When you reach the age of retirement, you can begin to enjoy a different sort of life, one in which you finally have all the time you need to pursue interests like travel and hobbies that you’ve set aside in deference to the busy lifestyle of a working adult.
Of course, most people can’t just drop everything and embark on a globetrotting adventure. You need to consider your finances before you start spending like it’s going out of style.
So here are just a few tips to help you reduce your cost of living in order to ensure that you have the cash on hand to enjoy your retirement for as long as it may last.
Perhaps the most common means of reducing your cost of living is to downsize your housing. By the time many people retire, they have paid off a mortgage or at least built up a fair amount of equity in a family home.
But with the kids grown and living their own lives, you hardly need all the space any more. And with a fixed income that’s likely only a percentage of what you earned at a job, you need to think about reducing monthly expenses.
By selling a large home and downsizing to something more manageable, you can not only cut your regular costs, but you can also put some money in the bank.
Consider alternate transportation
When you move to a new home, you not only have the opportunity to reduce your utility bills, but you can also lower your transportation costs by choosing an area that has abundant amenities nearby, say within walking or biking distance, so that you can cut back on the cost of fuel.
Of course, there are also alternatives like hybrid or electric vehicles. However, you might decide to sample other means of transportation, such as public transit (trains, buses, etc.) so that you can get rid of your car entirely, including the costs of a loan or lease, registration, insurance, and so on.
Take a cooking class
Okay, so taking classes costs money. But eating out certainly costs more than dining in, so consider cooking classes an investment that is sure to pay off over time.
If you’ve never put much time or thought into cooking healthy and delicious meals at home, then now might be a good time to take up a new hobby and discover a world of enjoyment and nutrition that relies only on your willingness to try new things.
Life is short, so save your money for travel and learn to cook at home. If you need some help or encouragement, enlist the aid of friends who have been cooking fantastic food for years. You might even grow your own produce if you have a green thumb, saving on the cost of fruits and vegetables, as well.
Understand insurance options
As a retiree, your insurance needs are bound to differ greatly from, say, those of a parent with young children.
So when you reach the age of retirement, it behooves you to reassess your needs and make sure that you’re not overpaying for options you no longer need and that you are getting the coverage you do need.
If there are activities you enjoy participating in frequently, you might consider joining clubs that offer discounts. This could include theater, movies, or dining, just for example, although on a larger scale you might join frequent flier or hotel clubs.
Of course, you might still have to ask, “how much does it cost? ” before you lay down your cash. But with discounts racking up you should be able to enjoy the things you love for less.