About Karen Weeks: "After retirement, I was bored and struggled to find a new sense of purpose. So, I decided to learn a new skill. I took a computer course and learned how to build this website (www.elderwellness.net). Now, I try new things all the time. I believe nothing is off limits to seniors and I want to spread the word!"
When you’re living on a limited income, your retirement years can seem to lose their luster. It doesn’t have to be this way though! Especially since there are several small tweaks you can make to trim your budget and fatten your income. So if you want to make the years ahead shine, this guide can provide you with the tips and tricks you need to do so.
First, Let’s Work on a Realistic Budget
If you are going to stretch those retirement dollars farther, you need a solid plan. More specifically, you need a budget that won’t make you feel stressed or deprived and these budgeting tools can make creating this financial plan feel much less complicated:
Utilize Budgeting Apps
While it may seem like extra work, Better Money Habits explains that spelling out your budget can help you stick to it. If you want to save yourself time, and your hands some stress, you can use one of the latest budgeting apps to sort out your income and expenses. Not only does this make budgeting convenient, most of these apps are free to use.
The beauty of these apps is that most connect directly to your bank accounts, credit cards and bill providers, so that you can track your finances with minimal effort—just make sure you take general safety precautions, like keeping your software up-to-date and only making transactions and viewing activity on your private device.
Purchase a Smartphone
Now if you are going to take advantage of the aforementioned budgeting apps, you will need a smartphone. Before you rule a smartphone out due to budget concerns, know that there are quite a few budget-friendly smartphones available this year. From iPhones to Androids, there’s something to suit every senior’s preference—and wallet. You may even be able to pinch a few more pennies by asking your cell phone provider about any special senior plans they may offer.
Research Housing and Health Needs
Did you know that housing and healthcare are two of the biggest retirement expenses? One way to secure your housing expenses is to transition into a retirement community. In terms of your healthcare costs, however, your best bet is to research whether you have the best health and prescription drug coverage for your individual needs and of course, your retirement budget.
Find Ways to Boost Your Income
Having tools to help you budget is essential, but what about padding your bank account? Thankfully, there are some simple ways you can do so during retirement.
If you have some skills earned through your previous career, chances are you can put them to work making extra income in retirement. For example, if you were a notary public and still have a license, you could always freelance for people and businesses looking to hire a notary. Folks working in or with the real estate, insurance, finance, and government sectors are always looking for notary services, and you can use a freelance job site like Upwork to connect with them.
Another way you can beef up your budget is by taking on a side gig. Some lucrative side gigs that can be perfect for your golden years include tutoring, tailoring and even pet sitting for folks in your retirement community. These gigs can be a wonderful way to earn extra money and get out and meet new people, but if you prefer to stick closer to home, there are other side gigs, too. From blog writing to bookkeeping, you can work via the web from the comforts of your own humble abode.
For an effortless way to enhance your retirement income, be sure to double check your taxes. That’s because retirees can take advantage of several special tax credits that can end up saving them thousands during their golden years. Start with the standard deduction, which is higher for people over 65 and even higher for seniors who are no longer married. Then look for more ways to save on your taxes via medical expenses, real estate and retirement savings.
Your golden years should be some of the best yet! So don’t let a limited budget spoil your retirement dreams. Look for ways to expand your financial limits so that you can live your best life in retirement.
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