You did your time, put in your work, and now it’s time to kick back, relax and enjoy your retirement. Retirement is your time to enjoy life without the worry of a day-to-day job, and a perfect opportunity to do, well, whatever you want! While this can be a stress-free time in your life, that may not always be the case if you don’t have the appropriate finances to be “worry-free.” So, how do you make sure your finances are always in check, and that you’ll have a little extra money readily available? Here are six tips to help stretch your income in retirement.
- Public transportation: One great thing about being in retirement is that you now have much more time and don’t need to be in as much of a hurry as when you had a 9 – 5. If your location suits, consider using public transportation to get from point A to point B. Public transportation such as taxis, subways, light rails and some of the newer options such as Uber and Lyft may be a slower means, but in the long run you will save money on gas and maintenance. Also, if you’re currently living in a two-car household, you could consider selling one of them to bring in a little extra money.
- Take advantage of at-home entertainment: When working a full-time position, it happens all too often that we take the easy, convenient route when it comes to entertainment such as going out to eat. Now, with the extra time you have, you can cut down on the number of visits to restaurants (no need to cut out your favorites completely) and prepare a nice meal at home. You can extend this practice into other areas of entertainment like going out to the movies. Services such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go allow you to watch as many movies as you want for a small monthly fee.
- General budgeting: This one may seem like common sense, but you may be surprised at how much simply creating a personal budget can help when it comes to finances. Once in retirement, it will be easier to keep track of your monthly income with your Social Security check and 401k. Determine how much your necessities such as bills, groceries and rent/mortgage will deduct from your monthly income, and from there you can figure out how much you have left to save and spend on extras.
- Downsize: Assuming you have adult children and they have left the nest, what are you going to do with all of that extra space? You could consider downsizing by moving to either an apartment or town home, and sell much of your extra belongings during the transition. Moving into a smaller space will mean easier maintenance, and less expensive bills. AFTER55.com is a site dedicated to making it easy for seniors and their family members to find a place to call home. With thousands of listings nationwide, and a wide range of senior housing and care options (such as 55+ age-restricted houses and apartments for sale and for rent, independent living, continuing care retirement communities, assisted living, nursing homes), it’s easy to find a place that is perfect for you.
- Rent out your home: If option number 4 sounds like something you would be interested in, you have a couple of options. You could either sell your home during the transition, or you could hold on to it and rent it out instead. Becoming a landlord will take some extra work, but the rent check that comes in from your new tenants will be a nice supplement to your income each month.
- Pick up a part-time job if you are able: I know, I know. You’re in retirement, you shouldn’t have to work more! However, if you’re still able, picking up a part-time job can be something you do more as hobby instead of work. It can be a great way to occupy your time if you are looking for something to do, while still bringing in a little extra money.
So, whether you are the “stay-at-home” type, or the “go see the world” type, it’s always nice to have a little extra money readily available. Living on a fixed income can be a challenge, but it if you spend wisely and stick to your budgeting, those hard earned dollars will likely treat you well.
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