Ep 57: Retirement Expenses For Which You Forgot To Plan

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Are you preparing for retirement but feeling confident that you have covered all the expenses? Well, think again… It turns out that many retirees overlook some crucial expenses that can leave them financially vulnerable. In this episode, we explore the retirement expenses that most people tend to forget, including skyrocketing medical bills, unexpected travel costs, taxes, and much more. We’ll discuss practical tips and strategies to help you plan for these expenses and ensure a secure and comfortable retirement.

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PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. The topics and information discussed during this podcast are not intended to provide tax or legal advice. Investments involve risk, and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed on this podcast. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Insurance products and services are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed insurance agents.

Here is a transcript of today’s episode:


Marc: Hey everybody, welcome into the podcast. Thanks for hanging out with John, Nick and myself here on Retirement Planning Redefined as we talk, investing, finance and retirement with the guys from PFG Private Wealth. And this week we’re going to get into retirement expenses for which you might have forgotten to plan for, which certainly happens. So on this episode, we’re going to discuss some practical tips and strategies to help you plan for these expenses and maybe secure a more comfortable retirement. Guys, what’s going on Nick? How are you buddy?


Nick: Pretty good, pretty good. I got some friends coming into town next week and then family trickling in over the next month, so it’s going to be a hectic month.


Marc: Yeah, that’s not bad though.


Nick: That time of year.


Marc: There you go. And spring is upon us, so that’s always good. We’re into March, so that’s a good deal there. John, what’s happening buddy? How are you feeling?


John: I’m feeling okay. Getting there. Getting a little stronger each week so excited about that.


Marc: There you go.


John: But feeling pretty good. We just wrapped up our golf tournament, nonprofit charity golf tournament.


Marc: Oh, fantastic. Yeah.


John: And looking really good. It was a great time. Nick was out there helping me out because I couldn’t lift anything heavy, but it was a great turnout. And it’s year three and looking forward to year four. So.


Marc: That’s awesome. Yeah, fantastic. Always good to hear those success stories. So let’s share some things this week. Let’s get into the podcast here a little bit and talk about some expenses that we might encounter in retirement. And maybe we planned for them, maybe we haven’t. Hopefully we have. But let’s start with a big one obviously, medical expenses. I mean, typically they outpace normal inflation a lot of times. It seems like medical’s just constantly on the rise. So how do we address some of this stuff?


Nick: Yeah, what’s actually been probably at least most recently with a bunch of our clients, the dental expenses have been pretty wild. I know my parents have kind of run into this too. It seems like once you get into your sixties almost everybody has some sort of major dental work and it’s almost impossible to get out of there for less than 10 grand. So it’s interesting too because without going on a massive tangent, dental practices and offices seem to have really gotten down the financing aspect of things. And really they tend to run the businesses pretty tight and costs have gone up pretty substantially.


So yeah, those dental expenses can be a big deal. We tend to make sure that we have a fair amount of money budgeted each year for healthcare related expenses for clients and making sure that we’re allocating the right amount for insurance premiums in that sort of thing. But yeah, those numbers really do add up over time.


Marc: Yeah. They can get pretty staggering. I think it’s what is the average person what, $250,000, something like that in retirement and medical expenses. So I certainly can take off there for sure.


John, what about unexpected travel? Obviously that’s one that when we think about travel as part of our retirement strategy, but where would we find unexpected travel in that situation where it kind of creeps upon us and costs us more than we realize?


John: Yeah, so one thing we’ll always say is things are always going to come up, you can plan as best you can, but something’s always going to come up whenever life happens. So we’ve seen a lot of times where it could be funerals, long distance where people are having to go places they weren’t expecting to go, obviously. And just hotels stay, travel, whether they’re for a week or two, seeing some of that. Or caring for family members that don’t live in the state. So it’s traveling other sides of the country. We’ve seen that quite a bit.


Marc: I’d say, that’s probably a pretty big one, especially for as your retirees, you might have to go take care of a sibling or something who’s having a long-term care event, extended stay. I think my sister had to do that a while back as well. So that’s a great point.


John: And then there’s always the, which I think we’ve all experienced the destination wedding invite where it’s like, oh man, do I really want go to this place? And it’s just like, okay, all right, let’s start adding up the cost. And if it’s a family member, you typically feel obligated to go.


Marc: Yeah, so that’s good point.


John: Those are some of the top three we’ve seen in our practice.


Marc: Do I really want to go to Cabo? Yes. Do I really want to go for my niece’s wedding? No.


John: Sounds about right.


Marc: Yeah. or something like that. Right. So definitely some places where expenses can come up. The medical obviously certainly can get really costly, but then again, so can parental or child assistance. I mean, Nick, more people now are than ever are in the sandwich generation where they’re taking care of maybe an adult child to some degree, helping out and they’re also taking care of their own parent. That’s one thing I’ve heard about.


Nick: Oh yeah, yeah, so the child’s assistance thing, we saw it quite a bit like back in the years, immediately following the great recession, was kind of the first time I had seen that quite a bit where kids were getting out of school, graduating from college and having a hard time finding a job. So back to the parents and some help and that sort of thing.



