How Seniors Can Budget Better When on a Fixed Income
Living on a fixed income as a senior can offer unique challenges. However, we also want to be able to enjoy the years we spend in retirement. With that in mind, below are some budgeting tips from Adult Care Advisors to help keep you living the life of your dreams.
Having a solid budget can be a valuable tool when you’re on a fixed income. Indeed, budgets let us visualize where our money is going and how much extra there is each month for savings and personal enjoyment. For a little guidance, you could use a premade template, as it can make budgeting less overwhelming if you haven’t managed your finances using one before. As you set it up, do what you can to save at least 20 percent of your monthly income, not only for emergencies but so you can still take trips and vacation when you want.
Of course, another way to improve your financial picture is to increase the amount of your income. These days, this can be an easy offshoot of your retirement, thanks to the flexibility of freelancing. Think about turning a hobby into a money maker or revisiting your expertise and starting a business of your very own.
Become an Entrepreneur
In retirement, many seniors find that even if living off of their savings is sufficient, having a bit of extra money coming in can make your day to day life more enjoyable. You don’t need to work for someone else in order to do this – instead, you could monetize one of your hobbies and turn your passion into a side hustle or small business!
As you begin working on your new business idea, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the excitement and overlook crucial administrative tasks. Don’t forget to get your paperwork together in order to file for an LLC in NJ and properly register your business. By filing through an online formation service, you’ll save money and complete the process quickly.
Bundle Whenever You Can
One excellent method of saving money is to see what policies you have that can be bundled together. For instance, if you take regular medication, try to extend your prescription to at least 90 days so you won’t have multiple copays. Also, check out your auto insurance policy to see where else you can save. You may well be eligible for discounts by bundling it with home insurance. Coupled with a safe driving record, and getting quotes to compare what different companies offer, you might save hundreds of dollars annually.
Surprisingly, there is a lot of free entertainment available that can help us build savings while providing us with outlets for fun. So, grab a friend or close relative and head out to see what’s going on around you. To get started, you could try open mic nights, visit museums on free days, attend author readings at a nearby bookstore or library, or see if there are community events at your local university. Better still, stay active while enjoying yourself by joining a group practicing yoga or tai chi at a park. Or, if you prefer some home entertainment, you could invite friends over for a weekly movie night, where everyone brings along their favorite DVD.
Use Your Senior Center
More than ever before, senior centers are offering free or discounted services to promote quality of life. In particular, there are activities that keep us healthy, such as dancing, alongside outings, classes, and all kinds of adventures. Of course, every center is different, but if you haven’t checked out the one near you, it should be on your to-do list. Not only can they cut expenses, but you may also make lifelong connections and create lasting friendships.
Consider a Move
While it may be stressful to think about, moving could be your best option when you’re living on a fixed income. After all, it isn’t easy or uplifting if you live in a state with high taxes, or one that lacks a good senior service program. Thankfully, states like South Dakota and Florida are promising for seniors, offering no tax on Social Security or pension, and no income tax. What’s more, South Dakota even boasts a low sales tax at 4.5 percent. However, if you already live in a senior-friendly state, you may still benefit from selling your current home and downsizing to a smaller home. By doing so, you might cut your property taxes and maintenance fees so you can focus on growing savings. You can also get a discount on your taxes if you take advantage of exemptions such as those for veterans and seniors.
There are many ways we can all improve our situations. With a rigorous budget that can help guide your financial decisions, as well as bundling where you can and finding free ways to enjoy yourself, you can lead the life you deserve. Above all, our golden years are meant to shine.
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