We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Factors Affect Cost of Living in Retirement?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cost of living in retirement can depend on location, housing decisions, lifestyle, and economic conditions. Some of these factors are more controllable than others, especially for those who plan ahead. People preparing for retirement may want to make arrangements to have between 70 and 80% of their previous income available in retirement to maintain a comfortable standard of living, although it can be possible to live on less. It is important to be aware of how much money retirement savings, government benefits, pensions, and other sources of income will provide.

One issue is location. Some regions are more expensive to live in than others. Urban areas tend to have a higher cost of living in retirement, as do regions with extreme climates, where utility costs can be high for heating and cooling. Economically depressed regions tend to have lower costs of living due to the decreased purchasing power of residents. Sometimes international destinations come with a radical cost of living decrease, for retirees willing and able to move overseas.

Housing decisions can also be important. A big home is more expensive to maintain, and may come with high mortgage or property taxes, for people who own their homes. Big yards and amenities can also add to maintenance costs. Living in a small home can lower living expenses. So can completely paying off a mortgage before retirement, or using a tool like a reverse mortgage.

As adults age, they may need accessibility features in the home. If retirees plan ahead and make decisions like buying or renting homes designed for aging in place, they are less likely to require relocation after injuries or illnesses. Single-level homes, houses with shower bars and other aids for people with limited mobility, and homes with features like large light switches and easily controlled faucets can allow people to age gracefully and stay at home. In other cases, it may be necessary to consider an assisted living facility to handle seniors with more complex needs.

Lifestyle is another factor that can influence cost of living in retirement. People who primarily eat at home, do not attend expensive events, drive modest vehicles, and generally minimize expenses will need less money. They may also have more funds available for activities like travel and helping children or grandchildren with expenses.

Economic conditions also have an impact on the cost of living in retirement. The consumer price index provides general information about the purchasing power of currency at any given point in time. This can provide information about worsening economic conditions that may make life more expensive, and can help them identify regions where the cost of living is lower.

Another issue can be medical expenses. Retirees may be covered by insurance and government benefits, but these do not necessarily provide complete care. People may need to pay out of pocket for some services, medical devices, and prescriptions. These costs can mount quickly and may cause a spike in the cost of living in retirement.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.