Retirement

Earlier this month, we recounted the first reason why retirement isn’t as expensive as you think. Now it’s time to keep the list going. While reading, consider whether or not you will even need to keep working well after going gray…

2. Gone is the Professional Dress

Another category where you’ll be saving money is in professional dress. Instead of wearing professional clothing five days per week, you’ll now be wearing it on rare occasions. Besides not buying a lot more clothing, you can also consider selling the professional suits you own right now. A quality, timeless suit retains its value far more than you may think. Take your items to an upscale thrift store. Or you can sell your items online at sites like thredUP, Twice, or ReFashioner. Even if your clothing is vintage, their valuations may surprise you!

Will there be added clothing expenses in retirement? Probably. But Hawaiian shirts and flip flops are a whole lot cheaper than suits and sport coats!

3. Lower Food Costs

Your food costs will likely decline during retirement. Expensive, obligatory dinners with colleagues will be eliminated. The average American worker spends $1,000 a year on coffee and $2,000 per year on lunch. During your working years, you may spend even more on convenience meals to stock your freezer at home. Who can blame you? After working so much, there’s not a lot of time left to think about meal planning. Although in retirement, you can focus on making healthy meals at home. Talk about a major savings!

You may also decide to start a garden in retirement. Burpee Seed Co. claims for every $50 you spend on seeds and fertilizer, you reap $1,250 in produce! This will put your food savings through the roof!

4. Lower Medical Costs

As bizarre as it sounds, there’s a lot of money to be saved on medical bills in retirement. According to AARP, stress causes many types of health issues such as heart disease, metabolic syndrome, colds, weight gain, slower healing, ulcers, and back, neck, and shoulder pain – just to name a few. Work-related stress will be erased in retirement. Instead, you can fill your time with tasks which bring you complete happiness.

Not only will your stress level decrease, your physical condition will likely improve upon retirement. Sitting in a chair for 8-hours a day is detrimental to your health. In retirement, your time is freed up for exercise and being outdoors. Being outdoors is also another way to improve your health. According to USA Today, being in nature improves physical and mental health.

During retirement, you won’t be around your usual group of coworkers carrying the flu virus. You’ll likely enjoy flu-free winters during retirement. Your exposure to the flu virus will be reduced and the immune system you built up in your working years is now plenty capable with keeping up with your lessened exposure.  In financial terms, this means fewer pain pills, doctor’s visits, and boxes of tissues!

5. Fewer Insurance Needs

Again, this sounds bizarre but there’s logic behind saving on insurance in retirement. It’s simple math, really. First, consider dropping your life insurance coverage. Upon retirement age, the premiums are probably pretty expensive. They will only get more expensive as time moves on. They will likely get so expensive in fact it would be cheaper just to save on premiums and leave a greater inheritance for your loved ones. To make getting rid of life insurance coverage even easier, ask yourself why you still have it in the first place. Really… just ask yourself. What reasons did you come up with? The reason life insurance exists is so a person can take care of their dependents after their death. Since you are retired, you probably no longer have any young children at home who cannot fend for themselves. Life insurance becomes unnecessary typically when your children turn age 18 or once they graduate college. Your spouse likely has their own needs taken care of as well. But before you drop coverage, make sure your will or any trusts you have are in order. Make sure your loved ones will get your assets upon your death.

Another area to save on insurance is with car insurance. Since you will likely be driving fewer miles each year, why not reduce your coverage? Statistically, the chances of you getting in an accident decrease so why shouldn’t your monthly payment decrease? Consider reducing your coverage to liability only. Also look at your coverage amounts. Most state minimums for bodily injury are set around $100,000. Some insurance company’s lard on 10 times that amount to increase your premiums even though the chances of you seriously injuring a busload of people are pretty darn slim.

See this chart for your state minimum auto insurance requirements. Consult your current insurance policy and make adjustments according to your comfort level. Consult a licensed insurance agent before making any changes. You may also decide to drop down to a one car or no car household. That’s the ultimate way to save on car insurance!

Stayed tuned to Due.com for part 3…

William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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