Your 27-point retirement checklist


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It’s never too early to start thinking about retirement. In fact, the more you do now, the easier retirement will be. Retirement can be a daunting prospect if you don’t have a plan. For example, do you know how much you’ll get from Social Security? And, will your money outlast you?



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You can make sure that you have the money you need to live financially independent in retirement by planning ahead.


27 things to do before retirement

This article will cover the 27 things to do before retirement. While much of this can be done on your own, a lot of it should be done alongside a professional.

1. Consider your housing needs

Those about to retire should start thinking about whether they want to downsize or move to a  retirement community. It’s best to consider your options and decide what is best for you. If you plan on staying in your home, it’s often best to make sure that it is paid off before you retire.If not, you’ll be stuck with a mortgage payment that could put a damper on your retirement plans.


It might also be a good idea to consider whether you want to move to a retirement community. These communities have many benefits that can make retirement more enjoyable.For one, you’ll be surrounded by people in the same stage of life as you. This can provide companionship and support during retirement. Retirement communities also offer social and recreational activities to keep you active and engaged.

2. Create a “retired” budget

Once you retire, your income will likely change. You will probably have less income if you’re no longer working.


The budget should include all your expected retirement expenses, such as housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. But don’t forget birthday and anniversary gifts, presents during the December global holidays, or even the odd gift to yourself.


Also, don’t forget to include a cushion for unexpected expenses. And don’t forget to account for inflation. These days, prices always seem to go up. So, you’ll need to make sure your retirement income can keep pace.

3. Calculate the expenses you’ll have to make once you retire

One of the things to do before retirement is to calculate the expenses you’ll have once you retire. These expenses include things like housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. Indeed, costs will be different than they are now.


Consider the 50-30-20 rule. This rule suggests spending 50% of your income on essential expenses, 30% on non-essential expenses, and 20% on savings and debt repayment.

4. Save like crazy

Retirement planning is all about saving as much money as possible now to have enough money later. The sooner you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. If you’re not already doing so, start contributing to a retirement account as quickly as possible. Social security will only get you so far. So, the earlier you start saving, the less you’ll need to save each month to reach your retirement goals.


Suppose your employer offers a retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k), make sure you’re contributing enough to take advantage of any employer matching contributions. Employer matching contributions are free money that can help you reach your retirement goals faster.

Even if you’re not able to contribute a lot each month, every little bit helps. The key is to start saving now and be consistent with your contributions.

5. Top up your emergency fund

An emergency fund is a separate savings account that you can use for unexpected expenses.

Experts agree to save 3-6 months’ worth of money for living expenses. This will help you cover unexpected costs, like medical bills or home repairs.


You can open an emergency fund account at a bank or credit union. And, be sure to look for an account with low fees and a reasonable interest rate.

6. Keep adding to retirement savings

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you should stop saving for retirement. If you can do so, keep contributing to your retirement savings. If you have earned income, you can even continue contributing to your traditional and Roth IRAs.


Together with your financial advisors, you can determine the best time to start withdrawing from your retirement savings accounts.

7. Get out of debt

Debt can be a retirement killer. If you’re carrying a lot of debt, it’s essential to get it paid off before retiring. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with monthly payments that could damage your retirement plans.


One of the fastest ways to get out of debt is to start by reducing your credit card usage. Doing so will reduce your monthly expenses and allow you more money to save for retirement.

There are a few ways you can reduce your credit card usage.


  • Use cash instead of credit,
  • Transfer your balance to a lower interest rate credit card (To save on interest), and
  • Set up a budget and stick to it.


You can use the debt snowball or debt avalanche method to pay off debt. With the debt snowball method, you first focus on paying off your smallest debts. With the debt avalanche method, you first focus on paying off your debts with the highest interest rates.

8. Seek loan forgiveness if you still have federal student loans

If you still have federal student loans, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness. Loan forgiveness is when the government pays off your student loan debt. You may qualify for loan forgiveness if you work in a public service job or are disabled.


