It is frustrating when you spend your life adding to your retirement savings only to watch it slowly drain away. Retirement for most retirees usually means living on a fixed income. Nevertheless, you should not be worried if you are spending within reason. But there are expenses that may threaten your financial well-being in retirement. The following are some costs to monitor.
The first expense to watch is your debt. Debt is another monthly bill to worry about and can get worse when you make the minimum payment. During your working years, make this debt a priority. Minimize this debt by paying off your debt starting with the debt having the highest interest rate. You can also allocate a percentage of any bonuses you receive towards paying this debt.
A second expense that can eat into your retirement savings is health care costs. This can be true even if you have insurance. For example, your insurance could have high deductibles, or you could need care your insurance does not cover. Retirement planning may have taken these contingencies into account, but if not, health care expenses could “eat up” much of your retirement savings.
A third expense that can eat into your retirement savings is care-giving. Sometimes, retirees have living parents who deplete their retirement savings and rely on their children. Some retirees have their adult children back home with them because of the child’s mismanaged money or rotten luck. Remember, you cannot control how other people (including children or parents) manage their money. However, you can have a say in the financial support you provide them. Adult children can pay rent to you and help reduce the financial burden on you in other ways.
A fourth expense that can eat into retirement savings is taxes. You can minimize your taxes by being aware of your contributions and withdrawals from your retirement accounts. These retirement accounts reduce taxable income when you contribute to them but require tax payment when you withdraw. During retirement, know your tax bracket and monitor how much you withdraw from which type of investment account. You can have money in different accounts, but the account that will give you a larger tax break should be your favorite option.