While it’s natural to look ahead to a leisurely retirement, it’s prudent to prepare for expenses that catch many retirees by surprise. In a recent survey, nearly one-third of retirees reported they faced at least four unforeseen expenses during retirement. Some of the most common include:
Inflation: Inflation rates have been low since the 2008-2009 recession. But even subtle increases can add up over time. For example, $100 in June 2009 had the same buying power as $119.52 in June 2020.1 Unless that $100 was invested and grew, it effectively lost 20 percent of its value in just 11 years. And there is no guarantee inflation will remain low. It’s important to retain some investments that will grow your money to keep your retirement funds from losing their purchasing power over time.
Home Expenses: If the value of your home dramatically increases, so will your property taxes. On the flip side, if the value of your house declines dramatically, you may not be able to sell it without a loss. And there are repairs and maintenance to consider. Some financial professionals suggest setting aside 10 percent of your monthly payment, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance for repairs and maintenance. Paying off your mortgage or downsizing can reduce monthly expenses and allow you to hold on to your home until reduced prices rebound.
Social Security and Other Taxes: If you’re like most recipients, you’ll pay income tax on your Social Security benefits. Individuals with total gross income (including benefits) of $25,000 may pay taxes on up to 50 percent of their Social Security benefits. Up to 85 percent of benefits are taxable for individuals with a combined gross income more than $34,000.
And all that pretax money you put into your 401(k) or traditional IRA is taxed at your top ordinary-income tax rate when you withdraw those funds. To mitigate the impact of taxes, consider withdrawing from those accounts earlier or putting money into a Roth IRA, which has no required minimum withdrawals and can be tapped without paying taxes.
Retirement is something most of us look forward to. Ensure your plans aren’t derailed by these unexpected expenses and others. Make sure you’re on the right track. Contact our office for a review of your financial situation and an evaluation of your goals.
Securities America and its representatives do not provide tax advice; therefore it is important to coordinate with your tax advisor regarding your specific situation. https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm