Real Life Retirement:  what real people are doing after age 55 

 

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Wise ways to stretch your retirement income

Here are more budget stretching tips for you--ways to maintain your current lifestyle while saving money.  And we are not talking about just cutting coupons and taking advantage of early bird dinners for seniors, as useful as those cost-cutters may be for some people.   

4.  Cultural Exchange.  Yes, we all love to support our favorite cultural institutions--museums, orchestras--with annual membership fees.  Many institutions, however, offer exchange privileges and by choosing to belong to just one, you can still visit others.  A second thing to consider is simply paying each time you visit a museum, if you only visit it occasionally--instead of paying the annual fee.   And, obviously, you can take advantage of the senior membership category.

sunflowers

5.  Clip Garden Costs.  Going to the local nursery or garden center can be an expensive excursion if you are a plant lover.   You go for two plants and come home with ten!  Now that you have more time, grow your annual plants from seeds and save hundreds of dollars.  You might also want to get (and give) cuttings of favorite plants. 

Don't be shy about asking a neighbor who has a plant you admire if you could have a cutting.   Your neighbor will, no doubt, readily say "Yes", especially if you tell him/her that you like the look of their garden.  Ask the garden's owner to cut the stems for you.  Plants sales by Garden Clubs and botanic gardens also are sources of inexpensive plants.   You can also earn extra cash with your love of gardening.

6.  How Clean Is Your Car.  This may come under the category of a Pet Peeve.   Sarah, a 70-something who still works part time, complains constantly about not having enough money to do anything or take a vacation.   Yet, she has her car washed every two weeks, rain or shine, at a cost of almost $400 a year.  Well, maybe she just likes to complain instead of solving her problems.  And complaining won't save a dime; having her car washed less frequently would.  The moral to this story: think seriously about how you spend your money. 

3 more budget nudging savings tips here.

NOTE:  All names on this site have been changed to protect individual privacy. The stories are real, the names are not. 

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