If your retirement savings isn't as big as you'd hoped, or isn't lasting as long as you had expected, here are some tips to help you stretch your retirement dollars:

Live Near Your Kids

If your children are inclined to help and live in a place that wouldn't be terrible, you may find that being near your children and grandchildren can actually save you money - especially when your ability to do things for yourself diminishes. If your kids help you avoid expensive time in assisted living, you may be money ahead.


If you own your home, you may want to sell it and move to smaller quarters. If you are just starting retirement and likely have decades to go, you can buy a smaller place. If you are mid-retirement, you may simply want to use the proceeds from the sale to rent more modest quarters.

Move to a Lower Cost City

Especially if you can't afford to live near your children, you may want to consider moving to a retirement-friendly, low cost community like Arlington, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa, or Port Charlotte, Florida. (See a longer list at U.S. News & World Report.) These examples all feature senior-friendly communities, with high quality healthcare, low cost activities and a low cost of living. Why not live somewhere fun and inexpensive if you can't be by the grandkids?

Care with Cars

Reducing spending on cars should be easy in retirement. Most retirees drive less than before they retired. You can easily get by with one car and you won't need to replace it as often because you won't put as many miles on it. Don't let old habits dictate when you buy a car. Drive a car as long as it lasts and take good care of it.

Consider a Second Career

If you are still healthy enough to work, consider launching a second career. A study cited by U.S. News suggests that there are increasing career opportunities for seniors and many are healthy enough to enjoy working. Many of the jobs are in "healthcare, education, government, and social assistance jobs", according to the research. The nature of these jobs is such that they offer a sense of fulfillment you may not have had when you were working your first career.

Retirement is a challenge for the current generation of retirees, which includes a larger proportion of people who retired principally relying on savings in a 401k or IRA rather than on traditional pension plans. If you are struggling to make ends meet, these ideas may help you to enjoy a happier and more fulfilling retirement.

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