Good news! Statistics show that people in Asia are living longer, in fact between 2010 and 2050 the number of adults in Asia over the age of eighty years will have grown from 47 million to 228 million.
For you this means after spending many years working hard, you want to now sit back and relax during your golden years. No doubt you’ve made a long list of all the things you finally want to do once you retire, and now want to spend this time enjoying yourself and spending time with your family. And what you definitely don’t want to worry about is your finances. This can be easier than you may think, it just takes a little bit of planning and then the rest will follow. Read on to find out how to manage your finances as you head towards retirement and ensure you are secure and happy in the years to come.
Working out a budget
Once you hit retirement, that monthly salary that kept adding to your account balance will stop and you will probably need to keep a more careful eye on everything you spend. But this should not be something scary. It can be very simple if you are organized. A simple way to start is by creating a realistic budget that you can stick to - whether daily, weekly or monthly – whatever works for you. Now you need to prioritize your outgoings, sorting out the ‘must haves’ from the ‘would likes’. Do you need to have that coffee from a cafe every morning, or could you make your own at home? Do you need to drive or take a cab to your local shop, or can you walk or get public transport? And be honest with yourself and your limitations from the start or you’ll only get into difficulties later.
If you really need a car, then by all means, make sure you factor your wheels into your monthly budget. When it comes to your monthly spending, remember the budget you have drawn up. If you use a debit card it is easier to spend within your means since each time you spend, the money is drawn directly from your bank account - you buy now, you pay now. Transactions on your Visa debit card can be tracked on your bank's website or over the phone and your monthly account statement will provide full details of your purchases, including merchant name, location, date and amount. Keep track of your receipts and check them against your bank statement. This does not take long to do and it pays to be organized! If you have never used your bank’s internet banking facilities, go to your nearest branch and ask them to guide you or provide a demonstration. You’ll be amazed at how easy it can be to bank online and you’ll wonder why you didn’t take it up sooner!
Just because you need to be careful with your money, it doesn’t mean you cannot have any fun. In fact, these should be some of the best years of your life when you can finally take some much deserved ‘me time’. You just need to prioritize what you spend your money on. You may want to treat your grandchildren every month or you may wish to travel twice a year. Take the budget you have drawn up and begin to prioritize what you need and the top things you want to do with your money. Do this the SMART way by setting yourself goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-related.
Specific: Be specific on what you want, for example “I want to buy my granddaughter a new bicycle.”·
Measurable: Give your goal a benchmark. For instance the bicycle costs $150 and your granddaughter’s birthday is eight months away. Put aside an easy $20 a month and come August, you won’t feel the pinch. ·
Attainable: Make your goal realistic. Saying you want to get the top of the range bicycle may not be attainable with $150. Instead think about what is within your means.
Relevant: The goals have to make sense to you. It’s not practical to work toward a goal that doesn’t fit your need. Of course, the need here is purely to treat your loved-ones! ·
Timely: Set a definite target date. Set a date, for example your granddaughter’s birthday, and work towards it.
These SMART goals can be applied to anything you want to set your mind to, from birthdays and treating your family to trips abroad and taking up that new hobby you’ve always wanted to try.
Try something new – and go and enjoy your well-earned money!
If you have always had a tendency to use cash a lot in your daily life, this may be the best time to learn about the best alternative to cash - a debit card. While being a great way to look after your money and not worry about overspending, debit cards trump cash in many respects - it's more secure, easily replaceable even if you lose it without having to worry about losing any of your own money and being accepted in places that cash isn't. In fact, usage of debit cards is growing fast because people find it a quick, convenient and safe way to spend their well-earned money and banked people around the world are increasingly relying on debit cards to pay for purchases.
If you already prefer to use cards rather than cash, you may already know that most banks only offer credit cards based on your annual income. If you are not earning a regular salary, it may be a challenge to get a credit card. With debit however, it is directly linked to your bank account so there are no issues with your bank having to offer credit, plus you still get all the benefits of credit – it can be used online, in shops, over the phone and it can be used around the world for when you decide to take that overseas holiday.
Furthermore, you can avoid carrying large amounts of cash around with you so your retirement funds are protected. So take a load off your feet and impress your grandchildren with your skills at buying your essentials and paying bills on the internet or over the phone. It means you don’t have to queue up at banks or merchants and can spend more time enjoying other activities! Savings from online merchants and group-buying sites means the fun stretches on for you and your loved ones. Looking after your finances does not have to be difficult, time-consuming or boring. With a little organization and smart spending you can look after your bank balance and still enjoy every moment of these Golden Years!
Brian McGrory, Head, Consumer Debit Products – Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, Visa