Your retirement is supposed to be the time when you can kick back and relax… but during economic downturns and volatile stock markets, money is a concern no matter how diligently you’ve saved.
When the economy is shaky, you need to figure out what you can do in your retirement to save money while earning extra money.
It is possible to retire on little money… you just have to get creative. Below are eight tips as a springboard for your own ideas.
Ways to Save Money in Retirement
1. Take Advantage of Senior Discounts
If you live in the U.S., joining the AARP could lead to some great discounts. We’re talking entertainment, shopping, auto & home insurance, and even prescription discounts. At $12-16 USD per year, you could end up saving more than your membership fee.
Senior List has a comprehensive list of all the places you can find discounts, even if you aren’t an AARP member. From restaurants to plane tickets, they sure do cover it all.
The most important thing to do? Ask if a business has a senior discount — the worst thing they can say is “no.”
2. Cashback Offers
If you’re into online shopping, have you considered using cashback sites?
Here’s how it works. Go to a site like Rakuten or UseJewel and see what websites they support for cashback.
Let’s use dog food as an example…
- Go to Rakuten and search for “PetCo.”
- Click the link that says “Shop Now” (it’s super important to click the link from Rakuten).
- Once you’re on PetCo, shop away.
If your lab’s chow cost $74 and the cashback rate was 4%, then you would expect to get $2.96 back. It might not sound like a lot, but, from personal experience, I can say that over time it adds up… and it’s as easy as ABC.
The cashback percentage varies by day, so when you see a higher percentage, jump on it!
You can set up your account on Rakuten or UseJewel to receive your cashback on PayPal or by check.
You’re going to be spending money either way, so why not get some of it back?
3. Your Car(s)
Are you a two car household?
If you are, do you both really need two cars now? Or can you cut back and both use one car?
A great way to save money and retire on little money would be to eliminate one of the cars and monitor how much you actually use the other car.
If you find out that, hey, you don’t go out that often, then look into lowering your insurance rate. It could save you a ton of money.
… or maybe you’re just tired of driving.
Does your area have bike-friendly roads? Or great public transportation? Maybe your area has plenty of ride-sharing services available.
Perhaps you’ll find that getting rid of your car altogether would work.
Considering a car costs on average $1,186 per year to maintain, it could be worth your while to retire from driving as well!
If you live in a house with more than one bedroom, you could consider selling your house and moving to one that better suits your needs.
And if you want to save even more money, ask yourself if you’ve gone on vacation and marveled at how cheap prices are in another city — if your answer was “yes,” then you might want to consider moving to a new town… or even a new country.
It might sound daunting, but relocating internationally can have its benefits.
For example, in Panama there is a law where most establishments are obliged to give women over 55 years and men over 60 years a discount.
Ways to Earn Extra Money in Retirement
Just because you retire on little money doesn’t mean you need to give up everything you did pre-retirement. Earning extra money to supplement your retirement income could let you continue enjoying many of those activities you did before retiring.
You could become a tutor in anything that you know a lot about. English, math, history, piano, as long as you’re quite knowledgeable about the subject, you’re fit to be a tutor.
If you have grandkids who live nearby, then ask them to help spread the word to their friends’ parents that you’re now offering tutoring services. Or create paper ads and put them on bulletin boards at your local grocery store or post office.
Perhaps your kids are all moved out now and moving to a smaller house wasn’t for you.
If you’re a social person, listing your kids’ bedroom on Airbnb could bring in a bit of extra money.
Prices will vary depending on your geographic location and the size of the space you’ll rent — but it’s still a good way to make use of some extra space. Plus, when your kids come home to visit, they can still stay in their room (store any personal items when you rent it though!).
7. Turn Your Hobby Into Money
When you first retired, maybe you thought, “I can finally devote my time to knitting or fixing watches — or another hobby.”
And it’s true, you can spend your days knitting sweaters all day or fixing watches.
But have you considered selling what you create or repair?
You could easily set up an Amazon, Etsy, or eBay store to sell your knits or rehabbed watches to bring in some extra money in retirement.
It might take some time to find the right place to sell them, but you’ll get the hang of it.
8. Turn Your Hobby Into Income
The downside of selling your wares via a third-party like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay is it’s simply making “money.”
It isn’t generating annual income, because you’re making the products to be sold on their platform… and their high listing fees reinforces that notion — the money you make is tied to how many pieces you sell.
So, what if you took your retirement ideas or the subject you would want to tutor in or simply anything you’re knowledgeable and/or passionate about (such as your favorite vacation destination or your favorite breed of cat, etc.) and created your own business about it, online?
You would write articles about knitting patterns or the best center wheel for a vintage Rolex… or whatever your niche would be.
You could even get your grandkids involved, like Lorelie Carvey, whose online business is all about wedding cakes and baking.
Learn how to choose the perfect niche for your retirement business.
These articles would attract visitors to your site, and then you could earn income either passively (setting up ads on your website or earning a commission on products you promote) or actively (by selling your own product or service directly — no middle men involved!).
The best part about having your own online retirement business? It would be yours and no one could take it away from you.
How to Retire on Little Money — Wrapping It Up…
Right now, the future is a big question mark… but there are things you can control. I hope my eight tips have given you ideas to save money, bring in some extra cash, and retire on little money.
When you take back control of your future, your life in retirement will find the same ease as it did before — only now, you’ll likely have a new joy in whatever way you choose to earn extra income.