Many seniors in their late 60s or beyond may have to work to make ends meet, making every dollar count in retirement.
Living on a fixed income can definitely be challenging, especially for seniors. Here we discuss ways to stretch those dollars and ease some of the worry and stress.
Financial Support Available to You
In many cases, relying solely on your government pension is difficult, but be sure you’ve applied for all the support you’re eligible to receive, such as Old Age Security, Canadian Pension Plan, and any other benefits available through your former employer.
Remember any term insurance policies that may come due, bonds, or other financial assets you started at a younger age and left to mature.
Geared-to-income housing options are available to seniors throughout the Waterloo Region, but the waiting lists are long, and spots go to those with the greatest financial need. If you qualify, you’ll be paying what you can afford, and to some extent, you will not pay for significant rent increases.
Assisted living communities can provide staff to help care for seniors’ needs and may provide help with meals, transportation and sometimes even medication. Seniors who need this extra support should look for assisted living communities that offer price flexibility options.
Seniors who enjoy socializing can get together with a small group of friends and take turns hosting each other for dinner. Once a week, you each cook one meal for four people instead of a meal for one person four times a week. The cost savings here are significant, and you also get out to socialize and have fun with friends regularly. Casseroles, soups, and stews are great options.
Local churches, legions or other community groups often offer organized dinners for seniors.
Meals on Wheels is an excellent resource for seniors living independently with difficulties shopping or cooking.
Help with prescription costs
Provincial drug plans like the Trillium Drug Program in Ontario help seniors cover the medication costs not covered by (OHIP) the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, or most employer pension plans after retirement.
Zoos, museums, art galleries and movie theatres all offer senior rates. Retailers like Shoppers Drug Mart offer senior discounts to those over 65 and discount days on the last Thursday of each month.
Wherever you are shopping, always ask if they offer a discount for seniors. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much you can save.
Earn Extra Income
Whether you can teach a class, babysit, sell crafts, work part-time in retail, or even work an occasional day or two for your previous employer, earning extra income is a great way to help supplement your cost of living while you’re retired. It is also an excellent way to socialize and stay active.
Do you love animals and also like to walk? Consider being a dog walker.
Think about what you love to do, like cake decorating, cooking, gardening, or tutoring music.
You may be a retired nurse who can help administer flu shots in the fall or a former accountant who can help neighbours with their tax returns; opportunities are available for seniors to earn extra income, enjoy retirement, and stretch those retirement dollars.