My husband and I don’t talk often about retirement. We’re saving for it and being responsible about it, but it’s not really anything we care too much about right now. For one, we’re living a good life right now and enjoying every moment of it. Secondly, we have four small kids so our retirement isn’t so much a topic of discussion around the house as when we can get a break, how many more days until the big girls go back to school and how two 2-year-olds is pretty rough sometimes. We are just too busy living and loving life to want to rush things along.
However, there are a number of people who are getting close to retirement. Some think about it with excitement while others are nervous that they cannot afford to retire. No matter where you stand in terms of your finances and retirement, there are a few things I bet you didn’t consider before now. Sure, you know you want to travel and enjoy your life, but have you delved far enough into retirement to think about making a budget? Will you sell your home and downsize? What will you do to make retirement more affordable? I’m betting there are at least a few things you forgot to put in the budget, so here we go.
Babies, Babies, Babies
No, not your babies! At this point, you’re just plain crazy if you want to have more of your own. However, your kids might start having kids of their own. From what I hear, grandchildren are the best kids in the world. They love you more than anyone else, they adore you and they are not yours to keep so you can give them back and live life to the fullest anytime you want. But, can you afford them in retirement? Can you afford to take them on vacation, visit them if they don’t live near you, spoil them? It’s a big cost; just imagine Christmas morning with multiple grandkids running around hoping that you have lots of gifts for them to open (I’m perfectly aware this is not what Christmas is about, but I was a child, I have kids and I know how good it feels to spoil the littlest people in your life as much as you can).
Things To Do
I think working is probably a lot less expensive than being retired. I mean, you’re going to be home all day, every single day. What will you do to entertain yourself? When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter (she’ll be 8 on Sunday…be still my heart), I left my job when I was 29 weeks along to enjoy the remainder of my pregnancy. I was so excited not to have to use an alarm every single day and not have anything to have to do. That lasted all of a week. By then, I was tired of sleeping in, I’d read four books, I’d spent countless hours in and by the pool, I’d shopped, I’d redecorated, our house was as spotless as imaginable; I was bored.
The thing about retirement is that you have to find something to keep you busy, and that might take a huge chunk of your budget. Just be prepared for that, and you’ll likely find that life is more enjoyable.
Unless you are the healthiest person that ever lived and you need no prescription drugs, you’re going to have to pay for these. Sadly, the medications that so many retirees are faced with needing to get through life are outrageously expensive. Even with insurance or Medicare, you’re going to pay a premium out-of-pocket in terms of your prescription drugs. Some more than others, of course, but you still need to allow yourself a budget allowance for this one.
Now that you’ve planned out your retirement, you know you want to travel. Have you taken the time to figure out how often you’d like to travel, where you’d like to go and how much you can afford to travel? It’s not cheap, and it’s something many people surprisingly fail to plan for. You want to travel, but you never take into consideration how much it will cost you to do just that. It’s time to add it to the budget.
Maybe I’m wrong but I have this strange thought that when it’s time to retire, things won’t go wrong in life. All our household appliances will work just fine. We will never need the pool worked on or a new roof installed. We won’t have to worry about things happening unexpectedly. I have no idea why I feel that way, but I do. I know it’s not accurate, but for some reason I cannot stop thinking about it. Either way, however, you’ll need to make room in the budget for the unexpected. It will happen.
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