Early retirement and COVID-19. Amidst all the talk about how the pandemic has impacted the economy, very little has been said about how COVID-19 has affected older working adults. The pandemic has forced early retirement on many seniors across the country. Consequently, their ability to grow their retirement savings – the savings they were counting on for the future – also came to a sudden stop.
According to Jon Marcus of AARP, millions of seniors were forced into retiring earlier than planned amidst COVID-19. The early retirement has impacted their Social Security benefit amounts, retirement savings and pension plans. As a result, about 55 percent of American seniors will experience financial insecurity in retirement.
If you find yourself in this situation, here are some budgeting tips. You’ll learn how to save money on groceries, medications and housing expenses. And if you’d like to stay active in the business world, you might find a work-from-home job to earn some extra cash. Read on to get started!
Save on Everyday Purchases to Help With Early Retirement
If times are tough, here are some ways to reduce spending during the pandemic and stretch your dollars. Start with everyday purchases such as groceries and medications.
- Sign up for a grocery delivery service. Grocery delivery services may seem like an unnecessary expense, but they allow you to save on transportation costs, avoid impulse buying and reduce your exposure to COVID-19. Some of the cheapest grocery delivery services include Instacart, Amazon Fresh, Shipt and Postmates.
- Reduce prescription drug costs. You can rack up major savings on prescription medications by switching your prescription drugs to generics, using a mail-order pharmacy or comparing Medicare drug plans to find a more affordable option. You may also qualify for prescription drug assistance.
- Look for coupons and discount codes. Thanks to deal websites like Hip2Save, Slickdeals and RetailMeNot, you can save money on just about anything. Look for coupon codes and cash-back offers before making online purchases.
Reduce Housing Costs
In some communities you could actually save on housing costs by downsizing your home and moving into an apartment or senior living community. You can use websites like Rent.com to find apartment rentals in your desired area.
If you’re looking for an apartment in Austin, Texas, for instance, you can search online by price range, pet-friendliness, bedrooms and bathrooms. Or maybe you want a home with air conditioning, a patio, balcony or in-unit washer/dryers. Rent.com can also explore for townhouses, condominiums and houses for rent, including studios, one-bedrooms and rentals with two or more bedrooms and bathrooms. You can search by price range, whether your monthly budget is $500, $2,000, $5,000 or more.
Look for Work-From-Home Jobs
If you’re looking to bring in some extra money after the pandemic has forced you into early retirement, you might consider a work-from-home job. Rachel Hartman with U.S. News & World Report shares several job recommendations for seniors. Possibilities include online teaching, bookkeeping, consulting, coaching, customer service, sewing, writing and proofreading, for starters. Some of the best places to look for work-from-home jobs include FlexJobs, Remote OK, Indeed.com, Zip Recruiter and We Work Remotely.
Make Use of Online Universities
If you’ve always wanted to go back to school to pick up a few classes but were intimidated by campus life or the cost of tuition, then you’re in luck. Online universities allow you to take, and pay for, only the courses you’re enrolled in. That way, you can design a schedule that fits around what you can afford at the moment. Don’t let age or money stop you from continuing your education. This is an excellent opportunity for those who’d like a business degree to help them start their own post-retirement venture.
Utilize Senior-Friendly Budgeting Apps
Personal finance apps such as Mint, PocketGuard and Prism can help you manage your money and stay on budget. They’re easy to access from your Android or iOS mobile device. The Age Well Planner from the National Council on Aging (NCOA) is another great tool. It can be used to set a budget, reduce spending, plan your retirement savings and find government resources.
The Bottom Line
If you’re experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce your monthly expenses, bring in some extra money and stay within budget during this challenging time. Hopefully, these tips will help improve your financial situation throughout the remainder of the pandemic.
For more advice on ways to help you navigate the world of senior living, check out other articles and posts available on Senior Influential.
Our thanks to contributing writer Jim McKinley for this article on budgeting tips for seniors. You can read more from Jim at MoneyWithJim.