And then we got that again in the COVID too.


Nick: Yeah, exactly. That’s what I was going to say. From the standpoint of when COVID hit, that was something that impacted quite a bit. The job market’s still pretty good for a lot of fields, but have definitely seen that. And I would say a lot of our clients are also entering into that period of time where there’s more assistance needed for parents. My grandmother’s been living with my parents for, I want to say over 10 years now, but she just turned 90 and now it’s becoming even tougher. And we hear about that quite a bit from clients. And then if their parents are out of town, that’s some that have brought them into town or they travel fairly regularly to go see them. Yeah, it’s a lot on the plate.


Marc: And that’s an expense that can really derail your retirement. I imagine thinking using your parents there as an example, if they weren’t prepared for 10 years of taking care of grandma, I mean that’s an added expense that you just weren’t planning for.


Nick: Yeah, there’s the financial aspect and then even from the standpoint of we are focusing for this on the financial side of things, but even from a lifestyle and mental health standpoint or even just your ability to be able to do the things that you planned and wanted to do, whether it’s travel, that sort of stuff. It can be difficult, for sure.


Marc: Sure. Yeah, definitely affects the family dynamic along with personal relationship and everything because it’s a full-time gig. It can be, for sure.


Nick: Oh yeah.


Marc: So a lot of times we are focusing on the expenses here, but that’s a good point to bring up as well. So planning and strategizing for those things that can maybe be overlooked or forgotten, certainly important. Taxes, John, is the next one. Now we got a plan for taxes, hopefully we’re doing that. But are we thinking about the possibility of a tax hike because it sure does seem imminent.


John: It does, doesn’t it? You figure with all the spending happening, at a certain point, taxes we’ll have to go up. But that is definitely one that I know we cover quite a bit in our planning is making sure clients are flexible and to adapt in an environment where if tax rates do go up, we really try to make sure people have the ability to adapt to the situation. But I will say this is often overlooked where it’s, oh, you’ll have less income. So your funnel, lower tax bracket is kind of what you normally hear, but it’s definitely something that you want to be able to adapt. So perfect example of this, having some tax free money into retirement where tax brackets go up, you can basically say, Hey, this next three or four, five years, I have at least some Roth IRA money I can pull from where it’s not going to really impact my lifestyle too much. But taxes go up 7%. That’s a big, big dip in your nest egg or your living, your lifestyle,


Marc: Especially if your income stays the same. So your income stays the same when your tax rates jumps from you said what, 7%? So let’s say we go from 25 to 32, that’s not so great, you’re not going to feel so good about that.


John: Yeah, and something else I’ll say we see quite a bit with this is where there’s big expenses in a given year. So we talk about, I know I think we’re probably going to touch on it later, but if there’s like a home remodel expense or whatever it might be, or we had the recent years with COVID, like, hey, I want to buy an RV or whatever it might be, it’s big purchases can also affect those where you might be pulling out 50, 60 grand extra in a given year and if all your money’s pre-taxed, that’s going to be a pretty big hit to you in that year.


Marc: And that’s a good point. So Nick, I know you’ve got a list of a few things to think about in that department from maintenance or repair. Now again, we could strategize for the RV, we could strategize for, and I think this is maybe the point people missed, you tell me if I’m wrong here Nick, but if you’re getting close to retirement and somewhere in retirement, you’re going to probably have to replace your roof, start planning for that so that it’s not an unexpected expense versus just going, oh well now we found out the roof is damaged and we need to repair it. That’s a little different. So I don’t know, what do you think?


Nick: Yeah, for sure. From a planning perspective, the way that we typical typically handle that is we have home maintenance and repair expenses on an annual basis and then we will oftentimes every X amount of years add in an extra bump so that we can show people how we model that out and try to factor that in and build that in. But yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I’ve seen too is I guess and this is definitely not for everybody, but there’s a fair amount of people that like to purchase vehicles cash and just not having the car payment. And that’s something that has been a transition for a bunch of clients where just kind of emphasize with them, they may keep a vehicle for 10 years and so when they do make that new purchase, if we’re taking money out of qualified retirement accounts to do that, you’ve got to take out X amount more and then that hits you from a tax perspective, where really stretching out the payment, taking advantage of lower rates that dealers often offer. Just even little things like that where you may tweak how you’ve spent the funds on certain expenses in the past to just take into consideration what your new reality is in retirement.


Marc: Yeah, definitely.


Nick: It’s important.


Marc: Yeah, if you strategize again, you won’t be caught off guard by some of these expenses that you didn’t plan for. But John, the last one, I mean we got caught off guard for sure on the last one. Many people don’t plan for inflation normally, even when it’s in a normal 2% or 3%, let alone what we’ve just been going through.


