Spending habits change over time. Typically, spending peaks at the age of 45 and starts a slow decline. This is an important piece of the retirement planning puzzle. We often talk about distribution strategies at retirement age. A solid estimate of spending is necessary to strategize for your future.

This chart illustrates what college-educated households spend on major expenditures at specific ages. Most Americans’ peak spending years are between ages 45 and 54, and thereafter spending tends to lower at older ages. Note that the largest expenditure category at all ages is housing, while the category that older people spend significantly more on than younger people is health care.