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No matter how much you’ve earned or how much you’ve saved, retirees number one worry is having enough money to enjoy a fulfilling retirement. To help make sure the money lasts comfortably, here are 10 tips for reducing expenses without reducing quality of life.
Cut the Cable
Nowadays most cable television shows are available on a streaming service within 24 hours. Signing up for services like Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime cans save major money, especially considering all three combined cost significantly less than cable.
Cancel the Landline
With smart phones, text messages, and other forms of digital messenger, there’s not a lot of reasons to keep paying for a landline these days. While they don’t tend to cost a lot, cutting a landline bill can add up.
Get Rid of Waste
We all have things we pay for but don’t actually use. Have leftover data your cell phone plan every. month? Select a lower, less expensive plan. Not using that gym membership? Cancel it. Don’t read that magazine anymore? Let the subscription lapse. Find things you’re paying for on a monthly or annual basis and not using and drop them.
Drop to One Car
This may seem a little drastic, but a car is an expensive luxury. Insurance, repairs and maintenance. After retirement, most couples can get away with just having one car, or in some cases no car at all. In bigger cities, the cost of Uber, Lync, taxis or bus passes may seem like a lot of money trickling out of your pocket, but when you consider the money you're not spending on gas, maintenance, license fees and insurance, it's probably much less expensive. You can rent a car when you want to take a weekend trip or have a special need.
Shop Online More
For some it may be unfamiliar but shopping online can help you find better deals than even in store. Nowadays it’s perfectly safe to make purchases online. It's easier to compare prices, which could help you find better deals. While you can't see and touch the item in person, there is the benefit of seeing other people's reviews, and comparing prices and features between stores. A neat trick to also remember; if you see a box for a promotion code while you’re checking out, do an internet search for a coupon code.
Take Advantage of Senior Discounts
Many businesses, from grocery stores and restaurants to airlines and resorts, offer some sort of senior discount. There’s no reason to feel shy or ashamed for asking if one is available. Doing so can save a lot.
Library and E-Books
Instead of buying new books to read, get them from cheaper alternatives. E-books are cheaper, they don't take up space, they are easier to travel with and you save on shipping. If you don't have a Kindle device, Amazon offers a free Kindle reader app for most modern computers, tablets and smartphones. You can also check out books for free from your local library, many of which also offer E-reader assistance.
Find Free or Inexpensive Entertainment
There are plenty of places around town that offer free or inexpensive forms of entertainment. Remember those libraries we mentioned? Along with books you can often find movies available for rent. Local colleges often offer free performances to the public. Most museums offer free days or evenings throughout the month.
Set up a Retirement Paycheck
Now that you’ve retired, it’s a good idea NOT to give yourself unlimited access to your investment funds. That’s a good way to run through your money too fast. Instead, set up a "retirement paycheck" by structuring direct deposits from your investments into your checking account on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
If the money is coming out of an IRA or other retirement account have both federal and state taxes automatically withheld before you receive your share. This will keep you from getting behind on taxes.
Talk to your brokerage firm or financial advisor about setting this up for you and discussing how much should be deposited each month to make the money last.
Okay, this is a big one, but hear us out. If you are in a large home, consider downsizing to something smaller. Or consider renting out a room to bring in some extra money. If you rent, consider finding someone to rent with. You can also lower costs by trading in the big house, yard, and maintenance costs that come with it for a condo or a patio home in an active living community.
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