Retirement means substantial life changes for many, often including the need to adapt to a lower income. While certain services and products can't be done without, such as home therapy and pharmaceuticals, there are many ways to revisit daily choices and rolling expenses in order to retire on a budget.
Free and reduced price
After reaching age 65, gaining senior status means many essential and enriching resources drop in price or become complimentary. Local senior centers often offer free classes and lectures that would require a fee at private facilities, and other community-based institutions such as libraries and public universities provide low-cost resources for local residents.
Signing up for organizations like the AARP can result in significant savings as well. Discounts on travel, retail and essential services can cut everyday expenses, and entertainment and leisure pursuits that would otherwise be out of financial reach may be obtainable. The AARP maintains a list of state-by-state resources for seniors, including volunteer opportunities to help those less fortunate.
A number of municipal services also carry reduced prices for those over 65, including transportation options. In addition to saving on bus and train fares at home, traveling seniors can take advantage of lower rates in major tourist cities such as Boston and New York.
For those who rely on dementia care and services for other limiting conditions, long-distance travel can be a challenge. Passenger trains may offer the calmest, most spacious means of reaching a far-off destination, and seniors over 62 will find that Amtrak offers a 15 percent discount off the lowest listed price for nearly all routes.
Everyday expenses can also be lowered to help make ends meet and maintain a desired lifestyle. For those with the means to cover end-of-life costs and without dependents, dropping a life insurance policy may save enough month-to-month to make the change worthwhile. Those who drive rarely may also be able to restructuring an auto insurance policy.
Lower-cost medical procedures can also save a bundle. This doesn't mean heading to Tijuana for a questionable level of care, however, as many major medical centers in the United States offer lower rates than a patient may find in his own hometown. The AARP Bulletin recently highlighted a hip replacement "medical trip" to Newport Beach, California by a patient facing thousands of dollars out-of-pocket in her hometown of Las Vegas.
"It cost me nothing out of pocket, and it could not have gone smoother," Elise O'Keefe told the organization.