Saving money and staying debt free is one of the best ways to ensure you end up living a worry-free life once you retire. For retired seniors on fixed incomes, saving money is essential as they may be forced to survive on a limited budget. Unfortunately, more than a third of the working class in America is not well-prepared for retirement, since a majority do not have enough savings to cushion them once they retire. This simply means that as soon as they stop working, the only thing they can rely on is their retirement benefits, which may not always be enough.
With an average of $1500 a month, living off retirement benefits alone can be challenging for most seniors. Fortunately, there are many business programs that help seniors save money. A few examples are Papa Murphy with their Papa Murphy’s Senior Discount and Mcdonald’s with the Mcdonald’s Senior Discount program. So, here are other money-saving tips for seniors on a limited budget.
5 Ways Seniors Can Save Money
1. Look for Healthcare Insurance
Old age can be a sensitive phase, even for seniors in good shape. As you bid goodbye to your youthful stages and become a senior, you will probably lose some youthful features, including some or most of your physical strengths. Unfortunately, your immune system may also weaken. This makes it easier for illnesses that hardly affected you while young to become troublesome. We are not trying to scare you but rather make you aware so that you can prepare well for your senior phase.
It’s therefore worth noting that without the right medical insurance coverage, treatment can be quite expensive, even for minor complications. So be on the safe side by getting healthcare insurance as soon as you retire from work to avoid the burden of expensive healthcare treatment.
2. Make Use of Senior Discounts
One of the best things about being a senior is the discount offers you’ll get through the senior discounts programs. However, not all businesses will have this offer available, so ask first instead of assuming it. Another way you can tell if the offer is available is to go through the company’s website to check if they have listed any offers for senior members.
Common businesses with senior discounts are restaurants, gyms, retailers, utility providers, transport and tourism services, internet service providers, and cable TV providers. You can search online for all businesses in your local area with similar offers to easily save money.
3. Reduce the Amount You Spend on Transport
If you are a senior, you are probably in no hurry to get to work, as we assume you will be retired by then. However, with the rising fuel cost, you might find it expensive to fuel your car regularly, especially if you are not traveling with family, pets, or luggage on board. Furthermore, maintaining a car is not only about refueling. You will also have to account for regular maintenance and repair costs that come with car ownership. This can be very expensive and average more than $8000 a year.
We also understand that car ownership is essential for some and giving that away may be highly inconvenient. If that’s the case, you can opt to save money differently. You can start by shopping for more affordable insurance covers, especially those with discounts for seniors. Alternatively, carpooling with friends, neighbors, or family can help you save some extra cash. Sharing a ride will help you save on transport costs and reduce the number of cars on the road, making it good for the environment.
Finally, if you are open to alternative methods of transport, consider public transportation, cycling, or walking. You can use them when you are not in a hurry, or your destination is just a few blocks away. Walking and cycling will be good for your health and will let you connect with people and nature on the way.
4. Consider Changing Your Living Arrangements
Sometimes you have to compromise some of the things you used to enjoy and use what is currently available. For example, if you are living alone and are not a homeowner, it would make more sense to save rent money by changing your living arrangements.
First, if you live in a big house and are not utilizing the space, it would be more economical to relocate to a smaller house where rent is cheaper. If you insist on staying in a big house, you can find another senior to move in with you and split the bills 50/50 or whatever you agree.
If you have been living in an urban area because of work, consider relocating to a small town or generally somewhere where life is cheaper. Small towns, especially those in the countryside, are most accommodating to seniors, and life there is significantly cheaper compared to densely populated urban areas.
You can also move to a senior community, where you will enjoy the extra company and be well looked after for as long as you stay. While there, you can save on utility costs, transportation, and other essential bills you would have had to pay if you decided to live by yourself.
5. Start a Business
Old age comes with wisdom, time, and patience. If you highly depend on social security, your earnings may not be enough to cater to all your bills and non-essentials. You can also lose your government income if you exceed the earning limit. So, why not make good use of your extra time by starting a business, part-time job, or what is now commonly referred to as a “side hustle.”
Doing so will allow you to generate extra income that you can spend however you like without giving up your social security check.
High living costs, brought by an increase in rent and medical costs, can make life as a senior challenging. However, with the right plan to help you get by, you can hack this phase and live comfortably once you retire. So why not use the creative tips provided in this article to make your senior life easier? Try our 5 money-saving tips for seniors on a fixed income to save money.