Three Value Car Options For Retirees

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The average income for future retirees is expected to fall to 73 percent of average career earnings, down from 80 percent of average career earnings for current retirees, a 2013 report by the AARP Public Policy Institute found. Social Security, considered the foundation of most retirees’ income, remained steady. The median annual benefit for retired men was $16,295 and $11,999 for women in 2012.

Tight budgets mean seniors have to choose an automobile that is affordable, easy to maintain, and fuel efficient. Here are three options that encompass all three characteristics:

2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Photo by IFCAR via Wikimedia Commons

This gas-electric sedan has the perfect combination of features and fuel efficiency, even for bottom-end budgets. The combination of its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and battery bank gives the Fusion Hybrid power comparable to a six-cylinder car, all while getting 41 mpg. You can drive in EV Mode (solely on battery power) at speeds up to 47 mph, so those quick grocery store runs and doctor visits will use no gasoline.

The dual-zone climate controls enable driver and passenger to adjust the temperature on their respective sides for individual comfort. The driver’s seat has both lumbar adjustment and heated. Some Fusion Hybrids come with Ford Sync AppLink, which enables hands-free talking on your cell phone and media selection with voice commands.

You can search used cars on Kelley Blue Book to get the latest valuation information on the Fusion Hybrid. Expect to pay about $14,000 for one with low mileage (under 75,000) and a documented maintenance record. Most will still have the five-year warranty with roadside-assistance as well.

2013 Kia Optima SX

Photo by IFCAR via Wikimedia Commons

The senior-friendly features of the Optima SX start with dual-climate control, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and 15 cubic feet of cargo room in the trunk. Keyless entry and start enable you to warm it up on those bitterly cold winter mornings before you even step out of the house. The seats are heated to provide even more comfort.

Its 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine is rated at 34 mpg on the highway and 22 in the city. Several reviewers, including Marketwatch, rave about the SX’s stylish, sporty exterior. Its cross-hatch front grill and 17-inch wheels gives it the look of a luxury vehicle for the price of an average family sedan.

The MSRP on a brand new base model is a very affordable $21,350, or $26,800 fully loaded. You’ll easily save $5,000 if you look around for a used one.

2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Photo by IFCAR via Wikimedia Commons

The all-wheel drive Outback wagon is especially great for those living in areas with snowy, icy roads five months out of the year. Its 170-horsepower 2.5 liter engine is small enough to get 25 mpg on the highway, and powerful enough to pull your toy hauler or camper.

The 2.5i comes with many of the same senior-friendly features as the Optima and Fusion Hybrid, including power-adjustable seats, remote keyless entry, and dual-zone climate control. What separates it from the others on the list is its 71 cubic feet of cargo space.

The MSRP on a brand new base model is $28,695. AOL Auto estimates its two-year depreciation value at about $18,000, so its best to buy used.

This article is from Brian Wilkins, an Arizona State University journalism grad who has worked as a radio broadcaster and banking industry professional. He is an independent journalist, blogger and small business owner who loves life. He lives off-the-grid and has not owned a TV in more than six years.

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