debt, especially medical debt. Many churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religions have debt counseling available to their members free. The churches may have a debt recovery program, or they may agree to contribute to paying off your debts in exchange for service work. If you regularly attend church services, you may want to ask your pastor about debt counseling.
Scam Alerts and Aid
One of the most prevalent problems with seniors in the past 10 years is that they fall victim to scams. Research shows that hundreds of thousands of seniors fall victim to scams each year and lose over a billion dollars yearly to scams. Scams can be local, but increasingly they are perpetrated on the elderly from scamsters overseas. Scams can take many forms. For example, you may get a text, email, or phone call from someone who claims to be a relative, and they insist you send them money–usually through untraceable debit cards or money orders–to bail them out. If you are a widow or widower, you could also be targeted for a scam by someone who wants to go out with you to take your money. If you are worried that you might be the victim of a scam, nearly every state has a department that can help you with fraud and prosecution of scamsters.