3 Ways to Live Happily on Social Security

Fixed income!  Fixed Income.  fixed income. Fixed Income.  No matter how you write it, the concept is very daunting.

No one can live on just Social Security Income unless they don’t object to living in a tiny rented room and eating nothing but rice and beans.   Also, no one wants to end up as a door greeter at (Something)Mart as a way to supplement their fixed retirement income.

So what can you do about it?

Get a roommate.  There are plenty of people who are on fixed incomes who would love to share an apartment or house.  In my case, I have my older brother who is also on Social Security sharing my house.  Between the two of us, we can cover the mortgage payments, utilities and food.  But, what about those extras in life, like getting a pedicure, or buying a new blouse?  What if you don’t like the idea of having someone sharing your space?  What if you don’t know anyone who would be willing to move in?

A roommate doesn’t have to be someone you have a romantic relationship with. If you are single or even if you are part of a couple, finding another retiree (or two if you have the space) is actually a pretty easy process if you advertise on Craigslist or other website that caters to finding roomies.  You new roommate doesn’t even have to be a retiree.  Maybe someone younger would work out.  Just give it some thought before plunging in.

Simply decide ahead of time what you will and will not tolerate and put that in your ad.  People you interview for the position of roommate will not have unrealistic expectations if you let them know in advance what is required.

For my part, I told my brother this was a 100% no smoking house and any smoking had to be done outside.  This is a pet free home, which cuts down on additional cleaning that must be done.  He takes out the trash and keeps up with the yard work.  He cooks and I clean up the kitchen.  The rest of the cleaning we share and my house stays pretty clean most of the time.  We both agreed that we would have any overnight “romantic” guests.

If a roommate is not to your liking there are other options.

Find a work at home job.  If you want extra cash and are a little tech-savvy, then work at home jobs may be the answer.  You can work in comfort and have your own kitchen and bathroom available as needed.  It may take a few weeks to find exactly the right work at home position, but be diligent and look everyday for work at home positions.

The advantage of working at home is that you don’t have to commute to work, you won’t spend money buying a lunch, you can many times make your own schedule.  The disadvantage is that it is easy to get distracted while at home.  People come to visit, the TV is tempting, working on a hobby may interfere.  Make sure you have the discipline to stick with a job before committing to working at home.

A note of caution.  Do not pay anyone to get hired.  If they are a legitimate company, they will pay YOU.  Use a reputable hiring web engine such as Indeed or Monster.  If you are worried about using sites such as that, go directly to the company’s website that you are familiar with, such as QVC or Amazon.

Sell. Sell. Sell.  If you are “crafty” you can sell your craft items online at Etsy, eBay or Craigslist.  You can sell household items at yard sales.  You can go to yard sales, thrift stores, auctions, and estate sales to find items to sell at your own yard sale.

It may be a cliche, but think outside the box.  Invent ways to supplement your income.  Above all, be happy with life.

Photo by Lotte Meijer on Unsplash


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