7 Ways Older Americans Are Cutting Back on Spending

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A man and woman watch TV on a couch
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Over a lifetime, older Americans have learned that you can open their wallet wide when times are good.

And when times are bad? It’s time to tighten the purse strings.

Today’s inflationary environment has forced many Americans — including those who are older — to rein in their spending. Recently, the Nationwide Retirement Institute talked to more than 2,300 adults with investable assets of $10,000 or more for its latest annual Advisor Authority survey.

Included in this group were retirees and older Americans between the ages of 55 and 65 who had not yet retired. Nationwide asked these older respondents how they are adjusting their priorities so they can meet financial commitments in today’s challenging economic environment.

Here are the ways older Americans say they are cutting back on spending.

1. Spending less on luxury goods

Woman drinking a glass of wine
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Older respondents who are cutting back spending in this way: 47%

Even during tough times, cutting necessities is not really an option. Instead, folks are more likely to turn to eliminating luxury goods from their budget.

Everything from fine wines and expensive cigars to designer clothing and home goods becomes expendable when you struggle to make ends meet.

2. Spending less on leisure (tie)

Sorry! board game
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Older respondents who are cutting back spending in this way: 44%

After spending a couple of years stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the last thing anyone wants to do is delay more leisure activities.

But if inflation is eating away at your wallet, you might not have any choice but to settle for board games and quiet nights watching TV.

3. Spending less on entertainment (tie)

Senior couple at the theater
Caftor / Shutterstock.com

Older respondents who are cutting back spending in this way: 44%

When your favorite singer comes to town, are you ready to splurge on tickets to the big concert? Nearly half of older Americans are trying to save by saying “no thanks” to entertainment these days.

If you are determined to have a little fun despite these inflationary times, check out some suggestions from Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson in his podcast episode “10 Ways to Have Fun for Free or Nearly Free.”

Other ways older investors are cutting back

Senior couple eating a meal at home
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Here are some additional ways retirees and older workers are cutting back on spending:

  • Taking fewer trips or vacations: 38%
  • Holding off on a large purchase or expenditure (e.g., new home, wedding, etc.): 23%
  • Reducing financial support for adult children and elderly relatives: 5%
  • Moving in with adult children: 1%

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