The financial impact of outliving your spouse

Does your retirement plan provide for how expenses and income will change?

Gail Bebee 23 February, 2018 | 6:00PM

At this time of year, the annual RRSP contribution ritual is in full swing. In the rush to score an RRSP tax deduction, the planning side of retirement may be ignored. One area that is often forgotten is what happens financially when a retiree outlives her spouse.

Personal finances, be it paying the bills, overseeing investments or keeping the household budget on track will be the surviving spouse's responsibility alone. If your spouse is the family money manager, now is the time to learn how to manage your financial affairs.

On the expense side of the ledger, household costs will decrease, but by less than many people expect. The departed's costs for such personal items as clothing, personal services, public transit and medical care will disappear. Grocery bills will be lower, but probably not 50% lower, since buying food in smaller quantities is costlier.

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About Author

Gail Bebee

Gail Bebee  Gail Bebee is an independent personal finance speaker, teacher and the author of No Hype--The Straight Goods on Investing Your Money. She can be reached at gbebee@gailbebee.com; her website is www.gailbebee.com.

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