How Can Seniors Save Money

Looking for ways to save money in retirement? Here are some ways seniors can save money while still enjoying a quality life.

4 min read

For most seniors, living off a fixed income while managing day-to-day expenses can present unique challenges. After paying off your monthly bills, you may have little left over for your other needs like gas for your car, healthcare bills, and food purchases. If you are hunting for ideas on how to save money, there are several strategies you can use to effectively save money.

Seniors can save money through various money-saving measures, including reviewing budgets to eliminate unnecessary expenses and subscriptions, taking advantage of senior discounts at popular retailers and restaurants, as well as downsizing and selling items they no longer need. Seniors can also take advantage of community resources that are available for free, such as food coupons, free home renovations, and help with prescription drugs.

Practical ways seniors can save money

Review your budget

Take your time to analyze your income, and expenses over a specified time probably a month, against your financial goals, to achieve a balance. You will likely identify some expenses that you can cut and save money on, such as monthly subscriptions that you no longer use.

Create a budget that allocates funds for essential needs like housing, food, healthcare, and transportation. Also, include discretionary spending for leisure activities or occasional treats. Stick to your budget; you will be surprised by how much you will save over time.

Explore senior discounts

One of the rewards older adults enjoy is the senior discounts that allow you to cut expenditure costs on particular products or services. Most restaurants, gyms, national parks, online stores, local physical stores, travel and transportation agencies, etc. offer special discounts for seniors. Do not hesitate to inquire about senior rates wherever you go. Some retailers may require proof of age to access these senior discounts.

Be on the lookout for available saving deals for seniors. While some offer daily discounts/promotions for seniors, others opt for particular hours of the day or certain day(s) of the week. For instance, Value Village and M&M offer discounts on the first Tuesday of each month for seniors while Kohl’s offers a 15% coupon for seniors on Wednesdays. Maintaining a calendar of all the senior days at your preferred retail outlets yields substantial savings in the long run.

Seniors can also leverage discount clubs to maximize their purchasing power while enjoying money savings. Senior clubs like the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offer their members exclusive deals, discounts, and perks tailored to the elderly’s needs and preferences. They do this by partnering with retailers, restaurants, service providers, etc.

Review insurance policies

Audit your insurance policies including health, life, auto, and home insurance, etc. You might be surprised how much you’re spending on insurance that may no longer be relevant to your current circumstances. For instance, disability insurance may protect you from potential disabilities while working and may not serve its purpose in your retirement.

Reviewing insurance premiums also allows you to identify the best coverage at the most competitive rates thus saving you some bucks. You may need to enlist the services of a professional insurance agent to determine the best insurance policies for you.

Check out insurance discounts tailored for seniors. Also, consider bundled packages that offer multiple types of coverage at a discounted rate. Optimizing your insurance policies allows you to save hundreds or thousands of dollars annually.

Utilize community resources

Communities offer an array of resources and programs tailored to seniors’ needs for free or at discounted prices, which can help you save some costs. From local senior centers and senior transportation services to government assistance programs, you can find programs that offer something you need.

If you are an avid reader, make use of your local library to access your favorite books and movies instead of purchasing them. Visit a senior center and enjoy various activities, including free or low-cost group trips. If your community has local financial planning officers, use their free consultation services to help you file your taxes and find tax reduction programs that you qualify for to save up lots of dollars.

Maximize retirement savings

If you are not retired yet, consider maximizing your retirement savings. Whenever possible, max out your contributions to your retirement plans such as 401(k), especially if your employer offers matching contributions. Also, once you reach age 50, you will be eligible to make catch-up contributions, in addition to your regular contributions.

Once you max out your 401(k) contributions, you should direct the additional contributions to an alternative retirement plan like an IRA. You can open either a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, depending on how whether you want to pay taxes now or in retirement.

Once you retire, have a clear plan on how to take distributions from your retirement plan accounts to ensure your income lasts a longer time and minimizes the taxes you will owe. Some of the strategies to employ include annuitization, systemic withdrawals, and tax-efficient distribution planning to help optimize retirement income while preserving future savings.

Optimize healthcare costs

Healthcare expenses can take a financial toll on seniors and affect their savings. Mitigate these costs without compromising your well-being by taking preventative care services offered by Medicare at no extra cost to beneficiaries including vaccinations, screenings, and annual wellness visits. Preventive care helps seniors detect and treat illnesses early on, curbing potentially costly treatments of diseases at later stages.

Review your Medicare coverage plan options including Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D). Compare coverage options, plan costs, and additional expenses to determine a cost-effective coverage that matches your individual healthcare needs.

Explore Medicare Advantage Plans that offer additional coverage benefits like hearing, dental, and vision at a lower cost than the standard Medicare, and you could save a penny. Consider the Medicare supplement insurance program (Medigap), which offers out-of-pocket costs not covered by Medicare including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps prevent or manage chronic health conditions, hence reducing the need for expensive medical treatments and interventions. Some of the healthy habits to adopt include balanced nutrition, stress management, regular exercise, and routine check-ups.   

Downsizing and decluttering

Downsizing brings about financial freedom. If you live in a large house or apartment, you may want to consider moving to a smaller home or apartment translating to lower housing costs including property taxes, utilities, mortgage payments, and maintenance expenses. 

You should also consider selling or gifting unused or unwanted items that you have held on for so long. From furniture, clothing, and collectibles to household goods, de-cluttering allows you to generate some extra income to supplement your retirement income.

Bottom line

While most seniors struggle to meet their needs in retirement, finding ways of saving an extra dollar can help you preserve your retirement income. You should budget your expenses, explore senior discounts, optimize healthcare costs, review your insurance policies, and downsize to help manage your money better and save some extra dollars.