You’ve worked hard your entire adult life to try to provide yourself a retirement that concentrates on enjoying your life rather than the daily grind. However, now that you’re within arm’s reach of that retirement, or even in the midst of it, the thought of outliving your money may keep you awake at night.

Short of a time machine to go backwards a few decades and increase the amount you set aside for retirement, you may be limited to what you can do to increase your asset base without exposing yourself to excessive risk in the markets. However, that isn’t to say that you are completely powerless and without the ability to further stretch your money. Here are a few tips that can help you make the most of your retirement budget and try to start enjoying your golden years rather than staying up at night with worry.

Know Where You Stand

Starting a lengthy road trip without knowing how much gas you have in the tank is a great launching point for a miserable vacation. Use that same premise with your retirement budgeting to know where you stand. Get organized and meticulously record all of your assets and debts as well as income and expenses. Stretching your money to help make sure you don’t outlive it entails a fully-informed approach that is increasingly possible with greater financial bearings.

Appropriate Housing

The retirement crowd is filled with empty-nesters that stay in their home long after the kids have moved out simply out of familiarity. Once you reach that point in life, however,revisit your housing needs to make certain you’re not financially burdening yourself with too much house and the accompanying high utility bills. Depending on your equity situation, downsizing might even allow you to add to your finite asset base.

Close the Bank of Mom and Dad

This one should be much more obvious than it is. While helping your children – even once they’re adults – might be nice in theory depending on your perspective, retirees that are trying to stretch their money as far as possible should seriously consider permanently closing the Bank of Mom and Dad. While certain circumstances might, of course, call for financial assistance, most retirement budgets simply can’t absorb grown children using their parents as ATMs.

Other than these tips, being selective and frugal with entertainment and vacation spending is another budget line item that can help stretch your retirement money. No matter what your particular circumstances might be, try to work towards a balance between enjoying your retirement years to their fullest and being financially responsible to your own future.

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Gary Marriage Jr. is the founder and CEO of Nature Coast Financial Advisors, which educates retirees on how to protect their assets, increase their income and reduce their taxes. Marriage is a national speaker, delivering solutions for pre-retirees, business owners and seniors on the areas affecting their retirement and estates. He is an approved member of the National Ethics Bureau, and has been featured in “America’s Top Hometown Financial Advisors 2011” and was selected to contribute to a book with Steve Forbes titled “Successonomics”


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