Commercials and stand-up comics like to joke about grandchildren teaching their retired grandparents how to use technology. But research consistently shows that seniors are embracing new technologies. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other devices can be used for more than just ways to kill time, commenting on social media, and distracting yourself. Technology can also save you a hefty sum of money in retirement.
Coupled with the time savings technology offers—time is money, after all—your retirement can be more relaxing and prosperous than previous generations ever imagined.
Compare Prices on Everything
Forget about comparison shopping. You can now compare prices on everything.
Consider some of the following:
- GoodRx tells you the cheapest place in your area to find specific prescriptions.
- ShopSavy, BuyVia, and a host of other apps compare prices on consumer goods across stores.
- Zillow can give you a precise estimate of your home’s value.
Financial Education and Management
The world of retirement brings with it new financial challenges. A wide range of apps offer financial education and tips for managing your finances. Mint, for example, helps you manage your debt and expenses, while offering tips to reduce both. BillGuard helps you understand your spending habits, but also guards your money from scams and hacks.
These financial products can help you make major financial decisions, and alert you to a need for more income.
For example, seniors over the age of 62 who own their homes are eligible for a reverse mortgage. This loan taps your home’s equity to give you cash, but you don’t have to repay the loan as long as you comply with its terms and remain in your home.
The right website or app can help you determine if such a product is right for you—or if you might need extra cash.
Subscribe to What You Need
Going to the store to shop for what you need can be a significant annoyance. It wastes time, and costs gas money.
And if you have a health or mobility issue, it can require significant planning.
Consider subscribing to the items you purchase on a recurring basis to save both time and money. Target, Amazon, and numerous other retailers offer discounts of 10-20% to people who subscribe online. Quite often, you can buy in bulk and get an even better discount.
Access Coupons Everywhere
Couponing can save you hundreds of dollars, as anyone who’s ever watched an extreme couponing show can attest.
But the process of gathering coupons can be a hassle, and the time you waste—and the money you spend on newspapers and couponing services—may not be worth it.
Couponing apps change all of that. You can now clip coupons and add them to your smartphone.
A number of stores also offer coupons for in-store discounts. Simply clip the coupon to your phone, and scan it at the checkout counter.
Technology Can Save You Time and Money When Ordering Your Groceries
If you’ve fallen in love with subscribing to all the consumer goods you regularly purchase, going to the grocery store simply to buy perishable goods can feel like a major pain.
Now, a number of grocery store apps allow you to pre-order your groceries and then pick them up in the parking lot.
ClickList, for example, caters to grocers like Whole Foods, Kroger, and Smith’s.
The service doesn’t directly save you money, but it can cut down on impulse buys. Some research suggests these impulse buys account for more than half of consumers’ total grocery store bill.
Track Health Data
Health care costs in old age can be exorbitant, particularly if you use services outside of the Medicare system. Healthy living means a better life. But it can also save you money. A wide variety of apps can track health data, allowing you to assess which lifestyle interventions work. Blue Star, for example, measures data related to diabetes and makes recommendations based on changes over time. Some also connect you to care remotely, or monitor your history of medical appointments.