Your past does matter.

Posted by Nancy Hecht, CFP®, AIF®

Recently I was listening to a competitor’s radio show and the financial advisor speaking stated that your past life as an employed person, and how you were living it, does not matter for retirement planning. I respectfully disagree with this guy. Your past matters a lot. The crux of his comment was that your personal expenses will decrease so much with your retired lifestyle that you can completely ignore them. Sure, you may not be buying business wear anymore and may pay less in tolls, but there will be plenty to replace those items.

When we gather data for a comprehensive retirement plan, one of the most important things we look at is expenses. We have an 8.5″ x 11″, double column page just for expenses. We have tried to think of every expense most people have in their everyday life, whether monthly or annually, add inflation on to those expenses, plus taxes, then look at net cash flow.

No one likes to go backward in lifestyle. Travel and healthcare expenses can easily replace clothing and tolls, generally at a greater expense than those items cost while you were working.

If I am helping you plan for 25 years or more as retirees, your past certainly does matter.

If you would like a copy of our expense form, so you can fill in if needed for your records and future reference, just email me at

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