May 1st, 2018
If hearing about a tightening budget makes your stomach tighten into knots, you should know that proper financial planning – and saving – can turn your so-called “golden years” into … well, gold. (Or at least silver!)
Of course, the easiest and perhaps most enjoyable way for seniors on a fixed income to cut costs is by scouting out senior discounts – for everything from restaurants and hotels to department stores, supermarkets, and even pharmacies. Special “discount days” are common, but keep in mind that not all senior discounts are promoted or advertised.
With that said, it’s important to realize that to truly save money it’s prudent to look beyond consumer discounts and consider the following additional tips.
No, you don’t have to be over 65, or even 60. If you’re over 50 you can become a member of AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) – for as little as $16 per year. And if you’re not a member yet? You’re missing out on tremendous savings.
For starters, AARP members can take advantage of savings of anywhere from 5 to 25 percent on things like dining and travel. But there are also so many other services and resources available beyond discounts, including free tax help, financial and estate planning, webinars on things like Social Security and Medicare, and member-exclusive insurance programs and rates.
While AARP may be the largest membership organization for older adults, don’t neglect these other money-saving groups:
AMAC – benefits offered include health insurance products and a members-only credit card.
ASA – offers travel, health and wellness, home and auto insurance and general discounts.
Sure, digital technology can be a bit intimidating for oldsters. But budgeting can actually be easier than ever if seniors can make use of money management websites and apps like Mint, Mvelopes, HomeBudget and Pocket Expense – all great tools for determining where exactly your money is going. And by knowing where your money is, you can save more of it.
Apps can also put savings at your fingertips in numerous other ways, from helping to find the lowest prices for prescription meds to identifying questionable fees and charges among your monthly bills. Less stress and more savings? Sounds like the perfect reasons to embrace technology.
Throughout your life, you’re advised to “ask an expert.” Why should your retirement years be an exception to that advice?
Unless you have specialized knowledge of tax, retirement and estate planning, how will you know if your efforts to maximize your money are actually minimizing things? By consulting a reputable Financial Planner you can fully understand important matters like the difference between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA, the best practices for diversifying your investment portfolio, and much more. All of which means you’ll be able to better set your financial goals and both spend and save money more wisely.
Hearing the word “downgrade” can be a downer for a lot of people. The word conjures up thoughts of staying home and enjoying life less. But what if “financial downgrading’ actually could upgrade your lifestyle while saving you money?
Here are a few financial moves that could save you big on monthly expenses:
*Decrease Your Internet Speed – save up to $40 per month with a slightly-slower tier of service (and you probably won’t even notice).
*Switch Your Car Insurance – a company like Metromile charges a low monthly base rate, plus a few cents per mile when you drive (and you’re probably driving less anyway).
*Cut the Cord – you don’t have to be a frugal Millennial to realize the advantages of choosing to go with an alternative to cable, such as Netflix, Hulu, or SlingTV.
*Change Your Phone Plan – there’s a lot of competition when it comes to phone service providers; and where there’s competition, there’s savings to be had.
*Choose Smarter Credit Cards – bonus and rewards points just for shopping? Need we say more?