It is important to start to get ready for the retirement years well before they arrive. Living frugally during mid life helps to prepare for the reality of the retirement years and possible financial challenges.
How Long Will Social Security Exist?
I will be eligible for Social Security payments later in life. I receive statements about what my future payments will be. Seeing the amount of money I will receive from Social Security per month is quite informative. However, the fund could run out of money or be eliminated, so it is best to not count on that money being available later in life.
Right now my housing costs per month are almost as much as the Social Security payment I will receive later in life. Thus, upon testing living on my future retirement funds, I decided that I will leave my home state when I get older. I will relocate to a place where homes are more reasonably priced.
Moving to where Housing Costs are Low
It will be easier to retire in a location in the South, where condos cost about half of the prices here. The low real estate costs and warm weather will make a retirement transition down South quite enjoyable.
I also plan on continuing to work as a freelance writer during my elder years. So whatever retirement funds or Social Security I receive will be enhanced by writing income.
I have also tested ways to live more frugally to get ready for the elder years. I no longer have a television. I rarely watched it. I now get my news from the computer. I don’t miss watching television or the bills for the service.
I also have modified my diet to save money. I only eat red meat every now and then. I don’t miss it. I feel healthier and save money by only eating red meat infrequently. I also browse the discount cart for vegetables at the grocery store. I buy the discount vegetables in bulk and dice and freeze them to use in home-made soups and other meals.
It is also helpful to practice for retirement life by limiting the items I purchase. Since I know an eventual relocation is probable, I haven’t purchased any items other than basic clothing, food, survival items and the occasional book from a thrift shop or book sale in years. I am now used to living very frugally. I enjoy the challenge of finding items I need at discount prices at garage sales or flea markets.
It is impossible to know what the status of Social Security will be when I am older. It is also impossible to predict what the value of investments might be later in life. Thus, taking steps now to cut expenses helps me build frugal habits that will help me survive no matter what my retirement fund or Social Security levels are.
Another way to practice for retirement is to read about investment strategies, contribute to retirement plans and learn how to build multiple streams of revenue from work that can be done in the elder years. From the time a career begins, everyone should find time to get information about how to prepare for retirement.