10 Ways to Lower Your Expenses in Retirement
By Guest Blogger Barri Segal , GOBankingRates.com
Use these tips to enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.
When you retire, it’s time to relax and enjoy life. You put in your years of hard work and it’s finally over. But now that you don’t have a steady income, it’s not the best time to spend wildly. This just in: You can retire and save money at the same time.
Running out of money in retirement is a scary proposition. And with good reason — everyone is talking about another recession, people are living longer and there’s always healthcare to deal with, which can be very expensive.
We have identified 10 relatively painless ways to cut costs in retirement and still enjoy the lifestyle you deserve. Keep reading to find out how you can best lower your expenses in retirement and take the stress out of finally not working.
One way to seriously reduce your retirement expenses is to downsize your home. Do you really need all that space? Probably not. And not only can you downsize your living space, you might even consider moving to a place with lower property taxes and a lower cost of living.
2. Be more energy-efficient
Another way you might reduce your retirement expenses — and help the environment — is to become more energy efficient. If you downsize, consider choosing an eco-friendly home and buying more energy-efficient appliances. In addition, you might want to install solar panels and smart thermostats to help cut energy costs.
3. Relocate to a less expensive place
If you live in an expensive locale, consider moving to a place where the cost of living meets your income. Places such as North Carolina and Arizona are known for their low property taxes and affordable cost of living.
4. Use senior discounts
Senior discounts are in place, but you have to find them and take advantage of them. All kinds of places offer them — from restaurants to movie theaters to grocery stores and more. And of you don’t see a senior discount advertised at your favorite store, ask about one.
5. Have the right medical coverage
Healthcare during retirement is essential and having the right kind can make or break your saving. Make sure you shop carefully for a Supplemental Medicare Coverage plan and keep in mind that because plans change often you should shop once a year.
6. Switch service providers
If you’ve been with the same healthcare plan, cable, internet or phone service plan for years, you might try shopping for less expensive providers. Don’t keep the services you have because they’re convenient and it’s a hassle to change — you could save a lot of money if you shop around for new ones, including auto insurance and bank accounts. Some bank accounts even give you free money for signing up
7. Get a roommate
If you’re alone in retirement it can be frightening to shoulder all the costs of living. Consider getting a roommate to cut down on costs — significantly. Not only will you get financial help, you’ll be able to share household chores and you’ll have some companionship if you want it.
8. Sell one of your vehicles
Because you’re no longer driving to work, if you have two cars in the family you might not need that extra one. If you can get rid of a vehicle, do it. You’ll make money and you’ll save on insurance, gas and maintenance in the bargain. In addition, you can always take advantage of public transportation or services such as Lyft or Uber to get somewhere.
9. Be flexible with your entertainment plans
When you’re retired, it’s the perfect time to be flexible when planning travel, recreation and entertainment. For example, you might book a cruise at the last minute and get a killer deal, find a super-cheap flight during off-peak times, go to a matinee instead of an evening movie or visit a museum when it offers free-admission days. You might be surprised at how much money you can save simply by being flexible.
10. Get a part-time job
Yes, you’re retired — but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some extra money by working a part-time gig doing something you enjoy. There are lots of companies that want to hire seniors because of their work ethics and the minimum wage is rising, so now is a great time to find something. In addition, a part-time job can be great mental stimulation during retirement.