Minimizing Your Economic Footprint

Showing two feet with dollar signs in them one labeled today and the other retirement

So, are you thinking about retiring, or do you already have? Well, unless you recently won the Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot, the money is probably somewhat important to you. Since Doug is heading into retirement, he wanted to share some tips on how he’s doing his best to streamline his expenses.


Do you need two homes? Do you need a home over 3000 sq. feet after the kids have all moved out (hopefully!?) Reducing your number of homes or the size of each home can save oodles and oodles of money. We are talking taxes, insurance, electric, gas, water, maintenance, landscaping, and more.


Doug recently attempted to reduce his monthly bill for his Wi-Fi and cable at his downtown Wilmington residence. Ouch. The Wi-Fi was $75 a month, and the cable was $140 a month, for $215 a month. And with all the traveling that Doug has been doing lately, this is a pretty hefty sum of money to pay for those services. So, we recommend you look for alternative sources for your Wi-Fi and cable services.

As for your phone, there seem to be a lot of options for saving money, but due to the nature of the real estate, Doug cannot afford to miss phone calls or not have good service 24/7, so he is married to Verizon, and their high rates. They are currently the #1 preferred carrier in Coastal North Carolina. But one can save money on their phone service if you shop around and compare services.


As we approach retirement, reducing our costs can sometimes mean making sacrifices. Doug purchased a Mercedes Benz GLE 450 AMG several years ago as an ego scratcher. This was a secondary vehicle, with his Buick being the workhorse. He recently had to replace the four tires on his Mercedes, costing $2700. And to make matters worse, they only had 14,000 miles on them as they are very soft racing tires. Double ouch!

So, Doug got smart and traded in the AMG for a more economical MB (with tires that get 55,000 miles), and he is going to sell his Buick. This will not only reduce the cost of his insurance and taxes. Plus, since it is a new vehicle, there should be no worries about additional maintenance costs for 3+ years because of the new car warranty. As we all know, while an older car is typically paid off, the maintenance fees can eat you alive.


Home insurance, car insurance, supplemental insurance to Medicare, dental insurance, and the list can go on and on. It is essential to find excellent coverage on all the above, but with the right deductibles, because one can spend a lot of money just on deductibles from one year to the next.

Home Improvements

If you are about to retire and live in your “forever home,” you need to plan on it being your residence for at least another twenty years. That would put most of us in our early to mid-80s; if all goes well, you may be to sit down and budget for what kind of costs your new home will incur over the next 20 years. Items could include a new roof, HVAC, water heater, possibly new siding, replacement of windows (especially if you live in cold weather), new appliances, new carpeting, indoor/outdoor painting, electrical or electrical or plumbing work, etc.

Therefore, either do as many as you can now or seriously consider purchasing a new home, as the maintenance costs of a new home versus a 40+-year-old home for the next 20 years will drastically differ. Consolidating, minimizing, cutting down, reducing, making tough choices, eliminating, being thrifty, etc., are ways to ensure that your retirement is not bogged down with unforeseen financial issues. We know everyone experiences unexpected costs as we age, so it is essential to be as streamlined as possible when that does come. If you’re ready to change to Coastal North Carolina, let us help you find your dream retirement home.

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