8 Surprising Facts That Nobody Tells You About Retirement

Housing will remain your biggest expense

Senior couple at home
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Many retirees dream of paying off their mortgage so they will be free to spend their money on travel and other activities. But the reality is that housing likely will remain the biggest expense in your budget for as long as you live.

Retirees in four separate age cohorts all said they spent more money on maintaining a home than anything else, according to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

In every age group, housing was cited as the top cost by at least 42 percent of respondents. No other expense — not even health care — was even close.

Some of this cost pain may be self-inflicted. Merrill Lynch and Age Wave surveyed 3,000 retirees and found that 30 percent of those who moved during retirement purchased a larger — and presumably, more expensive — home than their previous digs.

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