“Having a retired pet can be a source of joy. But pets can also create financial stress. It’s a good idea to plan for owning a pet when you retire. —Lyle Boss
Having a pet in your home as you age is somewhat of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, a pet can bring comfort and happiness. On the other hand, however, many people make potentially costly mistakes when deciding to have a pet in retirement.
Many financial planners and advisors admit that they generally don’t ask relevant questions about current and future pet ownership when sitting down with clients. Unfortunately, this oversight could create stress and heartbreak for seniors considering spending their lives with their favorite four-legged friend.
Are you planning to have a pet in retirement? Consider ALL the costs
Sure, you could own a turtle, an aquarium full of fish, or maybe even a snake or two. However, if you’re like most retirees, you prefer something a little more cuddly, like a dog or a cat.
It would be a good idea to consider some critical things before deciding to have a dog or a cat after you retire. It would be helpful if you understood the costs of buying or adopting, including any necessary vaccinations, neutering or neutering, and general expenses incurred over the life of the animal, such as food, visits at the veterinarian and wellness and comfort items.
Even when you don’t have to buy expensive fencing for your yard, other costs like vaccines, preventive medications, toys and food can add up to over $600 a year.
Routine dental, grooming, and wellness visits to the vet often cost between $400 and $600 per year, depending on your pet’s age and breed. If your pet needs major medical attention, such as surgery or cancer treatment, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in veterinary bills.
You should be aware of the high cost of veterinary services
Some seniors bring the family dog or cat with them into retirement. But unfortunately, older pets are susceptible to some of the same diseases, ailments, and chronic conditions that plague aging humans. Older dogs and cats can suffer from cancer, diabetes, obesity-related issues, heart problems, arthritis, and other conditions brought on or exacerbated by the aging process.
Unfortunately, there is no “Medicare for Pets”. And while pet insurance and pet HMOs exist, they often have limited coverage, high out-of-pocket expenses, and may exclude older pets.
If you are not bringing an existing pet to your retirement, you may be considering adopting or buying a dog or cat. Just keep in mind that veterinary care is expensive and often more expensive than medical care for humans. Even the healthiest dogs and cats need vaccinations, flea medication, heartworm treatment, and dental care. Additionally, some breeds of dogs and cats will need even more specialized preventative maintenance to stay healthy. While it’s often possible to find senior citizen discounts or low-cost services from animal rescue organizations, the medical costs associated with pets are always something to keep in mind. spirit.
In summary : Owning a dog or cat can help make the transition to retirement more manageable and enjoyable. Additionally, pets can clearly improve a retiree’s mental health and overall well-being. However, there are expenses associated with pet ownership that you should factor into your retirement plan before committing to owning a pet. Talk to your financial advisor about the best way to support your pet without dipping into your retirement savings.
Lyle Boss, originally from Utah, is a member of Syndicated Columnists, a national organization committed to a completely transparent approach to money management. Boss Financial, 955 Chambers St., Suite 250, Ogden, UT 84403. Phone: 801-475-9400.