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21 Ways to Cut Expenses in Retirement
Old 03-24-2010, 06:39 PM   #1
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21 Ways to Cut Expenses in Retirement

I thought everyone would enjoy ways to save money nowadays. It almost sounds like it was written by a boglehead.

21-ways-to-cut-expenses-in-retirement: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

Here are some:

Downsize Your Home
Ditch a Vehicle
Take Required Minimum Distributions
Spend Taxable Accounts First
Scrutinize Investment Fees
Delay Signing Up for Social Security
Exit Expensive Cities
Find Age-Related Tax Breaks
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:55 PM   #2
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Get Rid of Cable TV

Until recently I would have thought that was a sacrifice.

In my transition from living in a normal home to an RV I've been selling nearly all of my possessions. One of the first things that got sold was the TV. After a short time searching I found just about all of the stuff I would ordinarily watch offered online for free. And with fewer commercials . . . in some cases watching shows online is better than DVR. Its crazy that I was spending $80 / month for something that was available at no cost. But alas, I'll very shortly be limited to 5GB of internet capacity per month, so it will be back to paying for satellite TV.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:22 PM   #3
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Get Rid of Cable TV

Until recently I would have thought that was a sacrifice.
Gotta agree here. Since the the switchover to digital TV we get perfect HD reception with a cheap pair of rabbit ears from Radio Shack. It used to be that cable meant picture quality as well as variety. Digital transmission has made picture quality a non-issue for many parts of the country.
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:03 AM   #4
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But alas, I'll very shortly be limited to 5GB of internet capacity per month, so it will be back to paying for satellite TV.
If your RV is parked near any city you can get OTA TV which I have found better than Cable/Satellite anyway. Otherwise, use a campground that offers cable TV hookups (almost always free). If you are boondocking... well, you are not there for the TV so enjoy the quiet.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:00 AM   #5
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Heck, come on over to T-Al's thread where we are trying to spend money.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:44 AM   #6
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Just to add to the methods of cost reduction discussion we have receently done the following actions to simply our life, remove stuff, reduce our carbon footprint and save $.

> Sold large gas powered snow thrower for $350, burns $2 of gas each use, and purchased a use electric one for $30
> Sold my large lawn tractor for $400, burns $3 each use, and purchased a 20" reel mower for $119
> Added surge protectors to all of our TV's, turned them off each night, reducing our electric usage by 10%
> Switched to a Electric Kettle v.s using a stove to boil water -saves at least 50% and takes less then 1 min to boil the water
> Eliminated all AC's and use the pool to cool down.
> Drive a scooter as much as possible, 75mpg, instead of a 18mpg van or 23mpg car
> Eliminated all subscriptions and replaced them with a $400 wireless laptop - should payoff within 2 yrs.
> Eliminated YMCA membership and use the gym at work and walking/biking
> Eliminated Netflix membership and now use RedBox
> Begun to move all Bond funds to tax deferred accounts
> Utilize Roth and spousal IRA's each year, buying on down cycles
> Keep things simple remembering that Cash is King when we make any discretionary purchases!
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:28 AM   #7
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If your RV is parked near any city you can get OTA TV which I have found better than Cable/Satellite anyway. Otherwise, use a campground that offers cable TV hookups (almost always free). If you are boondocking... well, you are not there for the TV so enjoy the quiet.
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Gotta agree here. Since the the switchover to digital TV we get perfect HD reception with a cheap pair of rabbit ears from Radio Shack. It used to be that cable meant picture quality as well as variety. Digital transmission has made picture quality a non-issue for many parts of the country.
Hadn't really considered just using the antenna. I've had cable TV for just about forever and always assumed you needed it for any kind of reception. But I was pretty surprised when we fired up the TV in the RV to see how excellent the picture was. Maybe I'll try the campground cable / OTA TV for awhile and see if I can get DW to go along.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:26 AM   #8
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I was pretty surprised when we fired up the TV in the RV to see how excellent the picture was. Maybe I'll try the campground cable / OTA TV for awhile and see if I can get DW to go along.
I think that's the way to go. Our RV is parked at the house and using the bat wing antenna I get good reception from transmitters located 40+ miles away. Unless you plan on doing a lot of boondocking or can't survive without "cable" programming, OTA works well in the majority of locations.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:15 AM   #9
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"Find Free Entertainment"

SO and I both received text messages inviting us to a free screening tonight of a movie that opens tomorrow. Reviews are running upwards toward two stars , a comedy, we're going.

Last Friday we attended a free chamber orchestra performance with guest mandolin player. Top quality, IMO, in a great theater, Bach to contemporary tango. I put their future freebies on my calendar; they don't even put out a donation box but it is easy to figure out where to send the money or become a member. Members get reserved seating. We arrived at exactly 8 p.m. when they started removing the reserved signs from the best seats, we took 7th row center.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:22 AM   #10
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or can't survive without "cable" programming,
TV is one of our few areas of disagreement . . . so we'll see.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:22 AM   #11
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"Find Free Entertainment"
+1 to that!

University music schools are a great source of free recitals and concerts, and their calendars are usually available online. Just Goggle'em up.

