See also: Making retirement plans?
Financial priorities and personal needs change during each stage of life, but the retirement years frequently present the biggest challenge. When a leave-no-stone-unturned approach to trimming expenses is necessary, adult children may be able to help their parents do the detective work.
Depending on income level, retirees need 77 percent to 88 percent of their preretirement income to sustain their lifestyle, according to a 2008 study by Aon Consulting and Georgia State University.
Sally Herigstad, a certified public accountant who helped her father through his last years of life, says eliminating small expenses can result in big savings and help you meet retirement income goals.
"Go through credit card statements with a fine-tooth comb," advises Herigstad, author of Help! I Can't Pay My Bills! People "can have all these little dribbles coming out of their credit card accounts every month. It all adds up." Look for recurring charges such as magazine renewals, credit score monitoring or online services that no longer are being used.
Eco-entrepreneur Lynn Colwell says that money-saving answers are all around us, if we take the time to look.
"The biggest problem we have is we don't stop to think about how we can save money," says Colwell, coauthor of Celebrate Green! "We fight the impulse to realize there are solutions."
Signing up with your local utility company for a free home energy audit, for example, is an easy step toward cutting energy bills, Colwell says.