Throughout your working years, you probably followed a budget so that you could live within your means while also saving for retirement. It’s no surprise that after you retire, and you’re living on more fixed income than before, you will continue to carefully monitor your spending. But we also want you to enjoy your retirement years. These five tips can help you save money on routine expenses, so that you can devote more of your funds to hobbies, travel, and relaxation.
Evaluate your housing costs. Your monthly mortgage payment or rent might be your largest expense. And even if you’ve paid off your mortgage, you will still have to cover taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs of a home. In many cases, downsizing to a smaller living situation or moving to a less expensive location can help retirees stretch their funds.
Carefully consider your transportation expenses. Now that you’re no longer commuting to an office every day, you and your spouse might not need two cars anymore. For that matter, you might not even need one! Car ownership involves monthly payments, gas, taxes, insurance, and maintenance that can often get expensive.
In many locations, retirees can access free or discounted public transportation. When you do need a vehicle, Uber or Lyft is probably much more affordable than the regular maintenance of a car.
Investigate your healthcare options. Healthcare expenses are often some of the largest faced by retirees. Medicare won’t cover everything you need at 100 percent, and some services might not be covered at all. Work with an experienced Medicare broker who can help you evaluate your healthcare priorities, so that you can enroll in the plan (and supplemental plans) that work best for your needs and budget.
Avoid impulse spending. Many people find that they are happier when they focus on experiences over material possessions, but it can be quite a challenge to switch your thinking. Living on a cash budget, avoiding credit cards, can help you think twice about impulse purchases. Removing credit card information from online accounts can also help. When you have to go get the card and enter the information before processing a purchase, that short delay can help you evaluate the decision more closely.
Save money on dining out. Inquire about senior discounts everywhere you eat. And for that matter, changing your habits now that you’ve retired can be a wise decision. You’re not stuck in an office all day, so you have more time to shop for ingredients, prioritize sale items, and prepare healthy meals from scratch at home.
Of course, if your budget concerns you, we’re always available to help you evaluate your options. Just call us to schedule an appointment, and we can help you determine whether you should make some changes to your retirement strategy or budget.