The growing cost of retirement that can sometimes be three decades long, brings some difficult questions for retirees: spend it or save it, according to the Warwick Advertiser in “Will You Spend Your Retirement Savings or Leave It Behind? The Answer May Surprise You.”
For many people, the goal of retirement is to do all the things that had to be put off while working. That might include a hobby that requires time and resources, travelling, purchasing a vacation home, or fulfilling a dream of going back to school. If that’s your retirement dream, bear in mind that these dreams all come with costs. Spending in the early stages of retirement often goes up, as retirees are still healthy enough to do everything on their bucket lists.
Given the reality of longer life expectancies, it’s important for retirees to understand that they may be living from their retirement investments for three or more decades. That means that you’ll need to have enough money to cover routine expenses plus health care and most likely, long-term health care services. Make sure your financial planning takes these factors into account.
Once you know how much money you’ll need for your costs of living and health care, plus inflation, then what’s left behind is your retirement fun money.
Knowing how to work within the constraints of a budget is actually more important during retirement. You can’t just go back to work for a few decades, if you find yourself running short. You still may need to pick up a part-time gig on the side.
What if leaving a legacy is more important to you than buying a second home? Just like the plan for retirement fun, you’ll need to do some financial planning to make this goal come to fruition. Remember that your legacy will include whatever is left at the time of your death, as well as what you may give while you are living.
Giving your children or grandchildren their inheritance while you are alive, is a way to enjoy the gift twice — once when you give and a second time when you see what they do with your gift. You might want to help the family reach their own financial milestone, like covering the cost of a college degree, helping with a deposit on a home or helping to pay off a mortgage.
Charitable giving may also be part of your legacy. If there is a charity, foundation, or alma mater that aligns with your values, you may choose to set aside a portion of your estate for a donation.
Regardless of whether you are planning on spending everything, giving away your assets to family members, or to a preferred charity, an estate plan is necessary.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances.
Reference: Warwick Advertiser (April 18, 2019) “Will You Spend Your Retirement Savings or Leave It Behind? The Answer May Surprise You”