The single biggest retirement myth in existence has to be: you better save or you will end up being poor and eating cat food in retirement. I seen it referenced so many times in books or the media that it sort of makes me crazy. So of course I read that and think…oh come on, no really does that do they? I eat well fairly easily on a $300/month budget for a family of four. Even a fixed income senior can’t be that bad off, right?
Since I don’t own a cat, I had to do some research. So skimming a few websites for prices on canned cat food I found prices ranged from $0.59 to $1.59 per 3 oz (or 85 gram) can. So let’s give our mythical cat food eating seniors the benefit of the doubt and go with the lowest price. So that would translate into $0.69/100 grams or $6.90/kg. Now I’m not a huge meat eater, but to me that even sounds like a high price for protein.
So I pick up this weeks grocery store flyer and pull out the following prices (I didn’t even comparison shop on these):
- Hotdogs, $4.18/kg
- Pork side ribs, $4.14/kg
- Chicken drumsticks or thighs, $6.13/kg
- Pork shoulder blade steak, $6.57/kg
Hmm, so in reality a senior would be better off eating: hotdogs, pork side ribs and even chicken drumsticks than cat food. Heck, even a pork shoulder steak is a good option. Oh, yes and lets not forget that is assuming they are eating a lot of meat, when in fact going just meatless once a week would drop their spending by a lot. Oh, the joys and frugal nature of eating some beans…once in a while.
So in conclusion, rest easy: you will NEVER eat cat food in retirement. It costs too much! In fact only a bloody idiot would even consider eating canned cat food in retirement. So next time someone rolls out that silly little myth, feel free to call: bullsh!t.