8. Cut transportation costs. Branz and his wife downsized from two cars to one since they no longer to commute to work. “Since I retired, my schedule is the same of my wife’s,” says Brantz. Sometimes retirees even go car-less. Some cities have free or low-cost transportation options for seniors, such as the AppalCart Transportation Authority in Watauga County, N.C., which transports residents age 60 and older to senior centers, doctor’s offices, and grocery stores free of change. Car-sharing services like Zipcar are another option.
9. Prioritize spending. When Dennis Mogel, 61, was laid off by an oil company 13 months ago, he began buying groceries in bulk from Sam’s Club. He also cut back on trips, and plans to forgo his season tickets to the theater in Philadelphia next year. “Over the winter, we had a lot of soups my wife made as a way of cutting down,” says Mogel, who now works part-time from home as an Internet marketer in Levittown, Pa. Like him, a whopping 71 percent of Americans age 50 and older have cut back on spending in the past year, according to a recent AARP survey. Coupons, early-bird specials, and senior discounts are sure to be part of any frugal retirement plans.
10. Comparison shop senior discounts. Getting discounted passes to movies and museums and 10 percent off merchandise at your favorite store is one of the great perks of getting older. But just because something is called a senior discount doesn’t mean it’s the best deal. A recent southwest.com search for a one-way senior fare from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles yielded a $204 ticket. Meanwhile, the cheapest seat on the same flight (listed next to the senior fare) was $119. And a query for a hotel room in downtown Chicago found that the best available senior rate was $165, while the best available overall rate for the same night was $152.95.