Here is UT's page:
Butler School of Music | Welcome to the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:16 PM   #12
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1. Downsize Your Home - - discussed many times on the board. I think this is one of the main ways to cut expenses.
2. Ditch a Vehicle - - well, I only have one but it does amaze me that so many families in my area have 5-6 cars and only 2 drivers. Must be a status thing.
3. Take Required Minimum Distributions - - well duh? They might as well say, "don't park illegally". You'll pay if you don't follow the rules.
4. Spend Taxable Accounts First - - good point
5. Scrutinize Investment Fees - - the Bogleheads will tell you all about this
6. Sign Up for Medicare on Time - - well duh? Like #3, you'll pay if you don't follow the rules.
7. Find the Best Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan - - I already have a prescription drug plan, and don't even anticipate signing up for Part D (depending on upcoming changes in health care, of course).
8. Delay Signing Up for Social Security - - now here's one we have discussed to death!
9. Exit Expensive Cities - - here's another duh? We have often compared expenses in big coastal cities vs small towns in flyover country,here.
10. Travel Smart - - but I don't wanna travel that much...
11. Ask for Senior Discounts - - they forgot the extension of this one. Don't color your hair, and then you won't even have to ask for the senior discounts!
12. Find Age-Related Tax Breaks - - TurboTax is so nice about helping with this. Plus, there are some for property tax and state income tax that I have found.
13. Ditch Your Land-Line Phone - - I plan to do this. Of course, then I might get a fancier cell phone and fancier plan....
14. Get Rid of Cable TV - - no [moderator edit] way! Besides, my cable TV only costs $15.95/month.
15. Find Free Entertainment - - is there another kind?
16. Resist Your Grandchildren - - don't have any yet
17. Eat Out for Less - - we do share meals as suggested. Good for the waistline as well as the budget.
18. Learn to Cook - - BTDT but don't cook to save money.
19. Buy Used - - love to come home with a "find" like that
20. Comparison Shop - - I have a better one!! Don't shop so doggone much.
21. Eliminate Debt - - done and doesn't it feel good?
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:52 PM   #13
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Give up my cable and Netflix? Geesh...this is a totally no-fun list. I can go along with most of these except for those two.

I can't get over W2R saying "no [moderator edit] way" #14....man, she is really starting to feel frisky now that she's retired...ha! You go, girl!!!!

**Frankly, after a little thought to this post, I think if I have to live without cable, Netflix and living near or in a major metro that had alot going for it that I'd rather have some part-time job or build some small part-time business just to make up the money I lose by living there. To me, the trade-off is worth it, but I may be the only one here who feels that way. In fact, that's kinda what I'm thinking of doing. Guess not all of us want to give up our toys altogether....and there's always one in the crowd (guess it's me this time).
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:33 PM   #14
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Give up my cable and Netflix? Geesh...this is a totally no-fun list. I can go along with most of these except for those two.

I can't get over W2R saying "no [moderator edit] way" #14....man, she is really starting to feel frisky now that she's retired...ha! You go, girl!!!!

**Frankly, after a little thought to this post, I think if I have to live without cable, Netflix and living near or in a major metro that had alot going for it that I'd rather have some part-time job or build some small part-time business just to make up the money I lose by living there. To me, the trade-off is worth it, but I may be the only one here who feels that way. In fact, that's kinda what I'm thinking of doing. Guess not all of us want to give up our toys altogether....and there's always one in the crowd (guess it's me this time).
Ha ha!! I guess that phrase of mine that you quoted was kind of borderline so I edited my own words. Yes, frisky, too frisky!

I think that one of the advantages to me of my plans to live in a small town in flyover country, is having plenty of extra money to spend on cable TV and netflix and such. In fact, I plan to get a much more expensive digital cable TV package once we get settled up there (in a year or two).
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:39 PM   #15
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Gee, W2R, and I was just really starting to admire your new piss 'n vinegar...

I had to nix a small town. For my interests, a major metro is all that will do. Don't mind living outside the city, but gotta have my activities that only the bigger cities provide. What can I say? And, again, that's why God invented both chocolate and vanilla...sigh.
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Razors
Old 03-26-2010, 12:19 PM   #16
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Razors

A few weeks ago on the HLN (Headline News) channel, they had on the consumer tips guy, Clark Howard. He said that you could make a pack of razors last 6 months simply by drying them off after each use. Apparently the water corrodes the finish which works to dull the blade.

So... I wanted to try this. Razors are way too expensive in my opinion, anyway.

I have an average beard thickness and typically replace my razor once per week. I know it needs replacing when I start to get nicks and cuts.

I found that my razor lasted about twice as long, before needing replacing. It's easy enough to dry off the blade with a towel after shaving. I won't get 6 months from one pack of razors, but Clark just shaved my annual razor costs by 50% - thanks Clark.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:36 PM   #17
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Clark Howard. said that you could make a pack of razors last 6 months simply by drying them off after each use.
That reminds me of a cost cutting tactic I have employed since I ERd 5 years ago. I cut my own hair by hand with a pair of barber's scissors. Saving is probably around $20*12 = $240. No one notices much difference between my hack job and the professional job.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:55 PM   #18
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simply by drying them off after each use
Thanks for the tip! I'll try it.

I like Clark Howard.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:58 PM   #19
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$16 for cable tv may be extremely cheap versus other types of entertainment. That would barely cover tickets to a matinee, a cheap show, museum admission (the kind that charges). Or a cheap meal out.

although I don't have cable tv, since most stuff is available on the computer or OTA antenna (sports for family when they visit and are jonesin for some NCAA action).
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:59 PM   #20
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Not sure about the "spend taxable accounts first" thing. Personally, I would rather tap conventional IRAs and 401Ks first -- as long as they were in lower tax brackets. Then when I was at the point where more taxable income from TIRAs and 401Ks would jack up my bracket (say, from 15% to 25%) -- *then* I would tap taxable accounts and Roths for more income.
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