Here's 20 tips for living comfortably off your social security check – including delaying taking your benefits11/14/2020
HERE are 20 tips for retirees to live comfortably off their social security check for those who rely on it – including delaying taking your benefits.
There are plenty of discounts and perks seniors can take advantage of once they reach retirement, which allows them to live a rich and worry free life with limited funds.
According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, 24 percent of those aged 65 or over live in families that depend on social security benefits for 90 percent or more of their income.
The average monthly benefits stand at $1,523, so retirees who rely on social security income to pay for their personal expenses live on a tight budget.
However, here are 20 tips retirees can do to live comfortably off their social security check.
Delay Taking Your Social Security Benefits
You can start collecting social security benefits at age 62, however, you monthly benefits will be significant high if you wait until you reach your full retirement age.
Your full retirement age ranges from 65 to 67 depending on the year you were born.
If your full retirement age is 67, but you start collecting benefits at 62, your aide will be 30 percent less than you would’ve got if you waited five more years.
If you delay collecting social security until you’re 70, you will receive your maximum social security benefits.
Consider withdrawing your claim if you already filed early
If you filed for social security within the past 12 months, you still have time to withdraw your request and restart at a later date to increase your benefits.
However, it is important to note that if you choose to withdraw, you must repay all the benefits you received up to that point.
Plan out your social security survivor benefits
If you're married, it's important to discuss how to maximize your benefits should one spouse die.
When one person dies, the widow or widower can receive the deceased spouse's benefits instead of their own if the benefits are higher than what they were receiving before.
It makes more sense for the higher-earning spouse to retire later so that when two social security checks coming to the household become one, the surviving spouse will receive the greatest benefits possible.
Move to an area with a lower cost of living
If you live in an expensive location, your benefits will not stretch far, instead consider moving to a place where you can live on only a social security check.
Cities like Tucson, Arizona and Reno, Nevada have a lower cost of living.
Pay off debt before retiring
It's best to pay off any debits you may have in order to make the best out of your social security benefits.
This way you can focus on putting your money towards what you need day-to-day, rather than spending it on things you purchased in the past.
Relocate to a tax-friendly state
States such as Alaska and New Hampshire levy no tax on sales or income.
Washington DC does not tax social security benefits.
Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas. Washington and Wyoming do have sales taxes but don't impose state income taxes or taxes on pension income.
Get a roommate
Splitting living expenses with a roommate can be a great way to save money.
A study by SmartAsset found that in some major cities, renters who split a two-bedroom with a roommate save more than $800 a month.
Take advantage of free entertainment
You don't always have to go places and spend money, instead go to a museum with free admission or check out a library book to stay entertained.
Attend open mic nights at a local coffee shop or theater, which often do not charge admission fee.
Other free activities include attending book readings, going to a lecture at a local college or university and attending free outdoor concerts.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic in place, most of these entertainment center will be closed or open with limited capacity.
Invest in an AARP membership
An AARP membership costs $16 a month, but the discounts can earn you the membership fee back plus more.
AARP members get savings on health and wellness expenses, restaurants, entertainment, shopping and community memberships that go beyond regular senior discounts.
Move To a retirement community
Moving into a retirement community could be a lot cheaper than purchasing a new home in the area.
Plus living in a retirement community makes it easier to socialize with other people your age.
However, you have to check out your social security benefits and see which retirement communities you can actually afford to live in.
Go to restaurants that offer senior discounts
Many popular restaurants offer up to a 25 percent discount on meals for people 55 and older, even on takeout.
Chili's offers a 10 percent senior discount every day and Uno Pizzeria & Grill has a 25 percent discount for seniors on Wednesday.
Save while you shop
Many major retailers offer discounts to senior shoppers such as Banana Republic, which give 10 percent to shopper age 50 and up.
Kohl's gives shopper 60 and up 15 percent off every Wednesday and Ross has a 10 percent off Tuesday deal for anyone over 55-years-old.
Don’t overpay for prescriptions
To save money on your prescriptions always go for the generic brands when possible.
Also consider joining a prescription membership program whenever you buy your medication to receive discounts and even rewards.
Rite Aid Rx Savings Program gives members 15 percent off or more on meds and a 30-day supply of most generics costs only $9.99 with the plan.
Going outside is an easy way to stay active and save money.
Make a morning walk around your neighborhood part of you daily routine or visit local hiking trail to enjoy the nature around you.
Going for hikes during times when most people are at work saves you the hassle of dealing with crowds to enjoy the peace and quiet scene around you.
Volunteering during your free time is a great way to feel good about yourself and help others in need.
It's also a free way to spend your time that benefits others as well.
Go back to school
Many local colleges and universities allow seniors to take college classes for free thanks to tuition waivers for residents age 60 or over.
Even if your local higher education institution doesn't offer a tuition waiver, you might be able to audit classes for free, which means you can attend all classes and lectures, but won't receive any credit for classes you take.
Try a new gym class (for free)
Medicare members can join the free SilverSneakers program, which gives seniors access to over 14,000 gyms and fitness centers across the country.
You'll have full access to participating gyms and also enjoy free classes at gyms and much more.
Please not that a majority of these features may shut down or subject to change due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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