Planning to Work in Retirement?

Seven of ten Americans plan to work in retirement.  This is according to a recent Washington Post article based on a survey.

That sounds fantastic – Americans are envisioning an active, vibrant retirement!

But, when you read further, six in 10 plan to work because they need the money. What is even scarier, most retirees who plan to work cannot either due to their own failing health, the failing health of a loved one, or their inability to find work. OUCH.

Save as if you won’t work in retirement.  If you decide to work that’s great but make sure it is by choice, not by necessity.

If you save 20% of your income for retirement and pay off all of your debt, including your home, before retiring, working should be a choice for you.

Need some ideas on how to save more?  There must be fifty ways . . .

Call about your cell phone plan, Fran
Make sure you need everything on your plan and investigate budget alternatives to the big providers:  Consumer Cellular, Republic Wireless, Cricket Wireless.  If you use an Android device and need a plan for one or two people, Consumer Cellular is a no brainer.

Hop on the bus, Gus
Or if you have to drive, stick to reliable, fuel-efficient cars. All of your vehicles in total should have cost less than half of your annual income.  Oh, and the one I struggle with the most: drive the speed limit–it is more fuel efficient and tickets are expensive!

Check your insurance rates, Nate and Switch to term, Fern
Meet with your agent, make sure you have only the coverage you need.  Compare prices with other insurers.  Term life insurance is most cost effective, if you’re currently in a whole life policy, consider switching to term.

Threaten to cancel your dish, Tish
Call your cable or dish provider at least every six months to see if any promotions are available.  Read how a blogger reduced his dish bill from $101 to $39 a month just by threatening to cancel.

Cook your own meals, Neal and Host a potluck, Chuck
Not only is it less expensive, it is likely to be healthier than eating out.  Look at your store’s weekly flyer while preparing your shopping list.  Make extra and take the leftovers for your lunch.

Move your bank, Hank
Banks are offering high interest checking rates in the 3% range if you meet residency and transaction criteria.  Check out’s list.

Sell some stuff, Tuff
Check out Ebay, Craigslist or your local facebook for sale group.  Get rid of clutter and get a few bucks.

Avoid the Mall, Y’all
Here’s one of the many advantages of living in a rural locale: shopping isn’t a hobby where I live.  If it is where you live, find a new hobby.

Rent your room, Bluhm
If you have an extra room, consider renting it out either long-term or short-term using  Make sure you know the risks and can protect your family and your stuff.

Cancel your mag’s, Skaggs
Reduce your subscriptions to the few that you really value and enjoy.  Ask for magazine subscriptions for holiday gifts–it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Find free things to do, Stu
I just read about how fun it is to take kids to pet stores (who would have thought!).  Look for free and inexpensive activities in your local community.

Check out a book, Brooke
This got a lot easier with Kindles, Ipads and cell phones.  See if your local library offers on line books and ask for help getting your device set up.  95% of the books I want to read are available on line from my library.

Take a run, Son
The easiest way to control health care costs is to take care of your body–it’s the only one you get so keep it moving!

Need more inspiration?
100 tips from The Simple Dollar

Ok that’s only 13 things, what others should we add?

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Author: Ms. Liz

A CPA, I retired at 51 and I am helping people create their fantastic futures!

2 thoughts on “Planning to Work in Retirement?”

  1. Great ideas Ms. Liz. Before I even read this I did a few this week! I am working on increasing my savings rate and was looking for ways to reduce my spending so I can save more. Just this week I changed my auto insurance after I was informed by my agent that “rates were increasing 15% statewide-period.” I thought to myself that isn’t going to work for my budget so I found another option that will save me $500 annually. It took about 30 minutes (a few emails and a quick stop into the office). Instead of buying a new book I checked one out from the library. And just today I made some adjustments to our shared phone plan. Not a huge savings on that one but around $10 each per month— every little bit helps!

    1. Great job HH! Even $10 savings per month translates into $3,000 less you’ll need to save to retire (10 x 12 months x 25) and $500 per year is $12,500 less you’ll need. So that’s great progress! Celebrate your success!

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