Posted on October 20, 2020 - 07:33 PM by David L. Britt
Attention Seniors! Here’s How to Live It Up on a Fixed Income
If you’ve recently retired, congratulations. You are getting ready to live the best years of your life. Unfortunately, while you now have the time to indulge in your passions, there’s a good chance that your income took a pretty big hit when you left the workforce. Do not fear, as there are plenty of ways to get the most out of your golden years on a bronze budget.
It Starts with Saving
It makes sense that making the most of your money starts with saving it. This is tough in the first few years of retirement, and many seniors spend more money during the first 24 months than in the years prior. However, there are ways to keep your money in your pocket, even now that you have more time for travel and entertainment. One smart idea is to shop around for a new Medicare plan. This can potentially save you hundreds to thousands of dollars each year – and if your plan covers telehealth services, you’ll even save time on healthcare appointments.
On a smaller scale, you can change the way you shop by asking for senior discounts and buying clothes, furniture, and home accessories at secondhand stores. If you don’t often drive but still own a vehicle, crunch the numbers to see how much it costs you to maintain it versus simply using public transportation or rideshare services when you need to get out of the house.
Using Your Time Wisely
When you find that retirement isn’t quite as exciting as you imagined, you’ll be tempted to overspend on things like dining out and traveling. Instead of doing this, look for new ways to use your time that are just as fulfilling. You might, for example, pick up a new hobby; writing, reading, sewing, gardening, and painting pottery are all inexpensive and can easily fill a few afternoons each week while keeping your mind sharp and opening up your social circle.
Another idea is to get a part-time job. If you worked in customer service, you can use these skills as a virtual CSR. Online job sites can help you locate paid customer service agent jobs that you can do from the comfort of home. You may also work as a tutor, a life coach, or a professional consultant.
Even with a new hobby and a part-time side gig, you may still long for something meaningful. Consider becoming a senior volunteer, which, according to Leisure Care, can actually make you feel like you have more money and time. Not only does volunteering help reduce depression, but it can also keep you active and healthier for longer. This will both keep you from spending money to prevent boredom and improve your overall health, which can save money.
There are plenty of passive ways to tweak your finances as well. Switching to a high-yield savings account, for example, or postponing your Social Security for a few years if you have savings to live off of. Similarly, it’s never too late to invest, but you’ll want to partner with an experienced financial advisor before making any decision that directly impacts your financial status. If you have a whole life insurance policy, you may even be able to cash part of that out so that you can be your own beneficiary. Usually, this is tax-free, and the money can be used for everything from home improvements to travel.
As a senior, it can be hard to learn to live with less. But if you don’t mind a little financial juggling, you don’t have to. Even if you can’t spend as much, there are plenty of things that you can do, such as getting a part-time job, volunteering, or taking up a new hobby, that will fulfill you without emptying your bank account.
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