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7 Surprising Expenses Retirees Often Forget to Plan For

Published by Violet
Edited: 1 month ago
Published: June 16, 2024

7 Surprising Expenses Retirees Often Forget to Plan For: Ensuring a Comfortable and Secure Post-Career Lifem Retirement is a time to relax, travel, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, many retirees find themselves facing unexpected expenses that can impact their financial security. Here are seven surprising expenses that

7 Surprising Expenses Retirees Often Forget to Plan For

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7 Surprising Expenses Retirees Often Forget to Plan For: Ensuring a Comfortable and Secure Post-Career Lifem

Retirement is a time to relax, travel, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, many retirees find themselves facing unexpected expenses that can impact their financial security. Here are seven surprising expenses that retirees often forget to plan for:

Health Care Costs

While Medicare covers many health care expenses for those over 65, retirees may still face significant out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, copayments, and prescription drugs. It’s essential to factor in the cost of supplemental insurance or long-term care if needed.

Home Maintenance and Repairs

As homes age, repairs become necessary. Roofs leak, pipes burst, and appliances break down. Retirees may overlook the cost of maintaining their home or paying for unexpected repairs.

Transportation Costs

Retirees may no longer need a car to commute, but they still need transportation for doctor appointments, errands, and social activities. The cost of public transportation, fuel, maintenance, or insurance should be considered.

Travel Expenses

Retirement is an excellent time to travel, but the costs can add up quickly. Airfare, accommodations, meals, and activities can be expensive. Retirees may also need to budget for unexpected travel expenses.

5. Entertainment and Hobbies

Retirement offers ample time for hobbies, but they can be costly. Golf clubs, art classes, or gardening supplies all require an investment. Retirees should factor in the cost of their desired activities and hobbies.

6. Taxes

Retirees may still be subject to taxes on their income, social security benefits, or investments. It’s essential to understand the tax implications of retirement and plan accordingly.

7. Closing Costs

Finally, retirees may overlook the cost of selling their home or buying a new one. Closing costs, real estate agent fees, and moving expenses can add up quickly.


Retirement comes with many surprises, and unexpected expenses can impact your financial security. By planning for these seven surprising costs, retirees can ensure a comfortable and secure post-career life.

7 Surprising Expenses Retirees Often Forget to Plan For

I. Introduction

Retirement planning is an essential aspect of one’s financial well-being, as it prepares individuals for the significant transition from earning a regular income to living off their savings and investments. **Planning** is crucial because retirement expenses can add up quickly, especially when considering the common categories like




, and




Even after retirement, individuals still need a place to live. Depending on one’s circumstances, housing expenses might include mortgage payments or rent, property taxes, maintenance costs, and potential home modifications for accessibility.


Healthcare expenses are another major consideration. While Medicare covers some costs, many out-of-pocket expenses remain, such as premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and prescription drugs. Long-term care is not covered by Medicare but can be quite expensive.


Food costs remain a constant in everyone’s budget, even in retirement. Depending on one’s dietary needs and preferences, these expenses can vary significantly.

Surprising Retirement Expenses:

It’s essential not to overlook the so-called “surprising” or “forgotten” retirement expenses. These can include things like


, which many people look forward to but don’t plan for adequately;

entertainment and hobbies

, which can help maintain a high quality of life but add up over time; or unexpected expenses like

home repairs



. Planning for these expenses can help ensure a more comfortable and secure retirement experience.

7 Surprising Expenses Retirees Often Forget to Plan For

Health Care Costs Beyond Medicare

As people enter retirement, they may find that their health care costs are not fully covered by Medicare. While Medicare is a crucial safety net for many seniors, it only pays for a portion of their health care expenses.

Description of how Medicare covers only a portion of healthcare costs in retirement

Medicare is primarily designed to cover essential health care services for individuals aged 65 and older. However, it does not cover all costs associated with healthcare during retirement. For instance, Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) have deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. These out-of-pocket costs can add up significantly over time.

Overview of out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles, copays, and prescription drugs


Medicare Part A has an annual deductible that seniors must pay before Medicare begins covering their hospital costs. The standard Part A deductible for 2021 is $1,484 per benefit period.


After meeting the deductible, Medicare Part A covers most of the hospital costs for up to 60 days in a benefit period. However, seniors are responsible for a coinsurance payment of $371 per day for days 61 to 90 and $742 per day for lifetime reserve days.


Medicare Part B has an annual deductible of $203, which seniors must pay before Medicare begins covering their medical expenses. After meeting the deductible, they pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for most doctor visits, outpatient therapy, and other services.

Prescription Drugs:

Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs, but seniors pay a monthly premium, an annual deductible (which can vary), and coinsurance or copays for their prescriptions.

Discussion of long-term care costs and the potential need for long-term care insurance or other solutions

Long-Term Care Costs:

Long-term care, which includes assisted living, home health care, and nursing home care, is not covered by Medicare unless it is considered rehabilitative in nature. According to Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, the national average monthly cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home is $7,330.

