The Retirement Expenses You Might Be Overlooking

Read Full Bio

About Edmond Brown

Edmond G. Brown (not the governor) has served as a trusted counselor to individuals, families and businesses for over 20 years in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. He understands that personalized, detail oriented service is essential to helping you achieve financial security.

Picture your dream retirement. Maybe it’s filled with languid beach days or thrilling adventures in far-flung countries. But even the most blissful retirement scenarios need a solid financial foundation. So, while you’re dreaming, it’s time to get practical. Alongside the obvious expenses, there are essential costs to include in your retirement budget that might catch you by surprise.

1. Housing: More Than Just a Mortgage

Whether you own or rent, housing will likely remain a significant part of your budget. Even if you’ve paid off your mortgage, don’t overlook those sneaky ongoing costs:

  • Property Taxes: They don’t go away with ownership!
  • Homeowners Insurance: Protects your assets.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Things break, and with age, they break more often.
  • Utilities: Your consumption patterns might even change in retirement.

Consider downsizing or relocating to a lower-cost area to make your retirement funds stretch further.

2. Healthcare: Protecting Your Most Important Asset – You!

Healthcare costs ramp up as we age. Factoring these in is crucial:

  • Medicare premiums: Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and Part D (prescription drugs) often have income-based premiums.
  • Co-pays and Deductibles: Even with insurance, you often have out-of-pocket costs.
  • Long-term care: Not covered by Medicare in most cases, but potentially a significant expense if needed. (There is a high chance that you will require some form of long-term care as you age.)

3. The Daily Grind… But Different

You might commute less and buy fewer work clothes, giving you savings. Yet, other daily expenses persist:

  • Groceries: Eating at home more can save money, but food costs fluctuate.
  • Household Supplies: Those day-to-day necessities add up.
  • Transportation: You might still need a car, even if you drive less.
  • Clothing: Needs change, but you’ll still want to look your best.

4. Entertainment

The best part of retirement? Time to enjoy life! But hobbies and fun come with price tags:

  • Travel: Your dream destinations await, but flights and hotels aren’t free.
  • Dining out and Leisure Activities More free time can mean more spending on fun experiences.
  • Hobbies and memberships: From golf clubs to book clubs, they enrich your life but can have fees.

5. Taxes

Sadly, taxes don’t disappear in retirement. Here’s what to be aware of:

  • Retirement Plan Withdrawals: 401(k)s and traditional IRAs give tax benefits upfront, so you pay taxes on withdrawals.
  • Social Security: A portion of your benefits might be taxable.
  • Other Income: Even part-time work is taxable.

6. Debt

Aim to enter retirement as debt-free as possible:

  • Mortgage: Ideally paid off, but if not, a major expense dragging down your budget.
  • Credit cards: High-interest debt is a major wealth drain.
  • Auto, boat, or other loans: Ongoing payments reduce your spending power.

7. Travel and Hobbies

If travel and new experiences are part of your dream, budget for them realistically. Costs go beyond the trip itself – think about things like luggage, travel insurance, camera gear, or new golfing equipment.

8. Home Modifications

Adapting your living space as you age is wise, but often expensive:

  • Ramps and stairlifts: For mobility issues.
  • Bathroom renovations: Walk-in showers, grab bars, etc.
  • Safety features: From non-slip floors to improved lighting.

9. Family Support

Helping children or aging parents is admirable but impacts your finances. Consider:

  • Housing assistance: Down payment help or contributions towards rent or care fees.
  • Education costs: Funding those precious grandkids’ futures.
  • Emergency Support: Being prepared for the unexpected helps you avoid financial strain.

10. Inflation

It erodes your purchasing power over time. Don’t let inflation derail your plans – build in a buffer from the start.

The Key Takeaway? Plan Early, Plan Well

Anticipating these costs alongside the obvious ones will significantly reduce your financial anxiety in those golden years. A financial advisor can provide tailored guidance, helping you enjoy your hard-earned retirement to the fullest.

Many people have learned about the power of using the Safe Money approach to reduce volatility. Our Safe Money Guide is in its 20th edition and is available for free.  

It is an Instant Download.  Here is a link to download our guide: 

Safe Money Guide –

About Edmond Brown

Edmond G. Brown (not the governor) has served as a trusted counselor to individuals, families and businesses for over 20 years in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. He understands that personalized, detail oriented service is essential to helping you achieve financial security.

View The Best Annuity Rates Available Now

Annuities are a safe and reliable investment. They can transform your savings into a more predictable income. Speak with one of our qualified financial professionals today to find out how an annuity can offer you guaranteed monthly income for life.

Our unique system of “Pooled and Shared” articles by our authors, our outside contributors, and writing assistants provides efficiency, enhanced collaboration, and greater topic accessibility. This allows for a better utilization of content and productivity while delivering meaningful content to our readers.

Content in our posted articles is deemed to be accurate but topics, facts and laws can change. It is always a good idea to verify facts before making decisions. Always seek authorized and professional advice regarding financial decisions which includes investing, annuity purchases, tax planning, changes in a financial portfolio and retirement planning.

Share This Entry:

In This Article

Protect Your Retirement

Our 20th edition of The Safe Money Guide, the standard of the industry.

Recent Posts