Retirement & Financial Planning Report

A third of retirees in a recent survey said that they found expenses in retirement higher than they had expected pre-retirement, including a tenth describing their expenses as much higher.

The survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute found the difference the most pronounced regarding medical and dental expenses, which 25 percent called higher and another 13 percent called much higher than expected. Meanwhile, 24 percent said that housing expenses were either higher or much higher than expected and 21 percent said that of travel, entertainment and leisure expenses.

On the other end, only 10-12 percent said that expenses in each of those categories were lower than expected.

There were special considerations for the other two categories of spending, long-term care expenses and financial support to family members; in both cases about half of respondents said those expenses were not applicable to them. Also, in a sampling conducted after the pandemic hit to supplement results from before that time, the researchers found significant increases in those reporting expenses higher or much higher than expected—for the former category, rising from 18 to 30 percent and for the latter, from 14 to 21 percent.

The report added: “When asked how their overall lifestyle in retirement was now compared with how they expected it to be before they retired, 28 percent of retirees said it was much better or somewhat better than expected.”

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