How to Retire Without Spending a Fortune

retire without spending a fortune

Retirement should be the cap on a considerable life well lived. You’ve done your best, worked yourself to the bone in your youth, and now it’s your chance to spend your golden years in peace and relaxation.

Not Enough Savings

Unfortunately for a lot of retirees, this can also be the period wherein you discover that all those years of working hard meant nothing, because you failed to save enough money for your retirement. Your social security cheque can barely cover your expenses.

57% of employees in the United States have less than $25,000 in savings and investments – a marked increase from 49% in 2008. This means that most retirees have to face a financial crisis that they simply aren’t ready for. Their meager savings plus social security cheques would barely be able to keep them afloat, what with the way the cost of living increases on a regular basis.

Tips for Retiring Cheaply

It isn’t a doomsday scenario, however. Retirees can still enjoy their retirement, as long as they follow these tips for retiring with as little expense as possible.

Start Your Own Business

Now before you jump to conclusions, read carefully. When you start your own business as a retiree, do not think of this as too much work or too much stress.

Instead, think of it as monetizing your hobby.

Perhaps you are very interested in woodworking, or knitting or cooking.

These are hobbies you weren’t able to indulge in full time when you still had to work everyday.

But now you can start your own home business by selling your finished products.

If you can knit, it’s very easy to find buyers online. It’s the same thing with woodworking. Turn your hobby into a source of income, without the pressure of the rat race.

Be Debt-Free

Ideally, this is something you ought to start working on before you retire.

You might not be able to save enough to live a lavish lifestyle, but at least save yourself from the burden of paying for your debts through your retirement years.

As much as possible, start by paying off the large ticket items first, like home loans or car loans. Pay off your student loans and any other debts you might have.

It’s a good idea to settle all these debts before you retire, as they can accumulate quickly and might result in financial difficulties in your retirement years.

Clean Out Your Home

Over the years, it’s very likely that you’ve accumulated a lot of things. These are probably still in your garage, attic, or cellar.

Clean these items out and have a garage sale. This will help you begin your retirement years with less baggage, and you get to gain a bit of money from getting rid of things you no longer need. It’s a simple step towards better financial shape.

Live Below Your Means

It can be difficult, but sometimes retiring means rethinking your lifestyle.

If you used to dine out all the time, this could be your chance to learn how to become a gourmet chef.

You have all the time in the world now, and you can refocus your energy towards things you actually love because you no longer have to be in a nine-to-five job.

As much as you can, try to live a frugal lifestyle and buy only the things that you need. It should be easier since you won’t need work-related expenses like suits or fancy shoes.

Retirement is about readjusting to a new life, and sometimes that means changing your attitude and your lifestyle, too.

Wait Till Your Full Retirement Age To Retire

Retiring before your full retirement age means your benefits could receive a hefty cut. This means losing out on retirement money that should have been yours.

It’s best to avoid retiring before you’re 65 (although to know your full retirement age you have to check the social security website; it’s based on your year of birth).

Even if you’re allowed to cash in your social security checks by the time you’re 62, this won’t give you your full range of benefits and would be a real waste.

Retiring Overseas

Apart from the tips above, there is another option but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

Would you ever consider relocating and retiring somewhere else? A lot of retirees are now moving to other parts of the world, especially countries where living expenses are much lower than in North America.

The only problem is that relocating can be difficult, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the culture of your new home. If you’re considering retiring overseas, it’s a good idea to read up and learn as much as you can about the country you plan to move to in your retirement. It’s best to be prepared for the new adventures that your retirement can bring.

Some people hope to retire while they are younger, some plan to work well past the age of 65, health permitting. What are your plans for retirement?


    • Holly@ClubThrifty

      Holly@ClubThrifty 05/13/2013 5:24 a.m. #

      I love your new site design....who did it???

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 05/13/2013 10:27 a.m. #

        Thanks. The header & Favicon were designed by Shannon's wonderful designer who can be found at

        I put the rest of the design\layout together and developed the site.

    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 05/13/2013 6:59 a.m. #

      While I understand some people will have to work part-time jobs (or full-time) in retirement to get by, my goal is to have enough money to not have to work another day in my life. I desire that freedom and hopefully the fact I'm focused on it at age 25 means that at age 65 I will have reached my goal. I do think that there is a lot of value in working some sort of small business in retirement, or side work (i.e. writing/blogging or something along those lines), so I would consider doing that, but again I want to be able to voluntarily make that choice and not be forced to.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 05/13/2013 10:33 a.m. #

        That is an excellent goal DC and it is important that you have established that in your twenties and will keep your eye on that goal. So many wait until they are in their 50s and then wonder what the heck they were thinking

    • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

      Shannon @ The Heavy Purse 05/13/2013 10:05 a.m. #

      It scares me when I think of how many people are knocking on retirement's door, but are really unprepared for it financially. They face a tough reality but it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom as you noted. They have to adjust their expectations and ideally continue to work in some capacity. Hopefully on a passion project or hobby, so the work is enjoyable and flexible.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 05/13/2013 10:30 a.m. #

        You are right Shannon, it is scary, esp when you consider that many people are living well into their 80s or even to a 100. As long as a person is healthy they do have options to sustain their cost of living though.

    • Corina Ramos

      Corina Ramos 05/13/2013 3:30 p.m. #

      Great suggestions Sicorra.

      My retirement plans include being able to travel so I'm definitely watching every penny and saving as much as we can now to enjoy it later. Like DC says, I don't want to work in my senior years.

      I'm looking at my parents now struggling to get to a point where my dad can retire. He's not at the age but he's got his years at work and with his health issues, it would be good for him but his debt is too high to do that so he has to keep working through his ailments.

      Thanks for sharing these ideas with us. Hope your week is a great one!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 05/14/2013 2:23 p.m. #

        Currently your life is so busy so that would be excellent for you to get a chance to travel Corina, and perhaps relax. :-)

    • Mackenzie

      Mackenzie 05/13/2013 4:42 p.m. #

      We definitely have to bump up the amount that we putting into our retirement savings. We are trying to pay off some consumer debt first, and then we can take that money and put it into retirement.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 05/14/2013 2:25 p.m. #

        Sounds like a good plan Mackenzie! Important to get the debt out of the way. We are working on that as well.

    • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

      Laurie @thefrugalfarmer 05/14/2013 1:50 p.m. #

      We just bumped up the amount we're putting into retirement funds, ironically. We will be making sure we're debt free well before retirement, so that the amount we'll need monthly to live on will be relatively low. I hope I can look that good in a bikini when Rick and I retire. :-)

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 05/14/2013 2:27 p.m. #

        Sounds like you are really getting your finances in order Laurie. Very happy for you :-)

        Funny you mention the bikini - when I typed "what are your plans for retirement?" all I could think of as an answer was "to look as good as the woman in the bikini". LOL

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