So, just to make things clear, everyone in retirement has a lifestyle, it is just that some of those people do not have a lifestyle that they enjoy. And I'm sure you would probably agree that a retirement lifestyle where you didn't take into account the expense of eating will not be all that enjoyable. So, let's say that you have 20 years until retirement. How much is it going to cost you to eat in retirement?
Remember people are living longer and longer these days and we don't want to outlive our money, so let's at least plan for living 25 years in retirement. Twenty-five years, that means that you will be in retirement for 9,125 days. And, of course we want to plan to have at least 3 meals a day in retirement. Well, if that is the case, then that is going to be 27,375 meals that you will be eating over that 25 year period.
Now, let's say that in today's money each meal is going to cost around $5.00. But, of course, we are not retiring today, so we need to know what the meals are going to cost 20 years from now. That means we need to take into account the dreaded "i-word" - inflation. If we take into account 3.5% inflation, in twenty years you are going to actually need to have $10.00 in order to have the same buying power that $5.00 has today.
After taking all of that into consideration, you are going to need at least $273,750 in retirement just for food - and that is worst-case-scenario - if you plan to only eat $5.00 value meals! So when you are putting together your retirement plan, don't forget to plan for food too.
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