To learn more about loan forgiveness, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

9. Plan for changes in your medical insurance

If you’re retired or nearing retirement, it’s essential to plan for changes in your medical insurance. You may be eligible for Medicare, but it’s vital to understand your coverage and its cost. Also, be aware of the gaps in Medicare coverage to plan accordingly.


You may also want to consider purchasing a supplemental insurance policy to help cover your health care costs.

10. Improve your Social Security knowledge

If you’re retired or nearing retirement, it’s essential to understand how Social Security works. This includes knowing when to start taking benefits and the amount of fixed income you can expect from Social Security benefits.

Social Security provides a fixed income for your entire life that can help cover your living costs. The amount is based on your earnings history. The more you’ve worked and the higher your income, the more significant your retirement benefits will be.


Also, Social Security can start sending your fixed income benefits as early as age 62. But if you wait until your full retirement age, which is between 66 and 67 depending on when you were born, your benefits will be larger.


For each year you delay taking benefits past your FRA, your benefits will be increased by about 8%. So if you wait until age 70 to start taking benefits, your benefits will be about 32% higher than if you had begun taking them at FRA.


You can get all the information about Social Security benefits at the official website.

11. Learn how Medicare works

Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 and over. If you’re retired or nearing retirement, it’s essential to learn how Medicare works. This includes knowing what’s covered and what’s not covered.


Medicare is a helpful program because it covers some healthcare costs that people may not be able to afford on their own. This includes hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and preventive services.


Medicare also offers peace of mind. It’s one less thing you have to worry about when it comes to your healthcare. And you don’t have to worry about losing your health insurance if you retire.


You can get more information about Medicare at the official website.

When it comes to retirement, ask the pros

Getting qualified, professional advice at any stage of one’s life is always a good idea. Professionals should be able to use their experience to take a holistic approach to your financial house. As a result, they can “look ahead” to ensure you’re well prepared for retirement.

12. Book a meeting with your financial advisor

One of the best things you can do before retirement is to get professional retirement advice. A financial advisor can help you with retirement planning. They can crunch the numbers and help you develop a retirement plan that makes sense for you.


When choosing a financial advisor, look for someone who is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). A CFP is a professional who has taken extra coursework to become certified. They must also adhere to a code of ethics.


A financial advisor can also help you with other retirement-related issues, such as investment planning, estate planning, and even life insurance coverage.


To get started, schedule a retirement checkup. This is a meeting with your financial advisor to ensure your retirement plan is on track.


You can find a financial advisor by searching the Financial Planning Association website.

13. Take stock of your assets & liabilities

Before you can start planning for retirement, it’s essential to know what you have to work with. Take stock of your assets and liabilities to get a clear picture of your financial situation.


This will help you determine how much income you’ll need to cover your expenses and live the lifestyle you want in retirement. It will also give you a better idea of when you can retire and how much retirement savings you’ll need.

14. Adjust your portfolio for income

If you’re retired or nearing retirement, it’s critical to make sure your investment portfolio is income-focused. This means investing in assets that will generate retirement income, such as bonds and dividend-paying stocks. It goes without saying that passive income sources will be a key driver in your retirement budget.


You can work with a financial advisor to help you adjust your asset allocation for income. They can help you choose suitable investments for your retirement goals.

15. Determine retirement withdrawals

Another critical retirement number to be aware of is your retirement withdrawal rate. This is the percentage of your retirement savings you can safely withdraw each year without running out of money.


There are a few different ways to calculate your retirement withdrawal rate. But a good rule of thumb is to withdraw no more than 4% of your retirement savings each year.

16. Crunch your retirement numbers

One of the most important things to do before retirement is crunching your retirement numbers. This includes estimating how much monthly income you’ll need and how long your retirement savings will last.


You can use retirement calculators to help with this. Or you can work with a financial advisor to get a more accurate estimate. Either way, it’s essential to have a good understanding of your retirement numbers before you retire.

