A Smart and Frugal Retirement

Recent articles indicate that many boomers approaching retirement don’t have much in the way of retirement savings.

What can you do if you are in this situation? (Even if you are not in this situation you may want to read on about money saving ideas).

You can be vigilant about spending. Pay special attention to your recurring costs.

I did some research and found the following suggestions:

Relocation – Relocation is one option. An overseas relocation works for some people as evidenced by several posts on this blog. Relocation away from expensive urban areas can also significantly cut costs.

Downsizing – The most obvious cost saving measure is to downsize. Does anyone really need a house that can accommodate a family of 4, 5 or more people when they retire and their kids have moved on to their own homes? There are many costs associated with homes including taxes, insurance and maintenance (cleaning, lawn service, pool service, etc.) that can be reduced or eliminated.

Some people even decided to sell most of their belongings and moved into an RV (recreational vehicle) that doubles as their home and travel vehicle.

Sell Vehicles – Next on the list is the sale of that extra car. When retiring the need for more than one car may disappear. Why continue to pay for insurance, maintenance and gas when the car sits in the garage or in front of your home most of the time? You may even be able to sell all your cars depending on where you live.

The same applies to a boat and other vehicles if you don’t use them regularly. It may be cheaper to rent one for the occasional outing.

Sell the Exercise machines and other stuff – Exercise machines (treadmills, exercise bikes, home gyms, etc.) are a favorite purchase that are used once or twice and then sit unused in the basement or garage. Sell these as well as many other “must have” items gathering dust.

Food and Entertainment – reducing the number of times you go out to lunch or dinner may save you a substantial amount of money. And do you really need those $5 cups of Starbucks coffee? It all adds up.

Shop online – almost everything is now available online. Check out prices before buying, especially for higher priced items. If you can wait for delivery of an item buying online may save you money. Even if you don’t buy online bring the price you found online for an item to the store to try to negotiate the price down.

Travel/Vacation – online travel sites bombard you with advertisements about the lowest rates. Don’t assume that they always have the lowest rates. Sometimes you can find better rates by calling hotels directly. Always present or enter your affiliation number (AARP, AAA, etc.) to check for better rates.

Education – there are many colleges and universities that offer reduced cost or zero tuition to seniors. In addition most colleges will let you audit classes at no cost. Check with the universities/colleges in your town.

Also check out adult education classes offered in most cities at reduced rates for seniors.

Discounts – many business enterprises, especially chain stores, offer discounts to seniors. Ask if they do before you pay.

Also check out the weekly sale items at supermarkets. It is surprising how much you can save by shopping around.

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1 Comment

  1. You can save money on cable tv by cutting the cable altogether and getting a good antenna installed. The reception is actually better than what you’d get from cable because the signal is picked up directly and not filtered through the cable company. If you need more than just the local broadcast stations because your favorite shows are on cable stations there is always Hulu Plus, Amazon, and Netflix, and with a $99 device like Roku you get enough instant play to allow you to see anything you want to see.

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