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

 
 

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Stretching your retiree income
  (and there is more)

We call it "Nudging the Budget".  The goal is to maintain your current lifestyle for less and make every retirement dollar go further.  All you need to do is nudge your budget a little bit here and there--without  totally eliminating things you enjoy.  The resulting savings, which can amount to hundreds of dollars each month, can help pay for your monthly Medigap insurance -- or perhaps some little luxuries.   Here are some ideas for you to stretch your retirement income.

1.  Call the Cable Company.  If you have cable TV or satellite, call your current provider and tell them you are considering changing to a competing service.  Then ask if they have a lower cost plan.  Trust us--they do.  When we called and told our cable company we were thinking about changing to a satellite service, they reduced our monthly fee by over 30%.  We continued to get all the same channels plus free HBO and Showtime, too.  And this was not an introductory rate.  Our savings went to more tickets at the local foreign movie theater.

2.  Talk About More Savings.  You can take the same approach with your phone company as you do with your cable or satellite company.  No doubt they will come up with a lower cost package that gives you the same services you already have.  Be sure to confirm that it is not a short term introductory rate.

3. By Land or By Cell?  Ask yourself: do you really need both a landline and cell phone?  According to the New York Times, close to 20% of American households have abandoned the old landline phones in their homes and only use cell phones.  You can do the math quickly to see how much you would save if you only used a cell.  And if you really do not use the phone much, there are cell phone services that are dirt cheap --about $10 a month.  Major companies such as Verizon and ATT now offer  unadvertised, low cost deals on their websites.

A Real Life Retirement: 

Jane, a  semi-retiree in Southern Arizona, realized she was traveling far less often so she took a different route.  She cancelled her unreliable cell phone service in favor of a landline and reduced her monthly cost by $25.  Over the course of a year that one change saved her $300.  Other people we know have cancelled the home phone and bought a pre-paid cell phone.

More Budget 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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