Get your finances fit for summer

Southeast Texas Financial Planning for SeniorsGet your finances “fit” for Summer!

For many Golden Triangle senior citizens, summer is a time of vacations:

  • Day trips across the state to San Antonio, Big Bend, or Galveston
  • Family reunions with loved ones we haven’t seen all year.
  • Southeast Texas senior road trips with grandkids to destinations like Six Flags and Lego Land.

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Summer is also a time when SETX seniors tend to overextend our budgets in order to do as much as possible and pay little attention to how it affects our overall financial plan.
There are many different areas of your finances you could explore, but breaking it down by task usually makes the process more manageable.

Balancing a budget 

Eighty-five percent of people in a survey of 1,000 Americans with between $50,000 and $250,000 in investable assets plan to track and manage their budget over the next six months, according to the Merrill Edge Report.

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To begin creating a budget, figure out where you’re currently spending money and if there is any discretionary spending you can cut. Look at how often you eat out for lunch, how many coffees you’re buying, and how many magazines and cable subscription services you’re paying for. You may be surprised – $10 items that cost $10 per week add up to $400 each month – or $4800 a year. Once you have a full picture of where your money goes each month, decide what you need and what you might be able to spare. Put the rest toward your goals like a summer getaway. The best part about financial planning for Southeast Texas seniors is that when it works you get to do something fun – live visit your grandkids or take a cruise. 

Saving for Southeast Texas retirement 

It’s no secret that for Southeast Texas senior citizens, retirement savings is one of the most important financial plans you need to have in place. Sixty-eight percent of the survey respondents say they are focusing on their retirement savings in the next six months. If you feel behind, you’re not alone. Given the economic climate, 57 percent now expect to retire later than they planned one year ago, according to the Edge Report.

So how can you get on track? Start by deciding the type of lifestyle you want to have in retirement. Will you travel or relocate? What expenses, like a mortgage, will you still have? Once you set your goals and know what you’re working with, you can use one of many retirement calculators online or speak with a financial planner to estimate how much more money you need to save and invest and how old you’ll be when you can retire, given your current plan. Then adjust your plan – and your savings – appropriately.

Paying off debt

Getting rid of debt is also a high priority for Southeast Texas senior citizens. Sixty-seven percent of people say they’re focusing on managing their debt in the next six months. Too much debt can prevent you from reaching your financial goals so it’s important to take an honest look at paying it off.

Tactics to employ for paying off debt include:

  • focusing on paying the debt with the highest interest rates – such as credit cards – first, then paying down those with lower interest rates like student loans.
  • Some people may be more encouraged by paying of debt with the lowest balances first, and then working their way toward larger balances.
  • Overall, staying committed to wiping out your debt is very important, because otherwise it will simply continue to grow.
  • Need more help? Try the Dave Ramsey Plan at Financial Peace University – very popular with Southeast Texans for financial planning.

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Paying for children’s college education

If you have kids, you’re probably thinking about how you will pay for their college. Fifty-six percent of parents have paid or expect to pay more to send their first child to college than they had expected when the child was first born. This is a huge issue for Southeast Texas parents – and often SETX grandparent’s are involved as well.

Families should plan around their unique situation, such as your child’s goals and your family’s current finances. Unfortunately, the majority of people plan to rely on their personal savings, while others take out student loans or rely on scholarships or grants. However, using personal savings alone could be detrimental to your own long-term plans, so a combination of a few tactics may be a good strategy.

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Getting your finances fit for summer is isn’t easy-especially with all the temptations of warm weather:

  • Renting or buying a beach house on Crystal Beach or Galveston
  • Cruises out of Galveston to Mexico, Belize, the Florida Keys, and the Bahamas
  • Road trips to watch the Astros at ballparks across the country

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But if you put in the work and set a budget for your summer, Southeast Texas seniors will feel even more relaxed knowing your vacations and day trips are not at the expense of your ultimate financial goals.

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Zebulon Lowe Answers Questions about Reverse Mortgages

Many Southeast Texas seniors are finding financial planning help in reverse mortgages.

A reverse mortgage allows you to access the equity in your home.

Reverse mortgages offer a number of financial planning options and tools for Southeast Texas seniors:

  • Your reverse mortgage can be used to pay off your current home – or to buy a 2nd home closer to your grandchildren
  • A reverse mortgage can help prepare for unexpected expenses like a broken air conditioner or home care for yourself or your spouse
  • Reverse mortgage proceeds can be used to explore your love of travel – airline tickets, an RV, or a cruise
  • You can use money from your reverse mortgage to fund your grandchildren’s retirement accounts

For many Southeast Texas seniors, their reverse mortgage provides a financial buffer, allowing their other retirement savings to last significantly longer.

In The Golden Triangle, many seniors get answers about reverse mortgages from Zebulon Lowe.

Zebulon is with Open Mortgage, and he is based right here in Southeast Texas.

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Is a reverse mortgage an ideal Southeast Texas retirement planning tool for you?

Call Zebulon Lowe today to find out.

He’d be happy to answer any of your questions and to help you decide if a reverse mortgage would be a good retirement planning tool for you.

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We hope you have enjoyed today’s feature: Southeast Texas Financial Planning for SeniorsGet your finances “fit” for Summer!

We look forward to bringing you more Southeast Texas retirement planning tools.

You can “like” SETX Seniors on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive the latest Beaumont senior news, events, and financial planning tips right on your cell phone or iPad.

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