Living on a Budget, Saving Money/Retirement budget

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Question
Hello and thanks for your time.

I am retiring early at the age of 63 on Dec 31, 2015 due to a corporate change at my job. And will get my first Social Security check on Feb 17, 2016. I signed up for Jan 2016, but they pay over a month late, based on my birthday.

I didn't expect that, I thought I would start getting SS on Jan 1, 2016. So it has kind of set me back mentally and financially a bit.

I have money saved up in the bank that I will use for 8 months of health insurance and other things, and an ESOP pension from my job coming in July 2016. The ESOP gets paid to me over a 5 year period. When I get the first ESOP payment, I will take  out enough money to cover health insurance costs until I turn 65 and get Medicare.

I will have to live off my savings for Jan, and Feb 2016. I will need about $5,000 for those two months.

My first Social Security check comes Feb 17, 2016 and I thought I would save it and start using it for March 1st.

So I am disappointed that I have to use two months of my own money to live on until SS checks arrive.

So, my question is: should I save the first SS check for March 1st, or start using it on Feb 17 when it gets deposited in my checking account?

I am just trying to figure a way to rethink my new, lower income, and find a way to "prosper" with less money.

Thanks again, your time is much appreciated.

Answer
Congratulations on retiring!   My first thought is to start living on the money when you get it. You will use the amount you need from savings or from that check. I would start living on it as soon as I get it and not touch my savings unless I needed it.  Another tip would be to start now living on the amount you will be receiving as if you are retired and save any that is left over for the months that you will not receive your check. The two hardest parts when going to a smaller income are , 1. the mental switch which brings in some fear and doubt.  We as humans tend to worry about things that never come to pass. Start that living on your future lower income now and you will knock out some of the emotions associated with it. 2. Actually having less money will change your life style some.  Start now and begin plan for the switch.  Some things you need to do are reduce the unnecessary things that you no longer need to do.  Shop your insurances and services you pay for now that you may want to keep.  See if you can get better prices on them. Sale anything you don't, and may never use again, such as boats, things you may have thought you had to have and never use.  

Make sure you budget monthly and plan for annual expenses way in advance so you dont have to dip into savings when they become due. Let me know if you have anymore questions and enjoy your retirement. You may even think about starting a small business you always wanted to do.  You will have the time to now.

Living on a Budget, Saving Money

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Tim West

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Budgeting, credit, collections, basic insurance and investing. Small business budgeting basic will and estate planning.

Experience

Financial coach since 2009. Help coach people in personal and small business financces.

Education/Credentials
Head of financial ministries at Grace Fellowship of Augusta,Dave Ramsey Certified financial counselor and 20 years of doing it my self.

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