When you’re considering retirement, it’s not uncommon to be concerned about your investments, accounts, and retirement income. But it isn’t always about what you’re saving so much as what you’re spending. While how much money you have coming in during your golden years is certainly an important aspect of retirement, what you’re spending can make an even greater impact. Overspending in retirement can diminish your resources quicker than you expect and leave you in a financial hole from which you may be unable to climb. If you are looking for ways to reduce your expenses during retirement, here are a few things to consider that may enable you better to maintain a decent lifestyle on a reasonable budget.
Utilize Your Talents
During your retirement, you might find yourself with a glut of time on your hands with surprisingly little to keep yourself occupied. While you’ve probably looked forward to such leisure time for years, maybe decades, it could grow old quickly. However, don’t let ennui keep you from reducing expenses. Instead, consider using it as an opportunity to learn new skills or perform activities that might be costing your money.
Learning to do things for yourself can be a wonderful way to reduce your expenses in retirement and a great way to stay busy. Whether you’re learning to cook, doing home repairs, performing yard work, discovering how to do your own taxes or whatever, with the time you might find you have on your hands during retirement, there may be a number of options, whether self taught or not, available to you. It is however, important to consider your own skills, abilities, and physical well-being before going too far into doing these things for yourself. Re-roofing your house at age 80 probably isn’t the best idea, even if it’s going to save you money. And while in attempting to do your own taxes, you may make an honorable effort, if you aren’t sure what you’re doing, it could cost you more than it saves you, so pick your do-it-yourself projects wisely and know your limitations.
One of the best ways to reduce your expenses during retirement is to seek out and make use of senior discounts. And if you can’t find such discounts, you probably aren’t looking too closely. From restaurants and movies theaters, to car insurance and public transportation, senior discounts are typically easy to find. If you’re looking to save some real money as a senior, make sure you look into property tax discounts that could save you thousands of dollars per year.
Reducing your expenses in retirement could lead you to take a second look at your belongings and cause you to question whether you indeed need as much stuff as you have. Everything from your home and cars to personal belongings and mementos could be put on the chopping block when it comes to items to rid yourself of in retirement. This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to make crushing decisions as to sentimental photo albums or gifts, but downsizing can save you or even make you money. Having garage sales to rid yourself of extra stuff you just don’t want or need, can make you money, and the removal of these items could allow you to move into a smaller home, which leads me to the next option to reduce your retirement expenses — your home.
While the last thing you might want to consider in your golden years is packing up all your belongings and hitting the road, such an option may be a great way to save yourself some money in retirement. Moving to an area with lower property taxes and cost of living could end up saving you thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars throughout the course of your retirement. Not only this, but you might find that moving to a new home or location could reduce your maintenance and upkeep expenses as well as lower the cost of your utilities, which could be other huge factors in reducing retirement expenses.
The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. For financial advice, readers should consult a licensed financial advisor. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.