Maximizing Cost Savings on Cable and Internet in Retirement

Retirement is a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, but it’s also a period where managing expenses becomes crucial. As you transition into this new phase of life, finding ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality of life is key. One area where retirees can save significantly is on cable and internet services. Here’s how you can make the most of your retirement budget by optimizing these expenses.

Evaluate Your Needs

The first step in saving on cable and internet is to assess what you actually need. Many people continue to pay for extensive cable packages and high-speed internet plans that they no longer fully utilize. Consider your viewing habits and internet usage:

  • Cable: Do you really need 200+ channels, or can you get by with fewer channels focused on your interests?
  • Internet: Are you streaming videos and using multiple devices, or is your internet use mainly for browsing and emailing?

Explore Flexible TV Options

One of the best ways to save on cable is to opt for more flexible TV packages. Services like Spectrum Choice 15 allow you to pick a limited number of favorite channels instead of paying for a full package. This way, you only pay for what you actually watch.

Benefits of Flexible TV Packages:

  • Lower Monthly Fees: By choosing a smaller package, you can significantly reduce your monthly bill.
  • Customization: Select only the channels you enjoy, avoiding the cost of unnecessary ones.
  • No Contracts: Many flexible packages come without long-term commitments, giving you the freedom to switch or cancel without penalties.

Consider Streaming Services

Cutting the cord on traditional cable can lead to substantial savings. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime offer a wide range of content at a fraction of the cost of traditional cable. Many streaming services also have special discounts or bundles that can further reduce costs.

Streaming Benefits:

  • Affordable Plans: Most streaming services offer plans under $20 per month.
  • On-Demand Content: Access a vast library of movies, TV shows, and exclusive content whenever you want.
  • Flexible Options: Subscribe and unsubscribe as needed, avoiding long-term commitments.

Optimize Your Internet Plan

High-speed internet is essential, but you might be paying for more speed than you need. Evaluate your internet usage and choose a plan that fits your requirements. For many retirees, a basic plan is sufficient and can save a significant amount of money each month.

Tips for Choosing the Right Internet Plan:

  • Speed Needs: Assess if you need high-speed plans or if a moderate speed will suffice for your activities.
  • Bundling: Many providers offer discounts when you bundle internet with other services like phone or TV.
  • Promotions: Look out for promotional rates for new customers or special deals for seniors.

Leverage Senior Discounts

Many cable and internet providers offer discounts for seniors. Don’t hesitate to ask your current provider if they have any senior-specific deals. Additionally, organizations like AARP often have partnerships with service providers, offering exclusive discounts to their members.

How to Access Senior Discounts:

  • Inquire Directly: Contact your service provider and ask about senior discounts.
  • Check AARP: Look at the AARP website for deals on cable and internet services.
  • Local Offers: Some local providers may have special offers for seniors in your area.

Example

Here is a real-world example. My cable bill had gone up to over $200 per month. I changed to the Spectrum Choice 15 and reduced my internet speed from 1GIG to the minimum speed package. We picked 15 channels we wanted (we had a hard time finding all 15; I just wanted a few sports channels, and my wife doesn’t watch much live TV), and my total monthly cost went from over $200 to $134.00 a month for cable and internet. Nobody in my house noticed the speed reduction on the internet. For most people, the minimum speed package is more than enough.

Here is a copy of my most recent Spectrum statement for reference:

Now if we can just find a way to get rid of that broadcast surcharge, it would be even better. 😉

Conclusion

In retirement, every dollar saved can contribute to a more comfortable and enjoyable life. By evaluating your needs, exploring flexible TV and internet options, considering streaming services, and leveraging available discounts, you can significantly reduce your cable and internet expenses. Taking these steps will help you optimize your retirement budget, ensuring you get the best value for your money while still enjoying your favorite shows and reliable internet access.

If you would like to see more content like this and more real-world examples of how to save on fixed costs in retirement: Sign up for the blog or reach out to me here: Contact Me I’ll also send you the number to call to get these discounts.

 

Please see disclosures here.

GLEN HEDRICK, ADVISOR

The Wealth of Advice is a financial blog that is focused on retirement and wealth information, with a little of everything else sprinkled in.

I manage portfolios for clients and myself at Old North State Wealth Management.

Disclosures can be found here.

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