17. Have a long-term care plan

One of the biggest retirement concerns is how to pay for long-term care. Long-term care costs can quickly eat away at your retirement savings. If you’re not prepared, you could have to sell your home or dip into your retirement account to pay for care.


A long-term care insurance policy can help you cover long-term care costs. If you’re healthy and purchase a policy while you’re young, you can get coverage at a much lower price.

18. Estate planning

Estate planning means having a plan for distributing your assets after you die. As a result, it’s an integral part of retirement planning. Your estate plan will determine what happens to your assets after you die. If you don’t have an estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to your state’s intestacy laws.


An estate plan can also help you preserve your assets and minimize taxes. A well-crafted estate plan can help you ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone.


There are a few steps to consider as part of your estate planning:

  • Make a will. This document specifies how you want your assets to be distributed after you die.
  • Review your life insurance coverage. Life insurance may or may not be needed in retirement. So, it’s worth considering!
  • Create a trust. A trust is a legal entity that holds your assets for the benefit of another person.
  • Name a beneficiary for your retirement accounts. This is the person who will receive your retirement account balance when you die.
  • Review your life insurance policy. You may need to adjust your coverage as your needs change.


19. Brush off the life insurance policies

If you have life insurance policies, now is the time to look. Make sure you have enough coverage to meet your family’s needs in the event of your death. You may also want to consider changing your beneficiary if your situation has changed.


Now is also an excellent time to review your will and make sure it reflects your current wishes.

20. Pay attention to taxes in retirement

Retirement taxes can be a big surprise for many people. If you’re not prepared, they can take a big chunk out of your retirement income. You can do a few things to save money on taxes in retirement. This includes taking advantage of tax-advantaged retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) or IRA.


You can also consider moving to a state with lower taxes. This is especially beneficial if you live in a high-tax state and are retired or nearing retirement.


There are a few states that have especially low taxes for retirees. In particular, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington do not have state income taxes.

Always talk with a qualified tax accountant for the best advice.

21. Reduce home expenses

There are two quick ways to reduce home expenses.


First, if you have a mortgage, you may be able to reduce the payment by refinancing. This is especially true if interest rates have gone down since you first got your mortgage.


Refinancing can lower your monthly payments and free up cash for retirement. It can also help you pay off your mortgage faster. Just make sure you compare the refinancing costs with the savings you’ll get.


And remember, if you do decide to refinance your mortgage, be sure to do it before retirement, as it could be a challenge getting approved once retired.


Another way to free up cash for retirement is to downsize your home. This can be a great way to reduce your monthly expenses. You could sell your large family home and move into something smaller.

22. Reduce costs on transportation

One way to reduce your costs on transportation is to sell your car. If you live in an urban area, you may not need a car anyway. You can use public transit, ride-sharing, or biking to get around.


Public transportation can benefit you in many different ways. Public transportation is a great way to save gas and car maintenance costs. It’s also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Biking is a great way to get around town. It’s a healthy, eco-friendly mode of transportation that saves you money on transportation costs.


Biking can help you stay in shape, and it’s a great way to explore your city. It’s also a great way to keep your gas and car maintenance costs low.


And, finally, it’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

23. Reduce utility costs

One way to reduce your retirement costs is to reduce your utility costs. There are a few ways you can do this.


You can install solar panels to generate your own electricity. Solar panels can save you money on your electric bill, and they’re good for the environment.


You can also insulate your home to reduce your heating and cooling costs. This is a great way to save money on your utility bills.


Finally, you can reduce your water usage to save money on your water bill. You can do this by installing low-flow shower-heads and toilets. You can also water your plants during the cooler hours of the day to reduce evaporation.

Other things to do before retirement

Planning for retirement is not just about planning to save and spend. Rather, you’ll also want to enjoy it. Here’s a few ways to make your retirement years all that much better.

