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Social Security Benefits: Learn How to Live a Comfortable Life

Tips on how to live comfortably with your Social Security Benefits.
Tips on how to live comfortably with your Social Security Benefits. (Photo: Fox News)

About 24% of those age 65 and above depend on Social Security benefits for 90% or more of their income. The surging inflation has produced an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2023, which boosted the average monthly retirement benefit by $146, from $1,681 to $1,827, as reported in the AARP.

With the continuing increase in living expenses, gases, and medicines, retirees who rely on their Social Security benefits are still living on a very tight budget. However, there are several ways seniors can take advantage of a plethora of discounts and perks, allowing them to live a comfortable life with limited funds.

Learn how to live comfortably with your Social Security benefits, even on a tight budget.

Learn how to live comfortably with your Social Security benefits, even on a tight budget. (Photo: Canteburry Court)

Plan out the Right Timing when Claiming your Social Security Benefits

You become eligible to claim the benefits by 62 years old; however, if you wait until the full retirement age of 65 to 67, you may be able to claim a higher payout. If you start collecting your Social Security at 62, your benefits will be 30% lower than if you waited for another five years. But, if you delay collecting until age 70, you will be eligible to claim the maximum Social Security benefits.

But, if you already for Social Security within the past 12 months, it is advisable to withdraw your claim and then restart at a later day. However, you have to repay all the benefits you received up to that point.

 

Relocate to a Tax-Friendly State or an Area with a Lower Cost of Living

You can stretch the Social Security when you have a lower cost of living. You can consider cities in Southern states known for their warm weather and cheaper cost of living. You may also consider other tax-friendly states, such as Alaska and New Hampshire, which have no taxes on sales or income. While Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming have sales taxes but do not impose taxes on pension income, as reported in GOBankingRates.

Take Advantage of Senior Discounts

Many popular restaurant chains offer up to 25% discounts on meals for people aged 55 and above. You can also get a deal when shopping for new clothes. Many major retailers offer discounts for seniors. According to TheSeniorList.com, Banana Republic offers a 10% discount to shoppers aged 50 and up, Ross gives shoppers 55 and above 10% off every Tuesday, and Kohl’s has a 15% off every Wednesday for shoppers aged 60 and up.

You can save more with your medications if you opt for the generic. It would help if you also considered joining a prescription membership program to receive discounts and earn rewards. Rite Aid Rx Savings Program offers 15% off or more on meds for its members.

 

Health would be the main concern as we age, and seniors should strive to live a healthy lifestyle. It is important to take care of the body by exercising and eating nutritious food. You can do a daily walk or visit the local park in your area. You can also try new things such as going back to school or a new gym class. Some local universities offer free courses for seniors aged 60 and older. You can attend classes and lectures; however, you won’t receive credit for the courses. Meanwhile, the SilverSneakers program is offered to Medicare members for free, giving seniors access to over 14,000 gyms and fitness centers across the body. You can also enjoy free classes and other services at the gym.  

 

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