Living On a Fixed Income
Your retirement income will likely be smaller than what you are used to. You may have fewer expenses in some categories but more in others. It’s time to update your budget. Take a look at your total income and list your fixed expenses, such as mortgage, utilities, medical costs, and so on.
Some ways to stretch your retirement dollars:
- Take advantage of senior citizen discounts, which are offered on everything from retail shopping and restaurants to movie theaters and museums. Inquire about a discount if you don’t see one advertised.
- Become a wise consumer. Shop for sales and compare prices both on-line and in stores. Clip coupons. Spend less by traveling when rates are lowest. Check out wiredseniors.com for cost-saving tips and services for people over 50.
- Reduce insurance costs. With the children grown up, you may not need as much life insurance. Consider trimming homeowner’s and auto insurance costs by choosing a higher deductible. Insurers also offer lower rates if you buy all your insurance from one company. Talk to your insurance agent about other ways to lower rates.
- Take a bite out of high medical costs by asking for generic prescriptions and comparing prices at drug stores. Changes in Medicare will improve prescription drug benefits. Go to www.medicare.gov for the latest information.
- Don’t fall prey to scammers and con artists. Beware of “guaranteed returns’’ or “limited time offers,’’ and don’t pay for “free gifts.’’ Never give your credit card, Social Security number or other personal information to a person or business you don’t know. Keep a close eye on your checking and savings accounts and report any suspicious withdrawals to the bank right away. For more tips on how to protect yourself, check out advice from the FBI at www.fbi.gov/majcases/fraud/seniorsfam.htm.
Tip: To help plan for the unexpected, make certain that someone—a trusted friend, family member, financial advisor or lawyer—knows where you keep your important papers.
This site is for education purposes. The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Capital One product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.