When many people think about retirement, they wonder whether they’ve saved enough money and worry about their money running out. But even if you’re nearing the retirement age, there are things you can do to maximize your income and ensure you always have enough to cover your expenses. From working longer and applying for Medicare to taking advantage of senior discounts and downsizing to save on expenses, retiring comfortably doesn’t have to be difficult. Take a look at four ways to make retiring more manageable and less overwhelming.
1. Work Longer
Working past retirement age is something a lot of seniors do to bring in extra money and hold off on dipping into their retirement accounts. Even if you don’t stay at your current job, you can always pick up part-time work or even join the gig economy delivering groceries with Instacart or driving people around through Uber or Lyft. You might even consider starting a business that doesn’t require a lot of start-up money. Find something you’d be interested in doing once you retire from your current job and start taking steps toward making it a reality.
2. Apply for Medicare
If you don’t currently have medical insurance and you’re turning 65 soon, consider applying for Medicare to save on medical insurance costs. There are a few coverage options to consider, so compare plans and determine which one is best for you based on your healthcare needs. You can get Original Medicare (Parts A and B) through the federal government, but you’ll need to get Part C through a private insurance company. Anthem’s cost-effective options for Medicare coverage are a great option for seniors on a budget.
For reference, Medicare Part A covers hospital stays and in-home care, as well as hospice. Part B covers doctor’s visits, medical supplies, tests, X-rays, and long-term preventive care. Part C (also known as a Medicare Advantage plan) covers the same services as Parts A and B but also covers dental, vision, and hearing aids. It usually comes with prescription medication coverage as well (Part D) and offers added benefits like fitness programs and transportation.
3. Take Advantage of Senior Discounts
One advantage of getting older is the senior discounts you can get practically anywhere. From low-priced meals and travel deals to discounted event tickets and deals at retail stores and movie theaters, senior discounts can help you save money. Just be prepared to show ID in order to reap the benefits. Typically, you’ll have to be 55 or 60 to benefit from senior discounts. Ask about senior discounts wherever you go to help you really stretch your money during your retirement years. You never know where a discount or money-saving opportunity might be lurking.
4. Consider Downsizing or Relocating
If you don’t think you can afford to maintain your home the way you did while you were working, consider downsizing or relocating. Downsizing could mean finding a smaller home or an apartment to help reduce your overall expenses. It could also mean getting rid of either your or your spouse’s car to cut down on the cost of maintaining a car (insurance, gas, repairs, etc.).
Relocating can also help you cut down on costs. For instance, consider moving to tax-friendly states like Florida or even moving out of the country to a place like Panama or Mexico. If that’s not feasible, however, you can always simply move to a part of town or a nearby city where the rent is cheaper.
Taking the Next Step
Planning for retirement can be overwhelming, especially when you factor in considerations like how you’ll pay for medical care, how long your income will last, and how you’ll pay for your current and future expenses. But these tips can help you stretch your dollars and make the transition into retirement a lot less stressful.