May 1, 2024 | Sammy Tran

16 Things Baby Boomers Shouldn’t Waste Money On

Don’t Make These Financial Mistakes

Managing finances during retirement can prove more challenging than people expect, especially for those who are just entering this new chapter of life. If you’re a retiree on a fixed income, it’s important to think hard about where to spend your hard-earned money. 

Here are 16 things baby boomers love to splurge on but should probably think twice about.

Things Baby Boomers Shouldn’t Waste Money On

1. Expensive Vacations

Retirement is the best time to go on all those trips you’ve been dreaming of, but overpriced vacations can easily empty out your savings. If you’re planning on doing a lot of traveling, choose budget-friendly options that won’t put a strain on your wallet.

Beautiful and happy senior couple in love sitting on the side of sailboatKostiantyn Voitenko, Shutterstock

Expensive Vacations (cont’d)

If you do want to splurge on a more lavish trip, you can still save some money by booking during off-season times. Booking well in advance of your tip and taking time to compare prices for flights and hotels will also save lots in the long run.

Happy elderly man holding woman and relaxing with feet in water by the - Yuri A, Shutterstock

2. Elaborate Gifts

Giving gifts is a kind gesture but the cost of extravagant presents can easily add up. Setting a budget when shopping for gifts is one way to make sure you don’t cut too deeply into your savings.

Man Giving Gifts to a WomanIvan Samkov, Pexels

Elaborate Gifts (cont’d)

Also keep in mind that less expensive gifts can be just as heartfelt and appreciated than presents that put a strain on your wallet.

Man Giving flowers to a Woman.Gustavo Fring, Pexels

3. Unnecessary Home Renovations

The retirement years are an ideal time to do all those home renos you’ve thinking of, but moving too fast can quickly drain your savings. Start planning things out by prioritizing renovations based on their necessity and potential return on investment.

Happy senior couple painting a wall together.hedgehog94, Shutterstock

Unnecessary Home Renovations (cont’d)

Instead of indulging in lavish upgrades, try finding their more affordable counterparts. For example, instead of overspending on marble finishes, opt for quartzite or granite. 

Both of those alternatives are stronger and more strain-resistant than marble but at a fraction of the cost.

Elder grey haired family couple is reviewing surface samples.fizkes, Shutterstock

4. Buying Things You Don’t Need

Retirees should steer clear of purchasing non-essential items that could run up their credit card bills and create debt. Debt is the last thing you need at this stage of life, and you can still enjoy the finer things without risking your financial health.

Senior Woman trying Sunglasses in the Store.Kampus Production, Pexels

Buying Things You Don’t Need (cont’d)

Prioritizing your spending on essential items and budget-friendly leisure activities. You can also use coupons and vouchers to further maximize savings.

Saving discount coupon voucher with scissorCasper1774 Studio, Shutterstock

5. Timeshares

Thinking about investing in a timeshare? While they may appear attractive at first, it's important to know that they often involve hidden costs and restrictions. Plus, selling a timeshare can be tough and may result in financial setbacks.

Elderly Woman Looking the Report PapersRDNE Stock project, Pexels

Timeshares (cont’d)

Have you thought about exploring vacation rentals instead? They're usually more flexible and can save you money. Before making any decisions, it's essential to fully grasp the financial implications of timeshares.

Men Having a MeetingRDNE Stock project, Pexels

6. Too Much Life Insurance

As your dependents grow up and debts become less of a burden, the necessity for extensive life insurance naturally decreases. Taking the time to reassess your life insurance needs can actually lead to considerable savings.

Happy senior man counting money.Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Too Much Life Insurance (cont’d)

Look for policies that offer the coverage you need without overloading you with hefty premiums. This reassessment is a crucial part of planning for your financial well-being in retirement.

An Elderly Man Wearing Eyeglasses while Looking at the DocumentsSHVETS production, Pexels

7. New Healthcare Services

Did you know that sticking with your insurance network can help cut down on your healthcare expenses? Make it a priority to seek out high-quality healthcare providers within your network to effectively manage your medical costs.

Elderly Man with Eyeglasses Looking at the PaperT Leish, Pexels

New Healthcare Services (cont’d)

Going out of network can often mean shelling out more from your own pocket. By strategically planning your healthcare choices, you can better navigate and control your healthcare expenses throughout retirement.

Elderly man thinking while biting eyeglassesTima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

8. Paying For Adult Children

Continuously giving money to grown-up kids can make them rely too much on you and hurt your retirement savings. It's better for both you and them if they learn to manage their own finances.

Crop man counting dollar banknotesKarolina Grabowska, Pexels

Paying For Adult Children

Try to only help out with money occasionally, like for special occasions or emergencies. Having clear rules about when you'll help financially can help you save more for your retirement.

Aged father arguing with her adult son at homeBearFotos, Shutterstock

9. Buying A New Luxury Car

Fancy new cars lose their value fast and can cost you a lot. In the long run, choosing a dependable, less expensive car is the smarter move.