John: So yeah, the last couple of years have been interesting for inflation. In a normal environment, it’s obviously not this type of hike in a given year. I mean coming out of a pandemic and then obviously with the Fed raising rates the way they have been doing to try to combat some of that. So normally it’s pretty slow and then all of a sudden it’s like you go to the grocery store and it’s like, whoa, what just happened? I’m paying almost 20% higher for milk or whatever it might be. COVID definitely made things interesting with the supply chain, everything like that, which added to it, which we’re starting to see come down a little bit. But this is a big one that you definitely want to put into your financial plan and you want to stress test the plan saying, Hey, what if inflation does hit 2%, 3%? It’s something that we typically do as well. And if you’re working with somebody, you should do is different categories have different inflation rates. So one thing with medical is historically that has been higher than the normal inflation, which you said would serve around 2%. We normally inflate that about 4%. And if you’re planning to pay for, at this point, most people when they retire aren’t paying for kids’ education but might be paying for grandkids because that’s what they want to do. So you got to pay, that has a different inflation rate. So it’s cool to be able to adjust each category with a different inflation rate when you’re doing planning. So if that’s something you are working with an advisor, you want to ask that question, is the inflation rate you’re giving me kind of general over everything or are we actually putting different inflation rates on different categories?


Marc: That’s a great point.


Nick: And just to jump in here on this one too, obviously inflation has been in the news so much lately. One of the conversations that we’ve been having with people is that really from the standpoint of news, the inflation that they report on, what CPI is really such a specific bundle of goods. Anybody that’s been paying attention to expenses over the last five, six, seven years, they’ve been going up. And so just kind of reminding people that this is happening every year. We just get really mad about it every 15, 16, 17 years, over and over again, rinse, repeat. And so really making sure that they understand that. And also just to another take on the inflation side of things is when they’re looking out over the nest egg and the plan and they kind of look to see, all right, well, I’m going to have X amount of dollars in 20 years, or I’m targeting to try to have X amount of dollars in 20 years or at life expectancy and making sure that they understand, hey, is that in present value? Is that in future value? Because 20, 25 years down the road, that number can start to seem a little, if things are going well, like unwieldy or super optimistic when in reality it could be just when you use the right and when you look at it the right way it’s similar to where you’re at today and stuff like that. So just not having that false sense of security if it’s not warranted is always important. But yeah, inflation’s an important topic.


Marc: Yeah, I mean you got to plan for these expenses. Some things we can’t plan for, but many can, or at least we can try to somewhat strategize for things we think are going to happen because inflation’s always going to be there, tax rates are always going to be there. We don’t always know what they’re going to be, but then some of those other items we can certainly try to strategize for. And by not having the conversation, you’re certainly not doing yourself any favor. Let’s finish off with an email question, guys, whoever wants to take this one and we’ll wrap it up. Thomas wrote in and he says, “Look, we’re retiring in two years and plan to sell the house and move to the beach, and values are still pretty high in my neighborhood to sell the house, so I’m wondering if I should sell it now even though we’re not ready to move and just rent a couple years.” His overall question is, “It a bad idea to rent at this stage of life?”


John: Yeah, that’s a great question. This seems to be coming up quite a bit with what we’re kind of seeing happening in the housing market right now. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a bad idea to rent at this stage of life. I’d more look at it from what’s going on in the housing market, the economy. So that type of strategy right now could be a pretty big risk depending on what happens. Example, if you were to sell your house and anticipate buying in a couple of years. If house prices, again, who knows what’s going to happen, dramatically go up over that next two year period, you could be putting yourself in a really bad position financially depending on what happens. I talked to someone who actually did something like this during COVID where they said, Hey, house prices went up a little. It was right when the boom kind of started where they looked at it and said, house prices are going up. They’re really high. I think they’re going to go down like they did in ’08 and this gentleman sold and then two years later, I mean they kept going up.


Marc: Right.


John: So now basically he’s caught in a tough spot where he was renting for a couple of years and for him to get back into the same house he just sold, I mean he’s paying almost $200,000 more. That’s a big swing. So I don’t know if it’s worth a risk, let’s put it that way, to do that type of strategy because none of us have that crystal ball.


Marc: Yeah, it’s an interesting proposition. A friend of mine did exactly this, Thomas. So he sold his house at the peak actually about eight months ago. I guess maybe that was the peak in this area or that area. But yeah, he decided he was going to get an RV and just drive around camping for a while and he is waiting for the housing price to come down before he goes and gets another place. So he banked on that strategy. He feels like he made the right decision. He’s enjoying the RV time. But every scenario is going to be a bit different with this, to John’s point. So I think it’s always worthwhile to kind of crunch some numbers, run some numbers, get a strategy put together and just stress test some things. Not only just that question from the email this week, but just a general topic that we talked about this week. Have a conversation with a financial professional like the guys at PFG Private Wealth. Get onto their calendar, have a chit chat with them. Stop by the website, check it out at pfgprivatewealth.com. That’s pfgprivatewealth.com to talk with John and Nick and the whole team at PFG Private Wealth. And don’t forget to subscribe to us on Apple, Google, Spotify, whatever platform you like to use. We appreciate your time, as always. Thanks for hanging out with us. For John and Nick, I’m your co-host, Mark. We’ll catch you next time here on Retirement Planning Redefined.