Five Money-saving Tips for Retirement Living

While it may seem like a lot when you look at the dollar amount in the bank, the money that you have saved for retirement isn’t endless. You’re probably living off of a fixed amount of income that you take out monthly from a RRIF, or receive a pension cheque.

The bottom line is that no matter how much money you have, most people who are of retirement age need to save money. Luckily, saving money is easy when you are retired. Your vehicles cost less because you aren’t driving to work and back, you are tempted to eat at restaurants less because you aren’t out as much, and you have the free time to prepare meals that you didn’t have before.

1. Minimize your payments just by asking
If there is one thing that finance gurus repeat over and over again, it’s “you don’t get if you don’t ask”. Contact your bank and insurance companies once every few years to see if you qualify for a better interest rate on a line of credit or a reduced insurance payment. Shop around and make financial institutions work for your business. You have the time; use it to save money over the long term.

Don’t think this works? Check out the Canadian finance reality show Till Debt Do Us Part on the Slice network. In nearly every episode, the host tells families to contact their financial institutions and try to get a better interest rate. If debt-ridden families can do it, shouldn’t someone in your financial position get a better rate just for asking? Absolutely.

2. Make sure you are getting senior discounts
Your financial institutions and other companies don’t start automatically applying senior discounts once you get to a certain age. Contact anyone that you do business with on a regular basis to see if you qualify for a senior discount.

Whenever you make any purchase, check and see if you qualify for a discount. Many drugstore chains offer a seniors day, on which their products carry discounts for seniors, sometimes on top of regular sale prices. Rexall and Shoppers Drug Mart are two stores that regularly offer this perk.

3. Go online to find deals
While we don’t have the same kind of deals in Canada that make shows like Extreme Couponing possible in the United States, we do have online forums where you can find deals and find senior discounts. Here are some of the better sites:

4. Get a reverse mortgage for debt or large one-time costs
If you want to minimize your ongoing monthly costs or pay for something large like a wedding or a trip, Horizon Equity can help you out with a reverse mortgage loan that you’ll only have to pay upon sale of your home. Don’t make large withdrawals from your retirement savings that will deplete your hard-won nest egg. Consider the Horizon home equity plan instead to lower your costs and have a stress-free retirement.

5. Maximize your tax benefits
When you are retired, having your taxes done by a perky twenty year old in a kiosk in the mall isn’t the wisest financial choice. A chartered accountant can help you find tax savings that you will miss out on if you file your own taxes or use basic financial services. A good accountant will pay for themselves many times over, especially if you use them in the transition period leading up to your retirement. Even if you don’t, it’s never too late to start using an accountant.

Horizon Equity can help you save money by paying down debt and not digging into your retirement savings for large purchases. Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you.