1. Wait Getting Social Security
Being retired and collecting Social Security are two reasons to celebrate growing older. Your monthly benefits will be much larger if you wait until you reach full retirement age, which ranges from 65 to 67 depending on your birth year.
Your benefits will be 30% less if you start receiving Social Security at 62 instead of 67, for example. Wait to collect until you reach full retirement age. If you wait until age 70 to collect Social Security, you will get the maximum payout.
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2. Consider Withdrawing Your Early Social Security Claim
Did you take early benefits and are now astonished by the true price of Social Security retirement? Your claim can be withdrawn and reopened within a year if you filed during the last year.
If you opt to withdraw, you must reimburse all benefits received up to that date. Still, being able to max out your Social Security payments may be worth it.
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3. Plan Your Survivor Benefits
If you’re married, talk about how to optimize your Social Security payments. When one individual dies, the surviving spouse’s benefits can replace their own if they are higher. So the higher-earning spouse should retire later so that when two Social Security checks become one, the surviving spouse gets the maximum benefits.
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4. Move to a Low-Cost Area
Your Social Security income will go further when living costs are reduced. Avoid living in an expensive area by moving to where you can live on social security alone. Cities like Tuscon, Arizona, and Reno, Nevada, enjoy nice weather, lots to do, and inexpensive cost of living.
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5. Pay Debts Before Retirement
To maximize your Social Security benefits, pay off all debts before retirement, including credit card debt and mortgages. This manner, you may focus on using your advantages for daily needs rather than past purchases.
6. Relocate to a Low-Tax State
Most states and Washington, D.C. do not tax Social Security payments, but living in a tax-free state can increase your benefits. Alaska and New Hampshire have no sales or income taxes, but Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming do.
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7. Rent A Room
Sharing living expenses with a roommate or housemate can help you save money and reduce loneliness. A Smart Asset analysis found that renting a two-bedroom with a roommate saves over $800 per month compared to renting a one-bedroom alone. Even if you don’t rent, a roommate can reduce your utility, internet, cable, and energy costs.
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8. Profit from Free Entertainment
Staying busy and having fun doesn’t have to cost money. Visit a free museum or borrow a book from the library to pass the time. You can also go to free open mic nights at a neighborhood coffee shop or theatre. Other free activities include book readings, lectures at area colleges, and free outdoor concerts.
Of course, these perks may have to wait till the coronavirus outbreaks are over.
9. Join AARP and Save
An AARP membership costs $16 per year, but the discounts might more than cover the fee. AARP members save on health and wellness, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and community memberships.
10. Change of Residence
Moving to a retirement community may be less expensive than buying a new house in the region. Retirement counsellor Sara Zeff Geber says they’re often cheaper than nearby open-market residences.
Plus, living in a retirement community facilitates socialization. However, you must be realistic about your Social Security benefits, as some luxury retirement communities can be very costly.
11. Visit Senior Discount Restaurants
Living on Social Security means having a limited budget, but it’s good to eat out occasionally, especially if the establishment provides a senior discount. Many major chains offer seniors up to 25% off meals, even takeout.
According to TheSeniorList.com, Chili’s gives daily 10% senior discounts while Uno Pizzeria & Grill offers 25% senior discounts on Wednesdays.
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12. As You Shop
Changing your wardrobe doesn’t have to eat up a lot of your Social Security. According to TheSeniorList.com, Banana Republic offers a 10% discount to customers age 50 and up, Kohl’s offers a 15% discount to customers age 60 and up, and Ross offers a 10% discount to customers age 55 and up.
13. Prescriptions: Don’t Overpay
These expenses pile up fast. Prescribers can save money by choosing generics whenever possible. Consider joining a prescription membership programme to save money and gain incentives. So a 30-day supply of most generics costs only $9.99 with the Rite Aid Rx Savings Program.
14. Step Outside
A daily walk or trek is a free method to keep active. Make a morning walk in the neighborhood or a hike on a nearby path part of your regular routine. Hiking throughout the day spares you from crowds and allows you to experience the outdoors in peace and quiet.
Giving back to those in need is a great way to feel good. Volunteering for a cause that matters to you is a cost-free method to help others.
16. Restart School
Tuition waivers for seniors allow them to attend many local colleges and institutions for free. Even if your local university doesn’t offer tuition assistance, you may be able to audit classes for free. You can attend all classes and lectures, but you won’t get credit for them. Auditing eliminates tests and homework.
You may not have had time to work out frequently, but now you have no excuse. Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for the free Silver Sneakers programme, which gives them access to over 14,000 gyms nationwide.
Silver Sneakers members not only have full access to participating gyms, but also free classes. You can try yoga or dance your way to wellness for free.
Sadly, this advantage may have to wait until all gyms are safe to use again.