24. Build a strong circle of friends

One of the best things you can do for your retirement is build a strong circle of friends and family. Friends and family can provide support and companionship during retirement. They can also help you stay active and involved in your community.


Having a strong network of friends can also help make retirement years that much more enjoyable. So start building those relationships now, and you’ll be glad you did when retirement rolls around.

25. Choose a hobby you love

One of the best things you can do before retirement is to choose a hobby you love. A hobby can help you stay active and engaged. It can also provide a creative outlet.


Some hobbies you may want to consider include:


  • Photography
  • Painting
  • Woodworking
  • Gardening
  • Cooking or baking
  • Knitting or crocheting
  • Collecting
  • Reading

Choosing a hobby can help you make the most of your retirement years. It can also help you stay connected to your passions.

26. Schedule your retirement with your partner

If you’re married or in a relationship, you should schedule your retirement with your partner. This can help you both transition into retirement and avoid conflict.


Some things you’ll need to discuss with your partner include:

  • A retirement date
  • How you’ll spend your time in retirement
  • What your retirement budget will be
  • Where you’ll live in retirement
  • Your retirement goals


Scheduling your retirement with your partner can help you both enjoy a smooth transition into this new phase of life.

27. Decide what’s on your bucket list

One of the more fun things you to do before retirement is deciding what’s on your bucket list. A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die.


Some things you may want to put on your retirement bucket list include:

  • Travel to new places
  • Learn a new skill or hobby
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Volunteer or give back to the community
  • Spend more time outdoors
  • Get in shape or start a new fitness routine.

Creating a retirement bucket list can help you make the most of your retirement years. It can also help you stay motivated and active.

Final thoughts

Retirement may seem like a long way away, but it’s never too early to start planning for it. Preparing for retirement means making sure you have enough money saved up today to live comfortably in the future.


As discussed in this article, it’s crucial to think about both the financial and emotional aspects of retirement to enjoy your retirement years to the fullest.


This article originally appeared on and was and was syndicated by


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29 simple ways to retire early


According to the Federal Reserve, fewer than four in 10 Americans feel they are on track with their retirement savings, but some are bolstering their accounts through extreme savings strategies in hopes of retiring early.

FIRE, which stands for financial independence, retire early, is a financial movement based on three principles:

  • A significant reduction in spending
  • An increase in income
  • Smart investing

It’s important to make the right moves if you want to retire early. Most people need to make some sacrifices to their time and budget to achieve FIRE. You may have to pick up one or two of the best side hustles and completely eliminate discretionary spending, or you might take a more laid-back approach.

Whatever your tolerance for financial sacrifice, there are some simple actions you can take now that could add years to your retirement. There’s bound to be something on this list you could start doing today.

Related: 8 simple pieces of advice from Warren Buffett that any investor can use


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To get started with planning for retirement, you’ll need to know where your money’s going. Start by tracking your average expenses for a month, and use that information to create a budget:

  1. Add up your sources of income.
  2. Subtract your predictable expenses, such as rent or a mortgage.
  3. Allocate the leftover income to various spending categories.

Maintaining a budget might be difficult without the right tools, so check out the best budgeting apps and find one that works for you.


It’s helpful to have a retirement age in mind and set a savings goal that will allow you to live comfortably through your extended retirement. A general rule of thumb is that you’ll need 10 times your annual salary invested to be able to retire at 67.

But if you want to retire early and maintain your current lifestyle, you’ll need to save more than that. Plan to have about 45% of your pre-tax, pre-retirement income saved for each year of retirement. Once you decide how much you’ll need, figure out how much you’ll need to set aside each year to get there.




You might think your utility costs are fixed, but there are a number of ways you could save money on utilities. You might:

  • Install energy-efficient features in your home, such as a smart thermostat.
  • Find ways to reduce your usage, like bundling up instead of increasing the heat.
  • Check to see whether you can switch electric companies or switch to a renewable energy plan, either of which might lower your bills.


