If you’re like many, you’re probably looking forward to retirement — a time when you can finally reap the rewards of all of those years spent working hard, saving and strategically investing. You may be a bit concerned, however, about covering all of your expenses when you no longer have a steady paycheck. Fortunately, there are simple measures you can take to have more money on hand to pay for necessities like health care or indulgences such as that long-awaited trip to the Grand Canyon. Following are some relatively easy lifestyle adjustments that could help free up some additional cash.
During your working years, perhaps you and your partner each needed your own car to get to and from work on time and to run errands. Now that you’re retired, the two of you may be able to downsize to just one vehicle. Not only will selling that second car bring in some cash, you’ll also reduce your insurance bill and, in some cases, no longer have to pay for an additional parking spot.
Do it yourself.
When you were working full time while raising a family and engaging in “extra-curricular” activities like community groups or your kids’ sports leagues, spare time and energy were likely hard to come by. As a result, you probably outsourced some tasks such as fixing problematic plumbing, painting the house, mowing the lawn, or making dinner (we all know that take-out/delivery is the busy person’s lifesaver!). Now that you have more spare time, you may be able to take on these chores yourself instead of paying someone else to handle them.
Examine all of the services you currently pay for, and eliminate unnecessary ones. For example, do you need both a land line and a cell phone? Similarly, should you really be paying for both Netflix and a cable package? And do you need that membership to a fancy health club or can you accomplish the same thing by exercising at home? Scaling back on these types of services can potentially free up some funds.
Many items, especially travel-related ones such as airfare and hotels, price in convenience — meaning that popular dates and times are often more expensive. When you were working, your time was more limited and you likely paid a higher price to travel. Now that you’re retired, however, you can enjoy off-peak reduced prices. In addition, goods and services may be available at a discount to you now that you’re a senior citizen. Be sure to comparison shop and seek out the best available price.
Retirement is meant to be a time to relax, not to worry about covering expenses. By taking simple cost-reduction measures, you can help relieve some of that concern and focus instead on enjoying your newfound free time and laid-back lifestyle.