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Retirement PlanningWhat Does Retirement Cost in 2023?


This article was reviewed by Chris Singer, CFP®.

It’s a common question. As times change and inflation impacts the economy, many people are wondering if their savings will be enough for the retirement of their dreams. While everyone is different, you can get an idea of what retirement costs on a monthly basis by looking at example couples inspired by some of our own clients. 

We’ve created two example retirement budgets to show what a retirement budget truly looks like and what different families might need for retirement based on their lifestyle. Consider which lifestyle is similar to yours and use their budget as a starting place for your own. 

Lisa and Michael

Lisa and Michael have a large family and love spending time with their grandchildren. They don’t travel much, but enjoy giving gifts and looking after their family. They share one car, and use it mostly for local drives or the occasional road trip. 

Lisa and Michael enjoy playing pickle-ball and spending time with their friends. They also frequently care for their five grandchildren. They are part of a car club and spend time on the weekend showing off their vintage car. Their home mortgage is paid off. 

Their total monthly expenses are $6,020. 

They’re no longer working. To sustain their lifestyle, they receive monthly payments from the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), and their personal savings.

Michelle and Darrell

Michelle and Darrell love travelling and exploring new countries. They’ve worked hard for their whole lives to reach this point, and spend most of their free time planning their next trip. They have one adult child and two grandchildren who live a few hours away. 

Michelle and Darrell also share one vehicle, which they paid off a few years ago. Their mortgage is also paid off, and they receive rental income from their basement suite. 

Their total monthly expenses are $7,495. 

They receive monthly payments from their Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA), and their private pension. 

Expense Types

Fixed Expenses

You likely already know what these are—things like food, house payments, insurance, and phone/internet. These are non-negotiable within your budget. They might be flexible, but they can’t be removed.

Build your own budget starting with these items. Your budget might differ from the examples above, but it’s essential to know how much you need to sustain your basic needs on a monthly basis. 

Comfort Expenses

Once you’ve taken care of the essentials, you want to enjoy life. Comfort expenses are the things that make your retirement enjoyable. These are things like travel, gifts, donations, and hobbies. 

Many retirees forget to budget for these items, which can significantly impact their spending in retirement. Take some time to go through these expenses and consider additional ones that are unique to your life. 

Income Sources

Your main retirement income sources will be the same as these two couples—the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), and personal savings. We’ve broken down these different types of retirement income sources extensively in another blog article, so explore that if you want to learn more in depth about each income source in retirement. 

Creating Your Own Retirement Budget

If you feel overwhelmed about creating your own retirement budget from scratch, use one of these examples as a starting point. Try following it for a month and take note of where you spend more or less than the examples, and make changes that work for you. 

You know yourself and your spending habits, and budgeting is crucial to a comfortable and relaxing retirement. If you haven’t already, create a budget for yourself and practice tracking to get into the habit for later in life. 

If you have any questions about the cost of retirement, we’re available to schedule a meeting so we can discuss your goals and options, and find the best retirement plan for you. 

In the meantime, take a look at our eBook to find some more tips on having a relaxing and fulfilling retirement!