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Planning Your Retirement Budget

Of all of the factors that can play a part in your income in retirement, the only one that you have control over is your spending. Retirement should be the time to relax and do the things you have always wanted to do. In order to make the most of this time in your life, it can be helpful to have a budget.

Where do you begin?

For many, the biggest challenge to creating a budget is getting started, but it need not be difficult. To start the process, make a list of your expenses in four categories:

1. Essential monthly expenses

The basics: food, shelter, clothing, health care, transportation

2. Non-essential monthly expenses

The extras: magazine subscriptions, cable television

3. Recurring essential expenses

Non-monthly expenses: home and life insurance, property taxes, HOA dues

4. Optional expenses

Travel, eating out

With all of your expenses listed in one place, it is far easier to create a budget based on real numbers. Start by totaling the essential expenses, followed by non-essential and optional expenses. This gives you a clear picture of your current financial expenditures on a monthly basis, allowing you to see if adjustments may be necessary. Del Webb communities offer a variety of amenities that can help make retirement as affordable as it is enjoyable.

Be prepared for life’s little surprises

It is important to remember that the best budgets leave room for the unforeseen. An unexpected healthcare expense or car repair, for example, can easily derail your plans. That’s why it is wise to have a financial cushion set aside for those situations you just can’t budget for, so one emergency need not have a major impact on your long-term plans.