Retirement is a time to put many worries behind you. Say goodbye to the rat race and hello to a life lived at your pace and on your schedule.
But retirement also raises new concerns. After decades of earning a steady paycheck, the flow of new cash is likely to slow to a trickle. In fact, money worries often leap to the fore once you give up your 9-to-5 gig.
Fortunately, there are things you can do in retirement to cut expenses and pad your bottom line.
Become a one-car household
The average cost of vehicle ownership is $9,282 annually, according to AAA. That’s a lot of cash.
But it can also be a ton of money saved if you are one-half of a retired couple who downsize from two cars to one. After all, how often do you and your partner use a car at the same time for different errands?
Downsize your living quarters
When you are raising a family, it seems like you never have enough space at home. Once the kids have flown the nest, that same house can suddenly feel quite cavernous.
A bigger home also comes with larger costs. There is more to maintain, insure, heat and cool. Your tax bill is likely to be larger as well.
Moving to a smaller home allows you to trim these costs, and to cut back on your ecological footprint. Now might be a great time to make the move, with home prices near record highs in many markets. Cash in and sink those profits into more modest living quarters.
Sell things on eBay and Amazon
Make extra cash each month by selling things online at sites such as eBay or Amazon. Most experts recommend starting by selling things from around your home that you no longer want or need.
Once you make a few sales — and feel the accompanying thrill that goes with making relatively easy cash — educate yourself on additional ways to sell at eBay, Amazon and other sites.
For more tips on making cash, check out “Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them.”
Freelancing or consulting
For a lot of workers, retirement is all about having your own schedule. Others simply loathe the daily commute or being stuck in a soul-stealing office for eight to 10 hours.
If you are among those who love work, but hate the trappings that surround it, consider adding a little freelancing or consulting to your daily routine. Start by working your contacts to find opportunities. You can also try websites such as Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelance services.
Then, take on as much — or as little — work as you see fit. For more tips, check out “11 Keys to a Successful Freelance Career.”
Travel during off-peak times
Take advantage of that wide-open retirement schedule to plan vacations for times of the year when you can get the best price.
For example, avoid traveling during the holidays if you can. Several years ago, a CheapAir.com study found that people who travel during the holiday season pay 50% more than those who travel at other times.
For more tips, check out “11 Smart Ways to Save on Travel.”
Delay taking your Social Security benefits
When you were working, you (hopefully) saved money each year for retirement. With any luck, you are now reaping the rewards of your willingness to delay gratification all those years.
If so, consider repeating the process again by delaying your Social Security payments.
For each year past your full retirement age that you delay taking your Social Security benefits until you reach age 70, you can increase the amount of your benefit by up to 8% annually, according to the Social Security Administration.
Even better, your Social Security benefit is adjusted for inflation each year. That trumps just about any annuity money can buy.
Take advantage of senior discounts
America is the land that celebrates eternal youth. But your golden years can be pretty sweet, too — especially if you cash in on senior discounts.
Once you reach the age of 50, you can sign up for AARP and reap the many benefits of membership in that organization. But don’t stop there. Many other price breaks are available.
For more, check out:
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