In a recent study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, approximately 57 percent of American workers had less than $25,000 in savings and investments set aside for their future retirement home. This is significantly less than the estimated $705,000 to $1 million needed for the average worker to retire between the ages of 62 and 67. While a few thousand dollars is obviously not sufficient to provide a comfortable living after retirement, not every person can hope to stock up a full million dollars before their 65th birthday. For those who have managed to tuck away a tidy sum but still need to make their money stretch, the good news is that it is possible to live on a budget while still enjoying a comfortable retirement lifestyle.
1- Find an inexpensive hobby
After years of clocking into work every day, your retirement should be a time to pursue interests and hobbies that you have always wanted to fit into your hectic schedule. Regardless of what your interests may be, there are ways to pursue them on a budget. If you love art, a limited retirement budget may not allow for collecting priceless treasures. Instead, visit museums or art shows in your area or create your own works of art by learning to paint or use a digital camera.
One of the best hobbies for retirees is gardening. Not only is gardening a relatively inexpensive hobby but it can also provide several additional benefits. Growing your own fruits and vegetables in a garden can provide healthy, fresh foods that can help to cut back on grocery costs. In addition, the sunshine and fresh air that gardening affords can be a boost to both your health and your mood.
2- Travel for less
Without the time commitments of a full time job, retirees often look forward to opportunities to travel and see the world. Fortunately, travel does not have to be an impossibility just because you have to make your dollars stretch. Instead of long, foreign vacations consider smaller vacations close to home. Research vacation spots within a few hours of your home and plan small day trips that allow for you to visit locations and then return to your home in the evening to avoid having to pay for a hotel. Other ideas for cutting back on vacation costs include traveling to locations where you have family or friends who can provide lodging or by packing food ahead of time to cut back on food costs.
For larger vacations that you’ve always dreamed of experiencing, stay on budget by making your travel arrangements well before your expected departure date. Last minute travel reservations are frequently many times higher than reservations made well in advance. Research your options and search for deals online. Sometimes, spending time dreaming and planning for a special vacation can be almost as much fun as the trip itself.