The Love of Pets: Do They Take A Bite Out Of Our Savings?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal addresses the issue of not only the high cost of health care for ourselves, but what about what we spend on our pets as they age along with us?

it was reported that older adults are spending way more today on their pets than they did in 1990. For example, adults in the age range of 64-75 are spending huge amounts of cash in two categories – pets and hobbies!  The growth rate since 1990 is 5.2% according to a new report by the National Center For Policy Analysis, a not for profit organization based in Dallas.

Financial advisors for the rapidly growing baby boomer generation are growing concerned that this dedication to pets could be a budget buster in later retirement.  This is a topic that rarely gets discussed, but is something that avid pet owners should be made aware.



One area that people should be mindful of is the purchase or adoption of pets once you are retired. It’s important to remember that pets are a long term commitment. Think about the type of pet you plan on procuring. For example, large dogs are more costly and will take a big chunk out of,your savings. Other unexpected costs may arise. We heard of a woman who while away on vacation came home to learn her dog had swallowed glass. Her final cost of treating him totaled $4,000!

Pet insurance is another option. Premiums will range and are dependent on the breed, size and age of your pet. Read the fine print so you know exactly what is covered by your pet insurance.

Ways of cutting the costs of pet care and cushioning your retirement nest egg include keeping an eye out for specials on vaccinations and pet prescriptions. Check out online pharmacies and mail order.

For those who consider the costs and opt out of full time pet ownership there are other ways of getting your pet fix! Offer your services as a pet sitter or pet walker and check out animal shelters in your area. They are always looking for volunteers.

Most of all, remember that pets are great companions as we grow older with gusto. They help lower our blood pressure and give us great contentment. Make that healthy investment and keep your pet safely by your side!


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