Hey, Casino Gambler: Consider How Inflation Affects Plans

For our first decade after retirement in 1990s, we went to Vegas four or five times a year. Rooms were cheap or free, buffets cheap or free, entertainment cheap or free and flights cheap. Once in awhile, we actually won in the casinos. Not big, but sometimes it paid for the Vegas stay. Mostly, losing at the tables and machines, it cost about $200 for each day there. Well worth it for the fun, food and music. That was then.

While our retirement income has gone up a total of only 10% in two decades, Las Vegas costs have increased 100% and more. Hotel rooms were $35, now $350, and freebee rooms today are rare. Buffet dinners were $7, now $40. Shows were $25, now $200. Parking was free, now $25 a day and more. Airfare from the one-hour flight from Tucson AZ was $70, now $200.

Tips, local taxes and other piled-on expenses greatly increase the already high cost of doing a Vegas vacation. If you plan to gamble away your kids’ inheritances there, be prepared to pay a lot more. Or just spend a day at a nearby Native American casino for the same experience without all the inflated transportation and overnighting costs

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