Retirement is a big step, no matter how prepared you are. The reality of living on a fixed income comes with the adjustment of having more free time on your hands. It can be pretty shocking at times. According to RBC Insurance Services, 60% of retirees are concerned about outliving their retirement savings. Furthermore, roughly 45% are unsure they will be able to afford the lifestyle they desire after work.
Fortunately, there are several ways to continue saving money after retirement without sacrificing too much of your preferred lifestyle. It would be best if you did not consider leaving the workforce the moment you stop saving money and begin spending your retirement savings. Instead, follow these steps to keep saving money in your golden years. Here are seven strategies for saving money in retirement while still living comfortably.
Downsizing does not only apply to real estate. There are numerous ways to simplify your life in retirement. Sure, you could downsize to a smaller house. However, if your lifestyle allows it, you can downsize from two cars to one. You’ll save a lot of money on gas and insurance.
Similarly, perhaps neither you nor your spouse requires a cell phone. You could keep one and share it, saving money on expensive phone bills. (Not to mention the costly device upgrades every few years.) Downsizing aspects of your life can be used in a variety of ways.
Do you still require three television sets in your home now that your children have moved out? One should be sold. What number of computers or tablets do you own? Is it finally time to get rid of that landline? Scrutinize your life and your habits. You’d be surprised how many things you can get rid of and save money on. Remember that once you’re retired (assuming you and your spouse live alone), you’ll probably only need one of everything. There aren’t two.
Pay Off Your Debts
There is a significant advantage to paying off debts before retiring. It will free up funds for more important things than loan servicing, such as groceries and travel. You will have more disposable income if you do not make regular repayments. While this may seem obvious, many retirees are saddled with significant debt.
According to the Credit Counseling Society, the average person over 65 has $30,752 in personal debt today. This includes credit cards and credit lines. That amount can cost up to $500 per month in interest and principal payments. That’s $6,000 a year you could be spending on something more worthwhile! While it may appear challenging to focus and pay off your debt, do the math. Consider how much further ahead you’ll be if you eliminate your debt burden. If you plan to retire with some outstanding debt, getting rid of it as soon as possible should be a top priority.
Start a Side Business
Consider earning a little extra money if you need more money in retirement. We are not suggesting that you return to full-time employment. This defeats the purpose of retiring entirely. Consider a part-time job, also known as a “side hustle” among today’s youth.
It doesn’t have to be tense. We’re not suggesting you go back to work. We mean simple jobs that provide a little extra money without wasting too much time or stressing you out. Consider dog walking, crossing guarding, working as a Marshall at your local golf course, or greeting customers at Walmart. You could work for a ridesharing company and set your schedule.
Who cares if these aren’t glamorous jobs? They are not stressful and will only take a small amount of your time. They will provide you with additional funds to supplement your retirement savings. Even if you only work 15 to 20 hours per week and earn minimum wage, that’s money in your pocket.
Make Changes to Your Insurance Policies
Insurance is prohibitively expensive. Insurance policies for your home, car, and life all add up. They will almost certainly cost you a monthly bundle — $500 or more. However, your insurance requirements change as you get older. It would help if you made the necessary adjustments.
For example, you may no longer require significant life insurance policies. Your children are adults with their incomes. You don’t have to worry about that if your mortgage is paid off. Consider reducing your coverage to save money on your monthly premium. Similarly, it would help if you considered canceling any life insurance policies you have on your children. They can obtain their own insurance once they reach the age of majority.
When you reduce your car to one, you automatically save money because you only need to insure one vehicle. Even if you keep two cars, try to bargain for a lower rate based on your age, safe driving record, and the fact that you don’t commute to work every day. You should be able to pay less if you drive less than you used to. As you approach retirement, assess where you are in your life. After that, make the necessary changes to your insurance policies. Your wallet will be grateful.
Organize Your Activities
Just because you have more free time doesn’t mean you have to engage in more activities. You may want to reduce your participation in many of the activities you paid for while working. Priorities must be established. For example, are you a serious golfer who would benefit from an annual membership? Or are you a casual golfer who would be better off paying the walk-on fee every now and then?
Is that pricey gym membership necessary? You could jog outside, join a less expensive gym, or buy a home treadmill. Do you still need three streaming services at home now that you’re retired? Could you manage with just one? Instead, collaborate with your friends and family to share logins.
What about activities that are practically free? Perhaps you could begin gardening, fishing, or hiking? Our point is that there are numerous ways to stay busy and engaged in retirement without spending much money. It doesn’t always have to be exotic vacations and fine dining. You must be prudent now that you are on a fixed income.
Sell Some Items
You’ve probably accumulated a lifetime’s worth of possessions by the time you retire. Most of it is likely that you no longer require it. You most likely have a basement or garage full of items you never consider. While you may be tempted to dismiss this as junk, remember that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
There have never been more options for selling items you no longer want, need, or use. Some brick-and-mortar consignment stores exist, but you can also sell items online. List and sell things without leaving your house using a community like eBay, Kijiji, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace!
The proceeds from the sale of unwanted household items can quickly add up. Whether you’re selling old clothes, furniture, small appliances, or electronics, the time has come to turn your unwanted items into cash. It also has the added benefit of decluttering your home.
Benefit From Senior Discounts
If there is one significant benefit to becoming a senior citizen, it is the numerous discounts available. Seniors can get deals almost anywhere, from restaurants and hotels to movie theatres and bus passes. Senior citizens almost always pay less.
Don’t be afraid to show your identification and reveal your actual age. In every place you go, inquire about a senior discount. Take advantage of it when you can. This isn’t about swallowing your pride or facing your impending death. It’s all about saving money!
Seriously, you should take advantage of the discounts you’ve earned throughout your career. Every dollar you save extends the comfort of your retirement. Because you don’t know how long you’ll live, why not plan for the best-case scenario of a long, happy, and healthy retirement? These pennies add up, so save them whenever and wherever you can. After all, who doesn’t like a good deal – at any age?
Featured Image: Pixabay @ Kranich17