Before they became senior citizens, many people never prioritized saving for retirement until it was too late. As a result, it may now be necessary to try to survive on 60-70% (or even less) of your pre-retirement income. Even if you didn’t live on a strict budget before retirement, it is likely a necessity now as you get older.
Here are some ways that you can help manage your budget to help your retirement dollars go further:
– Mortgage—One area that many seniors don’t want to think about is their mortgage/rent. It’s possible to cut this particular expense if you are willing to downsize to a smaller house, condo, or apartment.
– Insurance—Healthcare reform is changing at a breakneck pace. To this end, it may be a good idea to do some comparison shopping on Medicare coverage. Additionally, you might want to do the same thing with your home and auto insurance to see if you can find discounts if you bundle these plans.
– Phone—Many senior citizens are still holding on to a landline telephone out of habit and tradition. But if you also have a cell phone, the two together are redundant. You can cut one expense by switching off the landline and using your cell phone exclusively.
– Cut the Cable—Another expense that many people keep is cable television or satellite plans. Many of these plans can run you $80 to $100 a month (or more). But by switching to online subscription services like Hulu, Netflix, or SlingTV, you can cut this down to anywhere between $10 and $40 a month, a pretty healthy savings.
– Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age—Almost every restaurant and store imaginable offers some kind of discount for senior citizens. But many seniors are hesitant to take advantage because they don’t want to admit their age. Don’t feel that way. Be proud of your years and be happy to take those discounts that can save you money.
– Buy in Bulk—Another thing that you may want to do is cut down on your grocery shopping to just one or two trips a month. This has multiple benefits. First, buying in bulk usually decreases the per item cost of goods. Secondly, the reduction in trips will save you on gas and car wear and tear. Further, you only have to worry about one or two trips where you might be tempted to splurge on impulse items you don’t need.
If you are a senior citizen, it’s important to save your money and budget as much as possible. By doing this, you can make your retirement savings last longer and not have to worry about debt during your golden years.