Look at your healthcare plan.
Sure, you probably have Medicare, but what you might not realize is that there are many different options. And, sometimes, the cheapest premium is not the most cost-effective. Work with a licensed Medicare agent to shop for a plan that works for you. Open enrollment comes around in October of each year, and it is never too early to begin your search.
Cutting your expenses is obvious, but it may not be quite as clear which expenses you can cut. One is the cost of a car. If you don’t drive often, it might not make sense to keep the vehicle parked in the driveway. You should also look for ways to reduce your spending on everyday activities, such as dining out and traveling. Money asserts that seniors can save big by simply asking for their senior discount at places like Kohl’s, US National Parks, and some cell phone carriers.
Focus on affordable self-care.
Self-care is something you might neglect when you’re on a fixed income. But you should not. When you do things that make you feel well from the inside out – or the outside in – you’ll have the mental and physical fortitude to enjoy your days no matter what they may bring. Consider shiatsu massage, acupuncture, or working out. If these are outside of your budget, things like swimming, sleeping in a comfortable bed, and enjoying a home-cooked meal will also go a long way toward your self-care efforts.
Consider a second career.
Retirement means you should have the freedom to do as you want. But when what you want costs money, don’t forget that you have valuable skills that can help you pay the bills. Say your background was in administration or human resources, you could parlay those skills into part-time work. Or, if you worked in design or construction, for example, consider offering freelance architectural rendering services as needed. A quick look at Upwork, an online job board, shows that you can pretty easily charge anywhere from about $20 an hour up to $70 an hour or more if you’re familiar with 3-D modeling and CAD design.
Budget for your needs first, but don’t neglect your wants.
Retirees tend to spend more money in their first two years out of work than they did while they received a paycheck. This may be partly because we get used to having assets, and money becomes just an afterthought. But now, it’s time to sit down and take a close look at your needs. These are required expenses, such as your mortgage or rent, food, and clothing. You may have to do some juggling to cut costs, but these are things that cannot go un-funded. Do make a point to budget for at least one of your wants. This might be something as simple as dinner and drinks with friends once a month or a date night with your spouse or partner.
Learning to live on a smaller budget is work, and it might take some juggling. But, rest assured, once you get the hang of it, your quality of life will improve, and your retirement will become that much more enjoyable. Heed the advice above and you’ll be on your way to financial freedom at any age.
Karen Weeks is a Senior Lifestyle blogger. She struggled to find a new sense of purpose after retirement which made way to learn a new skill and took a computer course. She then created ElderWellness.net as a resource for seniors who wish to keep their minds, bodies and spirits well.
HeCares warmly welcomes our new blogger Karen Weeks who would like to share some good tips with hundreds and thousands of seniors our team serves.