A lifetime of saving
Foresters Financial™ has been helping everyday families achieve their financial goals for more than 140 years. No matter what stage of life you’re at, we have financial solutions to suit your needs and trained advisors who can work with you to assess your current situation and help make your retirement as comfortable as possible.
While we’re always here for expert advice, there’s also a lot you can do on your own to make the most of your retirement budget. In fact, it starts with making a budget! Your retirement income is probably less than what you used to bring in each month, so it’s important to take stock of your fixed expenses so you know how much money you have leftover for entertainment, travel, and essentials like food, clothing, health care, and housing.
To make it easier, you can search for online retirement budget calculators like this one from CIBC or this one from Retirement and Good Living that allow you to input your figures and will then tell you how much money you actually have leftover after you’ve accounted for all your expenses.
If you want a little help creating your retirement budget, don’t forget that you have access to Everyday Money, our toll-free financial helpline that connects you to an accredited counselor who can help answer questions about your personal financial matters. Visit MyForesters.com for more information.
Once you have your budget nailed down and you know how much extra money you have to work with each month, the trick is to make the most of that cash by spending wisely and being as frugal as possible.
Tips for living well on a smaller income
- Take advantage of senior discounts. Many stores, movie theatres, and restaurants offer senior discounts, or senior discount days (where you may save 10% or 15% off your purchases all day long). Most public transportation services also offer a senior’s rate, and some even have a “seniors ride free” day. Make sure you’re always taking advantage of those special offers and rates. If you don’t see a posted senior rate or discount offer, ask for one. It never hurts to try!
- Downsize. If you’re still living in the big old house where you raised your family, consider moving to a condo or townhouse where your taxes and utilities might be considerably less. You might also consider staying where you are and renting out a room to a student or relative – or even a friend who is on their own and would enjoy your companionship. Check out our article on downsizing for advice on scaling down.
- If you need help, ask. There are government and non-profit organizations that can help you make ends meet if you’re struggling. There’s no shame in asking for help – that’s what these organizations are there for. Check your country, province or state, and local government websites to find out what services are available for seniors in your area.
- Have fun for free. Remember that as a Foresters member there may be complimentary events taking place in your local area, including movie nights, sporting events, volunteering and other fun and inclusive all ages activities. Don’t forget to check out what free social, recreational, and health and wellness activities might be happening at your local library, seniors center or community center too. Seniors centers often have drop-in activities that might include things like book clubs and bridge or euchre nights. For more tips on frugal fun, check out our article on entertainment on a budget.
- Shop the sales. You have a little extra time now, so use some of it to plan your weekly meals around advertised sale items – and make sure you always shop on senior discount days. Frozen fruits and veggies are every bit as healthy as fresh but often cost much less and last a lot longer, so load up that freezer! For more tips on eating well for less, check out our article on good, cheap eats.
- Retire in an affordable location. You may prefer to stay where you are, but if you’re the adventuresome type, you might want to check out this list of the 9 most affordable places in the world including Nha Trang, Vietnam; Cayo, Belize; and Tralee, Ireland. If you’re more interested is staying closer to home – or at least in your own country – check out the best places in Canada, the US and the UK to retire.
Retirement is a new chapter in your life, and it can be a wonderful time to relax, recharge, and discover new pleasures. Being more careful about how you spend your money may take some getting used to at first because it means you have to change some of your habits and adjust your thinking a bit, but the effort is well worth it. The peace of mind you’ll have knowing that you are living within your means and still enjoying your life makes it all worthwhile.
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