In our adult years, we work toward building
wealth that will last for a lifetime – but how long will that be? Even if you
are eligible for a state pension, it may not be
enough to make ends meet during a retirement that could last 20 years or
longer. Here are a few ways to stretch your dollars so that you can live your
best life in your golden years.
Where You Live
If you bought a large home in which to raise
your family, it might make sense to downsize now that the kids have moved out.
Your home’s equity, which you can calculate by subtracting
what you owe from its current value, can make a nice investment in a smaller
place with money left over for your current living expenses. An experienced real estate agent will know your current home’s
value and has an up-to-date listing of homes to show you that are in your price
range and will work well for your needs.
for senior-specific savings opportunities.
Once you reach your retirement years, you may
become eligible for things like discounts at the grocery store or car rental
shop. But there are other ways that your age can patch your pocketbook.
According to Money Saving Expert, some government programs can help you save money on your energy bills, home
improvements, and utilities. You can cut your transportation expenses by moving
to a walkable area where shops, restaurants and other services are close by.
Shopping thrift stores has become chic in recent days, so definitely take
advantage of that, and many of them offer senior discounts!
America The Beautiful National Parks and
Recreation Lands Senior Pass is $80 for a lifetime pass or $20
for an annual pass. If you don’t want to purchase a pass, look for days during
the year when some of the parks are free to enter.
You might consider taking in a roommate or
looking for a roommate situation with someone you know and feel comfortable
living with. Having someone outside the family help to share home expenses is
called “house hacking.” It’s a new name for a practice that has been going on
for ages – from Molly’s Boarding House to modern-day AirBNB scenarios. I offer
a course and private and group coaching that helps you explore the most
appropriate, and comfortable, way for you to share your home.
If you are operating on a tight budget but
have money in savings, look for an account with a high interest rate. Interest
is a small stipend the bank pays you to essentially pool your funds with other
savers to be used by borrowers. Pay close attention to the minimum and maximum
amount of money you need to earn the best interest rate and make sure that you
won’t be faced with withdrawal penalties or monthly
fees if you need to access your cash.
Enjoy life, don’t lock yourself up at home.
Get together with your friends and think of ways that you can enjoy time
together without reaching for your debit card. You can rotate who hosts weekly game nights, and you can all pitch in for food
delivery. Many towns have Senior Centers that offer entertainment, exercise
classes and more. Most don’t require that you live in that town so get the
calendars of several senior centers in your area. Make friends with people who
live in senior housing communities. They often have activities that are open to
the public or to friends of residents.
Living on a limited income means that you may
have to make some tweaks to your finances to continue to enjoy your historical
quality of life. While this might sound daunting in the beginning, know that
you will eventually acclimate, and you may find that your lifestyle choices now
not only save you money but also offer a fun challenge and some new ideas! From
going back to work to taking advantage of free attractions in your area, the
tips above can help you find the silver lining and avoid a cash crunch in your
We're grateful to Mary Shannon of SeniorsMeet.org for sharing this great information.