The statistics are bleak. IRAs and 401ks have collapsed. Home equity has shrunk. Jobs have evaporated. For many, the American Dream seems to have vanished. It’s not enough to find a cheap place to retire. To make your retirement economically possible, you’ll need to manage your money and time wisely to keep on track.
Most Boomers never planned to retire in the South of France. Retirement never meant world cruises; it just meant slowing down the pace of life a bit, with more time for fishing, scrapbooking, bowling, and grandchildren. But with savings and investments tanking, many must now postpone retirement, if they are lucky enough to still have a job. Those already retired begin to worry.
Boomers need to take heart. This is the generation that came of age during sweeping social revolution. The tumult and exhilaration of the 60s and 70s may seem like long ago, but that spirit of adventure is still there. Recasting the vision of your retirement might provide your best bet yet.
I’ve researched several articles that feature ideas on how to maintain a pleasant retirement lifestyle and save money while doing it. I come from generations of thrifty spenders and many of the hints I offer have been gleaned from what I watched my parents and grandparents do. Others are more adapted to today’s world. My mom might have raised chickens and picked apples from our tree, but contemporary lifestyles often don’t offer options like that. Homeowners’ associations tend to get upset if a chicken coop appears in your backyard.
Every day is filled with opportunities to save money. Begin anywhere—food, clothing, housing, transportation, medical expenses, entertainment, and the list goes on. Some of the hints I offer may be those you already use, and others, no doubt, will be some you have heard of. I try to cover all the bases and I’m always on the lookout for new ideas.
One thing you will discover is that most money-saving techniques area a tradeoff of time for money. It takes longer to cook at home than to eat out (maybe). It takes longer to prepare meals from scratch than if you use pre-packaged convenience foods. It takes longer to shop for bargains than to buy the first thing you find. It takes longer to read up on how to make a simple home repair than to hire someone to do it. But hey, you’re retired! Time is what you have most of.
You will have to make adjustments to save money. But with the right mindset, those changes can be enriching and rewarding, not punishment. Get set to enjoy your new lifestyle! Now read our Thrifty Retirement Tips.
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