The baby bird has flown the coop. Whether your child moved out to go to college or start a career, it may feel strange for you to make the transition to becoming an empty nester. Embrace the change – what’s ahead can be an exciting (and even financially advantageous!) time. Use this opportunity to get reacquainted with yourself, nurture other relationships, and cushion your retirement and savings account.
Empty nesters and savings: what you should know
1. Anticipate change
Life changes call for a new budget. You’ll experience significant adjustments in certain categories, like groceries, with fewer people under your roof. Make sure you don’t cancel out savings by funding bad habits, like eating out too much.
Sit down and brainstorm what your new normal will look like, what categories you can expect to save in, and what you can reasonably spend on unnecessary purchases. Consider planning for any forecasted savings so you can be intentional about where they go.
2. Get a pulse on your retirement plans
You made a retirement savings plan a long time ago, but the past few years have been a whirlwind of soccer practice and homework help. You’re not alone, and now is the perfect time to take the pulse of your financial situation.
To see how far your current savings will get you, check out this retirement calculator. Once you know where you stand, turn to existing and new resources. Whether your employer matches 401(k) contributions, you’re storing away funds in a standard savings account, or you are able to put more tax-free money into a traditional IRA, you should take advantage of these plans to save.
3. Look at home for savings
Once your child is moved out, you may notice a lot of things you don’t need anymore. From an extra bedroom set to old clothes, you can collect these items and sell them at a garage sale. Minimize clutter and get some extra spending money to use elsewhere.
More space is also something to think about. You can turn a spare bedroom into a refuge for hobbies, like a sewing or workout room. But, there is a lucrative alternative to consider: renting out the room.
The fastest growing US Airbnb host population is people 60 and older, with older women fueling the increase and garnering the best rates and reviews.1 Many seniors have a desire to age in place, and this added income may help you accomplish this goal.
See how we can help
Here at General Electric Credit Union (GECU), we have a wealth of features for any stage of life. Below are a few to consider as you work to cushion your savings:
- Round-Up is a program that rounds up your debit purchases to the nearest dollar, then deposits the difference in change into a GECU savings account.2
- Money Management is our free online tool to help you budget and plan for the future. If you’re a visual person, you’ll love the way Money Management helps you analyze your spending, track goals, and more!
- Our IRA Money Market account is a tiered-rate savings option that helps you get the most out of your money.
Now is your time, empty nester! Enlist the tips above to give your money a boost during this life transition. GECU will be there with you every step of the way to help you make the most of your retirement and savings account.