Prioritize your expenses
One of the most effective ways to start saving money is to start prioritizing your spending. Obviously bills like your mortgage, health insurance, and utilities will be first priority. But after that, you’ve probably got a whole lot of choices you can make about how you spend your money each month. Do you still need your cable TV plan, or do you find yourself watching Netflix or Amazon Prime more often? If you rarely watch live TV and can ditch your cable bill, that’s $80-$100 per month saved – with hardly any effect on your quality of life.
The same is true of your smaller, everyday expenses as well. Do you need to buy a latte four days a week, or could you cut it down to two? Do you need to purchase that new hardcover book, or could you use the library? Go through your expenses over the last couple of months and mark any that you deem unnecessary or not important. Then move those things to the bottom of your priority list.
If you’re not asking about a senior discount when you shop, go out for fun, or dine out, you could be missing out on a lot of savings. The discount might only be 5 percent, but that small amount of money will add up quickly – especially if you’re saving somewhere you frequent, like the grocery store. Often recreational facilities and gyms will offer substantial senior discounts, as well.
Some charitable organizations work with partners to offer discounts to all donors, not just seniors. Once you get in the habit of looking for discounts, doing so will become second nature.
Supplement your income on an as-needed basis
One of the great things about being retired is the fact that you’re able to work when and if you want to. There are all kinds of one-off, easy ways of supplementing your income that don’t have to involve more than a few hours at a time. Take babysitting, for example, or acting as a temporary caregiver. You could also use your decades of career experience to take consulting work on a by-project basis. Selling items online is another easy way to bring in some extra money.
If you have a larger expense coming up, like travel or helping to pay for a grandchild’s new car, consider picking up a seasonal job at a bookstore, art supply store, or nursery, for example.
Life settlements are another method of adding to your income. If you have an unwanted or unnecessary life insurance policy that you’re thinking of surrendering, talk to your financial advisor about whether a life settlement might be a better choice than monetizing other assets.
Sell a car
If you’ve got more than one car, think seriously about whether you actually need that extra set of wheels now that you’re in retirement. With so many car-on-demand and car-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and Zipcar available, the need to own more than a single car is diminishing. Plus, you’ll save on all the expenses associated with owning a car: insurance, taxes, gas, and maintenance. That can add up to significant savings over the course of a year.
Retirement can be a bit of a challenge at times, but there are many things you can do to keep your finances in a healthy state. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re considering restructuring or surrendering a life insurance policy, be sure to contact your CPA or financial advisor for an appraisal of fair market value. You can also refer to the life policy owners section of the LISA website for more information.
About the Author
Jon B. Mendelsohn is CEO and Co-‐founder of the Ashar Group a nationally licensed life settlement brokerage firm dedicated to representing the seller and their advisory team in appraising and securing fair market value for their life insurance. Jon is recognized in the industry as a thought leader and tireless champion for transparency and life settlement best practices. Jon is a sought after speaker on the national stage and a valued consultant to professionals working with sophisticated clients in the planning process. Jon graduated from the University of Florida with two bachelor degrees and a master’s degree. Jon is a proud supporter of the company cause, The Crohn’ and Colitis Foundation of America. He and his family reside in Orlando, Florida.