Most people are willing to talk about retirement when it comes to the idea of not working any more. Fewer are willing to talk about preparing to grow old. Both are important, and both will benefit from some frugal planning now. Here are some tips to help you mentally and fiscally plan for the later years.
Living frugally often means downsizing. Why pay to store items you don’t need or use? Why pay for space you can’t fill? Downsizing now does a couple of things to prepare you for a comfortable future. First of all, you get used to living on less, with less. Many elderly individuals find themselves in assisted living later in life. If you downsize now, you won’t have to do as much downsizing later.
Secondly, downsizing means fewer things to maintain. As we get older, the daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance tasks become more and more of a burden. Arthritic hands make it difficult to do yard work. Heat and heart conditions make it next to impossible to make repairs on the home. By downsizing now, you’re saving yourself a world of headache and expense later.
Healthcare costs continue to rise, and as they say, prevention is the best medicine. Do what you can now to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise regularly and include both cardio and strength training in your routines. Eat a diet low in sugars and fats and high in vitamins. Get medical check ups as often as recommended by your doctor. These simple things cannot only save you money now, but they will improve your quality of life in the long run. If the idea of assisted living turned your stomach, work to have a healthy lifestyle that makes living independently more likely.
Set Goals for Retirement
What do you want to do when you retire? When do you want to retire? What do you need to be doing now to meet those goals by the desired deadline? If you want to travel during retirement, how much above living expenses do you need to save in the coming years? If you want to move to the coast in retirement, what will your monthly living expenses be? Having concrete goals like these and setting aside $5, $10, or $20 each week toward those goals will keep you motivated to live frugally. Do you want to sell your home and travel in an RV? Good for you. What home improvements can you make now to make your home more marketable when it’s time to retire?
In Case of Emergency
Developing a habit of spending less than you bring in means you’ll have a nest egg that allows for situations like poor medical diagnoses or other debilitating situations you don’t plan for.
A Lifestyle of Frugal Living
When living frugally becomes a lifestyle, you’ll find that it becomes a habit. You’ll live frugally for the remainder of your life, travelling cheaply, enjoying simple pleasures, and appreciating all that you have.