When we’re younger, it’s easy to put off saving because we imagine retirement as some indefinite point in the future that will never actually come. Yet the reality of retirement dawns, along with the recognition that it’s essential to stretch our funds and save as much as feasible. Some of us will begin to carefully budget for the first time.
To help with that budgeting, here are some tips for saving during retirement. You’ll find some ideas you might not have thought of, interspersed with some emphasis of age-old wisdom that warrants repeating.
1. Ditch the landline
If you have a mobile phone, your landline phone is largely redundant. You may have been keeping it out of habit or nostalgia, but, in this day and age, it’s largely redundant.
2. Say goodbye to cable TV
Just as technology has made landline phones largely obsolete, your cable TV subscription may be redundant too. Between websites like Youtube, Netflix, and Hulu, you can probably find all the home entertainment you need at a fraction of the price.
3. Make your gifts
If you’re an artist or crafter, consider making holiday and birthday gifts more often than you already do. Chances are, something you make will be more deeply appreciated than any product from Amazon or the local box store.
4. Collect loose change
Penny pinching pays. At the end of each day, empty the coins of your pockets or purse into a large jar. If you average 45-cents per day in change, you’ll have more than $160 after year. After just over six years, you’ll have $1,000. Many banks have a machine that will count the coins for you and deposit them into your account at no cost.
As a longtime empty nester, the old family home may have become an unnecessary, costly, and even potentially hazardous burden. Consider more affordable housing such as a smaller home, a rental, or even senior living options such as senior apartments, a retirement community, or, if health requires, assisted living.
6. Refinance your home
If downsizing isn’t right for you, consider this: The 30-year fixed rate mortgage average throughout this decade has been lower than at any point in the prior three decades. If your mortgage dates from that era, you may be able to save considerably by refinancing.
7. Use senior discounts and veteran discounts
Don’t be shy about senior discounts. From the neighborhood diner to the nearest national park, seniors and veterans have earned the opportunity to pay significantly less for the pleasures of life. When you take advantage of these discounts whenever the opportunity presents itself, the savings will add up.
8. Maintain your car
For those who are already diligent about maintaining their car, this reminder is unnecessary. Yet it’s still worth saying: The cost of replacing a neglected vehicle is massively higher than maintenance and routine repairs. Make sure to get oil changes, tune-ups, and have that rattling sound you’ve been ignoring looked into. To avoid getting taken advantage of, only go to reputable auto shops and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.
9. Use affordable transportation
Alternately, you could free yourself of a vehicle altogether. Between public transportation and ride share options like Uber and Lyft, you may be able to get around just as conveniently while spending spend less on transport than the cost of your car and its maintenance and gas–not to mention monthly payments for cars that aren’t paid off yet.
10. Maintain your health
Of course, aspects of your health are beyond your control as you age, but just like failing to maintain your car is more costly in the end, so it is with your health. Medicare and most other health plans provide free preventive services, so there’s no excuse to ignore medical advice about preventive care.