Spending Retirement in the Mall

By: Ramsay Mameesh

T'is the season that tests the willpower of retirees, and those planning for retirement, the holiday shopping season. Now, more than at any other time during the year, you will be challenged to stick with your retirement plan and budget.

The temptation to spend, spend, spend, can be overwhelming, the stores are having sales, sales, sales. Your mailbox is filled with catalogues, the television is filled with store advertisements, everyone is talking about shopping.

But you have a holiday shopping budget in your retirement plan. So, the culture of consumption, although annoying and tempting, won't cause you to inflict damage to your retirement.

If you do not have a holiday shopping budget in your retirement plan, stop, do not go to the mall. You may be about to commit a major retirement planning no-no. This next month, may set-back your retirement, requiring many more months of savings to undo the damage.

A holiday shopping and gift budget, is an essential part of retirement planning, though for many people a difficult item to calculate. It does not need to be, in fact, it's quite easy. The difficulty for many is that they try to guess, when they have no clue, how much they actually spend on gifts and gift shopping.

The trick is to set a holiday shopping budget. How much do you want to spend for holiday shopping? The dollar amount is not important, assuming it fits into your retirement plan, sticking to the amount is the key. Once you have the dollar amount, you can figure out who's been naughty and nice, and divvy up the amount.

However, your holiday shopping budget, needs to include more than the cost of gifts. Your budget should include, the related expenses, involved in the holiday shopping season. Such as...



  • Holiday cards and postage


  • Christmas trees and decorations


  • Shipping costs of gifts


  • The gas to go to the malls


  • Wrapping paper


  • Taxes (a $100 gift - may actually cost $108)


  • Holiday Parties




With an accurate retirement planning holiday budget, you take the guessing out of planning, avoid over-spending, and damage to your retirement. It's simple, easy, and stress free. Have "fun" at the mall.

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