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21 Ways Boomers Waste Their Money In Retirement

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When people retire, they want to relax, move to a quiet neighborhood, and spend the money they’ve worked hard to save their entire lives. However, in this day and age, it isn’t quite that simple. With high inflation and an increasingly competitive real estate market, seniors need to be more careful with how they’re spending their hard-earned cash.

1. Not Taking Advantage of Senior Discounts

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One area that seniors might be missing out on saving money is senior discounts.

Check Out Some Public Attractions

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Most museums and other public attractions offer a senior discount for people ages 65+.

2. Making Expensive, Unnecessary Home Upgrades

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Home renovations, especially unnecessary ones, can really eat into one’s retirement budget, especially with the cost of materials these days.

Don’t Get Scammed Into Paying More

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Make sure if you’re looking into making any changes, make sure you have enough money, and you’re getting the best deal.

3. Spending Too Much on Adult Children

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Most people love their children, but one shouldn’t have to bear the burden of supporting their adult children using their retirement money. In fact, it should be the other way around.

Retirees Need the Support

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Adult children should do their best to support their elderly parents, especially when they go into retirement.

4. Buying a Brand New Car

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Buying a brand new luxury car isn’t a smart investment for anyone, but especially for someone who isn’t in the workforce anymore and likely never will be again.

Not Worth the Costs

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Cars depreciate in value as soon as you drive them off the lot. A luxury car isn’t worth the high monthly payments, sky-high insurance rates, exorbitant maintenance fees, or the premium gas you’ll need to put in it.

5. Having Credit Card Debt

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Nothing sucks your money-and soul-like credit card debt. With the soaring interest rates, credit cards are becoming more expensive than ever, especially if you accidentally miss a payment.

One Is Probably Enough

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If you don’t need more than one credit card, there is no reason to keep racking up and paying off debt.

6. Investing Long-Term

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This one is pretty self-explanatory. Seniors don’t have the decades of life ahead of them that younger investors do, so making long-term investments isn’t as wise of a financial choice as it might have once been.

Consult and Advisor

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If you’re wanting to invest some money somewhere, consult with a financial advisor and see if there are any shorter-term investments you could look into.

7. Owning Multiple Vehicles

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If it’s just you and your wife, or even just you, there isn’t really a need to have multiple cars.

Not Worth It

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Cars are expensive, their maintenance is expensive, and if you don’t absolutely need more than one, you should seriously consider downsizing.

8. Living in a Home That Is Unnecessarily Large

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If there are only two of you, there really isn’t a need to retire in a mansion. The mortgage, property taxes, and upkeep aren’t really worth it when you don’t actually need that much space.

Stick With the One Story

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Especially for seniors, who would likely do better in a one-story house where there isn’t a risk of falling down stairs.

9. Entertaining Costly Hobbies

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There are plenty of hobbies retirees pick up that can drain one’s bank account at alarming rates. Cars, boats, and rare collectibles, to name a few.

Keep an Eye on Your Coffers

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Make sure you’ll have enough money over the long term to be able to afford a hobby before you pick it up.

10. Overspending on Insurance

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Oftentimes, insurance employees will try to sell you unnecessary packages so they can collect the highest commission.

Don’t Get Oversold

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Make sure you actually need all of the insurance that comes in the package before making the purchase. 

11. Being Too Generous

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We all want to be able to tip waitresses $50 and not have it hurt our wallets or donate as much as we can at church.

Can You Afford to be Nice?

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However, you need to be mindful of how much you can afford to give away, lest you accidentally give away everything.

12. Owning Multiple Homes

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When you’re a retiree, especially one who doesn’t move around a lot, it might not make financial sense to own more than one home, especially if the other home is in a different state.

At Risk Flyers

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Seniors are at a much higher risk of catching sicknesses during travel, and it will not be as safe to go to the other home as it might have once been.

13. Spending too Much on Healthcare

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Some seniors will continue to pay for private health insurance, even though they could save a lot more money through the state program or Medicare.

Shop Around

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Look carefully at all available plans before making your decision. There could be a better deal out there.

14. Eating Out Too Often

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Eating out is one of the best ways you can waste money. Making it a habit to go out to eat can be a whirlpool to your bank account.

Learn to Cook

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Even if you’ve spent your entire life saving for retirement, is it really worth it to blow all the money in two years on fancy dinners that only last as long as they’re in your digestive system? 

15. Cashing Out Pensions

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It might sound nice to have an extra pile of cash laying around, but if you decide to cash out your pension now, you might have to end up paying thousands of dollars in commission to your financial advisor.

Sleep on It

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Make sure to think long and hard before making the decision to withdraw your pension.

16. Making changes to their Home

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Making unnecessary upgrades using retirement savings can deplete funds that are crucial for the future. It’s advisable to assess if such projects are essential and explore alternative funding sources rather than tapping into retirement accounts.

17. Falling Victim to Scams

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Retirees can be targeted for scams, fraud, and identity theft. Staying informed about common scams and being cautious with personal information can help prevent financial losses. One of the easiest ways to avoid scams is by ignoring messages from strangers that seem to offer deals that are “too good to be true.”

18. Investing without Risk Analysis

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Retirees should prioritize lower-risk investments. Consulting a financial planner can aid in making informed investment decisions that align with their risk tolerance and financial goals. You’d rather take time analyzing a business venture than investing blindly

19. Not Distinguishing Between ‘Wants’ and ‘Needs’

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It’s essential for retirees to differentiate between necessary expenses and discretionary spending. While occasional indulgences are acceptable, overspending on non-essential items like the latest gadgets or branded clothing can impact long-term financial security.

20. Paying More Taxes Than Necessary

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Planning for taxes is crucial in retirement. Seeking advice from financial advisors can help in strategic tax planning, potentially reducing tax burdens and preserving more retirement savings.

21. Overpaying for Utilities and Services

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Retirees might overspend on cellphone plans and utilities. Exploring discounted plans for seniors and periodically reviewing service bills can help identify potential savings opportunities. Before spending on a plan, ensure to analyze your usage behavior first.

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