After a long working life, it’s finally time to retire and rest! But maybe your pension is very low. Don’t worry. We’ll tell you tricks and discounts to help you make the most of your money.
People over 65 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. With more or less difficulty, they can pay for daily expenses, but they cannot cope with unforeseen events or go on vacation. Many people, unfortunately, find out that after a long life of effort, they are left with a very meager pension from which they can barely make ends meet.
Retirees also sometimes have an additional burden to bear: They have to financially support their children or grandchildren who still have to pay the consequences of the crisis with unemployment or job insecurity, or who have ERTE due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have to fall back on their grandparents’ already meager pension.
Fortunately, some public and private institutions help retirees supplement their purchasing power. Moreover, by following some tips and applying a few tricks in daily life, one can reduce spending and stretch one’s retirement in this way.
Tips For Saving After Retirement
To stretch your retirement, follow these tips that will give you significant savings in your own home:
1. An additional source of income for an older adult
Older adults can be renting out a room in the home. And the benefits can go beyond the purely economic, as it provides companionship and helps with daily tasks. Another option is to share the home with another retiree without charging rent so that the costs of maintaining the home and food are split between two pensions instead of just one.
There is also the possibility of sharing a flat with a young student who contributes to the cost and helps the senior with the housework, which is more difficult for them.
2. Seniors are a very vulnerable group to fall victim to scams
Therefore, you have to be very careful. When signing contracts for utilities (electricity, water, gas, telephone, etc.), some suppliers sell only what you need, while others try to sell the product that gives them the highest commission.
For example, some pensioners pay a fee for Internet over the phone even though their terminal does not even have network access. Therefore, check all your bills to see if what you have contracted is needed. If you need to learn how to do this, find someone you trust to help you. There are also consumer groups that can help you for free.
3. Save money every day
Be very careful at home. Try not to leave a light on in a room that is not being used; unplug your cell phone charger if it has charged the battery; if your TV has a red dot when it is off, reset it to avoid this; make sure faucets are always tightly closed and even close the faucet when you are not home. Every little saving measure you can think of will directly impact your wallet.
4. Bills are a common enemy for all citizens
It is useful to have a sheet noting the months of the year and the amounts to be paid each month (bills and taxes), a trick that will help you organize the household economy and see at a glance how much money you have available each month when the fixed payments are covered.
5. Check out the terms offered in stores
If you need financing to buy an important product. Despite the increasing number of offers, it is better to be aware of the conditions and pay only the same interest as the same product would have cost in another store.
6. Groceries are the most important expense for retirees who have paid off their mortgages
Finding the right products at the best price can be difficult, but it is possible. To achieve this, it is ideal to get catalogs of all the supermarkets near your home – or consult them online – and compare the prices of the products, aiming to buy in different stores to take advantage of all the offers.
It can be tedious, but once you get used to it and see the monthly savings, you’ll find it’s a good decision. You’ll also have more time to do it in retirement, and walking to the mall is a good ally for cardiovascular health. If you must drive or use public transportation, estimate the cost; i.e., spending two euros at a supermarket to save 1.50 is not cost-effective.
7. Public institutions (especially city halls)
Some non-governmental organizations and foundations provide retirees with services that allow them to save on food, from containers to prepare food to heat it at home to soup kitchens or food banks.
To be eligible for them, one usually does not have to exceed the income limit set by the respective agency, be over 65 years old, and sometimes have dependents (to know what the applicant needs). Another healthy, convenient, inexpensive option is grocery delivery services for the elderly. Inquire about availability in your area.
Leisure and transportation: discounts for retirees
Discounts for retirees are not always visible at the checkout counter, but you should not hesitate or be embarrassed to ask if there is a special discount you can take advantage of at this time or any other day of the week. This way, you can expand your options to make your leisure time more cost-effective.
Remember that you must always show your retiree card to prove that you are entitled to these economic benefits, especially for people who have yet to reach retirement age.
Here are some examples of activities that are cheaper or even free for retirees:
In all autonomous communities, public transportation is discounted in one way or another, from free to discounts of 50% to 90%. Depending on where you live, eligibility conditions vary, the most important being income, calculated relative to the interprofessional minimum wage.
A very tempting way to enjoy your free time is to go to the cinema, but with a pension and the high ticket prices, it isn’t easy to afford. However, cinemas have thought about the situation of retirees, and almost all cinema chains give discounts ranging from 10% to 50% of the normal ticket price. The discounts are usually given on a specific day of the week or during morning or early afternoon screenings.
Even in old age, exercising regularly for a better quality of life is important. In old age and with plenty of free time, it is a good time to take advantage of special rates at public facilities. The administration has established 20% and 75% discounts for most activities.
Many banks offer retirees free cards that give them discounts at various stores, from groceries to restaurants to health products. Some shopping centers also target the elderly to turn them into customers.
Stretching your retirement can be a great way to make ends meet and ensure a comfortable retirement. However, it’s important to be mindful of the potential risks involved and ensure you have a solid plan. With some planning and careful budgeting, you can make your retirement last as long as you need it to.