When it comes to living off of retirement income, it can mean cutbacks for seniors. What can you do? It’s hard to know where to cut back first. Here are some frugal tips for seniors who are living on a fixed income.
1. Downsize Your Home
This is kind of a big place to start, so if you want to go with some of the smaller tips first, that makes sense! But the bottom line is, selling your house and moving into a smaller one or renting an apartment (more on renting below) can really help take a financial load off.
Some seniors have been known to sell their homes and live on a houseboat or in an RV park, traveling as they like. A smaller home or rental is just a lot less maintenance than a large, free-standing home, and choices like the RV park and renting an apartment (or moving to assisted living) put you in a community. It’s often so much easier to get help and support when you have others close by.
2. Downsize Your Car
Those vehicles you used when the kids were at home or even when you were shuttling young grandchildren around are probably more than you need now. If you have two cars and you sell one, not only will you get cash in your pocket, you’ll also save on property tax, gas, and car insurance. If you have one car but it’s a big gas-eater, selling it and downsizing to something small to drive around town can be a big savings on gas. For travel, you can rent a larger car if needed.
3. Consider Renting
If you own your own home, car, and so forth, renting may be a good choice as you age. Renting means less headache and cash out of your pocket when something breaks or goes wrong with the house or the appliances. Renting also gives you the option of renewing or not renewing your lease at the end of a certain period (usually a year).
4. Take Care of Yourself
One way to save is in the area of health care. Taking care of yourself may help decrease doctor visits and even the need for medication. Look into age-appropriate exercise activities, such as a Yoga class or at-home videos. Eat well, consuming as many fresh fruits, whole grains, and vegetables as possible and eating organic foods when you can. See about taking a multivitamin and calcium/magnesium supplement formulated for seniors.
5. Free Preventative Care
While you’re at it with taking care of yourself, look into free preventative care in your community. Many vaccinations like the flu shot are offered free for seniors, and tests for blood pressure, cancer, and other health screenings are sometimes offered for free at your local clinic.