A list of typical and essential retirement expenses

Everyone's needs are different when it comes to getting ready for retirement. That’s particularly true when it comes to expenses. Some may seem to be essential to some, while to others these may be considered luxuries. Learn what is now considered a basic expense in retirement. 

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What retirees now consider essential expenses

When you hear the term “basic expenses” you may think about the cost of housing, healthcare, food, and things of that nature. Today’s seniors, however, may also consider technology an essential item on their retirement expense list:

  1. Internet access is now integral to having a comfortable retirement. For both pre-retirees and retirees, having an online connection is on par with the “must haves” of healthcare coverage and staying in their home.
  2. Most people also consider other technology-related items, specifically smart phones, high-definition TV, and streaming services to be things they can’t live without. Pre-retirees more often consider smart phones a basic need, while retirees more often consider high-definition TV a basic expense.
  3. Some innovations and technology-related items are apt to be viewed as non-essentials, however, particularly among retirees. For example, music streaming, video on demand, and transportation services like Uber and Lyft are largely classified as luxuries. However, one in four pre-retirees considered music streaming and Uber and Lyft transportation to be basic expenses.
  4. Dining out is a luxury for most consumers. Ten years ago, most consumers considered dining out to be a basic expense. Fast-forward to today, and it appears that consumers are being a bit more frugal, in this area, at least. Dining out is now considered to be a luxury.
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Consumers generally don’t change a lot over time in terms of how they view the broad classification of basic expenses vs. luxuries. But they do shift. Overall, about half of pre-retirees and just over a third of retirees say they have changed their views over the past 10 years.

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