5 ways to save money in retirement

Time to face realty
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Time to face realty

A potentially emotional decision about retirement expenses is a possible need to downsize your housing, says Kober. Although adult children may be emotionally attached to the old homestead, "you may need to have the brutal, honest conversation with your family and say, 'This isn't a long-run sustainable housing situation.' You can reduce your housing costs and spend more time and money on leisure activities."

Gordon J. Bernhardt, CPA, a financial planner with Bernhardt Wealth Management in McLean, Va., agrees. Many consumers bought too much house or spent too much money on rental properties during the real estate boom and now may face a cash flow problem in retirement. "Is the individual overextended? Did he or she buy too much real estate and is facing the consequences of negative cash flows? In the cases we have seen, that individual is still above water, but selling the property will help their cash flow."

But remember there are a number of costs involved in moving, including real estate commissions and potentially higher property taxes. Also, according to Bankrate's 2010 Closing Costs Survey, average closing costs on a $200,000 home were $3,741.




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