Americans' concerns across all seven key financial measures increased from 2015 to 2016, according to the findings of a recent Gallup poll. Unfortunately, these concerns can be amplified for older adults. Luckily, there are some things you can do to bolster your bank account — starting today. Read on for a roundup of four ways for older adults to start saving money… and sleeping better at night.
1. Scout Out Senior Discounts
Restaurants, hotels, department stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies are just a few of the places offering discounts to seniors. However, while many publicize discount days and other senior-friendly promotions, others may not advertise their senior discounts at all. The best way to maximize savings? Be sure to inquire about senior discounts when shopping or dining out. (And be sure to check out The Senior List's comprehensive database of senior discounts.)
One other thing to keep in mind? Many businesses don't restrict senior discounts to the 65 and older age group. Even if you're still in your mid-50s, you may qualify for discounts which can save you hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars every year.
2. Become an AARP, AMAC or ASA Member
Over 50 and not yet a member of an organization for older adults? You're missing out.
AARP Benefits: For as little as just $16 a year, you can start taking advantage of a breadth and depth of senior discounts available exclusively to AARP members. Planning a trip or a meal out? Savings of anywhere from five percent to 25 percent await you as an AARP member, meaning you'll easily recoup your original investment — and then some.
But the benefits of AARP membership aren't limited to discounts. As an AARP member, you'll also become eligible for a number of other resources aimed at helping you manage your money better, including free tax help; financial and estate planning; webinars on everything from Social Security to Medicare; and member-exclusive insurance programs and rates.
Related: 70 AARP Travel Discounts For 2016
AARP Alternatives- Seniors save money with these other organizations
While AARP may be the largest membership organization for older adults, don't forget to check out the following organizations if AARP isn't your cup of tea.
AMAC: AMAC costs $16 per year for those 50+, spouse is free. AMAC members enjoy discounts, health insurance products, and a members-only credit card to name a few of the benefits offered.
ASA: Known as the conservative alternative to AARP, the ASA (American Seniors Association) offers those 50+ benefits in travel, health and wellness, home and auto insurance and general discounts. Cost is $15 per year, includes spouse.
3. Consult a Financial Planner
There are many different ways to maximize your money in 2017, but unless you have specialized knowledge of tax, retirement and estate planning, you may be going about it the wrong way.
From understanding the difference between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA to best practices for diversifying your investment portfolio, a financial planner will partner with you to evaluate your unique situation and financial goals in order to help you save and spend your money wisely.
4. Embrace the Power of Money Saving Apps
The best way to determine where you can save more? Knowing where your money is going. The good news is that budgeting is easier than ever in our digital age thanks to money management websites and apps like Mint, Mvelopes, HomeBudget and Pocket Expense — all aimed at helping you get a clearer picture of your financial situation.
But apps put savings at your fingertips in other ways, as well. From helping you find the lowest prices on prescription meds to identifying questionable fees and charges among your monthly bills, there's an app for that.
According to recent research from the University of Michigan, not only do many seniors die without assets, but there's also a correlation between lower assets and mortality rates in older adults. The takeaway? Saving money isn't just good for your bottom line; it's good for your health. Start living better today with these four tips. And be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more great content on everything from senior discounts to legal and financial help for seniors.