In a recent column, you recommended that a person, before retiring, should plan a daily/weekly routine and draft a household budget. I think that’s easier said than done. Are there any good starting points? How do many/most retirees spend their time? And how does that affect their spending?
Good questions. Actually, much of retirement is simpler—more straightforward—than you might imagine. And that can be a good thing for your nest egg.
A good starting point is the Bureau of Labor Statistics and its American Time Use Surveys. As the name indicates, this research looks at how, where and with whom Americans spend their time. Fortunately, much of this data is available for different age groups; thus, we can get a good idea of what older adults do on a typical day.
According to the Pew Research Center, which has analyzed the ATU surveys, Americans age 60 and older sleep just over 8½ hours a day, on average. About seven hours are spent on leisure; three hours on chores and errands; a little more than one hour on eating; about one hour on personal activities, such as grooming and health care; and just under an hour on unpaid caregiving and volunteering.