5 Tips for Seniors Struggling in Retirement

Updated on September 23, 2020

Retirement can be a time of leisure, relaxation, spending time with family, and reminiscing on a successful career and life well-lived. However, for many people, retirement can also be a struggle. Whether they are having a difficult time making ends meet due to dwindling retirement savings, they experience loneliness due to distance family members, or medical issues are keeping them down, retirement isn’t always easy. 

While there’s no cure-all, and everyone’s situation is unique, there are some steps that every retiree can take to make their retirement easier and less of a struggle. Let’s review 5 ways that seniors struggling in retirement can find relief. 

Consider your retirement funding options

Many retirees might not realize that they have many options when it comes to funding their retirement. While the most common, and most hassle-free, is saving up throughout your career, this really only works if you’ve actually saved up for your entire career. For those who haven’t, securing funding can be a headache. 

Luckily, there are other sources of cash for retirees than retirement savings. Whether you opt for a reverse mortgage or look into an annuity, there are other ways to ensure you have enough money to settle down for retirement. If these options aren’t attractive to you, don’t worry; there are still further ways to find a source of retirement funding. 

Think about starting an encore career

Just because you left your day job doesn’t mean you have to stop earning money entirely. Many seniors and retirees find it both lucrative and fulfilling to start an encore career, either in the industry where they previously worked, or in a new area. Here are some options:

  • Continue on as a consultant: Offer advice to young professionals and newer businesses through an online consulting platform.
  • Monetize a hobby: Are you a master furniture builder? Or do you make gorgeous jewelry? You might consider starting an online store and earning cash that way.
  • Get in on the gig economy:  See the sights around town and earn extra cash by driving for a ride hailing app or food delivery service. 

If you’re unable or unwilling to work for some reason, then it’s important to know about your other choices. 


Look into government aid programs

Thanks to the social safety net the government has in place, there are programs that help seniors save money in retirement and reduce the cost of day to day expenses. Financial help for seniors comes in a number of different forms, all of which are important to keep as a resource in case you fall on hard times during your retirement. 

  • Housing resources, like publicly-funded housing, is available in many cities and towns, and seniors struggling to make rent payments often are able to utilize these resources. 
  • Food resources, like SNAP, can help seniors who struggle to pay the grocery bill. Nonprofit services that deliver food to seniors are also often an option. 

In addition to public services offered to seniors, there are private nonprofits that also provide help to those struggling in retirement. Be sure to look up resources in your local area to see if there are any services that can help you financially. 

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Volunteer with your community

Many seniors might have their financial lives well set-up during retirement, but struggle to have a fulfilling life for other reasons. Whether it’s because family has moved far away, friends have passed away, or because they derived most of their meaning in life from their career, retirees can sometimes experience loneliness. 

One way to keep loneliness at bay is to find a local community or church group that you can volunteer with. By offering your time and services, you’ll feel productive and accomplished, and you’ll have the opportunity to meet and connect with other retirees, as well as younger people, who you can feel close with. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help

Ultimately, many retirees’ struggles become very difficult emotionally. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t hesitate to find a quality therapist who can help you work through your struggles. No one is ever too old to seek professional help, and for many, working through their problems with a trained mental healthcare practitioner is exactly what they need to experience more joy in retirement. 

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