Surprise Expenses in Retirement

A columnist discusses the unexpected expenses he encountered in retirement.

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Mike Pride, a Concord Monitor columnist in New Hampshire, was looking forward to retirement until he actually got there. He expected normal monthly bills, property taxes, and a visit to his wife's parent's home in Belgium. But he didn't foresee record high oil prices and a 401(k) that rapidly hemorrhaged in value. He also didn't budget for home repairs, like a broken dishwasher and garbage disposal, a refrigerator and freezer that gave up cooling, cold showers when his hot water tank started leaking, and squirrel damage to his home, which all hit him seemingly at once.

"It is not so pleasant to start retirement with so many ill omens, with the national economy quaking, with our 401(k) bleeding. In the shadow of these things, it is a struggle to embrace—or even feel—our new freedom," he says in a Concord Monitor column.

Tell us, what unexpected expenses crept up on you in retirement?