Thursday, May 30, 2013

Surviving on a Fixed Income: Budget Tips for Pensioners

There are few times in life that are anticipated as the retirement years.  Many people imagine that this is the time when they will get to do all of the things that they enjoy.  Finally, they will have time to travel or to pursue a favorite hobby.  Unfortunately, a limited income and a few bad financial choices can quickly turn these dream years into a nightmare.  


Enjoying a lovely retirement doesn’t have to be an impossibility, though.  The secret to getting the most out of your fixed income is budgeting well.  Careful planning can stretch your money so that all of those retirement dreamscan be within reach. Pensioner finances needed to be well organized as these funds are limited. Below are some tips to help stretch the dollar.  


Have a budget.  The most important part of any financial plan is to have a budget and try to avoid loans or new credit.  A budget can act as a measuring stick to guide your purchases.  It’s impossible to know if you are spending too much on entertainment like movie tickets, for instance, if you don’t have a budget to compare your spending to.  
Consider down-sizing your home to cut costs.  Do you really need that four bedroom home anymore?  You can cut your housing expenses substantially by choosing a smaller home.  In addition, deciding to live in a smaller home will make it easier to care for your house.  How much easier will it be to keep your home spotless when you don’t have two extra bedrooms?  Lawn care and other types of exterior maintenance will be simpler, too, in our smaller home.  
Take advantage of senior discounts.  Lots of restaurants, from the super-casual McDonald’s to the more adventurous Elephant Bar Restaurant, offer discounts for senior citizens.  Retailers often offer special discount days for the 65 and over crowd.  You can find a list of companies who offer senior discounts by using an internet search engine.  Taking advantage of any senior discounts available can help you fit more luxuries into your monthly budget.  
Examine your Medicare coverage.  Are you on the best prescription drug plan for your situation?  If some of your medications aren’t covered by your current drug plan, they may be eating up a large chunk of your monthly budget.  Review your drug plan and other plan options each year to ensure that you are in the most beneficial plan available.  
Travel during non-peak times.  If you’ve been looking forward to traveling during your retirement, consider traveling during non-peak times to get more vacation for your buck.  Even something as simple as booking a flight on a Tuesday rather than a Monday can save you lots.  And, since you don’t have to worry about fitting your vacation into a traditional work week, you can be flexible on your travel dates.  
Consider non-traditional travel plans.  If a week-long stay at a resort simply isn’t in your budget, there may be other ways to see the country.  Perhaps a friend would be willing to swap houses with you for a week or two.  You will both get to enjoy a nice change of pace for a fraction of the cost of a traditional vacation.


This article was brought to you by Pensioner Loans Assistance, a finance blog aimed at helping seniors in their Golden Years.  

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