Buys New Instead of Used
When it comes to aging, seniors in the last years of their life often have real financial challenges. The need to have new versus old or used can easily impoverish a senior. What are the issues? How do you address the issues?
Many seniors have spending challenges. Buying new things versus used can be one of the most insidious challenges. American culture teaches us that material things are signs of success and achievement. For some of us, buying used things represents the opposite. It’s hard for us to acknowledge that we’re still tied to old beliefs in our seventies and eighties. But it’s likely we are.
Buying Used Is Hard For Some Seniors
Some seniors associate purchases as coming from stores and being wrapped. They literally have a visceral experience opening new stuff. Like a Christmas experience. In these cases, a senior may need to be redirected in ways where they can have their rush without breaking the bank.
Some Seniors Have No Experience Buying Used
Other seniors may not have experience buying anything used. Maybe their spouses made all the purchases. Or perhaps they worked all the time and never really learned to shop. Or maybe they once were very wealthy.
Used Things Can Be Easily Tetsed
Some items we buy are pretty easy to test in their used condition. Furniture, appliances, cars, and clothes can be examined before purchase. Goodwill, second-hand shops, garage sales, and online buys in your neighborhood (e.g., Facebook, eBay, Craigslist, etc.) usually allow you to see and test something before you make the purchase.
Some Seniors Only Want New
If your lazy boy wears out do you want a new one or a used one? Some people always want new. But the costs between new and used can be staggering.
Used Sometimes Is New
Some styles are so unwanted that they’re offered on eBay and Craigslist free for pickup. Stuff that’s unwanted doesn’t mean it’s trash or even out of style. Travel around the country and you’ll learn that some styles in Georgia are unwanted in California and vice versa.
Almost every online retailer offers returned goods as used goods even if they weren’t used. In other words, checking out what’s available used often leads to goods as good as new at a fraction of the price.
High End Items At Yard Sales
Yardsales and estate sales in wealthy neighborhoods are known for high-quality goods at low prices. Wealthy people often frequently redecorate. They often put their furniture, rugs, and appliances on sale for a fraction of their purchase price.
In some cases, the owners will put their old stuff on the curb. They may not hesitate to throw out rugs, furniture, and appliances worth thousands of dollars. If you’re willing to haul it away, you can have it for free.
Use Children To Help You Buy Used
Not all seniors are able to make a proper assessment of a used item. But its very likely that as seniors, we have a child, grandchild, friend from Church or a neighbor that can. An hour of help from family or a friend can result in hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars of savings. Ask around, some people love hunting for bargains and are happy to check things out and share their opinion.
Examples Of What To Buy Used
Cars are a good example to address. A new car generally depreciates about ten percent (10%) when you drive it off the lot and twenty percent (20%) after the first 12 months of ownership. After three years, a car can depreciate as much as fifty percent (50%). Yet a good, well-maintained three-year-old car can easily last another seven or ten years.
Here are a few other examples. A new sofa might cost $1,200, a couple of new chairs $800 ($400 each) and a new refrigerator $1,200. That’s $3,200. On a fixed income of $30,000, this new purchase is 11% of your annual income. If you are just getting by, this purchase puts you underwater. Buying used can make a big difference. You’re likely to find a decent couch and refrigerator for $250 each and a couple of chairs for $100 each. That’s $700 or about 22% of what it will cost you new. And it’s just 2% of your annual income.
> If you’re a senior, ask for help buying used. You’ll be surprised at how many family members and friends have experience getting great used buys
> For seniors that love new, offer to purchase on their behalf presents for their grandchildren or great-grandchildren.
> If you’re concerned about a parent or senior family members, offer to go used shopping with them.
> Simply introducing a senior to used shopping might show them alternatives, so ask them if they’re willing to come used shopping with you