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10 Powerful Ways to Spend Less and Do More After Retirement

By Margaret Manning July 30, 2013 Managing Money

As many people have found out the hard way, life after retirement is tough. For starters, most of us haven’t saved as much as we once hoped that we would.

In addition, many of us are struggling to find meaning with our family circumstances changing. Fortunately, there are several simple steps that you can take to spend less, while doing more, after retirement.

Here are 10 ideas for saving money in retirement. Each of them came from conversations with women in the Sixty and Me community who have already retired. These women know exactly what you are going through.

Here are their 10 tips for saving money after retirement.

1. Consider Relocating or Retiring Abroad

If you lived in a major city for most of your career, chances are you’re paying a lot for housing, transportation and other daily living expenses. But life in retirement doesn’t require you to live in a big city since you no longer have to go to a job each day.

Consider moving to a less expensive part of the country – or even retiring abroad, where other countries often have lower costs of living, delicious cuisine and fascinating cultures!

2. Move to a Smaller Home After Retirement

Even if you want to stay in the same city, you can often cut your living expenses by selling your house and moving to a smaller home. The new trend of “co-housing” is taking this idea of “downsizing” to an extreme – in co-housing communities, people live in small homes and share communal spaces, like gardens and yards, with their neighbors.

If you are interested in finding our more about the benefits of downsizing in retirement, you may want to watch my interview with Dr. Dale Atkins, where we go into this topic in some detail.

3. Sell Your Car – It Will Help Your Wallet and Your Body

If you’re married or living with a partner, do you really need two cars? Especially if you’re both retired and no longer have to commute to work each day, perhaps you can save money by selling a car. Or, if you only have one car to begin with, perhaps it’s time to rely on public transportation or dust off your bicycle?

Not only will you save on gasoline and insurance, but, you may find yourself in better physical shape too. And, if you do need a vehicle on a specific occasion, you can always use a service like Zipcar, which rents cars by the hour.

4. Check the “Little Things”

Are you paying high fees for your monthly bank account, overdraft fees, credit card interest, investment management fees, or other “little fees” each month just to manage your money?

Sign up for to track your spending – Mint will offer suggestions for other banks and other financial services companies that offer lower fees and lower rates than what you might be currently paying.

5. Pull the Plug on Cable TV

How much time do you spend watching cable TV? Is that really how you want to spend your life in retirement? Besides, there are cheaper ways to get the movies and TV shows you love, such as Netflix and Hulu. YouTube is another free option for watching videos on a range of topics. We even have our own Sixty and Me Show!

6. Re-evaluate Your Phone Bills

In the age of mobile phones, do you really still need a landline? Even if you still want to keep your “old fashioned” telephone line, call your phone company and ask for the latest deals – you might qualify for a better package with features like unlimited long distance calls.

7. Stop Signing Up for Mobile Phone Contracts

Many people sign up for a 2-year mobile phone contract in order to qualify for a free or discounted mobile phone – but this is a bad deal in the long run. You can usually save money by buying a used smartphone (or even by paying full price for a new phone) and then paying month-to-month for phone service with a prepaid phone plan. Check with your mobile phone provider and see which options are available.

8. Save Money on Travel

Many women over 60 love to travel and want to see many places in the world. I know I do! Fortunately, travel doesn’t have to be expensive. I wrote in this earlier article on how to travel for less with AirBnB, a unique online service that lets you stay cheaply at people’s homes instead of paying top dollar for hotel rooms.

9. Find a Partner to Share With

If you live alone, it can be hard to cook for one. So why not find a “shopping partner” who you can buy items in bulk with, and split the costs? Or find a circle of friends for regular group dinners – saving money on food prep and enjoying more social time!

10. Take Advantage of Senior Discounts

Getting older has its privileges! Don’t be afraid to look for senior discounts at shops, restaurants, travel sites and other businesses. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offers a variety of senior discounts to its members – and membership costs only $16 per year!

What are some of your favorite tips for saving money on everyday expenses after retirement? What small things do you do every month to save money?

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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