If you’re retired, you don’t want to fritter away the savings you’ve worked all your life to achieve. So, whether you’re living a comfortable or modest lifestyle in retirement1, there are still ways you can make every dollar count and stretch your dollar further.
Get rid of the second car if it’s not critical to your daily routine. Not only could you top up your savings with the sale’s proceeds but you will save on annual registration, insurance and maintenance costs. Find out which concessions are available to you in your state to travel by public transport. Check car sharing options through GoGet. Or catch a taxi occasionally as it may still be cheaper than maintaining a second car.
Renegotiate your bills to boost your finances. Check with your providers about bundling your services to save on services such as technology (phone, broadband), energy (electricity, gas), insurance (home & contents, car, caravan, boat) and private health costs. It’s also worth checking to see whether you would be subject to any disconnection or early termination fees. Or check other providers’ rates through comparison websites. Ask if the provider offers a pensioner or seniors discount and then put what you save towards other expenses.
Find out what government discounts and rebates you’re entitled to – visit the Department of Social Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs websites to learn about benefits and payments, such as pensions, allowances, bonuses, concession cards, supplements and other services you can access. Or find out about the Seniors Card for discounts on travel, health, lifestyle, government services and finance in your state.
Buy groceries cheaply by doing research online to check for sales, half-priced or discounted items before you go shopping. You can also buy in bulk and then share the costs with your neighbours or family. Remember to check details such as use-by dates, the policy on returning items, as well as how and when you can take delivery of your groceries if you buy online.
Have your bills paid automatically from your bank account by setting up a direct debit. Most suppliers have this facility, so go online, check your bill or ring your provider to get the details. If you normally pay your bills in person, you’ll save time and effort by not travelling to the post office (or wherever you pay your bills). Also, you won’t have to check your bills tray every day to remember to pay them when they’re due.
Make your money last
These days we need to look after our finances for much longer than we’ve had to in the past. Now, if you’re a male aged 65, you could expect to live for another 19 years (to age 84) while a 65 year old woman’s life expectancy is 87─which is around 30 years longer than our Aussie ancestors of the 1800s2.
So it’s important to make sure your funds will last the distance - both now and in the future.
1 ASFA Retirement Standard
2 Australian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.