3 Make-or-Break Retirement Expenses You Haven’t Planned For

You’re halfway to the airport, flying off for a business trip, when you feel something missing in your pocket – your wallet. Now, you are a good packer. You make checklists of necessities every time, marking each item as it’s packed. But your wallet is such an automatic “take item” that it didn’t occur to you to write it on your list, and as you shuffled everything around, it was left on the kitchen table. You turn around and speed towards your house, run inside for your wallet, and speed back down the freeway to the airport, nearly missing your flight.

If you’ve ever had an experience like that, you know just how easy it is to think you have everything accounted for, only to find out you’ve missed something vital. A wallet can be retrieved. Your retirement cannot. Here are three expenses you might have left off your checklist.

1.     Replacements

As long as they’re working, most of us forget that expensive items eventually wear out. When is the last time you replaced your roof? Your water heater? Furnace? Major appliances? Your car? You’ll want to have enough cash available within your savings and investments to address those needs as they arise.

2.     Survivor’s Benefits

Have you planned adequately for your spouse after you’re gone? Hopefully, you’ve planned for both of you to live a very long time, but someone has to go first. If your spouse ends up living a very, very long time, will he or she have the funds to live comfortably and get necessary care?

3.     Uninsured Expenses

Even if you have home-owner’s insurance, car insurance, and health insurance – some expenses just aren’t insured. For example, Medicare and many private health insurance policies don’t cover much in the way of dental, hearing and vision care – and forget about long-term care. For most retirees, it’s dental care that costs the most (Fidelity Investments estimated that health care premiums and other medical costs total $200,000 or more during retirement).

Life is full of surprises, but don’t let yourself be caught off guard financially. You may experience bad luck, but that’s no excuse for bad planning.