After years of seemingly endless school events, grocery bills that could feed an army, and the hustle and bustle of family life, your house has suddenly become quiet. You’ve become empty nesters. You must adjust your spending and budgeting habits along with this significant lifestyle change. Let’s dive into how to revise your budget when you become are empty nesters.
#1- Determine your new income and expenses
Are you or your partner planning on retiring soon? Has your income changed in any way? Examining your income is the first crucial step to reshaping your budget. Now that the costs associated with bringing up children have significantly decreased or disappeared entirely, it’s vital to reassess spending. For instance, consider the smaller grocery bills, no more school tuition, managed healthcare costs, or one less mobile phone on the family plan.
#2- Tackle debt
Before focusing on anything else, aim toward decreasing or paying off any existing debts. These debts may include mortgage payments, credit card debts, or loans taken out to cover education costs. Prioritizing debts can free up your income and make other financial decisions easier.
#3- Set new goals
Many new empty nesters find themselves with a surplus of money compared to their previous budget. Adjusting to your new lifestyle includes setting new goals and determining how you want to spend this ‘extra’ money. You may want to renovate your home, or you’d like to travel. Now would also be an excellent time to revisit your retirement savings plan. Should you increase your contributions? These are all great goals to consider while revising your budget.
#4- Accumulate additional emergency funds
Previously you may have experienced unexpected expenses pop up when you least expected them. As an empty nester, you’re not immune to this. You must allocate some of your income toward an emergency fund. This safety net can be vital in a crisis or if you or your spouse face unexpected health issues.
#5- Plan for future healthcare costs
It’s no secret that this expense can grow as you age, so consider this part of your revised budget. Investigate any changes in your insurance coverage, mainly looking for potential savings, given that your children are longer on your policy.
#6- Embrace minimalism
With an empty nest comes the opportunity to declutter your home and your life. Decluttering also means reassessing your spending habits and eliminating unnecessary things. A minimalist approach to your budget can help ensure you live within your means and focus on what’s truly important to you.
Revising your budget when you become an empty nester can be daunting. But if you take the time to assess your income and expenses and focus on these ideas quickly, you can navigate this transitional phase of life more successfully.
Ultimately, becoming empty nesters shouldn’t be seen as a negative, regardless of much you may miss the chaos of a full house. Instead, view it as an opportunity to refocus spending and saving and set new financial goals to work toward during this exciting stage of life.
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Our family financial services firm, August H. Velten & Associates, has been in business for 12-years in Melbourne, FL. August Velten (CLU) is a 40-year veteran of the Financial Services industry. August is a former instructor for the Life Underwriter Training Council and once occupied the legislative seat for the Maine Association of Life Insurers. In Brevard County, you may have seen him on local access TV or read one of his articles in a local area magazine. Jessica Waterhouse, August’s daughter, left her own practice to join the firm in 2019. Jessica is a Florida licensed insurance producer, securities licensed (Series 65), a long term care specialist (CLTC) and holds certification as a National Social Security Advisor. Both August & Jessica are instructors for financial literacy workshops in both Brevard and Indian River County offering education in Social Security and Financial Planning. Contact the office today to schedule an introductory meeting or review of your current financial plan.
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