Long-Term Retirement Planning Tips for Single Parents

Being a single parent is perhaps one of the most challenging jobs in the world. When you have to go flat out all the time just to keep an even balance, you possibly come to accept that retirement is possibly a luxury beyond your reach. The good news is that with a lot of determination and some planning, you can build up enough wealth for a planned retirement. Some useful tips:

Make a Budget

To make any sort of financial plan, it is important for you to have a budget; depending on your ability and inclination, you can use a sheet of paper or one of the many online tools or spreadsheets that are available. Very often, even if you have a decent income, you are left with nothing in the bank at the end of the month and have absolutely no clue where all the money has gone. According to the USFDA, you will need to spend in the region of $233,610 just for the essentials like food, clothing, healthcare, housing, education, and transport. You need to figure out how much money you have and how much you are going to allocate to each of these heads, and also to keep something away for emergencies, vacations, and entertainment. Once you are able to pinpoint where your money is being utilized, you will no longer be in the dark.

Watch and Cut Down on Spending

When you are the person in charge, you are always under pressure never to cut back and deny your children anything. Sometimes, you also tend to compensate for other things by overspending on them. If you indulge in such emotional gestures regularly, your budget can go for a toss. Of course, you will not want to compromise on the essentials of life like food, shelter, clothes, transport, and utilities, but you will need to draw a strict line as to what is necessary and what is a luxury. Whenever possible, try to choose the more economical option; you might need to do a little more planning but the savings that you achieve at the end of the day will definitely make the effort worthwhile.

Ensure That You Don’t Take on Debt

As everyone knows debt can often seem to be a simple solution to your financial problems and it is all too easy to swipe your card or take on a personal loan to buy something or incur expenditure. However, since it can be very difficult to pay off debt, it is better not to enter into the quagmire. If you already have multiple credit card debt that you are finding difficult to manage, visit Nationaldebtrelief.com to learn about debt consolidation options. Also, create an emergency fund that you can dip into when there is an unexpected situation, and make sure that you keep it topped up. Try to create a surplus every month with which, you can pay off all existing credit card dues. Once that is achieved, adopt a conscious plan of adding to your emergency fund so that you are better placed to handle emergencies. Once you have around six months of expenses in that fund, start investing in a tax-advantaged retirement account.

Consider a Job Change

If you are feeling comfortable in your existing job, making a change can often seem very drastic. However, it is quite likely that your income will not be growing at a very fast clip if you stick to the current job. While there is no need to make a sudden move, you should always be alert to new jobs where you can use your skills and experience better for better remuneration. However, you must be sure that the change you are making is to an employer that is stable and has a reputation for good employee relations as you should never find yourself in a situation where you have to either sacrifice your integrity or be without a job. If you find that your existing qualifications have become dated, consider enrolling in an evening or online course to upgrade your skills so that you can qualify for better-paying jobs. Look out for the many scholarships and grants that are available so that paying for the course does not strain you financially.

Go in For a Second Job to Add to Your Income

If you think a job change is not possible or even advisable because of the security, stability of income, and other facilities that you may be enjoying, you can explore the possibility of adding a second income in the time you have after your day job. You don’t necessarily have to step out of the home and wait at restaurant tables; there are quite a few ways in which, you can work from home so that you can continue to spend quality time with your children. All you need to is to figure out what you are good at and find out your target audience; there are online platforms that you can use to find customers.

Move into a Smaller Home or Rent Out

If you live in a home that is larger than you actually need, you can consider moving out into a smaller one. You will benefit by a lower mortgage payment and save on the utilities and general upkeep. Otherwise, you can let out your spare room either on rent or even offer a bed and breakfast accommodation to guests. Both options can bring you quite a lot of money, help you to save on the common costs, and may even provide you with good company.

Conclusion

Embarking on a retirement plan, while keeping your family on an even keel, can be a very difficult job. If your kids are old enough to understand, you should definitely discuss with them about what you think you should all do as a family so that things go right for everyone in the long-term. Explaining that you are focused on saving for retirement will also help them to come on board and teach them a valuable lesson about thrift that they will find handy in their own lives later on.

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