What the experts say
Adjusting to a new cash flow
Retiring often means a change in your cash flow, but making the jump to a monthly income from Social Security or pension payments “shouldn’t be too difficult for many seniors,” said Maryalene LaPonsie in USNews.com. It does, however, require a careful look at your budget. Ideally, you should start planning for the transition before you retire, paring down fixed expenses. It’s also smart to set aside a financial cushion that will cover at least two to three weeks’ worth of expenses, to give yourself some wiggle room while adjusting. Rearranging bill payments to line up with monthly checks can also make budgeting “significantly easier.” Retirees who liked getting paid biweekly while working can “replicate the experience” by having their retirement checks deposited into a savings account, then setting up automatic transfers to their checking.
Vetting your movers
There are a lot of shady movers out there, so “take the time to find a moving company you can trust,” said Ilyce Glink and Samuel Tamkin in The Washington Post. The first step is to figure out whether you’re dealing with a broker or an actual moving company. The latter will be able to provide you with an estimate and a contract. Insist on a written, binding quote, which will include a cost estimate with the phrase “not to exceed,” followed by the amount. “You want to understand exactly how much is due up front and how much upon the delivery.” You should also ask the company to detail any additional fees, like those for moving valuable objects. Finally, “if the moving company you call says it only accepts cash, hang up.”
An ally against elder abuse
“With the right planning, financial professionals can be another line of defense against elder fraud,” said Kelli Grant in CNBC.com. Older Americans lose some $36.5 billion each year to various abuse schemes, often involving third parties or family members trying to access seniors’ accounts. “A financial pro may be the first to spot the problem.” When looking for an adviser, ask what protocols are in place to deal with suspected elder abuse, “and what training, if any, they have received to recognize the warning signs.” Most firms should have an employee responsible for reporting concerns about fraud or exploitation to outside authorities. Seniors should also put their adviser in touch with a trusted contact, so they can reach out about any concerns. ■