Originally Posted by RetiringAt55
But SS income has dropped as well. So income is less and taxes are more.
In addition, non-housing expenses would probably not be cut in half. Food is probably more than half as there may be more waste. In retirement, you may have assumed one car for you both to share. So transportation may stay the same. Travel is more expensive as a single person. I suggest people actually run both the budget numbers and the tax numbers.
"Waste"? In our household, my wife and I eat different things for most meals. Sometimes we share. Any leftovers go in the fridge or freezer and get eaten later.
Travel for one is more than 1/2 the cost of travel for two. But, I'm the traveler in the family. If I weren't here, she'd prefer to stay home.
We have two cars. Most of our in-town driving is separate. And, frankly, that's not much money. She would save about 1/2 our combined in-town expense as soon as she sold my car.
OTOH, if world travel is a big chunk of your budget, and the surviving spouse would continue to travel, while not sharing expenses with a friend or relative, that would need to be covered.
You're correct, people should look at their actual spending patterns, note exactly what they spend, and make their own estimates. I think I've done that for us, and for planning purposes, the estimate I made seems valid.