Do you find saving money for retirement to be an overwhelming financial burden? What if you stopped freaking out and started learning about living frugally on a low retirement income?
While the thought of early retirement often makes people’s eyes turn into the shape of little hearts, saving enough money to retire comfortably isn’t possible for everyone.
Some don’t have the financial possibility to save aggressively, some don’t have the knowledge to invest smart and others simply lack basic financial education and spend carelessly without thinking ahead (ahem.. self included until recently).
However, retirement shouldn’t be a reason to get grey hair. Well, not because of uncontrollable stress over money anyway!
There are plenty of actions you can do today to plan for retirement and also, many frugal living ideas you can learn from retirees who chose to stick to a budget even during the golden years.
I’ve learned many tips on living frugally on retirement income from seniors I’ve met while in college (I had the opportunity to visit a few senior care homes while in college), while volunteering (many retirees are involved in volunteering activities) and of course, from my grandparents.
Some seniors often confuse being frugal with being cheap (I guess that’s normal after a certain age), but many retirees are able to live a decent lifestyle and enjoy their retirement years even on a tight budget.
on a low retirement income
Downsize to save money
Ideally, when you reach retirement age, your kids will all be grown up and living on their own.
Living in a big, spacious home is probably redundant at this point. So, why not downsize and save money!
A smaller home is much less expensive, cheaper to maintain and easier to clean.
I know many don’t fancy the idea of downsizing, seeing how they worked their whole life to buy a great house. But if you can’t afford to retire comfortably, then downsizing is probably a smart move.
Continue to make use of budgets
Retirement should be the end of (finally!) sacrificing fun for the sake of saving money, but if you need to maintain a frugal lifestyle, then efficient budgeting will definitely help.
Seeing how retirement involves reduced spending habits (no more commute, buying office clothes or saving to take the kids on vacation), budgeting should be easier than before.
If you have limited retirement income, prioritizing monthly or annual expenses before anything else is a must! Taxes, insurance premiums, prescription drugs, etc. should be top priority. See where you can cut costs and balance you income to your advantage.
In order to avoid expensive healthcare costs, stay active and in shape by exercising regularly!
You might think exercise has nothing to do with retirement on a budget, but old age implies accelerated health problems. Medical treatments and medicine can be expensive, so making sure you avoid such costs is a smart thing to consider.
Long walks, jogging or regularly riding a bike are a great way to stay healthy for free and avoid falling victim of old age!
My grandma used to come pick me up from school every single day, on foot. My elderly aunt used to literally run like a cheetah to catch the bus if she was late. My dad still enjoys lifting weights at 60.
There’s nothing more important than health, especially when living frugally on retirement income!
Cook at home
Retirement means so much more free time, so why not take advantage of it and prep all your meals at home?
Home cooking can save a ton of money, when compared to eating out. Start by saving money on groceries, then learn cook your meals from scratch.
Many great childhood memories involve mom’s and grandma’s homemade meals. My mom even used to bake birthday cakes from scratch. They were delicious, much healthier than store bought and, best of all, helped save money!
You don’t need to be the next Gordon Ramsey to be able to cook at home. Learning how to prep easy meals is quite easy these days, with so many food blogs available.
Take advantage of senior discounts
Being a retiree often means having access to all sorts of senior discounts.
My grandma has been going on more spa trips than all of my vacations combined! And do you know how much they cost? Almost nothing! Transportation was almost free, accommodation was almost free and the treatments – delightfully cheap!
Supermarkets, drug stores, phone companies and many more places offer senior discounts. Take advantage of them and save money!
Of course, just like with coupons, not every discount is worth the trouble. But keeping an eye out for senior freebies when it’s time to retire could mean a more relaxed budget.
These are the main tips I’ve learned from seniors living frugally on a low retirement income.
What about you?
What other tips can you think of when it comes to frugal retirement living?