Life after retirement is difficult, as many people have discovered the hard way. For starters, most of us haven’t saved as much as we had hoped.
Furthermore, with our family circumstances changing, many of us are struggling to find meaning. Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take after retirement to spend less while doing more.
Here are ten suggestions for retirement savings:
1. Think about relocating or retiring abroad.
If you spent the majority of your career in a major city, you’re probably paying a lot for housing, transportation, and other daily living expenses. However, because you no longer have to commute to work every day, retirement does not necessitate living in a big city.
Consider relocating to a less expensive area of the country – or even retiring abroad, where other countries often have lower living costs, delicious cuisine, and fascinating cultures!
2. Downsize to a Smaller Home Following Retirement
Even if you want to stay in the same city, selling your house and moving to a smaller home can often reduce your living expenses. The new trend of “co-housing” takes the concept of “downsizing” to its logical conclusion: people in co-housing communities live in small homes and share communal spaces, such as gardens and yards, with their neighbors.
3. Sell Your Car – It Will Benefit Both Your Wallet and Your Health
Do you really need two cars if you’re married or live with someone? Perhaps you can save money by selling your car, especially if you are both retired and no longer have to commute to work every day. Or, if you only have one car, maybe it’s time to rely on public transportation or dust off your bicycle?
You will not only save money on gas and insurance, but you may also find yourself in better physical shape. If you do require a vehicle for a specific reason, you can always use a service like Zipcar, which rents cars by the hour.
4. Examine the “Little Things” Section
Are you paying high monthly fees for your bank account, overdraft fees, credit card interest, investment management fees, or other “small fees” to manage your money?
Consider tracking your spending – look for recommendations for other banks and financial service providers that have lower fees and rates than what you are currently paying.
5. Disconnect from Cable TV
How much time do you devote to watching cable television? Is that how you want to spend your retirement years? Furthermore, there are less expensive ways to watch your favorite movies and TV shows, such as Netflix and Hulu. Another free option for watching videos on a variety of topics is YouTube.
6. Examine Your Phone Bills
Is a landline still necessary in the age of mobile phones? Even if you want to keep your “old-fashioned” phone line, call your phone company and ask for the latest deals – you may be eligible for a better package with features such as unlimited long distance calls.
7. Stop Signing Up for Mobile Phone Contracts
Many people sign up for a two-year mobile phone contract in order to qualify for a free or discounted phone, but this is a bad deal in the long run. You can usually save money by purchasing a used smartphone (or even paying full price for a new phone) and then paying for phone service with a prepaid phone plan on a monthly basis. Check with your wireless provider to see what options are available.
8. Spend Less on Travel
Many women over the age of 60 enjoy traveling and want to see the world. I’m sure I do! Fortunately, travel does not have to be prohibitively expensive. You can travel for less by using AirBnB, a unique online service that allows you to stay cheaply at people’s homes rather than paying top dollar for hotel rooms.
9. Find a Sharing Partner
Cooking for one can be difficult if you live alone. So, why not find a “shopping partner” with whom you can buy in bulk and split the costs? Alternatively, gather a group of friends for regular group dinners to save money on food preparation while enjoying more social time!
10. Benefit from Senior Discounts
Growing older has its advantages! Don’t be afraid to look for senior discounts at stores, restaurants, travel websites, and other establishments. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) provides its members with a variety of senior discounts – and membership is only $16 per year!
What are some of your favorite ways to save money on day-to-day expenses after retirement? What small actions do you take each month to save money? Let’s have a discussion!