Retirement is supposed to be a time for you to enjoy the fruit of a long productive life without worries about money. Here are a few tips to lower your expenses and help stretch your retirement income dollars.
However, if you are like millions of retirees or workers about to retire who had their retirement nest egg negatively impacted by the current downturn in the economy, you may have to par down your retirement lifestyle and cut expenses to make sure your retirement income dollars don't run out during your retirement years. Here are a few adjustments to your lifestyle that can lower your expenses and help to make sure your financial obligations don't hamper your quality of life during retirement:
1. Move into a smaller house. If you are living in a house that is too large and spacious for just you or you and a spouse, consider selling it and move into a smaller house or rent an apartment. Most likely you have built up equity in the larger house after the years and by selling the larger house, you can tap that equity for use during your retirement. If you decide to rent a house or an apartment, you will also eliminate the expenses associated with owning a house, such as property taxes, utility costs, and maintenance cost for a house, not to mention not having to deal with the usual headaches of home-ownership.
2. Relocate to a lower cost of living area. If you are currently living in a major city with high property tax, income tax and sales tax, consider moving to cities or urban centers, or even overseas, where the cost of living is lower to stretch a small retirement income.
3. Change your habits, preferences, and lifestyle. Quick smoking if you smoke. Not smoking will save you money - not to mention good for your health. If you are used to buying brand name products and paying premium prices, switch to the cheaper alternative to save money. If you have a newer luxury automobile, consider selling it and get an older economy car instead. You get money back from selling the car and save money on lower car insurance. If you are paying high membership dues at a fitness club, cancel the club membership and joint an informal group of like-mind retirees and get fit together. You not only save money from not having to pay dues, you get a chance to meet new people and make new friends.
4. Take advantage of your status. Being a senior citizen and retiree has it advantages in the form of senior discounts in almost every from senior discounts on a certain day of the week at the supermarket to senior discounts at movie theater and museums. Take advantage of these potential saving that will stretch your retirement income.
5. Continue working in retirement. How you retire is not written in stone. There is no law that says you have to stop working when you retire. If working at your job makes you happy, don't quit the job. A job during retirement will provide a steady income and less expensive health and dental insurance that will help stretch out your retirement savings.
The optimal way to increase your chance of being financially prepared for retirement is to save as much as you can and start as early as you can and at the same time, reduce any unnecessary expenses that drain your funds that otherwise could go toward your retirement savings plan. Once you enter retirement, reduce further any unnecessary expenses and change your lifestyle, if you have to, to preserve your retirement money.