As we advance in age, we have to make individual decisions regarding our future. One of those decisions may be the need to change our lifestyle so that we can improve the quality of our retirement years. So how can we achieve this?
1. Downsize Your Home.
While downsizing may not be easy, moving to a smaller space will help you to save significant amounts of money. In order to help you decide whether to downsize or not, consider your economic situation. For instance, compare your current expenses, which include bills, mortgages, medical expenses, as well as the ever-growing home owner’s insurance rates, to what your budget will be if you moved to a smaller home with lower mortgage or utility rates.
As you budget, consider what expenses will be incurred when you sell your current house in order to buy another one. How much do real estate agents charge? How much will the lawyers be charging for legal services? Also, consider the cost of repairing the home you want to sell – whether it’s a paint job, inspection, or plumbing.
If you decide to move to a new place, you can check which towns are more affordable to seniors when you compare healthcare and overall quality of life. Some states do not charge income tax. Check the distance to the hospitals, grocery stores, and other places that you will be frequenting.
Finally, take a critical look at all your sources of income, your savings, and any other sums of money that you receive monthly. Once everything is in place, you will now come up with a decision based on what you think will be the most convenient, economical, and practical approach.
2. Benefits and Bargains.
There are a lot of discounts for Seniors, both from the government and NGOs which you can use to your advantage. These community resources will help you get what you need at lower prices and save a few hundred dollars.
3. Systematic Withdrawal System.
Make arrangements with your financial institutions, to structure a monthly system of payment, so that you get a consistent paycheck to avoid spending your money too fast. This will protect you from going bankrupt or getting behind on your bills and taxes.
4. Selling Assets.
Sell assets that you don’t need. If you have two or more cars, sell the extra car(s) and only keep what you need. If you’re in a place where there’s an efficient public transportation system, take the bus to save on fuel if traveling for short distances. De-clutter your house and sell what you don’t need anymore.
5. Aging in Place.
Many people prefer to age in place, as their homes contain a lot of cherished memories, or if they still prefer to retain their independence. This works well if you are in areas where there’s a wide and affordable range of efficient services like food delivery, transport, etc. If this works for you, also consider renting out the extra rooms in your house (read more about it in our shared housing section). This way, you’ll get both the money and some company as it can get very lonely when you are all alone in a huge house, with no one to attend to you in times of emergencies. Make a few alterations to your house like installing an elevator, or an electric stair lift to aid in mobility and avoid accidents on the stairs.
6. Granny Pods.
These are tiny homes built on the same property of your children or other family members. These houses accommodate you both by providing the independence and privacy you need, while at the same time enabling your children or guardians to keep an eye on your progress and safety, without you feeling like a burden to them.