Those who retired to, say, Arizona, and didn't buy the nice house but rented have lots of professional options. Those who felt they have earned The Good Life tend to become boxed into staying retired. For that reason, radical savings in retirement might be even more important than saving for retirement during the middle years.
Research, surveys and anecdotal evidence chronicle how fluid a state so-called "retirement" has become. \
Those who retire from their 20-year job in corporate or government might really be "semi-retired." They still consult in that field, but on a less-demanding schedule. Or they might have purchased a tutoring franchise for standardized tests.
Then there are those collecting Social Security and find out they need more to make ends meet. They pick up whatever work they can.
More and more common are the retirees who recognize that in capitalism not producing revenue means becoming invisible. They want back in the game.
Approaching any version of retirement with a radical-savings plan keeps professional options wide open. The renter can move from Tucson, AZ to Phoenix for a work opportunity. The renter who doesn't have to worry about putting on a new rool can pop for a franchise or invest in a fresh marketing campaign for an online business.
Other tactics in radical savings include:
- Moving overseas where the cost of living can be half what a retiree on the East Coast ponies up monthly. Some locations have national health programs.
- Using public transportation and just-in-time rentals instead of owning a car.
- Checking out free educational and social opportunities at faith-based organizations. Walk into any of those and you will notice a lot of gray hair.
- Think thrift and consignment shopping before standard retail.
- Clip coupons, join rewards or loyalty programs.
- Take day trips, not exotic vacations.
- Understand all the tax deductions for independent contractors.
- Grow your own vegetables, produce your own meat.
- Don't co-sign student loans for family. A chunk of your Social Security will be garnished if you don't pay regularly.
- Search for education and training courses that are free online. Evan a non-credit continuing education course at the community college can cost $120.
- Keep transferring credit-card account balances to zero-interest ones. With the economy stronger those offers should continue to be in the snail mail for a while.
- Arrange to pay recurring bills online. That saves postage and late fees when you forget.
Since I signed up for Medicare and Social Security, I have followed a Radical Savings regime. The surplus I built up allowed me to re-locate to a warmer, low-cost part of the country, experiment with new marketing approaches, and choose the clients for my communications boutique. At this point, it remains more cost-effective to rent than buy. Also, it prevents agita. Last week, the handyman for this rental complex fixed the screen on the large window, put the closet door back on the hinges, replaced two blind slats, and adjusted the temperature on the hot water.