Retirement can be scary, both from the standpoint of your wallet and the uncertainty of what you should do with your retirement time. Even if you think that a vacation property or the snowbird lifestyle is out of reach for you, the right budgeting tactics can give you just enough of a boost.

In many cases, it only takes some research, planning, and dedication to work within your financial means to reach your retirement goals. Find some tips on how to save for retirement and budget for the snowbird lifestyle.

Create and Maintain a Household Budget

You’re likely not a stranger to creating a household budget – how can any adult reach retirement without maintaining one! Once you do retire, your budget will likely need to adapt. If your goal is to start a snowbird lifestyle, start changing your spending and saving habits to refelt your goals. Keep in mind that everyday expenses like groceries, gas, and utilities will change at certain times of the year. For example, you might need to pay for electricity to run an alarm system on a home you aren’t living in for a few months out of the year.

Start Small

You might have a dream of spending half the year in one home and half in another, but if you aren’t able to hit this goal, start small. Many snowbirds transition in late spring and return home in early fall, but if you aren’t able to start with such a drastic change, try to go for a couple of months, or even one month out of the year. Build your way up to reach your goals as you save and adapt to the lifestyle.

Rent Out Your Home

If you’re looking to earn some additional income while you are away, consider renting your home while you are away. Many snowbirds rent their homes on websites like Airbnb to earn extra income. Remember that this will mean you will need to keep your home in working order and keep your utilities connected while you are away. You should also look into possible tax implications from renting your property to make sure it’s a good option for you. Becoming a snowbird doesn’t happen the day you retire. It takes planning and budgeting–sometimes years in advance. Want more advice on becoming a snowbird? Check out our frequently asked questions page.