Most companies used to provide pensions for employees. When I was younger, I often heard my father cheerfully talk of his pension, a monthly payment provided by his employer upon retirement, as a given. I always thought of this as a beautiful idea, a compelling reason to work hard.
After being in the workforce for a couple of years I started reading newspaper stories about companies dropping their pensions. I find this action deplorable. Now an increasing number of retired seniors find themselves depending upon Social Security, and any little bit of savings they were able to stash away.
Quite unfortunately, this income does not cover life’s costs and more and more seniors find themselves having to find jobs. Therefore, you see so many seniors working at retail and grocery stores, as well as at fast food restaurants. All this anxiety about money and bills creates a great amount of stress, leading to more incidences of high blood pressure, heart disease, and a whopping number of other life-shortening conditions.
My wife and I sympathize with you, as we have found ourselves in the same muddle as you. I’m now a bag boy and expect to be till I’m six feet under. However, we have discovered methods of saving and want to share them with you.
Like coupons, many retail stores offer senior discounts.
- Budget: develop a budget detailing where your money goes, and how much you can save after bills. Use these savings to attain your goals. Never built a budget? Go to the library or find a reputable internet source and learn how to improve your life.
- Goals: on the same page as your budget, list goals you would like to achieve and how much they will cost. Your first two goals should be investing and creating an emergency fund.
- Invest – use your savings to make money. One of the easiest ways is through a mutual fund. Do some reading on the company web site about their different investments and select what suits your needs.
- Emergency fund: in case you lose your job or tragedy strikes, create a bank account or investment to save and hold this money. You may need it to survive if you lose your job, or when a natural disaster strikes.
- Debt – find help to tackle your debt. Many resources exist, both private and government. Need assistance finding such a resource – ask your local librarian.
- Property taxes – every state has a tax benefits for seniors program.
- Senior discounts – most companies provide senior discounts. Here is a list of business categories which consistently offer discounts: cell phone, airline, ground travel, cruise lines, pharmacy, spa, theater, grocery, auto sale, auto maintenance and repair, hotel, restaurant, and many, many more.
Use these methods to take the uncertainty out of your finances and take the stress off yourself. Most businesses have a senior discount, but you usually need to ask. You may be able to use senior discounts to save for and attain a goal.