Now that you’re at a certain stage in life, you may find that your retirement income is not going to carry you like you thought it was. Times are tough economically, and for some seniors, this is new territory. For others, penny-pinching is nothing new.
Saving money as a senior is a bit different than it is for younger folks. When you’re older, your priorities are different and your activities are not the same. So here are some money-saving tips for black baby boomers to help you make the most of your retirement income (or prepare for retirement with extra savings).
1. Grocery Shopping
You may be used to going to the grocery store and not having to think much about comparing prices. But if you want to save money, comparing prices is essential. You can also use coupons, and combine them with sales to get great discounts.
Find out if your local store has a senior discount day, when you get a certain percentage off, or when there are special sales for seniors. If so, you can combine your coupons and sales with this discount day and do pretty well.
2. Your Credit Card
Have you looked at your credit card carefully lately? If not, take a look – does your card offer a rewards or points program? If so, take advantage of it. Earning points with everything that you spend can be a modest source of income. Once you have enough points, you can cash them in for whatever you like (depending on the guidelines as set forth by the credit agency). Then you can take the money you saved and put it toward your retirement.
A note about points, though – make sure you don’t spend more than usual just to rack up points. A handy way to increase your credit card spending without spending more money is to pay for things using your credit card that you would normally buy with a check or cash. Make sure you pay off the credit card each month.
3. Travel Tips
A lot of black baby boomers like to travel, especially if they have relatives in far-away places. If you aren’t familiar with the internet, it’s a good idea to get familiar with it when it comes to keeping track of the lowest plane fairs, hotel discounts, and rental specials. The internet will help you compare prices and keep track of real-time changes in price, so you can jump in and get the best deal right away.
See if there are senior discounts for travel essentials like car rentals, public transportation, plane tickets, and so forth.
4. Health Insurance
If you are on Medicare, check into insurance policies that offer to cover expenses not covered by Medicare. These are called Medigap policies, and some private insurance companies offer them. And if you go with a supplemental private health insurance company, consider using the same insurance company that you use for your car and/or home. Sometimes you get a discount if you do this.