Guide to budgeting for your retirement

3 minutes

Calculating your monthly budget in retirement can be a difficult process, but understanding your costs can help you better plan your finances.

Understanding your monthly costs can help with budgeting for retirement

Review your current outgoings

Firstly, it's time to review your current spending habits, and categorise them accordingly.

Essential expenses

  • Food and household shopping
  • Mortgage and rent payments
  • Health related costs
  • Household utility bills
  • Insurance costs

Optional expenses

  • Eating out
  • Holidays and day trips
  • Hobbies such as gardening or sports
  • Pets
  • Running a car

Adjust your outgoings for your retirement

Consider how your spending habits might change once you retire. Consider whether your mortgage will be paid by the time you retire, and any additional money you may spend on leisure and hobbies.

Calculate your pension income

Use the pension calculator from MoneyHelper to find out what income your pension could give you and find out how consolidating your pension pots could boost your savings.

Check if you're eligible for the State Pension

The state pension currently pays up to £203.85 per week (2023/24) for people retiring on or after 6th April 2016. This is available once you reach your retirement age, but you'll need to meet the eligibility criteria.

Boost your income

With your estimated outgoing in retirement, pension income calculation and state pension, you'll be able to see if there's a shortfall. If there is (and even if there isn't) take a look at our tips on how to boost your retirement income.

Things to consider

Life expectancy and inflation.

It’s important to consider how long your retirement might last and the impact inflation may have on your income:

  • A male aged 65 can expect to live on average 19.7 years; a woman over 22.0 years. [1]
  • At 3% per annum inflation, the value of your money almost halves over 20 years.

The means you will probably need to use all your sources of income. These could include personal and company pensions, state pension, savings and investments (ISA's), equity in your home and other income such as inherited wealth to support you in retirement.

[1] Life expectancies - Office for National Statistics (