The old saying ‘money can’t buy happiness’ is not necessarily true. My contention is that money can absolutely contribute to a higher quality of life, which in turn can contribute to a higher level of happiness. And at no time in our lives is this more important than retirement, because it’s unlikely most of us will be able to increase our income by going back to work in our 70’s or 80’s.

Whether you’re approaching retirement, or have been retired for many years, income is crucial to your financial security, and even to your very health. Many studies have shown insufficient income during our working years, but particularly during retirement, can cause worry and insecurity in our day to day living, which can lead to ill health over time.

I hope the following will give you some ideas about how you can increase your retirement income, enhance your quality of life, and contribute to your happiness now, and in the future. So without further ado, here they are.

1. Tax Reduction: Where to start? How about at the beginning? Almost everyone can save significant amounts of tax just by making a few modest tweaks and adjustments to their financial strategies. For example, are your stock dividends and CD interest earnings being taxed even though you’re not spending it all? What if you could receive interest income and save a bundle in taxes at the same time? This and other tax saving strategies could go a long way toward increasing the amount of money you have to spend each month.

2. Income AnnuitiesBuy an income annuity, designed to pay you a tax advantaged lifetime income at a higher rate than many conservative investments, even if you live to be older than Methuselah.

3. Life SettlementsAre you insurance rich and cash poor? Convert your life policy into a living benefit, enabling you to access cash long before your final ride off into the sunset.

4. Conservative and Moderate: Allocation Mutual Funds Invest a portion of your assets in the rock solid world of No-Load Conservative and Moderate Allocation mutual funds, some of which posted positive returns during even the darkest days of the recent ‘Bear’ market.

5. Reverse MortgageConvert ‘lazy’ money trapped in your home equity into an excellent long term cash flow, enabling you to enjoy greater income and financial security without putting your cash in any high risk investments.

6. Real Estate Lending: Be a real estate lender, generating potentially double digit cash flow to you. You can even use your IRA to accomplish this.

7. Real Estate Ownership: Own real estate properties generating 6% to 7% cash flow to you, with the very real potential of increasing over time as rents increase. An additional benefit is the aches and pains of property management could be transferred to a professional while you stretch out in the hammock, walk the greens of your favorite golf course, or cruise the worlds oceans, all the while receiving those nice checks directly to your bank account. (See #6 above)

8. Separate Asset Baskets Maintain separate accounts for specific purposes. For example, place money for emergency needs in liquid money market accounts and short term bank CD’s.

Use another account like income annuities for regular monthly income. An additional account with a brokerage firm could be used to purchase Conservative and Moderate Allocation mutual funds for growth and future income needs.

The purpose of developing and managing your financial affairs in the above manner is to maintain your financial independence and a high quality of life throughout your retirement years. By following these steps you can accomplish many objectives.

First, you will always have sufficient cash reserves at your fingertips if and when needed with your money market account and bank CD’s.

Second, you will have sufficient retirement income and be able to avoid withdrawing income from variable accounts during market declines. And finally, your variable accounts have the potential to grow for future use to handle the ever rising cost of living.

This article was written and published by Steve Hood 8/12/200707. Updated 11/19/2019