Limited Income and Retirement

Don’t Let a Limited Income Limit Your Retirement Plans: Follow These Tips Instead

A guest post by Karen Weeks of ElderWellness

What is your idea of a perfect retirement? For many seniors, enjoying retirement to the fullest means traveling to new places, trying new hobbies, or enjoying more time with loved ones. In one way or another, however, each of these retirement dreams requires some flexibility when it comes to your income. If your retirement income is a bit limited, you may need to budget more carefully to comfortably afford your own golden year goals, which is why you need these tips:

Lower Your Auto Insurance Premiums

You’ve probably seen the commercials, but have you really thought about whether you are paying too much for car insurance in retirement? If not, you could be missing a simple step that could boost your income and give you more funds for the things you really love. Best of all, you don’t have to settle for bare-bones coverage in order to reduce the costs of your auto insurance plan. You can still have full coverage for any situation and snag a discounted insurance rate by bundling insurance policies, investing in anti-theft devices, driving less than 12,000 each year, or simply driving safely. In order to get the best deal for your money, be sure to compare rates and ask for quotes from a few different companies before you renew, so you can potentially save hundreds on your annual auto insurance costs—and have more money for fun!

Cut Out Extra Entertainment Expenses

Are you still spending way too much on cable or satellite? When you’re living on a limited income and trying to preserve your quality of life, that $85 to $100 per month can really start to add up and eat away at your retirement savings. To trim those costs without getting rid of your service, you can try cutting out premium channels, asking for a discount from your provider, and avoiding contracts that lock you into high cable costs. Another option is to switch to a streaming service, which can give you many of the same entertainment choices for a lot less than the average cable bill. Plus, with streaming services, you can rent the latest movies for an at-home movie night, complete with cheaper snacks than you can find at a theater.

Get Help With Monthly Housing Costs

If you’re still paying the mortgage on your home, those monthly costs can start to eat into your retirement income quickly. So instead of taking on those expenses alone, why not think outside of the box to offset your monthly housing payment? For example, you could always use a roommate finder to connect with other seniors who are looking to lower their housing expenses as well. Sites like Senior HomeShares, Silvernest, and the aptly-named Golden Girls Network help match older adults with suitable housemates, which helps those adults lower their overall cost of living during retirement. Some home-share programs also connect older adults with college-aged roommates. Aside from providing financial perks, these intergenerational setups can also prevent loneliness and social isolation for seniors and young adults.

Look for Other Opportunities to Save

The steps above can help you trim your budget during retirement, but there are other measures you can take to maximize your financial savings. For one, spend some time online researching current senior discounts and make it a point to frequent businesses that offer them. Many of your favorite restaurants may be on this list, which means you can enjoy some meals out without worrying about too much extra expense. If travel is on your list of retirement goals, you can also use senior travel deals to cut the cost of airfare. Some discounts are only offered to AARP members or other clubs/groups, so keep this in mind whenever you are booking your travel arrangements.

When you get older, most of the things you need to deal with are financially related in one way or another. Happily, there are several sources of financial assistance for senior care. Federal, state, and local government resources for caregivers can be helpful.

Retirement budgeting doesn’t have to leave you feeling like you’re missing out on your favorite activities. You just need to find savvy ways to save on the things you need, and the things you love, so that you can stretch those retirement dollars further and really enjoy your golden years!