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Travel/hobbies budget in retirement
Old 04-30-2021, 08:04 AM   #1
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Travel/hobbies budget in retirement

I'm trying to estimate costs and spending strategy after I leave work. As I'm planning to RE in my 50s and expecting to spend more in the first few years ticking off my bucket list I'm wondering:

1. How much on average do you spend on hobbies/travel annually (solo/couple)?

2. Do you just take this out of your portfolio along with expenses, or do you have a bucket set aside?

3. Have you seen a change in this over time, or has it remained relatively stable year over year (obviously pandemic made a dent, so I mean otherwise).


Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:09 AM   #2
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In my first full year of retirement, I tracked my spending to a budget that I set up at the beginning of the year. I had allocated about $15,000 in spending on travel. I don't really have any other hobbies that would need their own budget category. In that year, I think I spent maybe $11,000 of that allocation.

I did the same approach for my second year, but that was 2020. So it all went to pieces due to the pandemic.

Now in year 3 of my retirement, I have decided to not pre-plan my spending so much. I'm comfortable with what I spend and how I fund it. If all goes well, I will likely spend $10-15,000 on travel this year. At least I'm comfortable spending that much if it happens. It might not.

My plan is that about $15,000 per year in travel is acceptable to me. I'm single, so that's for one person.

I just fund it the same way I fund every expense. I'm currently spending from a pile in my Ally savings account. If I need more, I'll start augmenting with dividends (they are currently being re-invested). If I need more, I'll sell something.
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:45 AM   #3
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My wife and I have been spending around $9,000 per year for travel, but plan to take more and longer trips starting this year so will bump travel to $18,000. We treat it as any other expense.
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:04 AM   #4
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I, uh, have budgeted $25k per year for one person while retired...I will fund early on out of cash savings, then it will just be part of the budget moving forward. I will probably not spend that much but want to have it available if I want it to be. I have some serious bucket list trips on my radar.....

I will pull the plug later this year or next summer....
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:15 AM   #5
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My budgeted travel is part of my regular expense/withdrawal plan. As a solo traveler, it's targeted at $20K/year. But since I just retired, it's actually hard for me to pull the trigger on spending it! (Don't worry ... I'll figure it out )
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:22 AM   #6
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My wife and I budget $8K/yr for travel and I budget $4K/yr for golf. We fund it like any other expense.
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:47 AM   #7
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We spend about $20K year on travel. Sometimes less, sometimes more. We do not have a budget. Two people. Does not matter to us if the Y/E number is $15K, 25K, or more.

Travel costs can be extremely variable based on where you travel, when you travel, and how you travel. We do a fair amount of air, no star to six star, plus the occasional cruise.

We have a bucket list. We typically do 2 international trips per year. 7-10 weeks per trip. Plus some one weeks in between such as a Christmas AI with our daughter and family in Mexico. We seldom book far in advance and take advantage of late booking prices.

We always try to deal direct. When we did our SA safari we were not that impressed with the travel agency. We did some research, selected a vendor, and then dealt direct with them in SA via email, skype, etc. We realized a 20 percent saving simply by doing that and we had the advantage of getting accurate information.

We also match up currency fluctuations to our bucket list. We saved 15 percent on our 5 week trip to South Africa simply by delaying the trip by one year. They SA rand dropped 15 percent in value vis a vis our currency. We shop internationally. On our pre covid Mexico trip we purchased two 5 day resort stays from a firm in the UK. We did a 21 day Aus/NZ cruise and saved 30 plus percent by booking it direct in Australia vs with a US/Canada TA/direct. Same for domestic air in some countries.....Argentina, Turkey, Mexico, and most recently Greece.

There are ways to reduce the cost of travel and/or to increase type of travel simply ,or upgrade your travel. The internet is very much your friend when it comes to shopping for traval products.
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:50 AM   #8
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Oh, and I've discovered a new hobby that I'm working on accommodating in my budget. My sister gave me a mystery game subscription for Christmas (deadboltmysterysociety.com, although I'm finding there are a ton of companies that so similar things) and I'm hooked! They're about $25/each, so if I just do one a week (they take a few hours each) that's $1,300 a year. And I could probably double that, especially when the weather is bad outside! But again, it will come out of my general entertainment budget.
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Old 04-30-2021, 10:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ChicagoGal View Post
Oh, and I've discovered a new hobby that I'm working on accommodating in my budget. My sister gave me a mystery game subscription for Christmas (deadboltmysterysociety.com, although I'm finding there are a ton of companies that so similar things) and I'm hooked! They're about $25/each, so if I just do one a week (they take a few hours each) that's $1,300 a year. And I could probably double that, especially when the weather is bad outside! But again, it will come out of my general entertainment budget.
Not to divert the topic of the thread, but, ok, I have too... This sounds very interesting to me and I have started perusing the website you mention. It sounds like you might do these mysteries solo. Is that correct? I'd also like to try this, but would probably have to do most of them solo. I would take one to my planned week at the lake house in July with friends and force them to do it. But otherwise, I'd probably be on my own. Thoughts on just one person using it?
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Old 04-30-2021, 10:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by PaunchyPirate View Post
Not to divert the topic of the thread, but, ok, I have too... This sounds very interesting to me and I have started perusing the website you mention. It sounds like you might do these mysteries solo. Is that correct? I'd also like to try this, but would probably have to do most of them solo. I would take one to my planned week at the lake house in July with friends and force them to do it. But otherwise, I'd probably be on my own. Thoughts on just one person using it?
Yes, I do them by myself and love it. Definitely possible, although I do delve into the hints now and again when I get stuck.

