Many people look toward retirement with mixed feelings. There is the anticipation and excitement of no longer having to stick to a set schedule. However, there may be some trepidation about living without a steady income.
Bloomberg financial experts found the number of Americans aged 65 and older without a disability that weren’t in the labor force rose to 800,000 in the fourth quarter of 2016. This has become a long-standing trend of Baby Boomers leaving the workforce and entering retirement. Yet, a Statistics Canada study of people between the ages 60 and 64 who had left long-term employment found 43 percent of them were working again, most within a year of leaving their job. Although boredom may have compelled many of those people to reenter the workforce, some may have started working again to make ends meet. Researchers found the higher the earnings in one’s late 40s, the more likely a retiree is to go back to work.
While retirees may need to alter their spending habits, it is possible to live happily on less. Here are some ways to do just that.
- Accurately assess home expenses. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling says the cost of home-related expenses accounts for roughly 45 percent of spending for retirees. Individuals can add up exactly how much their homes are costing them and then decide if downsizing is a practical solution. Downsizing has a host of benefits, not the least of which is reducing housing-related expenses.
- Invest in health care. Unexpected health care costs can quickly deplete individuals’ finances. That’s why it is essential to have a solid insurance plan in place. Health care planning also may include thinking ahead to long-term care, such as assisted living and nursing homes. One may have to make concessions elsewhere, but investing in health care can assuage concerns men and women might have about the cost of living in their golden years.
- Use alternative transportation. Cars can be expensive. A budget-friendly alternative to driving is to use public transportation or transportation services provided to seniors free or for nominal fees.
- Take advantage of senior discounts. Many restaurants, stores and service centers offer discounts to seniors. The starting age for discounts may vary from store to store, so always ask before cashing out.
- Shop for food differently. Bulk buys may have been appropriate for men and women when there were kids running around, but empty-nesters can cut back on food expenses. Shopping sales and making more meals at home can help seniors save money. The market research firm NPD Group found that in-home meals cost roughly one-third of what it costs to eat the same food at a restaurant. Save dining out for special occasions.
Retirees can make changes to save money without negatively affecting their quality of life.