Most Americans look forward to retiring, but a lot of them don’t know how they can afford to live without steady sources of income. If you don’t have substantial savings, you may even feel anxious when you think about how you will sustain your current lifestyle over the next few decades.
Retiring is often possible even for people who haven’t saved a lot. You just have to find ways to make your money last. Start with these four options. They’re relatively easy and can save you a lot of money over the years.
1. Downsize to a Small House
Now that you don’t have kids living at home, you can downsize to a smaller house. Downsizing will give you a quick influx of cash while also lowering your bills. The smaller the house is, the less you can expect to spend on things like electricity, natural gas and water. Even your home insurance rate will fall.
2. Take Advantage of Senior Discounts
Once you reach age 65, a lot of companies will give you senior discounts that will save you money on a wide range of goods and services. For instance, you can take:
- 15 percent off on clothes when you shop at Kohl’s on Wednesdays.
- Up to 30 percent off on movie tickets at AMC theaters.
- 5 percent off on groceries at Kroger and Harris Teeter on Thursdays.
If you plan to travel during your retirement, get a Senior Pass that will give you free admission to national parks. It only costs $10, so you’ll make your money back within just one or two visits.
Don’t feel shy about asking for your discount. You deserve it!
3. Reconsider Your Life Insurance Needs
Life insurance is a necessity when you’re young and have kids to think about. Once your children are raised and you own your home, though, you may not need as much life insurance. In fact, you might not need it at all.
Meet with your insurance agent to discuss your evolving needs and find ways to cut costs.
4. Grow a Garden
The average household spends nearly 6 percent of its budget on food eaten at home. Growing a garden in your backyard will lower the amount of money you spend on groceries.
Gardening is also a good way to improve your mental and physical health, an issue that’s important to many retirees. Just taking care of a small garden could help you spend less on medical expenses.
The next time you wonder how you can afford to keep funding your retirement, remember that there are ways to lower your expenses. If you plan right, you should find that you can make your money last longer than you originally thought.