If you are thinking about retirement, it may be a good time to pay close attention to your monthly expenses. If your income will be less than what you are used to, consider the following ways to prepare for your new budget. (For more, see: Don't Wait Too Long to Tap Into Your Retirement.)
- Consider downsizing. If you’re close to retirement or the kids have moved out, selling your home and buying a less expensive place can be a great start to lowering your expenses. Think outside the box—move somewhere that costs less. Retirement is the perfect time to live somewhere you’ve always dreamed about.
- Turn a hobby into an income stream. Are you an excellent gardener, know more about fitness than your friends or play an instrument? Teaching somebody else can improve your skills, give you a feeling of satisfaction, and provide a little extra income.
- If traveling is a big part of your life, consider planning it in off-peak times. Also, consider all your options in traveling—flying may not always be the least expensive or the most fun way to travel. A trip across the country via Amtrak might be a wonderful way to see our great nation.
- Senior discounts. Growing up, you saw these discounts everywhere. Now it’s time to take advantage of them for movies, dinners, travel and educational classes.
- Take a close look at your TV and cell phone plans. Often we are paying for more channels or data than we really need.
- Look for free entertainment. Our national parks are full of great concerts, walks and classes. Pick up a new hobby and never stop the desire to learn. Learning a language or instrument may have an initial cost, but it can lead you down a path of expense-free hobbies for years.
- Love your grandchildren with attention, not stuff. It’s hard to resist showering them with toys and gifts. But we all know that just spending time with them and sharing our wisdom will go so much further in strengthening our bond with them.
- Begin doing tasks you currently pay someone else to do. Cutting grass, cooking meals, cleaning the house. Doing these things will cost you less and keep you active.
- Invest in your health. This is an important step in keeping medical costs lower. Eat healthier foods, cook at home, be proactive about exercise and your health so you can keep moving in your later years and keep expensive doctors' visits at bay.
- Instead of eating out with your friends, invite them over. When we are working, we tend to eat out a lot because we are short on time. Embrace the idea of cooking a meal for your friends. There’s no better way to enjoy retirement than sharing a meal, stories and wisdom with pals.
Consider implementing a few of these ideas and you will be surprised at how much money you can save. Once these types of things become a habit, then consider tackling the more extensive ways to save. (For more, see: Questions to Ask When Choosing a Financial Advisor.)
Milestone Wealth Advisors, Inc. is a Registered Investment Advisor. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.