Most of us look forward to retirement, but there’s one thing we might not anticipate with so much joy: If you’ll be living on a budget that is more limited than during your working years, you might wonder how to make ends meet. We want you to enjoy your retirement years without worry, so our goal is to help you establish retirement income while also managing that budget wisely. These five tips can help you adjust to your new income.

Consider housing costs before you retire. For many people, a monthly mortgage payment or rent is their largest monthly expense. Even those lucky enough to pay off their mortgages before retirement will still face property taxes, homeowners’ insurance, and the costs of maintaining a home and yard. Downsizing to a smaller home or a less expensive location can make an enormous difference to your retirement budget.

Plan carefully for healthcare. For some retirees, out-of-pocket healthcare payments even eclipse housing costs! That’s because Medicare works very much like other healthcare plans, requiring premiums, deductibles, and copayments. Some services aren’t covered at all. But when you work with a health insurance broker, they can help you evaluate different Medicare plans and determine which plan (or plans) works best for your budget.

Determine whether you need two cars. Now that you and your spouse are no longer working, do you really need two car payments, plus all of the expenses that come along with owning two cars? And for that matter, do you even need a car at all? In some locations, retirees can access free or discounted public transportation. If you only need a car occasionally, Uber or Lyft probably make more affordable options than car ownership.

Make cooking a new hobby. During your busy working years, you might have relied upon restaurant meals and expensive pre-made options. But now that you have time to cook, you could find that you save a considerable amount of money by preparing your own meals. And when you do dine out, inquire about discounts for retirees.

Focus on experiences over possessions. It’s easy enough to press “add to cart” these days, and we shop online without even thinking about the credit card bill. Removing cards from your online accounts can cause you to pause before making impulse purchases. Or, restrict yourself to using cash so that you can’t get into debt. With all the money you save, focus on indulging in experiences and memories. Research shows that those make us happier anyway.

And of course, we don’t want you to be forced to live so frugally that you don’t enjoy your retirement. The best planning is early and regular, so contact us now and we’ll start planning for a realistic retirement budget in the future.