Retirement ideas for penny-pinching clients
Advisory clients on a budget can enjoy fun and adventurous retirement years with the help of their advisers.
Some low-cost ideas include traveling in an RV, living abroad, turning a car into a money-making machine, home sharing or house sitting, to name just a few.
“An adventure retirement can combine two great things -- exciting travel and low-cost living --and is in reach of many retirees if they have the imagination to look for it," says Larry Luxenberg, principal of Lexington Avenue Capital Management in New City, N.Y.
Some retirees have discovered that their cars can be a source of income.
Their third act? Uber drivers.
Driving with Uber is a great way to earn cash on one’s own schedule. Positions can be either part-time or full-time.
Other similar ride-hailing services include Lyft.
Meanwhile, traveling with an RV is a popular way for clients to save on travel costs.
A 2014 vacation cost comparison study by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association found that a four-person travel party will save 27% to 62% when traveling by RV, and a two-person travel party could save 11% to 48%.
Spontaneous travel is part of the RV allure.
Currently, 23 million Americans travel in an RV each year.
For those who don’t want to hop into an RV, AARP is a lodestone of information on alternative-retirement strategies and tips on saving. The frequently visited AARP Travel Center contains discounts on airline tickets, hotel reservations, along with flights and vacation packages. (visit expedia-aarp.org).
Finally, another way to cut retirement costs and make money at the same time is by renting out space in one’s home on either a short- or long-term basis.
One New York couple, both in their 70s, who requested anonymity, started renting space in their home to students six years ago, which helped defray their monthly costs. They augmented their yearly income, on average, before taxes, by about $10,000.
The university students were ideal renters, the couple says, because they were usually in residence just for the school year.
On the other hand, retirees can monetize their space on a short-term basis by joining the Airbnb network.
Another resource is the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens (nyfsc.org), a free home-sharing program that allows seniors share their homes or apartments to cut costs. There are similar programs throughout the country.
Of course, advisers can play an important role in helping clients “rebalance their portfolios regularly to get an appropriate asset mix,” because they could easily live another 30 years, says Scott E. Couto, president of Fidelity Institutional Asset Management.
“Advisers can also help investors examine how they can best manage expenses during retirement,” he says. “If downsizing is in their plans, start plotting a move to their retirement home sooner rather than later.”
As they approach retirement, “encourage clients to do a gut check” Luxenberg says. “It may turn out your clients’ dreams are actually the most practical way to achieve a comfortable and affordable retirement.”
This story is part of a 30-30 series on tools and strategies for retirement.