MONEY matters

Mark Zaifman's thoughts on money, global economic trends and politics

You Won’t Run Out of Money in Retirement - Now What?

Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, Nov 16, 2018 @ 10:35 AM


pile of money


You’ve made it to the ‘finish line’. You’re financially independent and retirement beckons. You’ve diligently saved for decades, and now retirement is no longer a fantasy -  it’s as real as it gets.

Now, instead of adding to your savings, you enter the phase of your life where you begin withdrawing from your savings. You keep telling yourself you have enough money saved up to live the retirement lifestyle you imagined.

The concept of 'enough money' as you enter retirement is fascinating. After being well aware during your 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's that you didn’t yet have the assets you would ultimately need later in life, it can take some time to fully grasp your new reality.

As it becomes financially clear that yes, you do indeed have enough money, maybe even more than enough in many cases, in my experience it still takes some clients several years to embrace their financial freedom.

While such a realization is not technically a ‘sudden money’ event, a person slowly moving from “I’ll never have enough” to “I still don’t have enough” to “I think I have enough” to “ I really think I have enough and can finally stop” to “OMG, I really do have enough!” has undergone quite a transition.

Don’t Let Fear Ruin Your Financial Freedom

From my vantage point, what creates the biggest hurdle to enjoying the retirement you worked hard to earn is the emotion of fear. Fear can and will inhibit your ability to responsibly spend down your savings, even if you’re on a moderate spending plan.

Instead of allowing fear to run the show, look deeper inside yourself, probing the psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of your newly retired life. Are there old money patterns that have come back to sabotage your life? Try and discover what’s holding you back from fully embracing financial freedom and the feeling of abundance.

Of course, going it alone on your journey of retirement is one option. Yet working with a financial planner who understands the spiritual and emotional aspects of money and help you delve into your relationship with money, both past and present, can and often will be one of the best investments you can make in your life.

With the recent stock market downturn and all the noise about what’s causing the latest bout of volatility, do yourself a favor and tune out the noise. If you’re retired, having a well-designed retirement income strategy is what provides comfort and peace of mind during times like this.

If you’re on the road to retirement and have implemented a dividend reinvestment plan, then you’re automatically having those dividends reinvested while the markets are sporting a 10-20% off sale. And who doesn’t love a bargain?

As has been the case for decades, many retirees will have over-saved pre-retirement and will under-spend during their prime years in retirement. It doesn’t have to be this way.

If you planned well, you won’t run out of money in retirement. Let that sink in, then learn how to fully embrace your newfound financial freedom. Because if not now, when?


Photo credit R. Huffstutter