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If you’re recently retired and your income is fixed – the money that you will receive monthly from social security, a 401(k) or financial investments – then you need to develop a budget to work within those limits.  The good news is you can accurately predict your income for months and even years to come.  Proper planning and saving can keep you from being overwhelmed by an emergency and help you enjoy a happy, healthy retirement.

While the retirement years might not be as golden as they once were, they can be lined with silver if you keep these four tips in mind.

  1. Downsize your home

If you are living in a home you own, the dawn of retirement may be the right time to sell and move into a smaller, less expensive place.  Retirement communities are custom designed to accommodate people making the transition from the working world.  A more affordable home will leave you cash from the sale of your existing home which you can invest or save and will likely lower your property taxes.

  1. Improve your social life

Being on a fixed income does not have to lead to the loss of a social life. Retirees are often confronted with major losses of family and friends due to illness and death. Moving to a retirement community opens up new vistas for your social life.  There, you can find people with common interests and many free activities to keep you busy.  A community center could provide exercise equipment, billiards, movie nights, woodworking, bocce, shuffleboard and a location for a variety of clubs.

  1. If you own more than one car

Sell the second car. While this may seem to be a “drastic measure,” it’s one to give serious thought  You will quickly see significant savings in maintenance, repairs, insurance and parking fees.  It could be as much as $300 a month that can go toward other necessities of life.  And, there are ride-sharing services that can help you get around affordably.  Uber and Lyft are inexpensive, convenient ways to travel.  Also, if you move to a retirement community, like Sanatoga Ridge, you can use a shuttle to go grocery shopping and to visit entertainment venues.

  1. Get Involved

Get involved with low cost activities such as bingo, neighborhood card games or other hobby type activities such as sewing clubs, etc.  You can also spend time volunteering for a local nonprofit organization. Click here to read more about volunteering.

Stretching the dollar for a person on a fixed income is key to leading a life filled with dignity and happiness.