Even after carefully preparing and budgeting for retirement, there are some expenses that may catch you off guard if you aren’t watching for them. In a new article for US News and World Report, contributor Rachel Hartman encourages seniors to identify easy-to-overlook expenses that have the potential to prematurely erode retirement funds.
When it comes to financial products and services, seniors should be aware there can be charges and penalties for inaction. For instance, some brokerage accounts tack on fees if you don’t buy or trade for a few months. According to one interviewed expert, the inactivity fees can be as high as $45 per quarter or $180 per year. And, there are steep penalties for not taking required minimum distributions from IRA accounts after age 70 1/2; failure to meet the deadline could cost 50% of the required withdrawal amount.
Hartman also reminds readers to consider charges associated with local and international travel. As day-to-day driving habits change during retirement, there may be new opportunities to renegotiate car insurance policies, for example.
Car insurance. If you have two cars, you may only use one for most of your outings during retirement. And if you have one car, you might not drive it as far as you did when you went to the office every day. As a result, you might be paying for car insurance coverage you no longer need. “Almost every insurer is willing to have a consultative discussion with you on any areas that may help reduce your costs,” says Matthew Gaffey, a senior wealth manager at Corbett Road Investment Management in McLean, Virginia. You might get a discount for your driving record, the amount of usage on the car or for belonging to an organization.
And for bigger trips to see the world?
Travel expenses. While you may want to travel in retirement, costs are not always obvious and can add up. For example, if you purchase a cruise, you’ll pay upfront for boarding, food and entertainment, and then you might spend more on tips, drinks and excursions on the ship. “Call ahead to find out what fees or additional expenses you should expect from departure to return,” Omo says.
Read the full article online.