In my last post, I touched on some basic retirement planning concepts. A brief analysis of your assets, contributions to retirement savings, expected retirement expenses, and goals is a good place to start your analysis and get a snapshot of your progress.
One area many people overlook is how their expenses may change in retirement. Ideally all credit cards, consumer debt and the mortgage will be paid off so only a minimum amount should be needed to sustain your lifestyle. However, other expenses may crop up or get higher and those should be factored into your planning as well.
Leading into the Golden Years of Retirement, many people are still active and mobile. In fact, retirement probably conjures up images of endless rounds of golf and travel to exotic places as well as having the time to volunteer at some of our favorite charities. But, as we get older, we need to be mindful of our health and the expenses related to making sure we are taking care of ourselves properly.
Also, in the event that we need to take things a little easier, it may become necessary to hire someone to help with various tasks around the house. Even if it is employing a nice teenage boy from the neighborhood to mow the lawn, you will want to compensate him for his time and effort.
Along the same lines, having meals prepared for you may be an added expense that needs to be factored into the budget. Whether it means going out to restaurants more often or having a service that delivers meals to your home, if your capacity to cook for yourself is compromised, you need to consider this extra expense.
Similarly, housekeeping services may need to be in place. Granted, some people may just want those services in place because they’ve always done it themselves and would like a break from it, but others will legitimately need the help due to physical limitations. Either way, if it is a service that has not been utilized in the past, it is important to do some research to make sure there are funds available for it.
One area I know will impact us personally is home repairs, and I need to do some research. I have been incredibly blessed by my husband’s talents and abilities to take care of our home. He does pretty much all of our home repairs himself with the exception of some of the really big jobs like the air conditioning (which is one reason why we have a home warranty in place). So, my assignment is to find out how much some of these repairs would cost if we need to hire someone to do them, then I need to make sure that I account for that when I’m considering our retirement plans.
Not only does my husband do the majority of our home repairs, but he also does some of the basic maintenance on our cars such as oil changes and brake jobs. We have a reliable mechanic whom we trust with the larger maintenance issues that crop up so he would likely be our go-to person for the oil changes and brake jobs, too. However, we will need to factor in paying for his time, not just paying for the parts like we do now. (Of course, if I had things my way, I wouldn’t even own a car, I’d just call a cab to take me places!)
I hope this list has helped you walk through your own expenses and take a look at how things might change for you in retirement. Your list may look very similar to this or it might be entirely different. The important thing is to make sure you put thought into this area because it is just as much a part of the retirement planning process as the amount you have saved and your retirement age.
“Help carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.”—Galatians 6:2