Out of the 40 million Americans in the 65+ category that are being forced to shift to a new home, 87% would refuse to move out of their original home as reported by the US Census Bureau. The comfort of being with their family, friends and spending the rest of their years in their very own little sanctuary is preferred by many senior citizens. But the cost of living of a homeowner isn’t falling – it is increasing, and keeping up could become a harrowing ordeal in the long run.
Home maintenance costs have skyrocketed due to increased utilities alone. And if that weren’t enough of a reason, a lot of senior citizens have mortgages to pay and a majority are in debt. Not to mention medical bills are also putting a constant dent in their savings.
Well, you can’t do anything about prescriptions medications – some expenses you can’t control, however, you still have a chance to start a precision-based money saving plan to comfortably stay afloat no matter what situation you are in.
It is all a matter of making the right choices, going for “Needs” rather than “Wants” – sure you can spend on something fun every now and then, but you have to focus on keeping your life straightforward and out the threat of bankruptcy. In light of this, mentioned below are some simple yet powerful tips you can use to keep on saving money even after you retire:
1. Get energy efficient
The federal government has mandated the use of energy efficient light bulbs. By using these light bulbs, you can save up to 25% to 80% energy – plus, there are a whole range of options you can go for, for example, fluorescent lamps (CFLs), light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and halogen incandescent bulbs. Replacing these bulbs with your traditional incandescent bulbs can be a huge money saving factor in the long run.
2. Run electrical and other energy consuming appliances at off-peak hours
There are always some peak hours in which people are consuming energy. If you look at your utility bill closely, you will find that in these hours, energy usage almost doubles. Thus it is always advised that you use high-energy consuming electric appliances at off-peak hours to save on your utilities. Plus, you are doing Mother Nature a favor too – you are helping save precious resources that go into producing electricity. Since as a retiree, you are no more on a job and you have all the time in the day to do the dishes, make sure you avoid doing the dishes and other chores that involve energy use in the morning or evening.
3. Get rid of highly expensive clothes
You do not have a clientele or a bunch of colleagues at your workplace to impress them anymore, so get rid of that expensive Armani suit and Rolex watch and save the money you get out of them. Retirement is a time to sit back, relax and just be yourself.
Take a look at your wardrobe, if you think there are other expensive things that you do not need anymore, do a yard sale. Same goes for the female retirees, the designer clothes are neither going to make you look less of your age, nor help you feel comfortable so better give them to somebody who might want to take it from you at a lesser price compared to that of the new one in the market.
4. Travel midweek
Retirement is a blissful period of your life if you actually want to make it one. Travelling not only helps you stay active and save those additional medical costs, it also saves you from ruminating about what went wrong in your life.
Moreover, you can always plan a trip to go meet your children and grandchildren and spend a good amount of time with them. With all the time in the world in your hands, retirement allows you to travel midweek when traveling rates are lower or travel in winter when fares are cheaper. Also, there are websites that offer alternative accommodation so your flexibility can also help you take advantage of it.
5. Save on saving
Remember, retirement has brought you to the receiving end now. Most people tend to forget that they can save an additional 5% or 10% of their income as their retirement savings. Since you do not get a paycheck anymore, you are no more liable to your social security program.
Summing it all up, get rid of anything that you are no longer using – a credit card, membership of a certain community, a car you do not drive, extra cellular minutes which you once needed when you had to make too many calls and the like. You also do not need a premium cable package that you don’t watch anymore now that the kids have shifted to their respective places.