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Although the FIRE movement focuses on investing money, you’ll also need liquid cash stashed in a savings account that you can access in an emergency. This will help you avoid needing to withdraw from your retirement account or borrow money that will cost you in interest charges.

Experts generally recommend keeping three to six months’ worth of expenses in a savings account, but you might feel more comfortable with more than that during the current economic downturn. At a minimum, economists suggest having $2,467 saved in an emergency fund.

And if you open one of the best savings accounts, then your money can still earn some interest even though you’re not investing it.


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If you monitor your credit card statements, you might find charges you didn’t expect. Maybe you never have canceled that free trial of a streaming service you only intended to try out.

If you don’t want to analyze your statements, you can use a free app such as Truebill to cancel unused subscriptions on your behalf. Truebill’s team of experts can also help you negotiate your telecommunications bills and request refunds from your bank when you’re charged an overdraft or late fee.


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Have you ever purchased an item only to watch the price drop later? Many retailers have policies in place to refund you the difference when that happens. And retailers such as Amazon will even refund your order if your delivery is late.

But keeping track of these policies, while also tracking prices on items you already bought, can be quite a headache. Try using a free service like Paribus or Waldo to more easily find potential refunds. Both work by scanning your email for receipts and monitoring prices on items you’ve purchased.




The more money you contribute to your retirement plans early on, the more your money will grow by the time you’re ready to retire. When saving for retirement, experts generally recommend stashing away 15% of your pre-tax income annually. But if you want to retire early, you’ll need to contribute even more.

You might consider going beyond just matching your employer contribution and trying to contribute up to the 401(k) limit. If you still have money to save, open an IRA in addition. If you’re self-employed, you can use a SEP IRA, which has much higher contribution limits.


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Every dollar you spend provides an opportunity to earn cashback and rewards, which can help you save more of your income for retirement. There’s no reason not to use a rewards card for all your purchases. There are plenty of annual fee-free cards to choose from, but you might also consider premium cards if you know the benefits, perks and rewards can offset the annual fee.

Which card will be the best rewards credit card for you will depend on your lifestyle and spending habits. And don’t be afraid to have multiple credit cards to make the most of different spending categories. Just make sure you pay your balance off each month to avoid any interest charges.


If you have fair or bad credit, you may not be able to get a low enough rate on a personal loan to consolidate your debt, and you won’t qualify for a balance transfer card, either. But you can use a debt repayment strategy to get out of debt faster and start saving more.

The debt avalanche method involves prioritizing your highest-interest debt while keeping up with the minimum payments on all your other bills. Once you’ve paid off your highest-interest debt, whether that’s a credit card or a payday loan, you’ll move to the next highest-interest debt on the list.


Why not get paid for the shopping you already do? With Ibotta, you can get automatic cash back for your online shopping when you use the browser extension or mobile app, and there are a few in-store options as well:

  • Purchase a gift card to use in-store and receive cashback instantly.
  • Link your store loyalty card to your Ibotta account for automatic cashback.
  • Select offers in the app prior to shopping, then submit your receipts for cashback.

Ibotta partners with more than 1,500 retailers, so you’ll be able to collect on most, if not all, of your purchases. Ibotta has dished out $600 million to Ibotta users since 2012.


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Find out how your salary compares to the average for your industry in your city. You may be able to find a new position at a company that pays better, especially if you’re currently earning below average. Even if you love your job, getting an offer at another company could give you some leverage to negotiate a raise.

You might even invest in some continuing education, such as professional certificates, to make yourself more marketable to future employers. Or you could train for a different career entirely if there are limits to how much you can earn in your industry.

There are plenty of affordable technology boot camps and professional certificates, and there are even paid apprenticeships for certain careers. Just be sure to evaluate the program thoroughly and calculate whether you’ll earn enough incremental income to offset the cost.


If you’re paying high APRs on your credit cards or other debt, you might be able to save money and get out of debt faster by getting a low-interest personal loan to pay off what you owe. It’ll leave you with just one bill to worry about every month, and you’ll pay less over the life of the loan.

