Expect the Unexpected in Retirement

Expect the Unexpected in Retirement

You probably know that preparation is key to ensuring you enjoy the most worry-free retirement possible. You probably also know that life is always capable of bringing surprises, and not always the good kind.

Many retirees are surprised to find that retirement isn’t quite what they’d planned for. There are costs that they didn’t expect, or they may find that the lifestyle they’d envisioned isn’t really what they want. While you can’t predict the future, you can take steps to help prepare yourself for when the unexpected happens.

Below are three common retirement surprises. Keep these in mind as you develop your retirement plan.

Emergency Expenses in Retirement

From a major home repair to sudden health problems, any number of events might occur that bring significant bills. Unexpected medical expenses are probably one of the most common causes of financial difficulties for retirees. People often wrongly assume Medicare covers all health care costs. The truth is, however, it doesn’t. Fidelity estimates the average couple will spend $260,000 out of pocket on health care in retirement.1

The need for long-term care is another source of out-of-pocket medical bills. Medicare does not cover long-term care, and the possibility of it being necessary is high. Many people don’t realize that the average 65-year-old has a 70 percent chance of needing long-term care at some point in his or her life.2

Building up a reserve fund to cover emergency expenses can help ensure you’re prepared for such potentialities. You may also want to consider purchasing long-term care insurance to further help protect against these costs.

The Spending Trap

You may not think your spending habits will change much when you retire. Many people even assume they’ll spend less money in retirement, but in reality it’s quite common for people to actually increase their spending after they retire. Be aware of the spending trap in which the newly retired often fall.

The combination of more free time and money than you may have had before can be dangerous to your financial health. Many retirees fill their newfound free time with traveling, shopping, dining out and pursuing expensive hobbies. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with any of these activities, excessive spending can jeopardize your financial security later in your retirement.

Using a budget to guide your spending can be a good strategy to help ensure it stays within your means. Consider taking the time to identify what’s most important to you, and try to find creative ways to pursue your interests without draining your savings. Staying mindful of the ways you spend your time and money in retirement will also likely lead to a greater sense of fulfillment.

The Adjustment Period

Even if you’ve been eagerly counting down the days until your retirement, it’s still a major life change that can require some adjustment. Many people find it difficult to get used to life as a retiree, or even find that it doesn’t suit them.

It’s not uncommon to miss the feelings of challenge or purpose that working can bring. Will you enjoy the lack of structure and obligation in your daily life? Or, in reality, will you find it boring? It may help to transition into retirement more gradually. You might consider adopting a phased schedule or part-time position doing something that you enjoy and that will enable you to utilize your talents and skills.

Is your retirement plan prepared for the unexpected? Let’s talk about it. Contact us at Intelliplan Financial. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon.


This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice.

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