The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Spending Time and Saving Money
We’ve always been told to save for retirement. “Start early,” they say. “Don’t waste money on frivolous things,” they say. Our existence seems to consist of working every day to live, only so we can retire one day with the money that we saved over the years. But at what expense is all of this to our quality of life? Why work simply to live without enjoying the life we’ve worked to achieve? Baby boomers, we’re talking to you. You’ve worked hard and earned your retirement; it’s not too late to start living it up. It really is possible to be frugal without giving up all the fun.
How You Save Your Money
Prioritizing is a part of life; so, before enjoying the fruits of your labor, assess your responsibilities first. Housing, food, and healthcare are at the top of the list when it comes to seniors. Since maintaining one’s health is especially important during your golden years, look into Medicare coverage if you haven’t already. Online resources can help with enrollment and choosing Medicare Advantage Plans, which offer supplemental Medicare coverage for vision, dental, and prescriptions.
Another cost to consider is Long-Term Care (LTC). Long-term care insurance helps pay for personal or medical assistance when you’re unable to care for yourself. Assisted living and nursing homes fall under the realm of LTC. Not all baby boomers have the financial means to pay for these services out-of-pocket, so this is where LTC insurance comes into play. While you’re still healthy, you can prepare for your needs later by purchasing a long-term care policy. To compare prices and coverage, search online for LTCI companies on review sites like Consumers Advocate.
The purpose of life insurance is to make sure your loved ones are financially taken care of after your passing. It’s there to replace the income you once provided, especially if you were the breadwinner. It’s also there to help cover funeral arrangements so your family doesn’t have to pay for it.
Some families benefit greatly from life insurance, but not everyone requires it. If your family has the means to financially support themselves without your life insurance benefits or if you don’t have to pay estate taxes, then there’s no reason to take out the extra cost. Adult children who are independent probably won’t need your life insurance benefits, nor will a spouse who has enough income or assets to be self-sufficient in the event of your passing.
How You Spend Your Life
Once you’ve covered the necessities, you can find discretionary ways to fit a quality lifestyle into your budget. Life doesn’t have to be put on hold just because you’re trying to be frugal, but there needs to be a balance between saving your money and spending it. You can have a life without sacrificing your savings by trying some of these tips:
- Minimize your entertainment expenses by cutting your cable and replacing it with alternative streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. You’ll still be able to watch your favorite television programs without having to pay for the channels you don’t need.
- Take a road trip instead of a pricey vacation or a cruise. Driving cuts down on costs and allows you to see more of the scenery you normally miss out on when you fly.
- Take advantage of senior discounts at restaurants, retail stores, and travel services.
- Host potluck dinners at home. Be social with friends without having to spend money on going out to eat and drink. Or, if you do go out, split a meal with your spouse and bring your own wine.
- When it comes to entertainment, look for ways to buy discounted event tickets or opt for community theater or musical performances.
Ask yourself this: What’s the point of saving all of your money just so you can use it to survive? Without a healthy balance between saving and spending, you’ll slowly see the days pass by…and one day you might regret not doing the things that you wanted to do. If you’re not living life to the fullest, then what are you living for?