Wednesday, February 21, 2018

20 More Things About Retirement (Part 1 of 2)

After my little rant on retirement planning the other day, I thought about the many other things that went into planning for our retirement (or stuff we didn't even consider until much later), they include:

  1. If you are buying a "forever" house, it should probably be a single level house.  All of our houses have been two-story or tri-level houses including the house we have now but as we get older it kind of makes sense to have a single level house if you plan on living there the rest of your life for ease of access.
  2. When we moved hubby DID NOT want a big yard.  With a big yard we either ended up hiring landscapers to take care of it or doing the yard ourselves (a lot of work and neither one of us are yard people).  Our current yard requires a bit of landscaping a couple times a year because there are only palm trees and a couple of shrubs, and lots of rocks and gravel for a 'desert' look.
  3. We also made a point to buy a smaller house.  That means less cost (usually), less area to clean, less maintenance costs, and less area to paint/put in new flooring/etc.  
  4. Even if you retire and find your "forever home", you still need a fund to replace things that will eventually break or wear out.  So far we have replaced a built-in microwave, a hot water tank, a garbage disposal, a garage door opener, etc.  Most of these things have a certain life span so will eventually need to be replaced.  Fortunately we have a tile roof which should last for 50 years but some roofs need to be replaced more often than that.
  5. Maintenance costs are an area of the budget that have increased.  Years ago we fixed literally everything in our very old house, we even built a small house from the ground up.  These days anything that requires heavy lifting (we are both old and weak and don't want to injure ourselves), climbing on the roof, or other complicated fixes (replacing the toilet wax rings, for example) get hired out.  This is yet another area you will need to budget additional money for.
  6. Utilities and other housing costs.  I've never seen utility costs go down, only up.  Ditto with property taxes, HOA fees, etc.  This can be a challenge for people on a fixed income (especially property tax in an area where housing is booming); this is yet another thing to budget for in the future.
  7. Transportation costs.  Cars wear our eventually which will either require a replacement vehicle or a change in the way you transport yourself.  The cost of a new car is astronomical these days and on a fixed income, buying a new car may be a financial challenge.  Car insurance costs are always going up, and as you age, driving may become more difficult.  I did a little math and it looks like it would be cheaper for us to take public transit and Uber instead of owning cars but hubby likes his car very much and said "no way" to that idea.  
  8. Our cost for clothing has gone down.  We no longer need a work wardrobe and no longer shop at Macys and Saks.  These days we buy all the clothes we need at the Goodwill.  I do splurge on shoes, usually on clearance at TJ Maxx or Marshalls.
  9. Depending on your insurance, healthcare costs may remain the same or go through the roof.  It is shocking to hear how much some elderly people have to pay for their monthly medications.  People who have to pay their own insurance plan costs can find the costs doubling or tripling each year!
  10. We decided where to move for retirement based on several things including weather (no shoveling snow!!!), poker rooms (hubby likes to play poker so a state where this is legal was a requirement), cost of housing (at the time the housing market was bottom of the barrel here so we paid a super low price for our house; unless I was a multi-millionaire I wouldn't even consider moving to the hot housing markets like the Bay area, Seattle, etc due to the massive cost of housing), property tax (very low property tax here), general cost of living, state income tax (none here!), gun laws (I like my guns), easy access to an airport, etc.

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