Happy senior man looking inside a new automobile at the dealership showroom.Nestor Rizhniak, Shutterstock

Buying A New Luxury Car (cont’d)

If you do want something flashy, consider buying used rather than right off the lot. And no matter what kind of car you get, always think about everything you'll need to pay for, like insurance, upkeep, and how much the car's value will drop.

An Elderly Man in Black Vest Standing beside a Car.Kampus Production, Pexels

10. High-Interest Debt

Steering clear of or minimizing high-interest debt is essential for a stable financial future during retirement. Making it a priority to pay off debts, especially those from high-interest credit cards, can open up more resources for your retirement necessities.

An Elderly Man Holding His Mobile Phone and a Credit CardTima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

High-Interest Debt (cont’d)

Exploring options like consolidating debts or refinancing can also help lower interest rates. By aiming for a debt-free retirement, you can enjoy greater comfort and peace of mind without financial strain.

Couple Smiling While Looking at a Tablet ComputerMarcus Aurelius, Pexels

11. Annuities With High Fees

Certain annuities may impose hefty fees and offer limited flexibility, which might not be ideal for retirees. It's important to thoroughly assess the terms, fees, and conditions associated with annuities before committing to them.

Senior woman is seating and looking at documents.SHVETS production, Pexels

Annuities With High Fees (cont’d)

Diversifying your retirement investments can afford you more control over your funds and potentially better outcomes. Consulting with a financial advisor can help you determine whether annuities align with your overall retirement strategy.

Elderly Woman Signing Documents in OfficeKampus Production, Pexels

12. Overspending On Healthcare

Healthcare is essential, but you've got handle these expenses wisely. Prioritizing preventative care and managing chronic conditions can significantly decrease overall healthcare costs.

Never Argue With An IdiotFreepik,prostooleh

Overspending On Healthcare (cont’d)

Take the time to compare prices for medications and services to uncover more budget-friendly options. By proactively managing healthcare expenses, you can safeguard your financial well-being throughout retirement.

Angry mature female patient buying medications in a drugstoreGligatron, Shutterstock

13. Dining Out Too Often

Going to restaurants can easily cut into your savings. Opting to cook meals at home is typically more cost-effective and can promote healthier eating habits. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take indulging on fine dining completely off the table.

Senior couple making a salad in the kitchen.Mikhail Nilov, Pexels

Dining Out Too Often (cont’d)

Reserving dining out for special occasions rather than making it a regular habit can contribute to significant savings. By budgeting for occasional restaurant outings, you can still enjoy dining out without feeling the pinch on your finances.

Senior couple fine dining at elegant restaurant.Kzenon, Shutterstock

14. Second Homes

Thinking about buying a second home? Renting a place in your favorite location might actually be a more flexible and budget-friendly choice.

Old man and attractive old woman standing with keys in hands.4 PM production, Shutterstock

Second Homes (cont’d)

If you are set on purchasing, it's important to know that along with it come extra expenses like mortgages, taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs. Take the time to think about the financial responsibilities involved.

Calculator with piggy bank against home background closeup. Mortage credit conceptH_Ko, Shutterstock

15. Crypto Investments

Investing a significant portion of your retirement savings in cryptocurrency can pose risks to your financial security. If you're considering exploring cryptocurrency, it's advisable to stick with well-known and established investments.

Person Holding Silver Bitcoin CoinCrypto Crow, Pexels

Crypto Investments (cont’d)

Understanding the inherent risks associated with cryptocurrency investing is crucial, so seeking guidance from a financial advisor is wise. Adopting a conservative investment strategy can help ensure a steady and dependable income stream throughout your retirement years.

Crypto Coins On Top of a LaptopAlesia Kozik, Pexels

16. Risky ETFs

Investing in high-risk assets like cryptocurrency or stocks traded on different marketplaces such as OTC can put your retirement savings at risk. For retirees, it's generally wiser to focus on safer investments that generate income, as they prioritize preserving capital over seeking high returns.

Senior business man concerned thinking.Dragana Gordic, Shutterstock

Risky EFTs (cont’d)

Before diving into any risky or unfamiliar stock, it's essential to seek guidance from financial professionals. Consulting with experts beforehand can help you make more informed and prudent investment decisions.

Two Men Looking a DocumentPavel Danilyuk, Pexels

Final Thoughts

Retirement is a great time to spend on home renovations and dream vacations but make sure you don’t overdo it. Balance and budgeting are key to maintaining financial stability, especially on a fixed income.

Man and Woman Holding White Ceramic MugsMART PRODUCTION, Pexels


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Dear reader,

It’s true what they say: money makes the world go round. In order to succeed in this life, you need to have a good grasp of key financial concepts. That’s where Moneymade comes in. Our mission is to provide you with the best financial advice and information to help you navigate this ever-changing world. Sometimes, generating wealth just requires common sense. Don’t max out your credit card if you can’t afford the interest payments. Don’t overspend on Christmas shopping. When ordering gifts on Amazon, make sure you factor in taxes and shipping costs. If you need a new car, consider a model that’s easy to repair instead of an expensive BMW or Mercedes. Sometimes you dream vacation to Hawaii or the Bahamas just isn’t in the budget, but there may be more affordable all-inclusive hotels if you know where to look.

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