You've made reasonably sure that you have enough to live on. You've followed the advice of a financial planner or done your own research to make sure that your savings and investments will carry you through. So now you just start living it up, right? Maybe not. One way to help preserve as much of your money as possible and maintain the lifestyle you want is to create a budget.
With any luck, you've always had a budget in some form, but if not, there's no time like the present. Even if you did have one, once you retire, your priorities shift. You'll still have to pay your phone bill each month, but you'll spend less money on some things and more on others. For example, you may no longer need to pay for transportation to work, but you may need to pay more insurance co-pays and deductibles. There are several software programs out there to help with money management, but you could easily do it with paper and a calculator.
One benefit of being a senior citizen is the ability to take advantage of a multitude of discounts. Many restaurants have special senior menus or certain times when seniors can eat cheap, and grocery stores and movie theaters often have senior citizen discount days or times. If you join an association like the AARP, you can get discounts on everything from hotel rooms to clothing.
Making and sticking to a budget is one way to stretch your retirement income. Let's look at other ways to save money next.