Once you reach the age of 50 and have raised children who are now adults with a life of their own, it’s the perfect time for you to re-assess your finances to see where you can reduce expenses, establish a realistic budget, and start preparing for retirement; known as the nest egg.
Downsize Your Home
When you get to your 50s, if you have children, they are probably grown and out on their own. Chances are you purchased your current home to accommodate a growing family. There are many things to think about when it comes to downsizing your home. If your current home is too large, moving to a smaller home makes more sense.
If it is too expensive, you can not only save money by moving to a less-expensive home, you can also make a profit on the sale of your home that you can add to your retirement fund. Keep in mind that moving can be overwhelming at any age, but it only gets more difficult the older you get.
If you decide to downsize, you should also think about what your needs will be as you continue to age. For instance, consider that stairs might become difficult to handle as you age. Don’t forget about the location of your new home. When you retire, being close to shopping, public transportation, or other amenities where social interaction is easier facilitated will become more important. There are other ways your costs will be reduced by downsizing such as lower utility bills, lower taxes, and lower insurance.
Did you know that most insurance companies offer discounts to those who have reached a certain age? You might qualify for more than just a typical senior discount. Some insurance companies offer additional money-saving programs such as:
- Mature Driver Training Course Discount
- Senior Organization Membership Discounts
- Retired Military Member Discount
- Low-Mileage Discount
You should talk to your current car insurance agent to see if they offer one or more of these available discount programs. If they don’t, look for other companies that do. Be sure to compare discounts and rates from many different companies. If you find a company that looks promising and does offer discount programs, make sure to check out their reviews to get an idea of how their service is viewed by other people. See these Mercury auto insurance reviewsas an example of the type of information available.You want to be sure you are not only getting the best rates and discounts, but also good service and a good product. Reading reviews will give you the insights you need to make an educated decision.
Getting older does have its benefits. One of them is senior discounts. Some companies publicize their discounts while others only provide them to those who ask. Restaurants, in particular, often offer discounts to those over 50. However, keep in mind that many of these restaurants are franchises and rules may vary by the franchisee. Some of the places you can eat at a reduced rate are:
- If you like fast food, you can get a 10% discount over age 55 at Arby’s, Chili’s,McDonald’s, and Hardees, where some locations also offer a free drink or discounted rate on drinks.
- Denny’s has a discounted menu for anyone over 55.
- Ice cream lovers over 60 will get 10% off their order at Ben & Jerry’s participating locations.
Trim Your Everyday Budget
There are many ways to curb your expenses that won’t have a painful impact on your life that can save you a lot of money over time. You might be surprised at how much money you can actually save. For example, if you do not pay $3 every day for a latte, you will have more than $1,000 put back in your pocket after a year. Some other things you can cut out or reduce your use of are:
- If you are going out to lunch every day, try bringing your lunch from home a few days a week.
- Because many electronic devices still use a little bit of power even when they are not in use, unplugging them when you are not using them can reduce your electric bill.
- Generic brands are often just as good as name brands and are less expensive, especially with food items. Why not give the generics a try and see if you like them?
- Although it might be tempting to drop into a convenience store to pick up something you need and forgot to buy when you last went shopping, you should try to avoid it whenever possible. You are paying for the “convenience” when shopping at these stores and the prices are usually much higher than in the supermarket.
There are many reasons you might want to reduce your expenses after the age of 50. They include getting ready for retirement, having extra money to spend on fun things like vacations or buying toys for grandchildren, and having the ability to enjoy your life without having to worry about your finances.