15 Things You’ll Kiss Goodbye After Retirement

Stephanie Allen


Retirement is a rite of passage many workers look forward to, and it's easy to see why. After spending decades of their adult lives in the workforce, no longer having to work is a nice reward and a celebratory occasion.

What may be unknown are the things retirees won't (or shouldn't) have to deal with after retirement. Some of these things will be missed, and others won't, but if retiring is in your plans, it's best to prepare for these changes.

1. Work Responsibilities 

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This is an obvious one, but many things fall into this category. Saying goodbye to work responsibilities includes no more deadlines, boring meetings, or frustrating phone calls to the IT help desk.

Entering retirement means no longer dealing with these issues five or six days a week. It's a way of life that more than a few workers dream of having and cannot wait until that time arrives. 

2. Large Mortgages

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The most fortunate of retirees own their homes free and clear. A sizable mortgage is easier to pay while actively working full-time. However, a large mortgage can be a financial burden in retirement due to a lower income requiring more diligent budgeting.

Those with large mortgages should consider refinancing their loans or selling their homes to buy a smaller one. Downsizing can alleviate the financial strain of a hefty monthly payment. 

3. Work Wardrobe

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Many occupations require employees to wear specific clothing and shoes, including business attire, uniforms, and protective footwear. Depending on the type of job, this can cost a lot of money. 

Retirement means no longer spending money on work clothes, which can come to considerable savings. That money can be spent on other things or put into savings. That's an all-around win-win!

4. Home Renovations 

home renovations
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Home renovations may be necessary during working years, primarily to accommodate a growing family. But when it's time to leave the workforce, retirees are generally empty nesters. They won't have to make their living space bigger. 

Home modifications, like building a deck or adding a sunroom, are most likely done during employment when income is generally higher. Retirement isn't the best time for major home renovations when people live on a fixed income.

5. Lack of Free Time 

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What employee hasn't imagined all the things they could accomplish if they didn't have to work? Or complain about how much of their day is spent working? Once workers officially retire, what they've long imagined becomes a reality.

Workers often want to do other things during their day but can't because of their work schedules. Retirement frees up a lot of time to do what they want without worrying about using vacation or personal days. 

6. Entertainment Costs

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Retirement doesn't mean giving up going to movie theaters, concerts, and live plays. However, retirees must be careful with their money. They may find spending $40 for movie tickets and hundreds of dollars for concert and stage play tickets unaffordable. 

There are alternatives to these high-priced events. Some movie chains offer senior discounts for moviegoers over the age of 60. Many communities have free live concerts and stage plays, and AARP members can watch live performances online for free. Apps like SeatGeek sell tickets for live events for far less than the original price. 

7. Commuting 

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Retirees who worked from home have already left their commuting expenses behind. However, those who worked outside the house had to commute to get there, either by car, train, or bus. Commuting costs include train and bus fares, gas for the car, wear and tear, and vehicle maintenance.

After leaving the workforce, retirees no longer have to commute to a job site or office, leaving them to drive less frequently. Add up the money saved from commuting, resulting in a tidy sum. 

8. Expensive Meals

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Except for those with multimillion-dollar nest eggs, the average retiree lives on a budget and has to exercise caution when spending their money. Going out for expensive meals is a nonstarter. 

Depending on the restaurant and the meal, one meal can equal several days' worth of groceries. An expensive dinner commemorating a special occasion is acceptable but shouldn't become a habit. 

9. Education

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One of the benefits of having an empty nest is that parents are no longer on the hook for school-related costs like tuition, room and board, and books. That alone is a massive relief for retirees in that position.

Some retirees may return to school to start or continue their post-secondary education, and numerous institutions offer free tuition for prospective students of retirement age or free courses for alums. 

10. New Car Payments

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Commuters who drive to work need a reliable vehicle to take them back and forth. This often means investing in a new car every so often. Once retiring, the need for a brand-new vehicle is less pressing. 

Unless there's a good reason to buy a new car, it's better to stick with a reliable, paid-off used vehicle or at least one with low monthly payments. Purchasing a luxury or flashy sports car is tempting, but resist the urge to take on more debt. 

11. Lavish Vacations

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It's relatively easy for people in the workforce to take a pricey vacation. They know the money they spend on their trip can be made up by working once they return. For those who are no longer working, that's not an option. 

If a retiree has a well-funded vacation club account (yes, those still exist), they're in a better position to book expensive trips. If not, look for less costly trip options or staycation options. 

12. Impulse Buying

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Impulsively buying an item is usually justified by workers who know they can earn more money. How does a retired person compensate for that extra expense if they're not working?

Having a shopping list before going out helps buyers focus on their needs. They only purchase something not on the list if it's urgent. Not giving in to the urge to buy on impulse pays off. 

13. Payroll Deductions 

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Depending on the source, retirees may have to pay other taxes on their income, but they beat having to pay all the taxes and deductions taken from a paycheck. 

Look at a pay stub or a W-2 form; the amount of taxes and other deductions is staggering. It's a pleasant change to be free from those in retirement. 

14. Corporate Credit Cards

Business woman with credit card
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Instead of saving and submitting receipts, lucky workers have corporate credit cards entrusted to them to pay for work-related expenses. This convenience is only afforded to a few workers. 

The privilege of a corporate credit card disappears once a worker leaves the company. But being a retiree means there are no job-related expenses to account for, so it all works out in the end! 

15. Fixed Schedules 

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Employees typically have fixed schedules that they can't deviate from. This poses a challenge when making other plans because they must revolve around work. 

Once someone officially retires from work, their schedule opens up, and they no longer have the same constraints. Having a free schedule each day can be a liberating experience. 

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Florida retiree
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When you hear “retirement,” does your mind instantly wander to sunny Florida, with its endless beaches and warm winters? Well, hold that thought! Before you start packing your sunscreen and flip-flops, we have some insider info that might make you reconsider. 

16 Reasons Retirees Should Avoid Florida (Not Because of Too Much Sunshine)

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Sveti Stefan Island, Budva, Montegro
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