NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Many soon-to-be retirees assume their spending behaviors will change as soon as their lifestyle does, but the truth is it can be difficult to break old habits.
“You do have to make a conscious effort” to ensure you have an adequate cash reserve on hand for happy golden years, says Katie Coleman, a financial adviser with Ameriprise Financial.
The good news is that between leveraging some awesome senior discounts and making a few lifestyle adjustments, new retirees can easily drive down monthly expenses. Here are 10 items that can be cut easily from any post-retirement budget:
The Internal Revenue Service offers taxpayers 60 and older free assistance through its Tax Counseling for the Elderly program. Program volunteers actually specialize in questions about pensions and retirement issues unique to seniors. Folks who retiree early may alternately be able to get free tax prep through the agency’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
“The VITA program is for people earning less than $50,000 per year,” says Donna Freedman, a Savings.com DealPro who also runs the blog Surviving and Thriving. You can find more information about both programs on the IRS website. You can also find additional free tax tools here.
If you’re taking on a part-time job to occupy your time, you may want to forego the disability insurance.
“Disability is designed to replace lost income,” says Jeff Yeager, savings expert and author of The Cheapskate Next Door, meaning it's no longer necessary if you’re already getting Social Security or have a nice nest egg in the bank. He also suggests those without children considering paring down their life insurance policies.
“In most cases, it can be discontinued or decreased,” he says.
Dining out and prepared foods
Don’t use extra time on your hands to drive out to your favorite restaurants. Instead, concentrate your efforts on cooking quality meals on your own. Many local rec centers may offer free or discounted cooking lessons to seniors that can help you find culinary inspiration.