8 Purchases Every Retiree Should Always Make

In general, retirees spend less money after they stop working than they did before. While some expenses tend to go up, others are greatly reduced.

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For example, if you’re used to commuting to an office, your transportation expenses will likely go down in retirement. Your clothing budget might also shrink if you no longer have to dress up for office and client visits. Regardless of how your budget changes, though, there are certain purchases that are still important for retirees to make. Here are some of the top ones.

Shot of a doctor talking to a patient in a wheelchair in a hospital corridor.

Adequate Insurance

At age 65, most retirees qualify for Medicare. However, Medicare isn’t a catch-all for the expenses you are likely to incur as you age. In fact, when people say they qualify for “free health insurance” via Medicare, they are usually referring to Medicare Type A, which is only hospital insurance.

If you’re looking for additional coverage for things like doctor visits and prescription medications, you’ll have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Type B and Medicare Type D. You may also want additional coverage in the form of long-term care insurance, which you can contract through a separate insurance company.

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Senior female customer standing at chemist counter as pharmacist hands her medication order.

Medications — and a Pill Organizer

While some healthy retirees may not take any prescription medications, that’s a pretty rare occurrence. Most retirees should plan on taking at least a few pills to both help sustain and improve the quality of their lives. In fact, according to Merck, almost 90% of older adults take at least one prescription medication, almost 80% take two and 36% regularly take five or more.

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Senior artist woman drawing at home.

Hobby Expenses

Most seniors look forward to exploring their hobbies more in retirement. If you’re one of them, you should count on spending a bit of money on your hobby expenses. Once you’re retired, you’ll have much more free time to really get into your hobbies, and you’ll likely want or need to buy supplies for those activities.

For example, if you love to ride your bike, you’ll need to keep up with your safety equipment and keep your bicycle well-maintained. If you’re a golfer, you’ll have to budget for green fees and occasional equipment upgrades. These expenses are absolutely worth it once you retire, as you’ll not only have more time to dedicate to these activities — but you’ll also be keeping your mind sharp and occupied.

Stock image of a senior couple using a digital tablet at home.

At-Home Entertainment

Even if you plan to travel more once you retire, you’ll likely be spending more time at home than you were while you were still employed. In fact, you may even relish the idea of spending lots more time at home.

So, make it more enjoyable by splurging (within reason) on some quality entertainment and electronics.

Close up of two seniors at a trainstation.


Travel is high on the bucket list of many retirees, and you should generally expect to be spending more on travel once you retire. This doesn’t mean you have to jump into a life of being on the go nonstop and cruising around the world, though.

Most retirees enjoy seeing places in America they didn’t have time to before, or even visiting friends and family that may be a road trip away. Regardless of the scope of your travel ambitions, most seniors should expect to make more travel purchases once they retire.

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Senior mature business woman holding paper bill using calculator, old lady managing account finance, calculating money budget tax, planning banking loan debt pension payment sit at home kitchen table.

Estate Resolution Expenses

If you want your affairs to be in order after you pass away — and especially if you want to reduce the mental and financial burden on your heirs — spending money on estate resolution is a purchase you’ll want to make.

Most retirees will take the step of drafting a will or trust to outline how they wish their assets to be distributed, but some even go so far as to prepay their funeral and mortuary expenses. While it can be hard to think about these types of expenses while you are still alive, they can make things much easier for your family and estate handlers after your death, even if you think you don’t have a lot to leave behind.

Worried senior couple using phone while sitting on sofa at home.

A Reliable Mobile Device

Whether you are obsessed with your grandkids or just like chatting with your pickleball crew, you will want to stay connected with a mobile device. Today, there are more phone options than ever, and you won’t have to spend half of your retirement to get one.

Even on a basic phone or iPad, you can get Facetime, texting and internet access. Staying in touch has never been so easy and so affordable.

Senior couple in gym working out using kettlebells.

Gym or YMCA Membership

Ideally, you live somewhere with a nice gym or other workout facilities, but if you don’t, you might want to consider joining one.

Many offer discounts for seniors, including the YMCA. You can also scope out exercise classes through your city. Staying in shape can prove critical as you age. Going to the gym or working out with friends can help ensure you are healthy throughout your retirement.

Crystal Mayer contributed to the reporting for this article.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 8 Purchases Every Retiree Should Always Make

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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