For many retirees, retirement brings long-awaited freedom, but it also brings financial concern. Living on a fixed income can be difficult to adapt to, especially if you want to make the most of your golden years. Below are just a few small tactics seniors can use to save money and still have a great time throughout retirement.
Review Your Insurance
There are several types of insurance that are more or less unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save money on them. As you switch to a fixed income during your retirement, it’s a good time to review your different insurance policies.
- Health Insurance (Medicare) — Medicare Advantage tends to be cheaper than Original Medicare, especially if you are also paying for a Medigap policy. Advantage plans also tend to offer more benefits, such as vision and hearing care, prescriptions, and access to fitness programs. Some companies, like Anthem, also offer specialized care for health conditions like diabetes and dental care with a $0 copay.
- Life Insurance — If you have whole life insurance, you should make sure you are making the most of the cash value you have accumulated. There are several ways to do this, from taking out a loan to withdrawing amounts, using the cash value to pay for your premiums, or even surrendering the policy outright.
- Auto Insurance — If you still plan to drive for several years, you should see whether you qualify for discounted rates on your auto insurance. Even when paying for full coverage insurance, discounts are commonly available for good drivers, safe drivers, and long-time customers. In other words, seniors with good driving records who have been with the same insurer for many years are likely to be able to benefit.
Plan Your Meals
It’s an old piece of advice, but it still stands to this day: Planning your meals and grocery shopping is the best way to save money on food while also eating healthy. In turn, it reduces your risk of needing expensive medical treatment.
To really maximize your savings, look up deals in your favorite local grocery stores and build your meals around these. You should also consider senior nutrition needs when compiling your shopping list; for instance, prioritize whole grains, calcium, and healthy sources of fat.
There are loads of printable meal planning templates online, which you can use to get you started. These are available in different styles, layouts, and colors — try a few different ones over a few weeks to see what you like best.
Save on Travel and Entertainment
When people need to tighten their budgets, things like travel and entertainment can be the first to go. However, these are also some of the best parts of being retired, so it’s important to focus on saving money on these activities, not eliminating them completely.
The single easiest way to do this is to use the retiree’s greatest money-saving weapon: the senior discount. The Senior List has a huge list of major businesses that offer senior discounts, including restaurants and travel companies. This won’t cover discounts offered by smaller, independent businesses (as well as discounts offered abroad), so it always pays to ask.
Another way to save on travel is to keep an eye out for online package holiday deals.
Websites like Groupon offer incredible getaway deals, with the only “catch” usually being that you have to travel off-peak — which, as a retiree, isn’t necessarily a problem!
Seek Out New Sources of Income
Finally, remember that you don’t have to remain on a fixed income. Many seniors choose to work during retirement, either to make some more money or simply because they enjoy it. However, if this goes against the spirit of retirement for you, there are ways to make passive income. These include renting out a spare room, renting your car or other specialized gear, and writing an ebook or creating an online course using your professional expertise.
Saving during retirement doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself of anything fun; in fact, the opposite is true. The more you take control of your budget and seek out smart ways to manage your money, the easier it is to make the most of your income and your retirement.