If you have good or excellent credit and can pay off your debt within 18 months, you might also consider one of the best balance transfer credit cards to help you pay off your credit card debt. These credit cards come with a 0% introductory APR, and some of them offer that for up to 18 months. This means you can devote more of your money toward paying down the principal.


If you move to a city with a lower cost of living, you could potentially put more of your income toward retirement. That’s especially true if you work remotely, as your salary likely won’t change.

But where should you move? Start by checking out the 25 best cities for remote workers, which were chosen based on cost of living, housing affordability, Wi-Fi speeds and various amenities.




Real estate investments can be lucrative, but they used to require large amounts of cash. These days, you can invest in commercial real estate with as little as a few hundred dollars — and there are ways to invest in real estate without buying property.

Thanks to crowdfunding, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and investing apps, we can now all make moves toward our dream of becoming real estate barons and build income for our early retirement years.


Every insurance provider weighs your information differently, so you might be able to get a better rate by switching to a new provider. Even if you shopped around before you purchased your policy, it’s a good idea to compare prices across insurance companies every six months, especially if any of your circumstances have changed.

For example, to get the best car insurance, you can get quotes from individual providers’ websites, or you can use an insurance rate comparison tool to get multiple quotes at once.




If you’ve already maxed out your contributions on your tax-advantaged retirement accounts, you may be ready to invest money in a taxable brokerage account. You’ll pay taxes on your capital gains with these sorts of accounts, but there’s no limit to how much you can invest, and you can withdraw your money at any time.

To find the best brokerage account, compare fees to get the best deal. From there, decide what combination of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) you’d like to purchase. Or you can opt to go with one of the best investment apps, which can make it easy to get started, often with a very small minimum investment.


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Don’t throw away your receipts because those slips of paper could be worth more than you think. With Fetch, you can earn rewards (think gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon and Target) just from scanning your grocery receipts.

You don’t need to pre-select offers, but you can view offers before you shop to maximize your rewards. You’ll earn a minimum of five points for every eligible receipt scanned, but you can rack up way more than that by taking advantage of bonus point offers. You’ll also get 2,000 points for referring a friend. One thousand points are worth $1 toward a gift card.




It can be a smart idea to diversify your investment portfolio with an alternative asset class, such as blue-chip art. Investments in fine art have been known to outperform the S&P 500, and you no longer need millions to get a foot in the door.

With Masterworks, you can invest in shares of paintings at $20 each, with a minimum investment of $1,000. From there, you can choose to hold onto your investment for three to 10 years until the painting is sold, or sell your shares through the Masterworks secondary market.




If you have an extra bedroom, a comfortable sofa, or even an attic space you don’t use, you can earn extra money each month by renting out your space. You might choose to get a roommate or use a platform like Airbnb, which can be one of the more lucrative side hustles in the gig economy.

If you don’t have sleeping space but you have storage space to rent out, check out Neighbor.


Drop is a free app and Chrome extension that rewards you for shopping with hundreds of retailers. In addition to shopping directly from the app, you can link a credit or debit card to automatically get points when you make a purchase at a partner retailer.

Every 1,000 points equal $1, and you can redeem your points for gift cards at top stores like Amazon and Starbucks. Use those gift cards for your everyday purchases, and you’ll have more money left over from your income to contribute to a retirement account.


Raysonho / Wikimedia Commons


As of December 2020, the national average annual percentage yield (APY) on a savings account is just .05%, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). That’s not much compared to what some high-yield savings accounts offer. For example, a savings account with an online bank could earn you 1%.

Although your money will certainly grow faster in a retirement account, a high-yield savings account is a great place to keep your cash. There are even high-yield savings accounts with no minimum balance requirement, so you can open an account and start building toward retirement even with a small amount today.


Bad credit can cost you thousands of dollars in interest charges on your auto and home loans, raise your insurance premiums and make it more costly to take out a personal loan or use a credit card.

