Technology can lower costs. The following are five ways baby boomers can cut out the fat from their finances in order to experience a more ideal retirement.
There could hardly be a worse time to retire, yet for millions of Americans born in the years immediately after World War Two this is the time they’re ending their careers to enjoy the remainder of their lives at their own pace. Lowered 401(k) values and other stumbling blocks have really dampened the options presented to retirees when it comes to enjoying life without worrying about the money. Dreams of living an extravagant lifestyle in retirement may have always been exaggerated, but responsible enjoyable retirement should not be an impossibility for responsible retirees. Technology today can be held responsible for increasing monthly expenses. At the same time, technology can lower these costs as well. The following are five ways baby boomers can cut out the fat from their finances in order to experience a more ideal retirement:
1. Pay-as-you-go Mobile Service
Many baby boomers love their smartphones and can’t imagine a world without one. Yet many more baby boomers probably have no idea what an Android is besides something from science fiction. The cell phone is a piece of technology that many of us embrace openly, yet the advancing nature of the mobile phone means more stuff you have to pay for that you probably don’t use. Instead, those in retirement should consider prepaid cell phones. They provide the necessary function without the enforced added cost for expected app usage.
2. The Bicycle
Gas prices have been going down over the past several weeks, which is temporarily some terrific news. But by doing so, oil companies are only putting off the difference, and it will return later in the former of even higher future prices. If the knees still work, baby boomers ought to get themselves some bicycles. For basic everyday travel around town they get you there in an efficient amount of time, keep you active, and lower your dependence on pricy fuel.
3. Limited-balance Credit Cards
Take it from me, retirement only encourages credit card use, it doesn’t lower it. While waiting for the social security and medicare checks to make it in the mail, it’s easy to buy the week’s groceries with your Visa express card. When those checks barely get you through the following two weeks, it’s hard to pay that balance off. Stay above water by sticking with limited-balance credit that can be re-charged at your whim. They’re even safer than debit cards.
The weekly or monthly conversation over the phone with the grand-kids and children is an important part of any retiree’s life. But it can also be one of the most costly joys you experience in retirement, with landline-to-landline long distance still costing a pretty penny and cell phone anytime minutes being hard to correctly gauge when family matters are being discussed at-length. If you have a web cam, which virtually comes standard with any laptop, then use Skype to connect to friends and family who also have web cams. It’s free and easy, and you actually get to see how cute your grand kids are getting as opposed to just hearing their voices.
People are so accustomed to the cable bill that they rarely stop and question whether or not they get value from it. If you rarely watch television, then scrap it. Instead, get yourself Netflix streaming, which is easily available through the television (just ask your tech-savvy grandson to hook it up.) For less than $25.00 a month you get access to a plethora of movie and TV titles. The only complaint about their catalog is that the titles are typically old. For those of us who grew up during some of the best decades of Hollywood moviemaking, that’s perfect.
Retiring in a recession is never easy. But stop and think about whether or not you can sliver away expenses by forgoing the things you hardly use anyway. Spend that extra money on yourself or your grand kids.