You don’t have to change your lifestyle to save money. Here are some simple retirement tips to help you save money and live life to the fullest!
Time to Downsize!
Your kids have been out on their own now for some time and you find yourself in your large multi-bedroom home, with lots of now unused space, in a great neighborhood filled with young children. Now would be the best time to downsize. The equity from your “sought after by young families” home could be freed up by downsizing to a smaller home in a less expensive neighborhood and this would greatly benefit your nest egg. Furthermore, pay cash instead of taking a mortgage would be the most ideal situation for your pocket book.
Downsizing to an area with a lower cost of living lowers your monthly expenses. Food, gas and the amount of taxes on such is significantly less and will keep you from going through your retirement funds so quickly and may even make it possible for you to put some money aside for an item on your bucket list!
You’re retired now and chances are your vehicle can be retired as well! Get rid of that monthly car payment and reduce down to one or no cars. Reducing down to just one car would help on monthly expenses. However, take a look into the public transportation and “walkability” in the area you are thinking of downsizing to. It may be adequate enough so you don’t need any vehicles. That would reduce car payments, routine maintenance and the unexpected expenses that arise with owning a car. Real estate websites now offer a “walkability” number in their listings and would be quite helpful in your search.
Have you reviewed your health care costs lately? Now would be a great time to sit down and take a look at ways to reduce your health care costs. Health care costs are high and needs are unpredictable. Look into a supplemental policy to support your Medicare coverage. Supplemental insurance fills in some of the costs associated with healthcare that Medicare may not cover. Medicare rules change often and if we’re not constantly looking for updates, we might not know what has changed from year to year. It is important that during open enrollment you shop for a new Medicare Part D plan each year. You have to be sure that you’re getting the best medication coverage and pricing.
Along with the luxury of being retired comes the luxury of traveling during off peak travel times. Take advance of this! Avoid major holidays, major sporting events/tournaments, high school/college spring break season and destination peak weather season. Traveling during any of these “peak” situations will double to triple your travel costs. Traveling during off peak season will significantly reduce your airfare and lodging expenses and free up some of your travel money to do some extracurricular activities during your vacation! The more the merrier lowers your costs too! So, the next time you travel, invite some friends to lower the per person travel cost!
Take advantage of “senior discount” days at your local stores. If you’re not sure they have senior discounts, then ask about AARP discounts or for other senior discounts they offer. Also, try to do all your shopping once a week. This means meal planning, but it’s worth it! The less time you are at a store, the less likely you will be to impulsively buy something you don’t need. Build a shopping list and invite a friend to shop with you! You can socialize while saving money! Buy in bulk and split and enjoy the savings with your friend!
Stay tuned for Part 2 retirement tips on saving money!