As the holiday season kicks off, the National Retail Federation expects holiday spending to be healthy even with recent inflationary challenges. They are forecasting holiday retail sales during November and December will grow 6% to 8% over 2021 to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. Holiday retail sales have averaged an increase of 4.9% over the past ten years, with pandemic spending in recent years accounting for considerable gains.1
However, for older adults on a fixed income, increasing the amount they spend may not be an option, and instead are looking to trim their holiday expenses and for alternative gift ideas to give family and friends.
Easing the Financial Stress of the Holidays
To trim down your holiday expenses, consider some of these creative alternatives which can leave more money in your pocket and let you enjoy the holidays.
- Have a list of who you will give gifts to this year to avoid overspending.
- Have a fixed amount of what you are willing to spend and how much on each person. You should factor in your own personal expenses and monthly budget, so you don’t spend money you’ll need for bills.
- Shop off-price retailers and discount stores that have a wide selection, especially during the holidays.
- Shop local. Many local merchants have unique offerings at reasonable prices.
- Consider handmade gifts or meaningful gestures for loved ones can have more meaning than a store-bought items. Think about tapping into your hidden talents, whether it’s baking cookies and fruitcakes, writing a heartfelt note, or knitting a scarf.
Fixed Income? A Reverse Mortgage may be able to Help
If you are 62 years and older, a reverse mortgage loan can help homeowners unlock the equity in their home and provide access to cash through a lump sum (only available on the fixed product), monthly payments, or even a line of credit. It can help increase your monthly cash flow by eliminating your existing monthly mortgage payments.5
If you are living on a fixed income, a reverse mortgage may help. To find out if this is an option for you call 1 (800) 976-6211 to speak with a licensed loan advisor.
2 Your current mortgage(s) and any other existing liens against the property must be paid off at or before closing. You must live in the home as your primary residence, continue to pay required property taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintain the home according to FHA requirements. Failure to meet these requirements can trigger a loan default that may result in foreclosure.