By Allison Lee
Retirement is a time for relaxation and for letting go, but it’s not without its worries. One concern many older adults have is regarding finances. You have to adjust to living with a limited income during a time in your life when healthcare costs can be quite expensive.
Thankfully, it’s never too late to develop healthy financial habits. Here are just a few ideas to get you started towards more financial peace of mind.
Save on medications.
Many older adults require regular medication for chronic illnesses like diabetes, arthritis, and hypertension. A simple way to save on drugs is to buy generic rather than brand-name pharmaceuticals. Generics approved by the FDA are “bioequivalent” to their brand-name counterparts but can be significantly cheaper.
Another way to save on medications is to buy online from abroad. Canadian pharmacy referral services like Rx Connected and Canadian Med Center can help by connecting you to affordable medications from countries with stricter drug price regulations. Exercise a healthy degree of caution when you buy online, however. A legitimate and responsible website like Rx Connected will always ask for a prescription; it also only sources drugs from pharmacies and fulfillment centers that have met stringent standards.
Save on healthcare.
Healthcare is often an unavoidable cost, but there are a few tricks to cut corners on spending. For example:
- Talk to a nurse via a free helpline for general and minor health questions, who can then determine whether you need higher-level care. Many hospitals and insurance plans across the country offer this service.
- Try telemedicine – accessing a doctor through the Internet in the comfort of your own home. This is especially convenient for folks in remote areas or who have mobility challenges. They can be cheaper services too.
- Visit your local community health center. These centers offer comprehensive care at a lower cost or even free of charge. You can find one near you by clicking here.
- Don’t take retirement as a free pass to eat whatever you want. Keep living a healthy lifestyle; the best way to save on healthcare is to not need it at all
Get rid of extra stuff, and consider downsizing.
Now that the kids are out of the nest, you can start cleaning out all that extra stuff in your house. Consider selling items you don’t need.
Once you get rid of the clutter, you may realize you don’t need all the extra space of a suburban family home. Downsizing to a townhome or even apartment can be a smart decision. Smaller spaces are less work to clean, and you may be able to afford living closer to conveniences like grocery stores and clinics, thereby cutting down on transportation costs.
Use all that extra time to your advantage.
One of the benefits of retirement is all that extra time. Use it to your advantage to save money. For example, cook your meals at home rather than dine out. Cooking can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Besides, it’s also a fun and rewarding hobby to take up!
Other things you can learn how to do yourself (rather than by hiring someone else) include simple handiwork around the house, yard work, and tailoring. Now is the time to learn a new skill!
Get your affairs in order.
Perhaps one of your chief worries is taking care of your estate. Indeed, estate planning can be an intimidating task many of us procrastinate, no matter our stage in life. However, there’s no better time to start planning than the present moment. If (God forbid) something happens and you become incapacitated, someone else could make choices for you, which I’d doubt you prefer.
You do not need to be extremely wealthy or even at retirement age to plan for your estate. By starting today, you can alleviate stress and have peace of mind tomorrow.
Keep learning about personal finance.
It’s never too late to develop financial literacy. If you put off learning about finances when you were younger, now is a fine time to start! As a retiree, not only do you have more life experience and experience working with money, you also have time to do whatever you please. Of course, make time for leisure, engage in your favorite hobbies, and travel, but do remember that learning can happen at any age. Science suggests that you can even slow down dementia type illnesses by exercising your mind.
Retirement is a period in life to enjoy, so don’t let money worries bog you down. Address issues as early as possible, and you can look forward to many more relaxed days to come.