April 9, 2014 | By fischer |
Many options for making retirement more affordable and rewarding are available for retirees now that weren’t a few decades ago. Whether you want to save more, spend less, or reallocate your money, these 9 tips may help.
1. Cut your housing costs. Selling your current home and opting for a smaller one may work for you. It costs less to heat and cool a smaller space, especially if you opt for a home that has high energy efficiency.
2. Consider how many vehicles you need. Paring them down to one will save on maintenance, fuel and insurance costs. You might also be able to take advantage of public transportation options in your community.
3. Evaluate the insurance you’re carrying. Are you carrying too much life insurance for this stage of your life? An audit may show that you can reduce or eliminate it. You can also save money by increasing the deductibles on your home and auto policies. In addition home and auto security systems may also reduce premiums. When you’re buying new appliances or electronics, rethink buying an extended warranty. Most manufacturers’ warranties provide sufficient protection against product problems.
4. Take advantage of any wellness programs your health insurance provider offers. Work to maintain or improve your health. If you take prescription drugs routinely, compare the cost of buying them online versus from your pharmacy.
5. Trim utility costs. Heating and cooling costs can be reined in by keeping your equipment professionally maintained and running it with a clean air filter. Adjust your clothing to reflect the season and use reversible ceiling fans summer and winter. Moving air feels cooler in the summer, and by reversing the direction of the fan in the winter, you’ll pull down warmer air near the ceiling.
Investigate streaming video options for your entertainment instead of pricey cable or satellite options. Unless you need a landline for a particular purpose, choose wireless service or go with VoIP (voice over internet protocol) for the lowest cost option for communication.
6. Add thrift stores and garage sales to your weekly outings. You can save substantial money buying used versus new. If you prefer new, shop out of season, paying attention to the sale racks. Online auction sites and outlets also offer deep discounts on items you may want or need. Choose washable instead of dry-clean only clothing. The cost of dry cleaning adds substantially to the real cost of your wardrobe.
7. Stretch your knowledge by taking advantage of lower cost learning options, like classes at community colleges or taking them online. Some prestigious colleges are also offering free learning opportunities.
8. Look for free entertainment. High school music performances are usually low-cost or free and the live music is especially rewarding. Public libraries offer a variety of entertaining and educational programs. Your jurisdiction’s parks and recreation department may also offer inexpensive programs throughout the year that you can enjoy.
9. Take a look at your food budget because it’s one area where you may be able to cut your costs. Buy food with store or manufacturer’s coupons and stock up when it’s on sale. Some grocers have a day each month when they extend a senior senior discount. A full freezer uses less energy than an empty one, so stocking up makes sense when the food is a bargain.
Sometimes restaurants extend discounts to seniors or have “two for one” coupons periodically. Use these to cut the cost of eating out. Taking advantage of happy hour drinks and food will also get you out of the house to eat at reduced prices. Getting together with friends and family for potlucks is another proven way to defray food and entertainment costs.
Talk to your financial advisor for more budgeting, savings, and tax tips to help you save money.
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