Long-Term Care Insurance or Other Solutions:

Given the high cost of long-term care, many seniors turn to long-term care insurance or other financial solutions. Long-term care insurance can help cover the costs associated with long-term care, but it can be costly and complex. Other solutions include reverse mortgages, annuities, and Medicaid planning. It’s essential for seniors to explore their options carefully and consider their individual circumstances before making a decision.

7 Surprising Expenses Retirees Often Forget to Plan For

I Home Maintenance and Repairs

Home ownership comes with its fair share of responsibilities, and one of the most significant aspects is maintaining the property and addressing any necessary repairs. Over time, these costs can add up substantially.

Explanation of how home maintenance and repairs can add up over time

Home maintenance refers to the regular care and upkeep required to keep a house in good condition. Repairs, on the other hand, address specific issues that arise when components of a home deteriorate or malfunction. Unfortunately, both maintenance and repairs are ongoing expenses that can add up over time.

Description of common home repair expenses

  1. Roof Replacement: The average cost of a new roof ranges from $5,000 to $12,000 or more depending on the size and materials used. Proper maintenance can help extend the life of a roof, but eventually, replacements become necessary.
  2. HVAC System Repairs: Heating and cooling systems can cost between $3,000 to $10,000 or more for major repairs or complete system replacements. Regular maintenance can help prevent costly breakdowns but won’t entirely eliminate the need for occasional repairs.
  3. Plumbing Issues: Leaks, clogs, and other plumbing problems can range from minor repairs to significant overhauls. The average cost for plumbing services is around $450 to $700 per call, with larger projects costing thousands.

Discussion of options for managing these costs, including home warranty policies and DIY solutions

Homeowners have several options to help manage the costs associated with maintenance and repairs. One popular choice is investing in a home warranty policy, which provides coverage for major systems and appliances. These policies typically cost between $300 and $600 per year but can save homeowners thousands in repair or replacement costs.

Another option is taking a DIY approach to maintenance tasks whenever possible. Homeowners with the time, skills, and confidence can save significant sums by tackling projects themselves rather than hiring professionals. DIY tools, resources, and tutorials are abundant online to help those interested in taking on home repairs and maintenance.

7 Surprising Expenses Retirees Often Forget to Plan For

Transportation Expenses

Transportation costs can continue to be a significant expense in retirement, especially for those who rely heavily on personal vehicles. The need for mobility does not disappear once an individual retires and may even increase due to frequent travel for medical appointments, social activities, or hobbies.

Explanation of how transportation costs can continue to be a significant expense in retirement:

Retirees often face higher transportation expenses than working individuals due to the absence of commuting costs. However, they may encounter new expenses related to maintaining an active social life, which often requires mobility. Additionally, health issues and limited mobility can make transportation even more crucial and costly.

Description of common transportation expenses:

Car maintenance and repairs: Owning a car in retirement can be costly, particularly as vehicles age. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and inspections, can add up quickly. Unexpected repairs can also strain a budget.

Fuel costs: Gasoline prices continue to fluctuate, making it challenging for retirees to budget for fuel. Driving long distances for vacations or frequent trips to the grocery store can add up over time.

Public transit fares: Transit systems provide an alternative to owning a car, but they still come with costs. Monthly passes or individual fares can add up for frequent users.

Discussion of alternatives to owning a car:

For retirees seeking to reduce transportation expenses, alternatives to car ownership exist. Ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, offer flexibility and convenience at a potentially lower cost than owning a car. Public transportation can also be an affordable option for those living in urban areas or near public transit routes. Walking, biking, and carpooling are other cost-effective alternatives to consider.


While these options can help reduce transportation expenses, they may not be suitable for everyone. Retirees with limited mobility or health issues may require the use of a personal vehicle to maintain their independence and quality of life.

7 Surprising Expenses Retirees Often Forget to Plan For

Travel and Entertainment Expenses in Retirement

Retirement is a time to relax, explore new interests, and enjoy the fruits of one’s labor. However, travel and entertainment expenses can add up quickly, potentially leading to unexpected financial stress. Bold and exciting as retirement may be, it’s essential to consider these costs and plan accordingly.

The Hidden Cost of Travel and Entertainment

Travel and entertainment expenses can be significant in retirement due to the frequency and variety of activities. From vacations and hobbies to membership fees and dining out, these costs can add up quickly.

Common Travel and Entertainment Expenses


One of the most common travel expenses in retirement is vacations. Whether it’s a cross-country road trip, an exotic cruise, or a relaxing beach vacation, the cost of travel, accommodations, and activities can add up. According to AARP, the average retired couple spends around $6,840 annually on vacations.


Hobbies and interests can also contribute to travel and entertainment expenses. For example, a retiree who enjoys golfing may spend thousands on green fees, equipment, and travel to different courses. Similarly, a retiree passionate about photography may invest in expensive cameras, classes, or travel to capture the perfect shot.

