Retirement is a time in life most of us look forward to. The freedom to set your own schedule, travel, and pursue hobbies and passions is very appealing. But for most people, retirement means living on a more limited income. Finding ways to save money and stretch every dollar can help you live the retirement you’ve always dreamed of.
We have a few suggestions to help seniors make the most of their retirement income.
9 Strategies to Stretch Your Retirement Dollar
- Credit card rewards points: Using one credit card for everything from gas purchases to grocery shopping can help you earn rewards points to put toward gift cards, travel, and more. Take time to research and choose a credit card with a lucrative rewards program, low interest rate, and low fees.
- Local library resources: As e-books continue to gain popularity, many people have forgotten about the benefits offered by their local library. In addition to being a popular gathering place for groups and activities, libraries can also save you money. You can take out e-books, DVDs, movie projectors, and more. Many libraries also offer movie nights, art classes, lectures, and other programs at nominal fees.
- Pay annually: While monthly payments might seem easier on the budget, paying annually can save you money in the long run. This applies to everything from car insurance to annual service fees for maintenance contracts. Take a good look at every item on your budget to see which ones you could save on by paying annually.
- Medicare open enrollment: It might be easy just to continue your current Medicare coverage instead of searching for better values. Without a doubt, Medicare’s open enrollment period can be a little confusing. But there could be an insurance plan out there that can save you money without forcing you to compromise on care. Read our article, “Tips to Help a Senior Family Member with Medicare Open Enrollment,” to learn more.
- Programmable thermostat: Utilities can chew away at a senior’s retirement income. Taking a proactive approach to monitoring and managing these costs is important. One helpful step you can take is to install a programmable thermostat. For example, in the winter, you can program the temperature to be lower at night when you are sleeping and to automatically increase when you typically get up every morning. Some even have large screens and displays to make it easier for older eyes to read.
- Store brands: Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to buy only name-brand food and household products. A higher price doesn’t always mean better quality. Many stores have their own in-house brands that are just as good at much lower prices. Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand, for example, is manufactured by name-brand companies ranging from Tyson to Tide, Cascade, Duracell, and even Starbucks.
7. Cell phone provider: Eighty-five percent of older adults now own a cell phone. This is another area where spending a little time researching options based on your needs may save you money. MyRatePlan.com can help you find the cheapest possible provider based on your need for text messages, data, and cell phone minutes.
8. Water: Don’t waste money on soda and other pricy sports and energy drinks. Unless your doctor suggests otherwise, drinking water is best. Not only is it healthier, it can also be kinder on the budget. Add lemons, limes, and berries for an extra dash of flavor.
9. Senior discounts: Senior discounts can be another great way to save. Create a list of your favorite places to shop, eat, and play and call each to inquire about their discount programs. Some grocery stores offer 10 percent off on Tuesdays, which is often one of their slowest days of the week. AARP, The Senior List, and your local branch of AAA are a few good places to begin your research.
Moving to an independent living community is another great way to save money. You’ll be able to say goodbye to property taxes, as well as expenses for home maintenance and repair, lawn care, snow removal, and more. Services and amenities often included in your monthly fee range from utilities, housekeeping, meals, and transportation to wellness programs and life enrichment activities.
Call the Sunrise community nearest you to set up a time for a private tour to learn more!
Source: Sunrise Senior Living