I'm hoping to find other local folks who like this sort of thing, as I do think it might be fun with a small (2-4 ppl) group. Then again, I'm a little bit of a control freak, so that might not be a good idea!!

There are Facebook groups devoted to this type of games, so I've found a bunch of other recommendations from there. So far, DMS is my favorite - I've done 11 of them since January. PM me if you want any more info.
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Old 04-30-2021, 10:51 AM   #11
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We each have personal "spending money" from our budget every month--that is used for any hobbies, purchases, etc outside of the monthly budget.
We also budget $10-15,000 yearly for travel.
We do have one big bucket item in the near future (3-5 years) when DGKs are older--a family trip, hopefully to Hawaii. We have that earmarked as a withdrawal in our financial plan.
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Old 04-30-2021, 11:44 AM   #12
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No budget, but I spend about $20-25k per normal year on hobbies and travel combined. Mostly camera and woodworking for hobbies and mainly domestic travel.
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Old 04-30-2021, 12:35 PM   #13
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Going into retirement I estimated $25K annual for our travel (vacation and otherwise)as a starting point, to build our overall spending plan. Since retiring we really do not budget, we just look at overall cash outflow.

Before the pandemic our actual spending was slightly below that. As things open up we do not see us spending as much. We made multiple kids living abroad that drove the travel budget, and a couple have decided to return to the states, so that will reduce our travel costs. Last year we thought our first cruise and 4 family weddings, in addition to other travel/vacation plans, would have been our most expensive travel year, but of course the pandemic eliminated all of that.

For hobbies, I did not have a good idea since it is tough to anticipate what additional hobbies I would take up (or what current ones might dwindle away), so I used the last 10 years spending as a guide for a rough estimate. Like travel, we do not budget but but just look at overall cash flow.

Our actual spending (even without the pandemic factor) has been much lower than anticipated, so we have a lot of room for more travel/hobby activities if we so choose.
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Old 04-30-2021, 12:56 PM   #14
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I'm single but tend to pay most of my girlfriend's expenses when we travel together and much of my adult son's expenses when we do our "annual" dive trip together.

But I don't keep track of how much I spend on travel in retirement. I'm guessing it must be a good $20k to $30k in a normal year. I do try to keep around $10k in checking to buffer lumpy travel expenses and my retirement income is more than double my basic stay-at-home expenses, thus no need to obsess over precise numbers...
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Old 04-30-2021, 12:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmitchell View Post
I'm trying to estimate costs and spending strategy after I leave work. As I'm planning to RE in my 50s and expecting to spend more in the first few years ticking off my bucket list I'm wondering:

1. How much on average do you spend on hobbies/travel annually (solo/couple)?

2. Do you just take this out of your portfolio along with expenses, or do you have a bucket set aside?

3. Have you seen a change in this over time, or has it remained relatively stable year over year (obviously pandemic made a dent, so I mean otherwise).


Thanks!
1) Travel budget expense is 15k yearly. No hobbies per se, but would be included in our entertainment budget.
2) It is just another expense and no buckets set aside for it.
3) Besides Covid, our actual travel expense has been fairly consistent at 10k.
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Old 04-30-2021, 02:33 PM   #16
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We have budgeted $10K for travel and $10K for hobbies. I think I might run short but we have lot of fudge factory built in.
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Old 04-30-2021, 02:47 PM   #17
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I'm targeting about $25,000 a year in discretionary spending for the first six to eight years.
That's just a WAG based on the trips we've taken recently, and current prices on package vacations.
Some of the travel we will do will be pretty low budget just because we have friends to visit in other countries and plenty of things to do near them. They have room for us to stay, so I'd be out a rental car and daily expenditures at most.
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Old 05-01-2021, 06:43 AM   #18
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Our travel spending varies quite a bit depending on the trips, but we budget $40K for two people. We don’t fly first class and typically stay in Airbnb’s or very small resorts. We like long trips and often go to remote destinations. Currently we are in the US Virgin Islands for 2 months, and we are planning a Galapagos trip for a month in early 2022.

None of our travel involves staying with friends or family. Lodging is a big part of costs.
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Old 05-01-2021, 07:09 AM   #19
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Percentages might be just as useful. I just calculated, and realized I (a single) spend between 20-25% of my annual income on my hobby, which includes travel! And I am at the lower end of the income spectrum here. My other expenses aren't huge, though I'm starting to hear the siren call of various home improvements.

I'm not sure what you mean by separate buckets. It's part of my budget spreadsheet under a separate column heading - is that separate or included?
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Old 05-01-2021, 07:12 AM   #20
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Percentages might be just as useful. I just calculated, and realized I (a single) spend between 20-25% of my annual income on my hobby, which includes travel!
Similar here. Looking at our spending over the last 14 years, the Hobby/Travel category has been right at 25% of the total.
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