According to a survey conducted by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, one-third of retirees are only somewhat confident about a financially secure retirement. Additionally, 14% claim to be not too confident, and 14% say they are not confident at all.
These numbers are hardly encouraging. However, there are ways to change your money situation in your retirement, and one of the best ways to do so is to save as much cash as you can after you retire. Here are seven ways to get you off on the right foot.
- Volunteer Your Time
Every hour of your time you dedicate tovolunteeringis one less hour you’ll be tempted to spend your retirement savings. Local churches always need help with Sunday greeters and ushers, and museums frequently rely on volunteer assistance. A friend of my mother even volunteers her time at her local airport – she helps arriving visitors with hotel and entertainment information.
- Get Freebies and Senior Discounts
Many free programs and discounts are available for senior citizens. For example, the program Tax Counseling for the Elderly (sponsored by the IRS) can provide you with free tax help, and Holiday Inn offers as much as 30% off hotel rooms for those aged 62 and older. American Airlines features select discounted fares if you’re aged 65 and older, as do other airlines. Research the Internet for more information about additional senior benefits – there are plenty more available.
- Find Cheap Entertainment
Do an Internet search for the county you live in to find free or cheap exercise classes or arts and crafts gatherings. Your local library can also be an excellent resource for free classes and entertainment, such as book clubs, yoga, and basic computer education.
- Downsize Your Home
If you’re an empty-nester, you might have a larger home than needed. Plus, even though you might be healthy now, the future could bring problems that make it more difficult to navigate stairs or multiple levels. When you downsize your home, you can save a bundle on the monthly mortgage payment, plus you’ll have less space to manage and maintain, further reducing your costs. Some of your utility bills may decrease as well.
- Sell Unneeded Automobiles
You probably don’t need multiple cars, especially if you or your spouse can no longer drive at night. And if the city you live in has a solid public transportation system, you might not need an auto at all.
When you unload extra automobiles, you save money on gas because you may need to consolidate trips, and you spend less in taxes, insurance, and maintenance as well. To sell your car, try Craigslist or eBay Motors if you’re Internet-savvy, or take out an ad in the newspaper. If you live on a street with lots of traffic, a for-sale sign in the window may be all you need.
- Take Affordable Vacations
If you have a worldwide whirlwind vacation planned, maybe put it off for a few years – this may be especially wise if you’ve recently retired and are uncertain about income. Instead, schedule a weekend getaway, or look locally for fun places to go. In the long run, you will be much better off financially.
- Sell Unneeded Items
Now that you’re retired, there might be furniture, cameras, or other appliances you no longer need – and if your grandchildren have grown, you can make a bundle of money by selling old toys. Use eBay, Amazon.com, or Craigslist to sell online, or simply hold a garage sale.
The report Older Americans 2000: Key Indicators of Well Being states that the life expectancy of those aged 65 in the year 2000 was on average an additional 18 years. That’s six years longer than in 1900. Therefore, there is a higher chance that you’ll outlive your money now than ever before. Start saving cash now to ensure that you have enough money for yourself no matter how long you live.
Can you suggest other ways to save cash after you retire?
Article credit: Lou Michaels is a retired senior in Florida who writes about money management, lifestyle, and investing options.