Written by Holly Clark
Time has passed, and your working days are behind you. As you come to terms with the new reality, you start grappling with the fact that the savings in your bank may not last you as long as you thought they would. Even if your pension payments amount to as much as a million dollars, your spending habits can drain your account fast. Before that happens and you are left at the mercy of handouts from your family, learn a few frugal retirement living tips for seniors. They will make your sunset years as comfortable as if you are still receiving a salary.
At 30 years, that five-bedroom house was a good idea as you planned to have lots of children. Now that they are all grown up and have left the nest, it is time to move into a smaller house. That way if you are renting, the rent will be much less. Still, even if you own the home, the cost of maintaining it will reduce. Additionally, you can sell the excess stuff that you have accumulated over the years for extra cash.
Moreover, you might have bought two cars; one for your partner to make reporting to work in different parts of town easier. However, as retirees, you will probably be spending most of the time together, so one vehicle makes sense. You can, therefore, sell the extra car to reduce the cost of insurance payments.
- Look out for discounts
Just because you have retired, it does not mean you have to live cheaply. Instead, you can get high-quality services and products at pocket-friendly prices. If you are adventurous and have been saving for a trip in your old age, then take advantage of off-peak discounts and travel to that much-anticipated destination. That way, you will get to travel without draining your savings.
Further, you can still celebrate your love with your loved one without breaking the bank. Hotels are always giving offers to customers for tasty meals so you can have that dinner date you have been postponing for weeks. Besides, most stores offer senior discounts, and unless you ask, you will not know. Therefore as you go out shopping for everyday items, ask about any senior discounts available.
- Eat meals at home often
Dining out may seem like a lovely idea when that lobster looks delicious from the window as you pass by your favorite restaurant. Unfortunately, it will cost you heavily, especially if you make it a habit of eating out. Enjoy home-cooked meals and when you go to the grocery store, shop for products that are on sale. Also, buy items that you need in moderate quantities, and when you cook, serve what you can comfortably eat to avoid waste.
- Take advantage of free leisure activities
You might wonder how to fill the free time because as much as you enjoy watching television, cable TV can be expensive unless you get the basic package. Besides, staying indoors is not an option since you need to stretch your legs and socialize. As such, you can visit your local art galleries and museums. Not only will you learn and probably make new friends, but best of all is that they are free leisure activities.
- Reduce health-related expenses
Your health in retirement is going to be quite an issue since your risk of falling ill increases. Whether you are on Medicare or Medicaid, if you are planning on having elective surgery, then it may not cover the cost. Therefore plan on having such operations after meeting your annual deductible. Moreover, with free medical checkups being offered once in a while, take advantage of such screenings for preventative measures.
Jane Byrne from FirstCare Kildare points out that as a patient ages, medical check ups are essentially being done regularly. This is not only to secure that the patient’s health is in tip top shape but also help inform the caregiver on how to properly attend to them.
- Cut down on taxes
Taxes will reduce the amount of money for your expenditure. Therefore if you can avoid them, your savings will last longer. The property you have accumulated can result in high taxes; so if the state you live in allows for seniors to freeze their property, do so. All you need is to apply for this option, and it will cushion you from any tax increments.
- Schedule your withdrawals
You might be tempted to withdraw all your pension as a lump sum, but that will only increase the chances of spending it all. Therefore, do not keep lots of cash in hand. Instead, arrange with your bank to be sending you to check once a month to enable you also track your taxes.
Retiring does not have to be a painful process in which you deny yourself all the things you were used to in your working days. With these frugal living tips, you can have the best of everything without spending too much money or becoming a burden to your children.