Money & Budgets

6 Ways to Build Wealth After Retirement

It’s never too late to start saving money. Use these ADD-friendly ways — like taking on part-time work or renting out a basement room — to build up a hefty nest egg, even after age 50.

A nest with a golden egg and money in it represent the best ways to save money.

Many adults live paycheck to paycheck during their working years, and can’t imagine putting aside something for retirement. When you add attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) to the mix, financial management becomes even more challenging.

I’ve interviewed many older adults for my research on aging with ADHD, and lots of them have told me that they will work “forever” because they haven’t been able to set aside money for their later years. So what can you do about the financial challenges that are especially difficult when you have ADHD? There are lots of options. Choose the ones that are right for you. Here are the best ways to save money that older adults with ADHD have shared with me:

1. Rent Space to Reduce Housing Costs

Many older adults choose to rent part of their home, such as a basement apartment, on a long-term basis, while others list their space with Airbnb. Some have cut their housing costs in half this way.

[The ADHD Guide to Saving Money]

2. Move to a Tax-Friendly State

Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming are the states that don’t tax personal income, while 36 other states allow retirees to exclude all or part of their retirement income from their taxable income.

3. Put Yourself on a Cash Allowance

Staying on a strict budget is tough, if not impossible, for older adults with ADHD. Instead of keeping track of every penny that you spend, consider putting yourself on a cash allowance. Take a specific amount of cash from your account on the same day each week, and limit all of your optional spending to the amount of your allowance. Whether it’s for an article of clothing, a meal out, a coffee at Starbucks, or a magazine at the checkout, pay for it from your cash allowance. You’ll quickly begin making smart decisions to make the cash last for the week.

4. Don’t Shop Online When You Are Bored

Spending money has become as easy as the click of a button. If you can’t control your spending, make a “no online shopping” rule for yourself. Another tactic that helps is the “wait 24 hours” rule. Many find that they don’t remember to go back and make a purchase once they’ve waited a day. At the least, you’ve given yourself time to think about the expenditure.

5. Think Small

Pay attention to small expenditures. It is easy to spend a little here for a candy bar or more there for a household item you don’t really need. One woman I know made a game of stopping herself from making unnecessary small expenditures, and realized that she had been spending several hundred dollars each month for things she could do without.

[How to Get Your Finances Back on Track]

6. Create a “Me Fund”

Instead of “leaking” money for small things, put money aside for things you really want. You won’t feel deprived, and you’ll be rewarded in ways you’ll remember. The woman who learned to “think small” also started a savings account using the money she didn’t spend on snacks, coffee, and random purchases. She built up savings for things that meant more to her—a plane ticket to visit a family member or a special event with a friend. Such purchases will enrich your life.

The Many Benefits of Part-Time Work

Many retirees find part-time work to be a welcome addition to their daily life. Not only does it provide extra income, it also adds structure and stimulation to their days. It’s a buffer against the social isolation that is a common risk for retirees. Other benefits include: employee discounts and, with some companies, health insurance for part-time workers, for those who retire before they are eligible for Medicare.