When I retire in 60 years (kidding, hopefully), my daily plan for my retirement years goes a little something like this: Golf 36 holes, hang out at the beach, go to sleep and repeat. Pretty simple, right? Your idea of an ideal retirement is probably different from mine, and that’s fine. While we may not see eye to eye on what constitutes a fun retirement, there is one thing we’ll hopefully both experience: vanishing expenses.
That’s right. When you retire, voilà – all of your expenses disappear. OK, it’s not that simple. However, you’ll notice some expenses that are out of your hair as soon as you retire. Others take longer to completely disappear – and you may even notice some new expenses. Take a look at some expenses you can remove from your financial burden once you retire and which ones you may see pop up.
Unless you work from home, use a form of public transportation or walk, you probably have to drive to work in order to make money. Well, that drive to work costs you gas money and adds miles to your car, which could cost you money in car maintenance. If you only live a few miles from your job, it’s probably not too big of an issue. The real problem starts when you’re talking about driving a half-hour or more each way every day. Add up the toll that takes on your car and wallet over the years, and this is one expense you won’t miss.
A lot of people don’t realize how much money is taken out of their paychecks and put toward their retirement fund, whether it’s in a 401(k) or an IRA. Some blindly throw money into their retirement accounts, increasing the percentage of their check that they contribute every so often. If you’re contributing a significant portion of your check to your retirement fund, that amount could range anywhere from a couple thousand dollars per year up to $18,000 annually for a 401(k). With no job and no paycheck, this expense won’t be an issue – a sure sign that you’ve made it to retirement.
This isn’t one of those expenses that automatically disappears once you retire. If possible, though, it’s a great idea to have your mortgage paid off by the time you retire. Since you’ll be living off your retirement fund, having big expenses such as a mortgage could be detrimental to the lifestyle you want to enjoy during your retirement years.
Other expenses related to your mortgage to keep in mind (even if your mortgage is paid off) are utility bills, taxes and insurance. It’s also important to consider the cost of living in your location. If it’s more than you can afford after you retire, a move to a part of the country that isn’t as expensive may be required.
If you work at a job that requires you to dress formally daily, you could save hundreds, if not thousands, per year when you retire. For me, all I’ll need are a few pairs of shorts and some polos for the golf course, and I’m good for the year.
Like a mortgage, this isn’t one of those expenses that automatically disappears as soon as you retire. The choice between having one or multiple cars is completely up to you. If you’re married and your significant other is also retired, do you really need two cars? If not, you’ll save on car insurance and car maintenance over the course of time.
With no income, your tax bill is going to take a huge hit, much like your retirement savings we talked about earlier.
In no way am I advocating that you stop eating as soon as you retire. I’m suggesting that instead of going out for lunch five times a week like you did at the office, you go grocery shopping and cook your meals. Food obviously isn’t an expense that can vanish. It is, however, an expense that you can significantly reduce.
In a perfect world, you’d stop being financially responsible for your kids after they graduate high school. As my parents can attest, though, that’s not always the case. This is one of those expenses that doesn’t automatically disappear the second you retire, but the older you get, the less likely it is that you’ll still need to support your kids financially.
Here’s the cold, hard truth about health care: The older you get, the more money you’ll put toward your health care. Whether it’s paying for procedures or prescriptions, the cost of health care can be double for people in their 80s compared to those in their 50s.
You’ve worked your entire life, and now you want to travel. That’s great … if you’re financially prepared. Whether you’ve saved enough to travel the world and stay at five-star hotels or you need to look for more budget-friendly trips, you’ve got options. Just be sure to look at your budget and plan accordingly.
As you can see, retirement does have the magical power to make some of your expenses disappear right away. Others may take a little more time. And some new ones will even appear. What other expenses fall to the wayside when you retire? What other new ones should people plan for? Let us know in the comments below!
If so, subscribe now for tips on home, money, and life delivered straight to your inbox.