Membership Fees:

Membership fees are another common expense. Retirees might join gyms, country clubs, or arts organizations to stay active, socialize, or pursue new hobbies. According to Bankrate, the average household spends $645 annually on membership fees.

Dining Out:

Lastly, dining out is a significant entertainment expense for many retirees. Eating out frequently can add up, especially if retirees are eating at restaurants multiple times a week. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans aged 65 and older spend an average of $3,450 annually on food away from home.

Strategies for Managing Travel and Entertainment Expenses



One of the most effective strategies for managing travel and entertainment expenses is to create a budget. Retirees should identify their priorities, set limits on discretionary spending, and allocate funds accordingly. By tracking expenses and sticking to the budget, retirees can enjoy their retirement without worrying about unexpected financial stress.

Finding Free or Low-Cost Activities:

Free or low-cost activities

Another strategy for managing travel and entertainment expenses is to find free or low-cost activities. Retirees can explore local museums, parks, and cultural events, which often have little or no admission fees. Additionally, retirees can pursue hobbies at home, such as gardening, reading, or knitting, which require minimal equipment and supplies.

In Conclusion

Travel and entertainment expenses are a necessary part of retirement. By understanding common expenses, setting a budget, and finding free or low-cost activities, retirees can enjoy their golden years without worrying about unexpected financial stress.

7 Surprising Expenses Retirees Often Forget to Plan For

VI. Taxes and Financial Planning

Taxes can significantly impact the budgets of retirees, as they often have a fixed income and must manage their expenses carefully. Understanding how taxes apply to retirement income is essential for effective financial planning.

Explanation of How Taxes Can Impact Retirees’ Budgets

Retirees may be subject to various taxes, including income taxes and property taxes. The sources of retirement income, such as Social Security benefits, pensions, or withdrawals from retirement accounts, can all have different tax implications. For instance, income from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s is generally taxed as ordinary income when distributed in retirement, while Roth IRA withdrawals are typically tax-free.

Description of Common Tax-Related Expenses in Retirement

Income taxes: In retirement, income from various sources may be subject to federal and state income taxes. This can include Social Security benefits (which may be taxed if certain income thresholds are met), withdrawals from retirement accounts, pensions, and part-time work earnings.

Property taxes: Homeowners in retirement will continue to be responsible for paying property taxes on their residences, which can add a substantial expense to their annual budget. Property taxes may increase over time due to reassessments or local tax rate adjustments.

Discussion of Strategies for Managing Taxes in Retirement

To minimize the impact of taxes on retirement income, retirees should consider several strategies. First and foremost, they should understand tax laws related to their sources of income and any applicable deductions or credits that may be available. They can also seek the advice of a professional tax advisor to help optimize their retirement income and minimize taxes.

Another strategy involves tax-efficient withdrawals from retirement accounts, such as taking distributions from taxable accounts before tax-free Roth accounts to minimize overall taxes paid. Retirees might also consider tax-loss harvesting, which involves selling securities at a loss to offset gains and reduce overall taxable income.

Finally, retirees may want to consider tax-free sources of income, such as municipal bonds or annuities, to help lower their overall taxable income and reduce their tax liability. By taking a proactive approach to managing taxes in retirement, retirees can maximize the value of their income and enjoy greater peace of mind during their golden years.

7 Surprising Expenses Retirees Often Forget to Plan For


V In our discussion on retiree expenses, we’ve explored seven surprising costs that often get overlooked during retirement planning.


, we touched upon the escalating cost of healthcare and prescription medications, which can be a significant financial burden for retirees.


, we delved into the unexpected expense of home maintenance and repairs, which can add up over time.


, we examined the impact of travel expenses on retirees’ budgets, as many plan to explore new places and experiences.


, we discussed the hidden cost of hobbies and interests, which can quickly add up for those with numerous passions.


, we addressed the cost of long-term care, which is essential to consider given the high probability of needing it as we age.


, we looked at the impact of inflation on retirees’ purchasing power and the importance of adjusting budgets accordingly. Lastly,


, we highlighted the cost of taxes, which can vary greatly depending on one’s location and income level.

Despite these potential expenses, it is crucial not to underestimate the importance of thorough retirement planning and budgeting.

Preparing for retirement involves more than just saving enough to cover living expenses; it also requires considering unexpected costs, inflation, and potential long-term care needs.

Thus, it is essential

to take a comprehensive approach when planning for retirement and to be willing to make adjustments as circumstances change.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure about how best to prepare for your retirement expenses, consider consulting a financial professional

or seeking out additional resources. A financial advisor can provide personalized guidance based on your unique circumstances and goals, while resources such as the Social Security Administration website can help you understand various benefits and options available. With proper planning and preparation, you can enjoy a financially secure and fulfilling retirement.

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June 16, 2024