seniors browsing their smart phones
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If you're a retiree, you may have more time on your hands, but that doesn't mean your life isn't just as complicated -- and just as expensive -- as anyone else's.

Even though some of your expenses have gone away -- the kids are finally out of college and the mortgage is paid off -- your income is likely lower than it was when you were working, too. Then there are rising medical costs, visits to far-flung relatives, and other later-in-life expenses. Who couldn't use some easy savings? Well, grab your smartphone and get ready to start cutting costs.

LowRx (free; iOS): Many people don't realize how much prescription prices can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. If you're loyal to your neighborhood drugstore, you might not be getting the best deals.

The LowRx app will change all that. Simply sign up for the discount pass (it's free and requires only a phone number), then search the medication you need and the app will show the drug's cost at pharmacies in your area. It will also display prices of generic equivalents and alternative medications, so that you can discuss that with your doctor and switch to a cheaper drug if it's appropriate.

Sample savings: $4 off coupon for a 30-day supply of Lipitor.

BillGuard (free; iOS, Android coming soon): As you get older, you may find you have more bills, and less patience for reading the fine print to make sure you're not being overcharged.

BillGuard requires a little setup time to link it to your accounts, but once you do that, it combs through them for what it calls "grey charges" –- everything from questionable fees to outright fraud to forgotten memberships. BillGuard claims these charges add up to $14.3 billion a year in added costs for Americans. The app makes it as simple as a tap on your phone's screen to report and investigate iffy fees.

Sample savings: I quickly spotted $35 in late fees incurred while I was out of the country. Notifying the company promptly resulted in a full refund.

Senior Savings ($0.99; iOS, Android version coming soon): One fun thing about getting older is paying less for the same tickets, meals, and activities than you were a few years ago. If you're over 50, be sure to advantage of senior discounts and deals with the Senior Savings app, which includes more than 200 offers, organized by category.

Sample savings: $4 off the regular adult price at Washington, D.C.'s popular Newseum for seniors over 65.

The Christmas List ($1.99; iOS): If you've got more than a few people on your gift list, you know how easy it is to lose track of what you've bought for whom -- and how much you've spent. Stick to your budget and avoid nasty New Year's credit card bills with The Christmas List.

You can track gifts and recipients by store or by person, and the app will keep tabs on how much you've spent on whom. You can store photos of the presents so that you don't buy both your daughters the exact same sweater, or on the other hand, choose one gift to give multiple recipients. The app is even password-protected to ward off snooping grandkids.

Sample savings: $10 if the app keeps you from buying duplicate fruitcakes for your neighbor; much more if it holds your spending in check by showing you where you stand this shopping season.

RedLaser (free; iOS, Android, Windows phone): Owned by eBay (EBAY), RedLaser will help ensure you get the lowest possible price on all those gifts -- and everything else you buy throughout the year. RedLaser is so easy to use, even devout technophobes will get hooked quickly.

Simply scan any barcode (or use the search function) to quickly see price comparisons across a wide variety of online retailers. Prefer to support local businesses? The app includes pricing and location information for those, too. The app even stores all your loyalty and discount cards, so you never miss out on a discount.

Sample savings: $55.99 on a 16GB iPad Mini (the difference between the highest and lowest prices the app provided).

Add it up, and you could save more than $100 right away with these five apps, with more savings to come.

Motley Fool contributor Robyn Gearey has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of eBay. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.

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Sara Lee

Awesome Post! I have found another related blog too in the link below:


August 25 2014 at 2:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great, They are cash out loans for senior citizens over the age of 62 who's homes are paid off and it uses the equity to make the loan payment.

November 24 2013 at 5:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This writer should have done more research on her recommendations for smart phone app useage. In the case of the Rx app.......she is apparently unaware that pharmacists can (and do) keep computerized records of patients who switch pharmacies in an attempt to get lower prices on their medical prescriptions. These records are shared with other pharmacists, too.

If your name pops up as red flagged for frequently switching your pharmacy provider, there is a good chance that pharmacists may refuse to fill prescriptions for you. (Yes, they can legally do that.) What do you do, then?

Even if you are successful at switching pharmacies, you will encounter something called "prescription loading". This is an additional charge (usually between $4 to $8) that a parmacist adds to the cost of filling a new prescription. ( good is that $4.00 Rx coupon price savings you found on that phone app looking now??)

Cell phones can be a wonderful convenience. But, relying on smart phone "apps" for your decision making isn't always the smartest thing you can do.

November 22 2013 at 5:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another dumb article masquerading as "money saving advice". Nobody has ever "saved" any money by spending their cash on electronic gadgets, dining out, vacation trips, holiday gifts, etc..

Most seniors could give this clueless writer lessons in how to really save money.

November 21 2013 at 3:15 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Not everybody has the almight i until these are available in other operating systems just keep it!

November 21 2013 at 10:45 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Don't buy a "smart" phone and save more.

November 21 2013 at 9:39 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply