Smart Retirees Can Live Royally On Social Security

Many seniors must depend on SS as their sole source of income. In today’s tough economy of ever rising prices, it’s getting more difficult to make ends meet with retirees taking home an average of $1,200 per month that Social Security doles out (Ref: http://www.ssa.gov).

For many retirees, earning that amount of money way back when first starting careers would’ve been more than adequate to live comfortably. Of course, in those days four-bedroom houses sold for $20,000, steak was 50¢ a pound, gasoline was $1 a gallon and an upscale restaurant meal was $5.

Some suggestions on making the money go further may help senior citizens cope. They not quite as grandly as royalty, but there are ways of stretching those Social Security dollars. You can make them cover more of the cost of living, even with ever rising prices.

1. Although recent prices are not the highest, the oil cartels will continue sticking it to drivers. For the senior, the best solution is to drive less and/or get a car that guzzles less gas, or best of all, trade in for an all-electric and give the finger to the oil royals.

2. For economy and better health, do more walking and biking. Instead of driving to the nearby store, take along a wheeled cart and make it a vigorous hike. For other trips, ride a bike or take public transportation. In some cities, there are reduced prices and/or free rides for seniors.

3. If you live in a big house that’s now an empty nest, consider selling it and moving into to an apartment. There are communities where rents are reasonable to low-income senior citizens who qualify.

4. If you own a house and have no heirs, consider a reverse mortgage. It provides regular income during your lifetime, and then the mortgage company owns the property. If considering a reverse mortgage, be absolutely sure you understand all the implications before you sign for it.

5. Save on food costs. Along with daily grocery newspaper ads, there are many internet coupon offers. Also, when dining out and get big servings, eat only half and doggy-bag the rest to become another meal at home.

6. If the SS check isn’t enough to pay for all your needs, get a full- or part-time job. If age or disability hasn’t slowed you down, try working again. Something to do each day will not only help financially, but could also make your life more active, healthy and meaningful.

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