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What were your biggest retirement 'surprises'?
Old 03-15-2014, 05:58 PM   #1
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What were your biggest retirement 'surprises'?

I'm in the process of helping my mom do some retirement planning, and am projecting her post-retirement expenses.

I'm looking to gain some helpful information from those who have spent a few years in retirement and are in the 65-90 range since that's my mom's age range.

I was wondering what expenses came in higher than expected? Note: I am looking for the expenses that deviated the most from your expected - not the ones that were simply the highest. Since "health expenses" would be such a popular answer, please be more specific if that is the case (drugs, nursing home, premiums, etc).

Thanks.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:03 PM   #2
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If she is or will be in a retirement community or assisted living facility, the monthly charge went up at a steady ~5% a year for my mother, even though the inflation rate was considerably less.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:09 PM   #3
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Any surprises your mom may experience will depend on how much knowledge she has regarding her current expenses and how those will change once she retires (more travel? less commuting costs?). I dislike surprises, so I spent several years prior to retirement tracking expenses and had a good understanding of how that would change after retiring, which eliminated the surprise element.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:12 PM   #4
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1) Medical, of course - - My prescriptions went up a lot in price, and Medicare Part B is an additional $104.90/month that I didn't have last year.

2) Also, I have more time for fun, so I spend more on hobbies, recreation, and that type of thing.

3) Some people spend more on travel, but I don't have any desire to travel so I escaped that extra expense.

What is really surprising to me is that most of my expenses haven't really changed that much. Like REWahoo, I thought about all this before retiring and had a pretty good idea of what to expect.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:39 PM   #5
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65-90 is a pretty wide range. Many 65 year olds are spending money on active vacations, hobbies, second homes, and other luxury items. As for the 90 year olds, I would think their biggest expenses are medical care and assisted living or nursing care. Everyone tapers off on a different schedule though. If your mom is healthy and energetic, she may have many years of active living to do.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:25 PM   #6
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1) Medical, of course - - My prescriptions went up a lot in price, and Medicare Part B is an additional $104.90/month that I didn't have last year.

2) Also, I have more time for fun, so I spend more on hobbies, recreation, and that type of thing.

3) Some people spend more on travel, but I don't have any desire to travel so I escaped that extra expense.

What is really surprising to me is that most of my expenses haven't really changed that much. Like REWahoo, I thought about all this before retiring and had a pretty good idea of what to expect.
If you end up moving to Missouri, then I think you will quickly develope a desire to travel during the winter months. That's an example of how expenses can increase even several years after you retire.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:27 PM   #7
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If you end up moving to Missouri, then I think you will quickly develope a desire to travel during the winter months. That's an example of how expenses can increase even several years after you retire.
You are probably right! We still haven't made up our minds about that.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:41 PM   #8
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You are probably right! We still haven't made up our minds about that.
Well one good thing about MO. You can have a different seasons in a day. Why go south, its 72 today, chance of snow tomorrow. What could be better. Who needs seasons?

Edit to add: Watching my parents retire, as suggested it changes with age and health. My parents spent money golfing and fishing at 70. By 90 it was all about nursing homes and related expenses.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:45 PM   #9
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Well one good thing about MO. You can have a different seasons in a day. Why go south, its 72 today, chance of snow tomorrow. What could be better. Who needs seasons?
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:06 AM   #10
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I think the best approach is to do a thorough analysis of her expenses for 2013 and 2012 and then adjust for unusual expenses in those years and changes in retirement expenses compared to those years. Make sure to include a reasonable provision for medical co-pays and deductibles (I assume you'll include medical insurance), periodic car replacements if she owns a car, periodic major repairs improvements if she owns a home, travel if she is so inclined, etc.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:47 AM   #11
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pb4uski +1

However, four us, Cruises, new golf cart, (we don't golf), Honda scooters (who knew), couple major home projects, (just because) all total we are spending about $15,000 a year more than our basic budget expenses. This has been going on for about seven years. It always seems to be something we just NEED! So now that extra $15,000 is in the budget.

For us it is the realization that we will not outlive our money. Therefor we have loosened up on the living below our means.
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