Gabrielle Olya

JUN 20: BEST FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE

June 20, 2022

Things to start getting rid of before retiring

An article by Gabrielle Olya, writing for GoBankingRates via Yahoo! Finance, notes that when we retire, we tend to downsize, both in terms of our living space and – for nearly all of us – our income.

Her article identifies 25 things we can sell prior to retiring, in light of the twin truths that we may not only be living in smaller quarters, but with less income.

First, she suggests, is your home. By selling off your current abode, “you can use the funds to buy a smaller place or put the money toward rent and deposit any leftover money into savings. Downsizing your home can not only save you money, but it also can save time and effort because you have a smaller property to maintain.”

You won’t, she continues, need your fancy work clothes anymore, and may be able to get some dollars for them at a consignment shop. With more time and workout options at hand, maybe the home gym equipment can be sold off as well, Olya writes.

Another area for downsizing is the garage, she notes. “Even if you’re done paying off your car, it can still be a major expense between gas, insurance, maintenance and repairs. If you and your partner each own a car, consider selling one of them. Even if you only have one car, it might be cheaper to sell it and get around using rideshare services or public transportation.”

Consider, Olya suggests, selling off “bulky furniture” if you are moving to a smaller place; this can be done easily via Facebook Marketplace or Kijijii, or you can go “old school” and sell via consignment shops.

Other things the article mentions that can be sold off include holiday decorations, old computers (that still may be worth something), old kids’ toys that your adult children (or their kids) don’t want or need, the book collection, and, notably “collectibles and antiques.”

“Like books, collectibles and antiques can take up a lot of space that you might no longer have if you downsize your home. It’s fine to hold onto a few things with sentimental value, but assess whether these items would be worth more to you if you turned them into cash for your retirement savings,” writes Olya.

For years, Save with SPP had a large collection of boxed items that made the move, years ago, from Barrie to Waterloo, and on to Toronto and finally Ottawa. When we finally had time to open all the boxes up, we found it was mainly keepsakes and low-value collectibles that mostly ended up at Value Village. So take inventory of what you have boxed up in the basement, and see if any of it has resale value or can be gently donated. Your future you will thank you.

The money you save through this process will give you more spending power in retirement. And if you trim back on things before retirement, this newfound money can form – as the article says – a part of your long-term retirement savings. If you’re a Canadian with registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) room, consider the Saskatchewan Pension Plan (SPP), a voluntary defined contribution plan that may be just what you’re looking for to help you save. You can contribute up to $7,000 a year to SPP, and can also transfer up to $10,000 annually from other RRSPs. Check out this made-in-Saskatchewan solution today!

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Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.


Here’s what you shouldn’t do once retirement arrives

March 26, 2020

We spend much time seeking out great value-adding, life-enhancing things one can do in retirement. But here’s a worried thought – what shouldn’t we be doing in our life after work?

Save with SPP had a look around with a different theme, this time – what not to do!

The USA Today newspaper lists a number of things to not do in your crucial first year of retirement.

A key mistake, the newspaper notes, is “not having a financial or life plan.” David Laster, a U.S. financial author, is quoted in the article as saying “only 42 per cent of workers try to calculate a budget before going into retirement. If you don’t do that, that leaves you vulnerable to some unpleasant surprises in retirement. And it can be painful.”

Other things to watch out for in year one, USA Today adds, are overspending, claiming government benefits too early (you get more the longer you wait) and being too conservative with investments.

At the Yahoo! Finance site, author Gabrielle Olya adds a couple more – ignoring inflation, and not seeking the advice of a financial planner.

“Although the inflation rate seems minimal, it still affects how far your dollar will go,” she writes. “This is especially true for money held in fixed savings accounts, which unlike money in certain investments, will lose value over time.”

Going it alone on finances, she warns, may mean you are “losing out on how to improve (your) financial readiness.”

The Gilbert Guide blog adds a few more, including having too many cars, moving at the wrong time, and getting “sold or scammed on services you don’t need.”

Try to avoid having multiple vehicles, the blog suggests. One will do for most retired couples.

Moving is a very important consideration as well, the blog notes. According to retirement specialist Bill Losey, who is quoted in the article, “many people relocate based on a couple of specific factors, such as low real estate costs or low taxes, then discover that other costs more than eat up their savings.”

Losey goes on to say in the article that if you make an expensive move – then change your mind and move back where you started from – the move is even more costly. Before choosing a retirement move, the blog advises, consider “hidden costs” such as property taxes, sales taxes, grocery costs, and other basics. Staying put may make more sense, the blog advises.

Save with SPP has noted a few other things. If you consider your retirement to be an unending vacation of travel, meals out, expensive hobbies and doing new things, you may run out of money before you run out of ideas. It is perhaps better to think of retirement as being a permanent weekend – you won’t be going into work, sure, but you won’t be jetting to the south of France either. You’ll be shovelling the driveway and trying to get the wretched filters to stay in the range hood after you’ve cleaned them. It’s important to be practical, and enjoy life within your means.

A nice feature for folks who save for retirement via the Saskatchewan Pension Plan is the fact that it offers life annuities when you retire. With an annuity, you get a pre-set payment every month for the rest of your life. You can never run out of money, and SPP allows you to provide for a surviving spouse or beneficiary as well, so you can pay that security forward. Check them out today.

Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock. He and his wife live with their Shelties, Duncan and Phoebe, and cat, Toobins. You can follow him on Twitter – his handle is @AveryKerr22