Relying on age-based spending averages in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey can lead future retirees astray, Steve Vernon writes. An individual's retirement budget should factor in debt, health, travel plans and other specifics. In addition, while the survey shows that people generally spend less money as they age, this could be because they have less to spend later in retirement, when health care costs typically rise. "I wouldn't count too much on reduced spending in your later years to justify spending more today," he writes.

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