Certain retirement purchases, like big houses and expensive boats, are often regretted by retirees.
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However, there are other purchases that act more as investments. Here are eight purchases every retiree should make before retirement.
Home Improvement Items
Kimberly JC Enders, CFP at Enders Wealth Management, said one of the most common purchases she sees retirees making prior to retirement are large home improvements. These are usually items in the $20,000 range, such as a new roof, replacing windows or repairing structural issues.
“Going into retirement means learning to live on a fixed income,” Enders said, “so getting all the big-ticket items purchased in the last few years of traditional employment can help smooth out the bumps when making, and sticking to, a retirement budget.”
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While many retirees defer to Medicare for their health coverage needs in retirement, Medicare doesn’t cover most dental care needs. This means a lack of coverage for procedures and supplies like cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, dentures and dental plates.
Retirees may be able to pay for certain dental services with Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), but this pays only for hospital stays if you need to have emergency or complicated dental procedures. Enders recommends investing in major dental work before retirement begins.
Once you turn 50, you’re eligible to sign up for an AARP membership.
Retirees are encouraged to join AARP to receive access to member discounts, products and services. Some of these discounts apply to groceries, meal delivery services and online gift retailers. Additional information and resources are available through AARP to help protect your health, family and career. An AARP membership is $12 for your first year when you sign up for automatic renewal.
From signing up for Medicare to investing in auto insurance, insurance packages are critical for retirees. These policies help protect your personal assets and improve your quality of life.
While this is not necessarily a purchase, retirees may look into opening a health savings account (HSA) while they are still in the workforce. An HSA uses pre-tax dollars toward future medical expenses, so you can take the account with you if you leave your job. It will continue to grow tax-free and may be used as a retirement account.
Retirees interested in diversifying their retirement portfolios may consider purchasing treasury bonds during their first few years of retirement.
Treasury-issued securities, such as Series I Savings Bonds and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS), are not subject to interest-rate swings. These bonds may help protect your cash, which does not have much inflation protection.
When it comes time to retire, Andrew Rosen, CFP at Diversified LLC, recommends investing in a pair of comfortable athletic shoes or sneakers.
“Staying active is such an important part of your life, particularly in retirement,” he said, “and having a good pair of athletic shoes will keep your feet in tip-top shape for whatever type of physical activity you prefer, like walking or playing sports.”
A good pair of athletic shoes can range in price anywhere from under $100 to $200 or more, but it’s well worth the price tag. Staying active is important during your retirement — for both your physical and mental health.
Communication is key during your retirement years. Retirees should invest in reliable smartphones or landlines. Smartphones provide retirees with the ability to receive text messages and access important emails.
America the Beautiful Annual Pass
Your early retirement years may include plenty of travel to destinations across the United States, such as national parks. Enjoy the beauty of these parks while sticking to your budget by purchasing the America the Beautiful annual pass.
You may purchase this annual pass for $80 through the U.S. National Park Service. Each annual pass can have up to two “owners” and is valid for one year. Pass holders receive access to more than 2,000 recreation areas managed by five federal agencies.
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