Most resources offered online and through major financial institutions focus primarily on saving before retirement. And it makes sense. That’s how the process was traditionally accomplished – by accumulating a nest egg through RSPs, pension plans, IRAs, 401(k)s, etc. (depending on where you reside).
But according to recent studies across North America, many people are behind on their retirement savings. CNBC reports that nearly 55% of Americans are behind on retirement savings. Meanwhile, Bloomberg finds that “32% of Canadians are nearing retirement without any savings.”
It’s a challenging reality for many soon-to-be retirees, recent retirees and those who’ve drawn upon their savings at a faster pace than expected. You may have to stretch your savings or find new income streams. But it doesn’t mean that your quality of life should diminish. You’ve worked hard and deserve a restful, exciting retirement.
To that end, here are four effective ways to save money in retirement while living your best life.
Downsizing comes with a bevy of cost-saving potential. Moving to a smaller home allows you to pocket the price difference (if you own the property outright) and/or shift to lower monthly mortg
age payments (if you are still paying a mortgage).
Moreover, downsizing to a smaller home often accompanies a slash in utility and maintenance costs, as well as property taxes. Tending to a massive backyard or keeping the lights on in a two-floor house might have made sense when you had kids running around, but now it seems like an unnecessary expense. Likewise, paying property taxes for a large home might seem like a misapplication of your hard-earned retirement savings.
And Sell Any Excess Belongings
To facilitate an easy downsizing process, consider hiring a professional downsizing service. They will compassionately organize your belongings to keep, sell, donate or discard; organize the move itself; unpack your belongings in the new home; and help organize your new space.
It’s in that first phase of downsizing – organizing your excess belongings to sell – that you may find a new revenue stream. If you have furniture that can’t fit in the new space, consider selling it. Many current retirees amassed their furniture collection around the height of the MCM craze (mid-century modern); these pieces often net high prices at consignment stores, auction houses and online.
Make Use of Online Senior Discounts, Coupons and Bargains
For all its problems, the internet has gifted the world several assets. Specifically, it’s easier than ever to find deals for everything from household goods and groceries to clothing and services. You just need to know where to look.
Several agglomerate deal sites trawl the internet for the latest coupons and senior deals, passing those savings onto users. The list linked here reviews 13 of these particular websites. Likewise, senior directories and the AARP routinely list senior discounts on their website (for members and non-members alike).
Travel on the Off-Season
Lastly, you don’t have to halt your travel plans just to save money. As mentioned in the intro, you should enjoy your retirement. The key is to be shrewd about how you travel. Instead of booking flights for the high season in July (when many working adults take time off), leverage your status as a retiree to take trips in the off-season.
November to February (excluding holidays) are particularly cheap for flights and accommodation. And as long as you travel somewhere tropical or south of the equator, you can enjoy warm weather throughout.
Even if your savings aren’t quite where they ought to be, you should still live your life to the fullest. Consider these creative, effective ways to save money while enjoying your retirement.