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Money Saving Tips and Tricks

Whether you are retired or still trying to save up, the worry of money is always present. You want to make sure that you have enough saved up, but how can  you cut a few corners  to help make  that happen? Lucky for you we have a few tips and tricks that can help you save a few dollars here and there along the way.

1. Senior discounts – This one is something that many seniors look forward to. Here on Cary Seniors there is a tab that tells you of different retail stores and restaurants that have a senior discount. Some have certain days that you can get a discount and others are 24/7 deals  you could be missing out on!

2. Don’t wait to shop the week of – Pick out presents for birthdays and Christmas as the year goes on. The holidays is a great time to stack up on wrapping paper and boxes throughout the year, but sometimes the things that catch your eye are available for much cheaper during the summer as opposed to the holiday season. Also, if you use a computer, look into doing some online shopping. Deals online can be more helpful than those in the store, especially when it comes to Cyber Monday. Don’t try to fight the crowds after Thanksgiving, wait until the following Monday when all online stores have super discounts and usually free shipping as well!

3. Discourage extra spending – A list can be your best weapon when you go to the grocery store. The list only told you eggs and milk, but here you are coming home with four or more bags! Stop impulsive shopping by just getting the essentials that you need. Also, try to not eat out as often. It would be best to buy in bulk and use those items at home as opposed to spending $20 a meal at a fast food or sit down restaurant.

4. Finally, cut corners literally! – There is always more toothpaste in the tube, that is not a figure of speech. Snip off the end of the tube to get to that last bit. You’ll be surprised how much toothpaste you have  thrown away over the years! When doing laundry, use less than recommended. Most times, the bottle tells you to use more and therefore send you back to the store for another bottle. Finally, don’t be too proud to ask for essentials. When it comes to the holidays, your family has good intentions but knowing what to buy the person gets difficult as they get older. Make a list of food items you purchase regularly, include brand names or even the type of shampoo and soap you prefer. Your family can make you a lovely gift basket with all your essential, at no cost to you!

Living Alone

Living alone is a great source of independence, but it can also come with a lot of work. I have a few tips to help you keep yourself on top of things and make your home for senior-safe.

1. Organize – Have a special place for all your essential items. Know where your list of phone numbers is, your wallet, medical cards, appointment cards and medications. Having a set area for each will help keep you organized so no appointments are missed and all medications are taken on time.

2. Have a Back Up System – This system does not have to be all that complex. Keep back up supplies in your house in case the power goes out or a storm leaves you stuck in-doors or a couple days. Things to always have ready: batteries, candles, matches, flashlights, canned foods, paper products, bottled water and maintain a well stocked freezer. These will give you and your family peace of mind in case anything happens.

3. Connect in your Community – Make it part of your routine to stop by the local senior center. Learn about different events going on and socialize with some new friends. You don’t have to end up spending all day every day there, but it is a great resource for seniors to use. Also, get to know your neighbors. Again, you don’t have to always interact with them or become best friends, but getting used to the daily routines around you can be helpful to you as well. If you ever need some sort of assistance, you know you can call Miss Kelly next door to watch Spot if you are going to get groceries or help carry those groceries in if she sees you struggling.

4. Make your Home Safe – Have a security system in your house that you are comfortable using. Replace mats in the bathroom with ones that have grips or even that extra railing so that both sides of the staircase are covered. Purchase an emergency bracelet and pendent to wear around your wrist and neck. The medical bracelet will help if you get lost or fall in a public place. The pendant can help you alert emergency services if you have fallen in your home and cannot get up. Also, have a system with family if they live nearby. Call them if you are going out and make sure you call back when you return home. This way, if they try to contact you and there is no answer, they will know that you simply stepped out for a carton of milk.

Are you Getting Enough Exercise?

Now that you have reached the Senior Citizen level does not mean that you can now stop going to that zumba class three times a week or cancel your gym membership. All seniors need to maintain a level of functional fitness to carry out daily activities and reduce your risk of major illnesses and disease. A lot of individuals with disabilities have gotten to that point, not due to old age, but because of inactivity. However, you should double check with your doctor as to which exercises  would be best for you. Don’t go to that advanced yoga class because you used to go a few years ago, start out at an easy pace and work yourself up. Also, include stretching whenever you are going to exercise. Even if you are about to take a walk around the neighborhood, make sure you stretch your legs and ankles. Most importantly, stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you and make sure you are drinking enough throughout the day so that you don’t get to the point where you grow thirsty and chug half the bottle. Once you reach that point where you could finish off the whole thing, then you have gone too long without drinking water.

Within your workout routine, you should have some form of aerobic and strength training. Aerobic exercise helps your cardiovascular system, reduces blood pressure, raises good cholesterol and reduces the bad. Muscle mass increases with strength training, which helps to prevent bone fractures. Plan to have a half hour of each type in your workout schedule. Listed below are some activities that will help your cardiovascular system, as well as build bone mass; dancing, hiking, biking, jogging and lifting. What benefits are there for  you to work this into your routine once a day? Exercise can reduce signs and symptoms of: obesity, depression, arthritis, back pain, diabetes and osteoporosis. Check out your local senior center to see if there are any classes or gym equipment available for use.

Senior Citizen: For Beginners

Welcome! You have become a senior citizen! You may be at the 55 level where you start looking at retirement in a few years and discounts or the 60 level where retirement is right at your doorstep. No matter what step of the process you are in, we welcome you. Here I have some tips to help you along the path of being a senior citizen.

First of all, this is a time for celebration! You have come a long way and still have a full life in front of you. Plan a trip with friends or your significant other, have a night out to dinner or to a show. You may not feel like this is something to celebrate, but we feel that it is and you should see it this way as well.

Second, make sure you plan some doctor’s appointments. Yes, this one doesn’t sound as exciting, but it is best to do a couple checkups and see about maintaining your health through a healthy diet and exercise. While you’re out at those checkups, make an appointment with your social security office. Talk about where you are and when you are planning to retire. You’ll need to find out when to file for benefits and how to go about receiving Medicare coverage.

Finally, sign yourself up for some sort of fitness class. Now that you have talked to the doctor you can plan what kind of work out is best for you. The best part is, you might not have to go to the gym to do so! Check out your local Senior Center and see if they have some equipment or classes you can look into. While you’re there, look at some of the social events and trips they have planned out. Make some new friends and make a plan to go out and do something at least once a month. There are a whole bunch of opportunities open for you, all you need to do is seek them out!

What Housing Options do you have?

If you are interesting in moving, then what is your reason for wanting to do so? Are you looking to live alone or move in with a family member? Do you need onsite medical care? There is a lot to think about when it comes to housing as a senior, or at any age for that matter. Modern healthcare has allowed for many senior citizens to be able to support themselves longer, physically. Living on your own can be your own house, apartment or a senior living facility. If the cost of your own house is too much, then you might want to look into renting an apartment or townhouse in a senior living facility. However, you would be better off with assisted living if you are looking to have onsite medical assistance. Another option is to always stay with family. If you can do alright on your own, but are looking for some extra support, this is the perfect option. Think through your options and what you really need before you look into buying or renting.

Pets?

Pets make wonderful companions for all ages, but there are so many more benefits for the elderly to have one. Did you know that having a pet can lower your blood pressure, decrease need for medicine and even reduce pain after an operation? A pet is a great source of mutual affection, especially for those who have lost a loved one. Pets even help alleviate symptoms of depression and sometimes physical ailments. Having a dog for example can encourage the owner to start taking more walks and getting necessary exercise. All states now allow for pets in nursing homes because of the benefits they have. Whether you live alone or in a home, a pet can help brighten your day and enrich  your quality of life.