When it comes to Americans and retirement savings, the statistics are sobering. Nearly 70-percent of Americans think they will outlive their retirement savings, while just over 20-percent have no money all set aside for retirement. But no matter how much you have saved for retirement, it makes sense to cut down on living costs once you stop working. Here are several ways to reduce expenses during retirement.
Flee the Empty Nest
One of the biggest and best ways to cut down on living costs during retirement is to downsize your home. Not only will you save money on utility bills, home maintenance and property taxes, you’ll have more free time to spend doing what you enjoy.
Relocate for a Lower Cost of Living
If you’re going to downsize, you might as well do so in an area that has a lower cost of living. By simply cutting down on day-to-day expenses such as food, gas and services you’ll be able to stretch your retirement savings. Take a look at this list of locations where you can enjoy an incredible retirement lifestyle for less than $40,000 a year.
Become a One-Car Couple
If you’re retiring at the same time as your significant other, you’ve probably had two cars for years. Retirement is the time to cut it down to one. Without separate work schedules, you’ll be able to easily get by with a single vehicle. And if you choose to live in a walkable area with great public transportation, you can save even more money if you decide to go without a car altogether (that goes for couples and singles). It will take some getting used to, but living without a vehicle means no more car payment, auto insurance, maintenance, fuel or registration costs — the savings are significant.
Now that you have plenty of free time on your hands, you’re not limited to traveling during holidays or summer vacations. You can pick up and go whenever the mood strikes! That’s great news for your budget, since traveling during off-peak times can save you a bundle on airfare, accommodations and attractions. And don’t forget to ask for senior discounts at every stop.
Use Your Senior Discounts
Speaking of senior discounts now is the time to take advantage of them. It’s one of the easiest ways to reduce expenses during retirement. Card-carrying AARP members receive discounts on a wide range of products and services, including dining out, insurance, entertainment, shopping and more. But many senior discounts can simply be yours for the asking. Saving a few dollars here or there might not seem like much, but it really adds up over time, especially if you’re living on a fixed income.
Watch Out for Boomerangs
Sometimes the empty nest doesn’t stay that way for long. If you have “boomerang” kids coming back to live with you, be sure to establish financial responsibilities and expectations up front. Of course you want to help out your adult children, but you don’t want to drain your retirement savings doing so. Take a look at these tips for managing boomerang kids.