Top five lifestyle expenses not to be overlooked

09 October 2015
The potential for care costs, the possibility of remodelling your home, and offering support for grandchildren are among the financial considerations that need to be prepared for.

Making financial preparations for later life is a very important consideration, with many different factors to take into account. 

Some of these will be absolutely essential, such as allowing for potential increases to the cost of living as best as you can. 

However, quality of life is not to be overlooked either. Taking financial planning seriously is commendable, but it is important not to forget to allow for all the fun plans you might want to make, such as having a good time going out with friends, family and loved ones, or taking a holiday. 

Here we run through a list of just five key lifestyle expenses not to be overlooked. 

Cost of living

When you start drawing a pension, you may be on a fixed income. If this is the case, it can be a good idea to try and allow for cost of living increases. This can be done in various ways - one option is to plan frugally so there is always a little money left over that you can draw on in later life if necessary. 

Home improvements

There are lots of reasons for people to make home improvements. Those living in an older property are likely to find that some of its features could start to show wear and tear over the years. 

For instance, roofs can start leaking, utilities such as dishwashers, fridges and ovens can break, and windows and gutters may need replacing. 

There are also medical factors to consider. Homes are often refitted for medical reasons for older occupants, who may need more support getting up the stairs or into the bathtub. 

When this happens, it's a good idea to have a bit of money set aside so the expense doesn't make a big dent in your budget. 

Help at home

There are a wide range of support services on offer for those who need them, allowing the person to remain as independent as possible in their own home. 

A range of organisations can offer a home carer to come in regularly and help out for a few hours each week, and these can include services such as help with bathing and washing, meal preparation, shopping, cleaning and other small chores around the house. 

Support for children and grandchildren

Your children or grandchildren may still only just be starting their adult lives and would undoubtedly appreciate occasional financial support if you wish to provide it. This is particularly the case for those living on entry-level salaries and starting their own homes and lives. 

It's also rewarding to treat the younger grandchildren to presents and days out wherever possible. These expenses are optional, but being prepared to allocate some money towards lending a helping hand in this way means you will be able to do so without worrying about the financial impact. 

Hobbies and travel

Hobbies, travel and other discretionary purchases are by their nature optional - but they are arguably the most important, as they are what make life so rewarding. 

Being discretionary, such expenses are unlikely to catch you by surprise, but still need to be accounted for in any budget. 

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