I am transitioning into early retirement – Times are tough anyway, what are ya’ll doing to make the way easier?

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  • #86202 Reply

      I was not financially prepared for this sudden move, and had planned on working another four years.

      I have now found myself in a sudden mission of cutting corners, being frugal, and making my limited funds, stretch. I will also be looking for part time work.

      Any suggestions, tips, hacks, or ideas, are greatly appreciated. Times are tough anyway, what are ya’ll doing to make the way easier?

      #86203 Reply

        Great ideas… in addition, I changed my cellphone plan from Verizon $125 month to Consumer Cellular $30 month no contract. Same service.

        #86204 Reply

          Retired at 54, four months before my planned retirement on my 55th birthday (corporate downsizing), which cost me retirement medical! I have been able to qualify for tax subsidized ACA medical which has been FAR better coverage than my employer provides, so… we did ok.

          I grow as much of my own food as I can, and cook 99% from scratch, largely vegan (to avoid the insane meat price gouging here). I’ve kept my paid off cars and electronic devices running as long as possible. If they lose reliability or repairs start costing what a new payment would, I will replace.

          I have always, and continue to live a simple, humble rural life which leaves my retirement investments generating income, rather than being drained. I work very part time at a gym which carries a perk of free workouts. Well worth it! The work covers a few extras like hotel stays and is super easy/low key.

          I am blissfully happy in retirement, finally calling all my own shots regarding my resources and my time. My stress is WAY down and my health is way up. It’s been a big win!

          Don’t miss: Recommended calculator to see how much money you need in retirement?

          #86205 Reply

            I think the best wisdom I can share is that when times are tough, it’s time for a change in mindset. You can’t be one foot in and one foot out.

            To back that up, all expenses must be on the chopping block. The time to make deep cuts is now. You can always loosen the reigns but you won’t regret being overly cautious.

            This is the time that there is NO discretionary spending until you find a new normal for you and your income level.

            Shop the cheaper grocery stores. Look for substitutes. Change product brands even if it’s temporary. Unplug unused electrical appliances. I switched to drinking water in a matter of a week by diluting my sweet tea. My husband will drink unsweetened tea. We saved a lot of money by changing this one thing.

            The 70’s and 80’s taught us that generic brands (white and black labels) saved money and we made it. Eat what is in the house and add only fresh produce and dairy.

            Find peace and gratitude in your situation. There is a silver lining although you may not see it, yet.

            When it comes to the part time job, I hope you can find something you love and are passionate about. The days goes much faster when you enjoy what you do.

            Wishing you the best!

            #86206 Reply

              While you are still working, work on stocking up on things you usually use or eat that are shelf stable, the economy is not getting any better. Limit laundry till you have a full load and line dry if you can, that cuts down on your electricity and water usage. When baking fill your oven with as much as you can cook once eat twice and freeze them for later heat up in the microwave.

              Buy a vintage thermos and when making your coffee fill the thermos and turn the coffee pot off, this saves on electric use too.

              Grow a garden to cut down on the cost of fresh fruits or veggies in the summer. I am so enjoying fresh grown tomatoes right now.

              #86207 Reply

                I did an early retirement as well. My suggestions;

                Track your spending for 3 months. Then decide what you can do without.

                Put electronic devices on a power strip and turn the power strip off. It will show you what you want to keep plugged in.

                Cook from scratch and eat leftovers. (That is a hard one for me).

                Trade services/items if you can. One year I traded meat for veggies. My friend was struggling and she had a beautiful garden. It was a win for both of us.

                #86208 Reply

                  Wear your clothes more than once if you don’t have a messy job. I hang mine back up to air out and wear them about 3 times if I don’t spill something on myself.

                  Use towels 2 or 3 times before you wash them. I use 2 towels a week. I have a vent under my towel rack, so I just hang it there and it dries nicely. Use washcloths instead of napkins. Hand towels instead of paper towels unless it’s a greasy mess to clean. No paper plates or plastic silverware.

