(Editor’s note: This content is provided by VSP Vision Care, a Next Avenue sponsor.)
People save money for retirement most of their adult lives. But with this transition many may struggle to adjust to living on a fixed income while enjoying their new free time. That doesn’t have to be the case. Here are five ways to be smart with your money during retirement.
1. Take Advantage of Senior Discounts
Senior discounts used to just mean ordering the “early bird special” at a diner, but those days are in the past. Senior discounts are now available for retail locations, grocery stores, restaurants, leisure activities and more. Not all discounts are alike, so it’s important to understand what’s being offered. Discounts are often based on a total percentage markdown, but others vary by day, age, store location or current memberships. For a list of senior discounts, click here. As always, remember to confirm senior discounts directly with retailers near you.
2. Understand How Insurance Benefits May Help You
As we age, we become more susceptible to age-related health issues. For that reason it’s important to ensure you’re receiving the best health care possible. Consider looking into health care companies that offer coverage for older adults at a discounted rate. In addition, hedge off unexpected medical costs (a major concern on a fixed income), and know the level of coverage you’ll receive from programs like Medicare, specifically for things like inpatient hospital stays, medical supplies and preventative services.
Be sure to understand exactly what is and isn’t covered in your personal Medicare plan. For example: Do you have a history of vision-related issues or have an ever-changing glasses prescription you need to maintain? Many assume their eyes are fully covered, but few realize traditional Medicare doesn’t include glasses or contacts. VSP® Individual Vision Plans are a low-cost option with multiple plans to choose from starting as low as $17 a month. Get the most benefits for your money with a plan that annually delivers:
- a comprehensive eye exam
- prescription lenses and covered enhancement like progressives
- a generous allowance on a wide selection of frames and contacts
- access to the largest network of independent doctors
3. Join AARP
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is a fantastic resource for those over the age of 50. AARP focuses on how to live your best life after retirement. By becoming a member of AARP you’re automatically eligible for a plethora of money-saving advantages. And AARP’s website offers a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of topics, all geared toward enhancing quality of life as you age. From travel benefits to buying a car, AARP is available and ready to help. To become an AARP member visit www.aarp.org.
5. Don’t Be Afraid of Technology
Using technology can be overwhelming to many as it’s ever-changing and evolving, and what was popular last month is likely already on its way out the door. But technology can be a great help while trying to save money. Many apps may help you save you time and money during your regularly scheduled routines. For example GasBuddy is an app and website that helps find the lowest price of gas closest to your location. Not only will it save you from stressing about where the closest gas station is, it also helps identify the best and lowest prices. There are many other great money saving apps available. To find one, do a quick search in your mobile app store.
5. Go Generic
Saving money doesn’t always mean cutting out annual family trip or holding back from buying the new product you really want. Little steps can help save big in the long run. Just by switching from name brand products to generic, you can save a noticeable amount. The savings are especially impressive when it comes to switching to generic medicines and prescriptions. Both over the counter and prescription medications can be tremendously pricey so ask your doctor or pharmacist if there is a generic option that’s right for you. You’ll be surprised by the immediate savings.
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