Dog with Birthday Hat and Balloons

Warning: Don’t let your pets crack your nest egg. “The topic of pet expense is rarely discussed,” says Richard Rosso, a senior financial adviser with Clarity Financial LLC, a Houston-based financial-planning firm. “But it shouldn’t be ignored.”

Retirement planning largely involves how to budget living expenses. Just make sure you have accounted for those furry or feathered family members too.

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, as with most budget items, keeping track of projected and actual expenses is important. The article, titled “How Retirees Get Bitten by Pet Costs“, warns that those nearing retirement or already retired who are considering a pet should keep in mind that animals are a “long, long-term” commitment.

When creating a pet budget, factor in unexpected costs, too, the WSJ article explains. Pet health insurance can range from $10 to $40 a month in premiums, based on the type of coverage and the size, breed and age of your pet. That article cautions that you understand exactly what is and isn’t covered by any policy.

The article suggest two options for retirees who decide against buying pets but who want their company: pet sitting/pet walking or volunteering at an animal shelter. So keep these things in mind when you consider taking on a pet.

Reference: The Wall Street Journal (March 30, 2014) “How Retirees Get Bitten by Pet Costs

For more information on asset preservation and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.