Budgeting can be daunting when preparing for a transition with lots of unknowns and variable costs. While it’s not easy, it’s essential you approach this planning head-on with all the pertinent information.
“When there’s a lack of predictability, budgeting can be difficult,” says Lynda Marino, Marketing Director of Canterbury Woods. “That’s why we work with older adults to identify the lifestyle options in our community that match their financial portfolio. With a better idea of their choices, they can more easily make budgeting decisions.”
Here Is a Simple Guide To Setting Up a Budget
Think about your budget as a living document that can adjust to different circumstances. Often, there are many moving parts, and a change to one variable influences decisions related to another.
Consider All Variables:
Timeline: When would you like to move to a senior living community? What will your savings and investments look like at this time? It might be smart for you to pinpoint a few acceptable timelines and calculate your financial situation based on each scenario.
Retirement Goals: How does your ideal retirement differ from your lifestyle now? What expenses or savings might this bring? Do you prefer a senior living community with an entrance fee and predictable monthly costs or a fee-for-service model?
Senior Health Care Services: Consult with your doctor about potential conditions you may face and ways you can reduce risk. Also inform yourself about what Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) offer. Long-term care at a CCRC could save you money and offer stable monthly service fees.
Inflation: Unfortunately, inflation depreciates savings and raises the cost of everyday goods and services. This can have a negative effect on your plans.
Set Up a Working Document
However you start your budget, make sure it’s in an easy-to-access format. You can outline it by hand, set up a spreadsheet, or download a helpful budgeting app. Whatever your method, you’ll want to include the following:
Income sources: Include net income from a job, Social Security, a pension and other investments. Then subtract any necessary taxes or deductions.
Fixed Expenses: Fixed expenses are the costs that do not typically change. Monthly fees like mortgage payments, insurance premiums and loan repayments are typically fixed expenses.
Variable Expenses: Variable expenses are those that change from month to month, according to need or changing prices. Examples are groceries, gas and utilities.
Actual Expenses: Track your spending so you can compare it to your plans and goals. This is one way you can find ways to save money.
Debt: Make sure you outline money you owe – whether it’s credit card debt or a car loan. These debts can impact your financial goals.
Make Your Budget Work for You
Once you’ve laid out your budget, analyze your numbers and make goals accordingly. Here are some easy next steps:
Identify Savings Opportunities: Whether you cancel extraneous subscriptions or make an effort to spend less at the grocery store, small changes can support your long-term goals.
Manage Your Debt and Savings: Calculate how long it will take you to pay off debt based on your current repayment plan. Then assess your current savings patterns. Changing some repayment or savings behavior could affect your retirement options.
Revisit Your Budget Regularly: It’s important you prioritize your budget as you prepare for a move to senior living. Having a monthly or weekly budget meeting can help you track your expenses and refine goals.
Canterbury Woods Gates Circle. A Retirement Lifestyle That Fits Your Budget
Discover the right residential option for you at Canterbury Woods Gates Circle. First, take our Financial Gauge assessment. Once you’ve taken our assessment, we invite you to schedule an appointment to discuss all your options for living at Canterbury Woods. We’ll use our comprehensive financial projection tool to determine costs specific to your situation, and answer any questions you have.