Even for the most prepared retiree, unexpected expenses during retirement can derail a carefully crafted financial plan.

Some of these risks are more obvious than others. Not having enough money to cover expenses and outliving savings are two risks that most people think about when planning for retirement. But less-obvious expenses can sneak up on retirees and cause both minor and major impacts to their financial situation.

The Society of Actuaries studied the impact of unexpected or shocking retirement expenses during its 2015 update to its biennial risk survey started in 2001. The study followed up with focus groups to supplement regular surveys with people who were retired at least 15 years to understand the long-term impact of a lack of retirement planning. While almost three in ten retirees (28 percent) report experiencing none of these shocks or unexpected expenses, 13 percent say they encountered three and 19 percent encountered four or more in retirement. One-quarter of retired widows (24 percent) indicate they have encountered four or more.

The society asked retirees and retired widows which retirement expenses they had encountered during retirement. Read on the find out about these costs, along with the relevant break down by age, gender and household income. 

Loss of capacity

17. Loss of capacity requiring someone outside the household to manage your money

Retirees: 1 percent

Retired widows: 1 percent

Men: 1 percent

Women: 1 percent

Age 45-59: 4 percent

Age 60-69: 0 percent

Age 70-80: 1 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 2 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 1 percent

Household income greater than $75,000:

 

See also:

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Divorce

16. Divorce during retirement

Retirees: 3 percent

Retired widows: 1 percent

Men: 3 percent

Women: 3 percent

Age 45-59: 3 percent

Age 60-69: 4 percent

Age 70-80: 3 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 5 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 2 percent 

Household income greater than $75,000: 2 percent

 

See also:

Divorce and annuities: a costly combination

 Damage to home

15. Significant damage to or loss of home due to fire or natural disaster

Retirees: 3 percent

Retired widows: 4 percent 

Men: 2 percent

Women: 4 percent

Age 45-59: 5 percent

Age 60-69: 2 percent

Age 70-80: 3 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 2 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 4 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 2 percent

Foreclosure

14. Loss of home through foreclosure

Retirees: 3 percent

Retired widows: 6 percent

Men: 2 percent

Women: 3 percent

Age 45-59: 6 percent

Age 60-69: 3 percent

Age 70-80: 2 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 4 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 2 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 1 percent

 

See also:

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Bankruptcy

13. Bankruptcy

Retirees: 4 percent

Retired widows: 4 percent

Men: 5 percent

Women: 3 percent 

Age 45-59: 8 percent

Age 60-69: 3 percent

Age 70-80: 4 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 7 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 3 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 1 percent

Scam

12. Victimization by fraud or scam

Retirees: 6 percent

Retired widows: 5 percent

Men: 5 percent

Women: 7 percent

Age 45-59: 11 percent

Age 60-69: 5 percent

Age 70-80: 5 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 8 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 5 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 4 percent

 

Loss of savings

11. Loss in total value of savings of 10 percent or more due to poor investment decisions

Retirees: 9 percent

Retired widows: 8 percent

Men: 12 percent

Women: 7 percent

Age 45-59: 16 percent

Age 60-69: 9 percent

Age 70-80: 8 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 11 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 9 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 7 percent

 

See also:

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Death of spouse

10. Death of a spouse or long-term partner

Retirees: 10 percent

Retired widows: 56 percent

Men: 5 percent

Women: 14 percent

Age 45-59: 4 percent

Age 60-69: 6 percent

Age 70-80: 16 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 15 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 7 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 5 percent

 

See also:

The death of a spouse: a baby boomer reality

Emergency

9. Family emergency that impacted the amount able to spend on other things or used 10 percent or more of savings

Retirees: 12 percent

Retired widows: 18 percent

Men: 11 percent

Women: 13 percent

Age 45-59: 20 percent

Age 60-69: 11 percent

Age 70-80: 11 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 17 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 11 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 6 percent

 Medicaid

8. Going on Medicaid

Retirees: 14 percent

Retired widows: 11 percent

Men: 16 percent

Women: 12 percent

Age 45-59: 24 percent

Age 60-69: 12 percent

Age 70-80: 12 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 27 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 6 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 3 percent

loss of savings

7. Sudden loss of total value of savings of 25 percent or more due to a fall in the market

Retirees: 14 percent

Retired widows: 13 percent

Men: 14 percent

Women: 14 percent

Age 45-59: 13 percent

Age 60-69: 9 percent

Age 70-80: 19 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 15 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 12 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 14 percent

 Buckets

6. Running out of assets

Retirees: 15 percent

Retired widows: 16 percent

Men: 15 percent

Women: 15 percent

Age 45-59: 23 percent

Age 60-69: 13 percent

Age 70-80: 13 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 27 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 9 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 3 percent

 

See also:

Baby boomers in worsening shape for retirement

 Disability

5. Illness or disability that limited the retiree’s ability to care for himself or herself

Retirees: 15 percent

Retired widows: 22 percent

Men: 15 percent

Women: 15 percent

Age 45-59: 25 percent

Age 60-69: 13 percent

Age 70-80: 14 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 21 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 12 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 9 percent

 

See also:

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 Home value

4. Drop in home value of 25 percent or more

Retirees: 16 percent

Retired widows: 22 percent

Men: 16 percent

Women: 16 percent

Age 45-59: 13 percent

Age 60-69: 15 percent

Age 70-80: 19 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 13 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 19 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 18 percent

 Pills and bills

3. Significant out-of-pocket medical or prescription expenses from a chronic health condition or disability that did not limit the retiree’s ability to care for himself or herself

Retirees: 20 percent

Retired widows: 12 percent

Men: 22 percent

Women: 18 percent

Age 45-59: 31 percent

Age 60-69: 21 percent

Age 70-80: 15 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 27 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 20 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 8 percent

 

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 Dental

2. Major dental expenses

Retirees: 24 percent

Retired widows: 28 percent

Men: 23 percent

Women: 25 percent

Age 45-59: 27 percent

Age 60-69: 20 percent

Age 70-80: 28 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 23 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 23 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 26 percent

 Hammer

1. Major home repairs or upgrades

Retirees: 28 percent

Retired widows: 34 percent

Men: 28 percent

Women: 29 percent

Age 45-59: 28 percent

Age 60-69: 27 percent

Age 70-80: 31 percent

Household income less than $35,000: 23 percent

Household income $35,000 – $74,000: 30 percent

Household income greater than $75,000: 35 percent

 

See also:

The retirement threat most people overlook

2 factors contributing to the growing problem of elder debt

Critical issues that will make or break an aging America

 

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