With their wealth of wisdom, experience and achievements, seniors have plenty of life lessons to share. Especially when it comes to financial advice. In celebration of National Seniors Day (21 August), here are some financial gems many seniors have lived by. Making their golden years gleam with happiness and contentment.
START SAVING EARLY
No age is too young to start squirreling some funds. Whether you’re saving for short-term goals like your dream vacation or long-term goals like retirement. Many wait for the time when their earning affords them some surplus fund. But as Robert Kiyosaki famously said, “It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep.” So, stop making excuses for being unable to save. Start by regularly putting aside 10% of your earnings into a savings account. Soon you’ll be growing your nest egg with the power of compounding. Also make sure you have an emergency fund. Once you've got this covered you can invest your extra fund to buy insurance. Not only do you get protection from life's uncertainties, you can also benefit from its cash component which you can use to pay your debt or make a downpayment for a house. Check out Mercado Global for insurance that fits your needs.
BE CAUTIOUS WITH CREDIT
Having lived through economic shocks from the Great Depression to the 1973 Oil Crisis and the 2008 Financial Crisis, seniors know that when times get tough, taking credit makes you vulnerable. Unemployment, house foreclosures and bankruptcies happen. But if you need to take on debt, make sure it’s necessary like getting a mortgage. For more frivolous purchases like clothes shopping or holiday spending, it’s best to keep your card and pay in cash. Yes, you read that right: cash. It’s a great way to keep your finances in check. Because if you don’t have the cash to buy something then you couldn’t afford it. And if you want to buy it, then you need to save for it. Now if you want to use your card to earn points, just make sure that you pay your monthly balance in full. This saves you from paying interest while earning reward points. Should you find yourself burdened with debt, however, don't hesitate to get expert advice. For over 15 years, Financial Rescue has been helping many get out of debt.
DON'T SPEND MORE THAN YOU EARN
When you live within your means, you pave the way toward a life of financial freedom: free from debt and free from stress. But what exactly does living within you means entail? More than just controlling impulse purchases, you need to align your lifestyle with your overall income by prioritizing your expenses and sticking to a budget based on your earnings. Don’t mistake your credit card for extra cash. At the end of the day, it’s debt that needs to be paid monthly. Use it only for emergencies or - as mentioned above – when you can pay the balance in full.
Seniors have a can-do attitude thanks to some practical skills they acquired when they were young. Whether its sewing, cooking, gardening, furniture making. With these, they were able to save money by doing things themselves while creating an opportunity to earn extra by leveraging their new skill.
CHOOSE PEOPLE OVER STUFF
While money is important, seniors will tell you that what matters most in life is having a wealth of meaningful relationships. Be it family, friends or with the community you live in or serve. In Karl Pillemer’s The Legacy Project, older people would ‘unanimously caution that time spent getting a lot more stuff than you really need is time wasted.’ Because the key to happiness isn’t the amount of money you have in your bank account but having loving relationships that make you a better person.