About the Living Expenses forecast chart in the Lifetime Planner

The Living Expenses forecast chart shows how much you plan to spend on regular annual living expenses each year. Regular living expenses include food, gasoline, home maintenance, clothing, and other recurring expenses. Living expenses, as defined by Money, do not include loan payments, life insurance payments, taxes, or savings contributions.

If your lifestyle becomes more extravagant, your living expenses will increase. In contrast, if you decide to live more simply (for example, downsize to a smaller house) or your kids leave home, your living expenses will decrease. Typically, you can expect your living expenses after you retire to be close to or higher than your living expenses before retirement.

A realistic plan includes major changes that will require you to adjust your living expenses. For example, you would create a living expenses adjustment for years in which you plan to buy a home, have a child, or retire.

If necessary, the Lifetime Planner points out on this chart any years in which you should reduce your discretionary spending. This happens when Money calculates that you won't be able to save as much as you planned. To change the percentage of your living expenses you'd be willing to cut in those years, on the Tools menu, click Settings, click Planner settings, and then adjust the percentage under Discretionary Expenses.

To enter your annual living expenses (plus any adjustments), go to the Living expenses page in the Lifetime Planner. To view a forecast chart, see the related topics below.