How to Live well even on a fixed Income

For many seniors, the promise of adequate retirement savings and Social Security benefits creates a false sense of financial security. You might think your fixed income means you are set, but when you consider that the cost of living has increased 14 percent in just a few years, you may start to worry. Rest assured, you can still enjoy your golden years with financial fine-tuning.

Get a New Insurance Plan

Your mind and body change as you age, meaning more doctor’s visits, check-ups, and prescriptions, but this also means an increase in health care expenses. To help you save some money in the long run, now might be the time to reconsider your healthcare coverage by speaking with a healthcare advisor or getting a quote online. You can also look into Medicare Advantage plans, which typically offer additional benefits not included in Part A and B such as prescriptions.

Save Money on Food

Now that you’re retired and likely have fewer mouths to feed, you might feel comfortable eating out more. It’s quick and convenient, and it’s a good way to stay connected with friends, but it adds up quickly. You don’t have to give up going out, but at least take advantage of your senior status by frequenting restaurants that offer senior discounts or host senior nights. Save on groceries as well by making a list to avoid impulse buying. Better yet, do curbside pickup or door delivery, the latter of which saves gas. Choose the store you commit to wisely, opting for one that offers membership perks via savings, fuel points, coupons, and discount days.

Refinance Your Home

If you need an infusion of cash (e.g., to repair or renovate your home) or if you’d just like to lower your monthly mortgage payments, refinancing your home may be an option you want to consider. With a refinance, you reduce the equity you have in your home in exchange for a new loan. This option is best if you’re planning to be in your home long-term, so if you’re thinking of moving in the next few years, you may want to avoid refinancing.

Return to Work Part-Time

If you need a little extra income, think about the possibility of returning to work on a part-time basis. Your hours won’t be long, you’ll get to socialize with others, and you’ll enjoy feeling active and engaged. Some jobs that are a good fit for seniors include freelancing, event staff, pet sitting, retail, or substitute teaching. You could even reach out to your past place of work and ask about returning on a part-time basis doing what you did previously.

If you’d prefer not to return to the office, there are still ways you can make money from home such as turning a hobby into a side business. Think about what you enjoy doing and explore ways to expand on it. Maybe you’re a skilled carpenter, musician, or mechanic. Whatever the case may be, see if there is local interest. Pick up jobs here and there, advertise your services in the newspaper or on social media, or put a listing on a freelancing site.

If your retirement income isn’t cutting it, there’s no need to fret. There are ways to budget and save without forgoing the fun and freedom that retirement promises. Reevaluating your health care coverage, saving on food, joining a senior discount program, and working part-time are just a few of the many ways you can start saving so you can still live it up in your golden years.

~ Guest blog post written by Karen Weeks

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I am an author, speaker, caregiver, and Grammy. The latter is by far the most fun! Having been a primary caregiver 3x, I realized so many lessons were learned too late to benefit my Dad who passed of Parkinson's Disease. I resolved to write a book to make life easier and safer for other caregivers that would get them ideas, inspiration, and lessons learned. It's called "Caregiving: How To Hold On While Letting Go" available on Amazon. I am a Certified Caregiver Consultant and Advocate as well as a Community Educator for the Alzheimer's Assoc. and Founder of The PurpleVine LLC

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