What are some ways to increase retirement income?

I am 74 years old and retired. I do not have a pension or a 401(k). I have a modest Social Security income and some assets. I have $200,000 in cash to invest and $80,000 I keep as a reserve. I've paid off the mortgage on my home. I don't have any debt from credit cards or car payments. The value of my house is abut $550,000. What can I do to increase my retirement income?

Retirement, Real Estate
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December 2017

Hi!  You’ve done everything right in your financial plan – way to go. The other advisors have great advice on how to possibly bring in more money including:

  • Reverse mortgage
  • Renting out a room in your paid-for house
  • A “pure” or “straight-life” annuity
  • Investing in dividend-paying stocks (although stocks carry risk and companies can stop paying dividends at will)

One other thing to maybe consider is moving to a smaller, less expensive house or condo, although with the housing market so strong, a new place in a safe part of your current area might be too expensive. It is also stressful to sell/buy a house and move at any age and the older one is the harder! You are doing well now in taking care of a home and of yourself, and you can likely continue to do so for many years or even for the rest of your life. However, it is also possible that somewhere along the line in the next decade or two you may not be able to keep up with home maintenance or you may need caregiver assistance for your basic living activities. Many people (including myself!!) would prefer to remain in their own homes and pay people to come to us and take care of us – clean, do home maintenance, provide personal care – than to go live in an institutional setting, but the less-labor-intensive you can make your home the better.

You may also want to think about moving to a less expensive part of the country and/or nearer to family/close friends not to burden them that they would fully take care of you but to be near people who can check in on those who you are paying to take care of you. Having people who care about you pop in and check up on you while paid strangers are assisting you increases your safety and ease of mind. Downsizing your living situation would free up money for you to use for expenses and reduce your property taxes and maintenance costs which in effect would be a way to increase retirement income. You don’t say if you have long-term care insurance, but if you do, most policies pay for in-home care as well as going to a facility, so that may help defer expenses as well.

I hope this helps a bit, and I hope that you are enjoying a happy retirement! Please write back if we can offer more advice!  Thank you.

December 2017
December 2017
December 2017
December 2017