By Karen Weeks
When I retired, it was such a huge accomplishment. The promised freedom to do what I want, when I want, was a definite plus! However, once the retirement party was over, I quickly realized just how much of a difference my steady stream of income made in my ability to do things like shop, travel, and even eat dinner out. Read below for my article on budgeting tips for seniors who are living on a fixed income, focusing on how they can still enjoy their golden years with a little bit of financial tweaking. – Karen Weeks
Seniors living on a fixed income need to adopt a more frugal lifestyle to ensure their funds don’t run out during their golden years. If you take a microscopic look at your finances, you can find plenty of areas where you can save money. With a sensible and creative approach to money, you can enjoy financial freedom without having to compromise too much on the lifestyle you’ve worked hard to create. Here are some practical tips on how to make it work.
Take Advantage of Your Surroundings
Sometimes, the best things in life are free. Instead of spending money on cruises and holidays, why not become a tourist in your own town? Invite friends and family to explore your area, and show them the pristine beaches, hiking trails, and other marvels on your doorstep. With such scenic surroundings, you can certainly live the holiday lifestyle. You don’t need to spend money on travel to explore.
Downsize Your Home
Take a look at downsizing your home. If your house can generate a profit upon sale, why not sell and invest in a lock-and-go property? This way, you can also save costs on home maintenance, garden services, and other costs involved in owning a large property. To begin looking into the possibility of moving, calculate your home equity. Begin by finding your home’s current value – or at least an estimate – and then subtract your mortgage balance. If you’re not in a position to downsize, consider renting out a part of your home to tourists.
Look for Discounts
Whether its activities, transport, or museums, a multitude of discounts are available for seniors. For regular massages and haircuts, seek beauty school trainees who charge very little to practice their skills. Meanwhile, the national parks offer discount passes for seniors; hotels also offer discounts for seniors.
Sell Household Items
Over the years you may have accumulated a few valuable items. Have your furniture, antiques, artwork, and jewelry appraised. You can potentially sell an antique item or two to generate an extra funnel of cash.
Create a Monthly Budget
Creating a monthly budget can give you an overview of your finances and allow you to plan your expenses. Don’t forget to put some money aside for savings or unforeseen circumstances.
Find Part-Time Work or Start a Business
Chances are, there’s potential for part-time or seasonal work in your area. One option is to become a tour guide for seniors and conduct walking tours through hiking trails, museums, local attractions, and more. Alternatively, consider offering pet services or dog walking services for seniors who are no longer mobile. This gives you the chance to make your own schedule and essentially run your own business.
If you decide to start a business, forming an LLC can be the best option as it offers tax advantages and flexibility. You can use a formation service to help you file your paperwork and Articles of Incorporation, or you can do it yourself. Either option saves you the expense of attorney fees. Since each state has its own rules for starting a business, check how to start an LLC Florida business. It only takes five steps, and you can use a formation service if you’re nervous about missing any important legal documents.
Living Well on a Budget
You can live well on a budget if you make wise financial choices and take advantage of your surroundings, local discounts, and job opportunities. By having a plan in place and sticking to it, you can live a fun, comfortable life well into your senior years.
The St. Johns County Council on Aging works to ensure that Florida seniors can enjoy their lives. We offer resources, programs, and community events to keep seniors connected and active. Visit us online and consider joining us today!