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10 Ways Seniors Can Stretch Their Dollars

If you're approached about changing your investments or making a purchase, make sure you get another opinion.

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If the senior in your life is worried about having enough money as they age, they’re not alone. Perhaps you have your own concerns. According to the Stanford Center on Longevity, 30 percent of Baby Boomers have no money set aside for their golden years. And among those who do have savings, the median balance is just $290,000 for boomers born between 1948 and 1953 and $209,246 for those born between 1954 and 1959.

There are ways to plan for the future as well as stretch budget dollars to help alleviate money worries. Consider the following 10 ideas:

  1. Seek the services of an objective financial planner. A financial planner can help you and the senior in your life make the most of your dollars as you plan for the future. Planning ahead will not only give you and your family a better chance at the lifestyle you’d like as you age, but will help you anticipate health care and long-term care expenses. Learn more about How to Choose a Financial Planner. Also consider completing the 40-70 Rule’s Action Plan for Successful Aging, which includes a section on Financial Choices.
  2. Get a second opinion on investments and financial purchases. If a loved one is approached about changing their investments or making a purchase, make sure you get another opinion. Check out these tips on how to find a financial advisor if you’re looking for another opinion.
  3. Look for help to find affordable staples. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging if someone you love is having trouble paying for food and gas. For more information or to find an office near you, visit the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging at Seniors can receive free or low cost meals and other food delivered to them from Meals on Wheels. Top priority is given to the homebound, which generally will be seniors who are unable to get food on their own and who can't prepare their own meals.
  4. Grow your own vegetables. The over 55 crowd traditionally has been among the most avid gardeners, but growing your own food makes good budget sense as well. Visit How to Grow Fresh Delicious Vegetables No Matter Where You Live. And for adaptive gardening ideas, check out this online guide Gardening with Older Adults for Health and Nutrition. Avoid convenience foods, which are more expensive. Watch for sales on fresh or canned fruits, vegetables and meats, which will be less expensive than convenience foods and better for you as well as the senior in your life.
  5. Look for deals on generic medications. Contact your pharmacist about ways to save money on medications. Many drugs come in generic brands that are more affordable.
  6. Encourage walking. If the gas prices are cutting into your senior’s social life, encourage them to organize a walking club or walk with friends, if they are able. Walking together is a great way to socialize. Or talk with their doctor about ways they can stay active affordably.
  7. If walking isn’t an option, carpool. There's economy in numbers. If a senior can no longer drive and can’t afford a driving service, contact others you know who might be going in the same direction.
  8. Cut down on utilities costs. Look for ways to cut heating and cooling costs. For example, keep drapes drawn during the heat of the day, and minimize opening and closing doors in the cold of the winter. Close off parts of the house not in use to cut down on utility costs.
  9. Look for affordable ways to treat yourself and your loved one. If you or the older adult in your life is accustomed to eating out with friends, why not do it at home? Ask everyone to bring their favorite dish, put out the nice table cloth and add a fresh flower. The pleasure will be in the company!
  10. Stay home! The ability of seniors to live at home may help cut costs as well. If a loved one needs assistance around the house, contact Home Instead or visit the company's website at

Go to and complete the Action Plan for Successful Aging to learn other ways to plan for a happy and worry-free future.

Last revised: May 6, 2019

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. June 16, 2021 at 5:06 pm | Posted by Kerrie Padlo



  2. February 20, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Posted by Ronald Crist

    Hello, My story is like many others, we need help with finance to pay for help for Senior care in our appt. so we don't have to move to ast. living. I am turning 79 yrs. old and my wife will be 77 yrs. We need help with, cleaning the apt, londering, preparing meals, that's all for now. Thank you in advance.


  3. June 21, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Posted by Nancy Disney

    Where is the list that I saw the other day of services you provide ?? I want to print it out and show it to my care provider. We need some help in all areas. Thanks.


    • June 28, 2017 at 11:12 am | Posted by Home Instead

      Hi Nancy, you can find an overview of services provided by Home Instead at We recommend you get in touch with your local office for specific details about service offerings in your area. To find your local office, go to and enter your location. Thanks for getting in touch!


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