Get your personal finances in order before you jump into retirement. One vital component of a prudent monthly budget during your retirement years is to make sure you’ve eliminated unnecessary expenditures. From relocating to a more economical residence to analyzing your transportation needs, read the thrifty ideas below and explore the items where you can slash your retirement expenses.
Many seniors on the brink of retirement consider downsizing to a small condo. Moving from a large house to a small, maintenance-free condo is sure to save you a considerable amount of cash on typical costs, such as utilities, repairs, maintenance, and lawn care. However, read the fine print and avoid condos that require hefty monthly dues, exorbitant membership fees, and excessive special assessments.
Although you may own or lease one or more personal vehicles, take an objective step back and analyze your transportation needs when you retire. If you’re in a location where you can take mass transit, walk, or bicycle, you might want to ditch any personal vehicles. Even downsizing to only one vehicle can save you big bucks on a loan or lease payment, insurance, fuel, repairs, and regular maintenance.
Investigate the places you frequently visit for any senior discounts or freebies. Some restaurants, retail shops, hotels, golf courses, zoos, movie theaters, theme parks, and other businesses give discounted prices to senior citizens, but you need to ask for them. Also, you can purchase a special lifetime pass for folks 62 and older from the National Park Service. This pass covers admission to national parks and wildlife refuges in the United States. In addition, check out your local parks for free hiking and biking trails.
Soon after you retire, sit down with your current insurance agent, and examine your existing policies. Look for ways to reduce your premiums or eliminate unnecessary policies altogether. You might consider replacing dental and vision insurance with discount plans offered through participating dental offices and vision specialists. Check with specific Medicare Advantage Plans, wholesale membership clubs, and online retailers for alternative dental or vision discount options.
Your cable or satellite television and internet subscription can eat away at your monthly retirement budget. Invest in a small, high-quality antenna to pick up local TV channels free of charge. You can also opt to stream your TV entertainment through one of many businesses that offer their streaming services for a small fee. If you don’t really need your monthly internet subscription, replace it with an internet hot spot device where you can buy data usage as you need it. Alternatively, many cell phone subscriptions include data allowances, which let you browse the internet, as well as shop and pay bills online.
You can save a significant amount of money by tackling a few DIY projects instead of hiring someone to do them for you. Utilize the skills you have within your comfort level to undertake home projects, such as painting, refinishing dated cabinets, refurbishing old furniture, and replacing antiquated faucets and showerheads. Take on a few DIY exterior projects to save even more dollars. You can plant a small garden, mow your lawn, build a pergola, install decorative shutters, or some other home improvement endeavor.
Utility costs for your home typically increase periodically. However, you can decrease the costs of your utilities – electricity, gas, water – with a few thrifty ideas. Use energy-efficient light bulbs and solar-powered security and decorative exterior lights to put a dent in your electrical bill. Replace antiquated energy-consuming furnaces, air conditioners, refrigerators, televisions, ovens, washers, and dryers with new energy-efficient replacements. Swap out old toilets, showerheads, and faucets for economical substitutes.
You can better enjoy your retirement years when you have money left over at the end of the month. Slash your retirement expenses by incorporating the seven frugal suggestions listed in the above paragraphs. You can reduce your expenditures and still maintain a high quality of life after you retire.
Author: Mary Cockrill
Marian Sahakyan is a content writer and a journalism graduate from California State University, Long Beach with a background in marketing as well as UI and UX design. Marian’s previous writing and reporting has been featured in several community newspapers throughout Southern California.