                  We cut out cable and just have internet after my husband passed this spring. He was the only one watching it, and it saved $200 a month without it.

                  Buy meat in bulk and portion it out and freeze. Pork tenderloin is cheap and the big ones can be cut like boneless pork chops. I get 5 meals out of a big one and my son is a big eater. If you like beans make a big pot and freeze what you don’t eat in single portion sized containers. Same with chili or really any kind of food you cook. If I don’t feel like cooking I pull out frozen leftovers and my son and I eat that.

                  Explore these too: How much I will need in retirement/when I may be able to retire!

                  #86209 Reply

                    If we’re just hanging out in the house and don’t get sweaty/dirty, we re-wear our clothes a second time before washing. I love listening to books on Hoopla, rather than purchasing. Check your library for passes/tickets you can borrow for local events.

                    I exercise with things on YouTube (yoga, strength training) for free. We really worked on food waste this last year.

                    Anything not finished gets saved, no matter how small. 2 tater tots leftover? Throw them in the eggs the next morning. Didn’t finish a quesadilla?

                    Trim the better edges and save. Water is very expensive for us, so we catch the water in our shower as it heats up in a 5 gallon bucket. Then we use it to flush the toilet.

                    Good luck!

                    So many great ideas by other posters.

                    #86210 Reply

                      I have been retired a little over a year. I have saved a lot of money with careful meal planning and grocery shopping – now that I have time to cook, we spend way less on food (take out, etc). I combine trips when running errands and almost always do coffee at home.

                      I save on wardrobe costs. If I do go out, I can hit up a happy hour or see a film on a weeknight when it is less expensive. I use the library for reading and audiobooks.

                      And I buy less gas for the car. I access free music events.

                      Also, check out: How many years do you need to budget for after retirement?

                      #86211 Reply

                        I dry my laundry on low for 40 minutes, some items come out and I hang those up at 20 minutes and the rest though still not dry, I hang up. Saves cost and I also do the quick wash cycle unless there is lots of soil in which case I use the soak cycle and it still saves me money.

                        You can make your own natural laundry soap inexpensively just look it up on the internet. I have shopped for my clothes in second hand shops for years and sometimes I even find an item new with the price tags still on it! Bananas get brown too quickly make Banana Bread! Lower your thermostat and put on a blanket around yourself in the Winter. Some utility companies offer a FREE Winterisation package and will come out to the house and do a leak test to show you where there are leaks and how to get them fixed often for FREE! Buy gasoline for your car during the week because the price always goes up near payday!

                        Going on a trip? Make your own snacks, sandwiches and bring your own water to drink, this saves a ton of money. Watch for meat sales; buy two Turkeys when it is really cheap at Thanksgiving, underbake them let cool and slice up and freeze for future use. Then when you recook it, the Turkey won’t be dry because you didn’t cook it all the way through the first time. Make a grocery list and absolutely NEVER shop when you are hungry! You purchase way more when you are hungry! Buy in bulk whatever the item and split it up to be used later. See if you have any neighbors willing to barter with you for various items. Not in the room shut that light off. In the Winter I shower only every three days and I wash up in between because it drys my skin too much. Now that you aren’t putting so many miles on your car you may be eligible for cheaper Insurance rates.

                        We turned off our cable which was costing us $156 a month! We now only have Roku and Pureflix. Empty the water heater in the summer and flush it out, the sediment can ruin it and you save yourself from having to buy a new one. Change that furnace filter every three months will save on your bill. Believe it or not I will put my car in Neutral at a stop light and this saved fuel. (The newer cars actually turn themselves off when the car stops!) Doing dishes by hand? Fill the sinks with hot water and wash that way running the water when doing dishes is a huge waste of water and the gas it takes to heat it! Put 1/2 to a whole brick in your toilet tanks and you will use less water. Use heavy curtains to keep out the cold in the Winter and keep the A/C in, when it’s Summer.

                        Close the vents, and curtains in rooms not used often and keep the doors shut.

                        “Make do, do without,

                        use it up, wear it out, or give it away if you no longer use it!” Blessings to you!

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