The secret to financial independence starts and ends with a good budget. I can’t stress this enough. You may or may not be aware of how much your budget will change from your earning years to your active retirement ones. Will yours go up, or will it go down? Many people surprisingly end up spending more in retirement!

Using your current budget as a way to determine what your financial needs will be in retirement won’t be accurate because your daily expenses will likely be different, and you also need to factor in larger expenses that are often overlooked entirely. Here are a few common ones that might surprise you:

Helping Adult Children – Whether you help with bills, childcare, big ticket items or they move back in with you, consider this a likelihood…and it’s bound to come with a hefty price tag.

Free Time – The shift from working 40 hours a week to endless free time does have financial challenges that many don’t anticipate. Whether you choose to fill your free time with movies, lunches out, clothes shopping or spoiling grandkids, it’s not something you can afford to overlook.

Travel – Whether your dream for retirement is traveling the world, traveling to see grandkids or relocating to your favorite city, they all come with large expenses.

Healthcare – Since the cost of healthcare continues to increase, remember to account for the cost of co-pays, vision and dental care and medications. Estimate high – it’s likely you’ll need medications in retirement that you don’t take now.

Transportation – Your car probably won’t run forever. So if you haven’t added in some room for a new or used car payment and mechanical work to keep yours up and running, you could be looking at hundreds of dollars a month more in expenses to consider.

Hopefully this raises some awareness on important expenses to consider when accurately creating a retirement budget so you can save enough and reach your retirement goals down the road. If you want to connect to review your retirement budget to make sure it’s realistic, I’m available.