Take steps to improve your credit score so you can avoid paying unnecessary interest. Set up automatic payments so they’re always on time, and try to lower your credit utilization ratio (the amount of available credit you’re using) by paying down debt, making payments twice per month, and asking for a higher credit limit.

If you have limited credit history, consider using a secured credit card to build credit, or ask to be an authorized user on a creditworthy relative’s account. Monitor your score regularly with a free service that can help you see simple moves to make that can continue building your score.


It can be tricky to know how much to set aside each month, especially if your income or expenses fluctuate. Digit is an app that analyzes your income, spending and upcoming bills to determine a safe amount to save for you.

Your money is automatically deposited into an FDIC-insured account. Digit can also help you pay off credit card debt and invest to reach your retirement goals.


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A lot of people have unclaimed cash they’re not aware is out there. It could be a security deposit that was never returned or an overtime check you never cashed. Or it might be something more significant, like an unclaimed life insurance payout.

It’s easy to check for this money with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. You’ll need to search by state, so you should conduct a search for all the states you’ve lived in.


If you throw away your old clothes, books, home items or used electronics, you’re throwing away money. It’s easy to resell your items online for cash. Check out the following platforms to get started:

  • Electronics: eBay, Amazon
  • Home items: Letgo, Craigslist, OfferUp
  • Clothing: Poshmark, Mercari, thredUP
  • Books: BookScouter, Amazon, Half Price Books

You can also use many of these same sites to find money-saving deals on secondhand items for your household, in addition to snagging items at local thrift stores.


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If you don’t use your car that often, you can potentially earn hundreds of dollars per month renting it out with a service like Getaround or Turo. You’ll need to keep your car clean and well-maintained but beyond that, not much effort is required.

Turo offers a contactless check-in process that allows you to do a remote identification of the driver. Getaround uses a device that allows renters to unlock your car from their phone.

If you’re a frequent commuter, you can also earn money from your car by displaying advertisements as you drive. Wrapify or Carvertise will place removable ads on your vehicle, and you’ll get paid according to how often and where you drive.


The amount you can earn with most side hustles is limited due to time constraints. We all have only so many hours in the day. But passive income opportunities can be a way to earn money while you’re doing other things. Some require effort upfront, but very little ongoing work is needed to keep earning.

For example, ways to earn passive income might include:

  • Creating an online course and selling it
  • Creating a popular YouTube video
  • Becoming a peer-to-peer lender
  • Opening a dropshipping business
  • Monetizing your blog or social media page with affiliate marketing


For many careers, there are opportunities to work freelance in addition to your day job. If you’re a writer, designer, web developer, photographer, assistant, accountant or any other job that lends itself to freelance work, try creating a profile advertising your skills on Upwork or Fiverr.

You can also check out freelance opportunities on FlexJobs or other job sites. Eventually, you may want to create a portfolio website showcasing recent work and testimonials from past clients.


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A spending freeze is a planned break from discretionary spending. That means you’ll only put money toward your necessary bills and expenses, such as paying rent and buying groceries.

You’ll cut out all spending on dining out, entertainment, subscription services, clothing and anything else you don’t need to live. It can be hard to keep this up in the long term, but if you plan on doing it for one or two months out of the year, you’ll save a significant chunk of change.


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The FIRE movement isn’t for everyone, but anyone can learn from its principles. When you’re about to make a purchase, think about whether you could divert that money to savings instead. If you value financial independence, frugality will follow. And if you have a savings goal in mind, you’ll be more motivated to earn extra income as well.

Even if you don’t want to retire early, this list of money moves can help you reach other financial goals and will contribute to your overall financial stability. In other words, these are healthy choices, especially during an economic downturn.

Whether you want to retire at 45 or 65, know that you have the potential to reach your goal. It’s going to take effort, and you’ll need to make sacrifices, but you’ll ultimately be rewarded with more time to spend however you wish. And these moves are a great place to start.

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