From the time we’re young adults, many of us are told again and again about the importance of planning for retirement. Whether it’s contributing to work-sponsored 401(k)s and getting an employer match or funding an IRA retirement account. Smart financial decisions can help make sure we’re set for later in life. But besides stashing money away, how else can we prepare? Is there a way solar panels can be part of a retirement strategy?
Whether retirement is a few years away or a few decades away for you, we at KC Solar believe that going solar is a great way to help keep your expenses stable during your retirement years. Keep reading to learn more about why you should consider a solar energy system in your retirement planning strategy.
Determining Your Retirement Goals
Think about the concept of retirement. You spend years of your working life setting your earned money aside, saving it for later in life when you’re no longer earning an income from your career. You also hope that, as more time passes, you’re able to grow your investments into something more. After all, when you retire, you’re likely expecting that you’ll need to survive on whatever money you’ve saved for about 30 years… or longer.
While you can’t change the past — even if you wish you’d started contributing more/earlier when you had the time — by the time you reach retirement age, your only choice is to work with what you’ve got. Many pre-retirees choose to work with a financial advisor in order to set financial goals and develop a plan to reach them.
Whether your retirement goals are more about maintaining your current lifestyle on your new fixed income. Or starting a new chapter in life with new adventures you’ve been looking forward to for years — such as saving up for that beach house, or a big international vacation.
Why Solar Panels?
Regardless of your personal goals, many pre-retirees are surprised to learn that moving to solar power is one of the best retirement investments they can make. Not only do you get all the benefits of solar energy — which are many — but you also can help lock in the cost of your electricity bills. With stable monthly payments, you can be sure to avoid financial surprises. In fact, your monthly electricity bill may eventually disappear altogether.
But investing in solar energy can pay off in even more ways, especially in retirement age. While your income may be fixed, many expenses are not… and they won’t be throughout your future retired life.
Consider this: between 2010 and 2020, electricity costs increased by 30%, according to data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It’s easy to see how, throughout the length of your retirement, energy prices are highly likely to continue climbing. Solar panels can really make a difference in fixing your electricity costs for the long term.
Why else are solar panels great for retirees and pre-retirees? Not only are they extremely durable, but current models are designed to last about 25 years or more. That means you don’t have to worry about installing a solar system and replacing them halfway through your retirement.
And if you eventually decide to sell your home — whether that’s to downsize, move in with family, or permanently relocate to that beach house — solar panels can even improve your home’s value. Studies consistently show that homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for houses with solar arrays. With 37% being willing to pay more than $10,000 more for a home that saved $1,000 annually on utilities, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Other Ways of Going Green and Saving Green in Retirement
While you may have never thought about it before, adopting a green (eco-friendly) lifestyle can actually be related to saving some green (money). When you’re living on a fixed income, you can feel good about saving money. And doing your part to leave the world a better place for your children, grandchildren, and your other future family members.
Consider a few other ideas for going green and saving green:
Downsize to one car: Many families have one car per person, especially in the busy years of life where everyone needs to go somewhere different. For couples in retirement and pre-retirement, it may be time to consider downsizing to one car for the both of you. Not only will you save money on car payments, gas, repairs, and insurance. But you’re contributing to cleaner air quality in your community.
Adopt a minimalist lifestyle: While you’re on the topic of downsizing your car, ask yourself whether there are other areas of your life where you could make do with less. By making a conscious choice to purchase only what you really need — and buying used when possible — you can help break the cycle of disposable consumerism while saving money at the same time. You could even sell a few things you don’t really need, potentially netting you some additional income.
Start your own vegetable garden: Not only is gardening an activity that many people enjoy, but there are benefits to both your pocketbook and the environment. By planting vegetables that you like to eat — tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, herbs, or anything else — you can save yourself money. And at the same time, your garden can replenish soil nutrients while reducing your carbon footprint.
KC Solar Is Here For You
Whatever your age or stage of life, and whatever your financial or environmental goals, KC Solar is here. We’re happy to chat with you and learn how we can best help you achieve those goals.