Asked by Alice  |  Submitted September 18, 2014

Ok, this is going to sound like a very selfish question and it's a very general question."What's the point"?

The reason why I say this is because me and my husband spent over 40 years of living frugally, basically on the hopes of building a nest egg for retirement, now I'm reading, "don't you dare touch that money".
WTH!!! I don't think I'm trying to live la vida loca, but heck after 40 years working I would like to go to Italy without being scared of that meaning I'll be eating cat food.
I realize I probably sound like a whiny brat but darn it, what did I work hard for save and scrimp for if not to have some pleasure.
Has this all been to leave my kids thousands of dollars when I die?
Rant over...

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  Answers  |  3

September 19, 2014

Alice, you make a great point. I believe that we should be able to work hard and play hard. I’m not sure who’s giving you advice to not spend it, but I encourage many of my clients to spend and enjoy their retirement money. We review it semi-annually and we check in on their investments to make sure they can do what they’ve been working so hard to do. Find a good investment advisor in your area that can look at your specific situation and give you some confidence that your money is working the way it should so you can enjoy at least some of it. Happy planning!

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 05.10.21 @ 07:37


March 04, 2015

No, it's not for your kids, it's for you and your husband. Would you rather put a little bit of money away now and let compound interest grow your nest egg so that you can enjoy Italy later too or...
Depend on the government for your retirement , with it's budget deficit, and social security running out and all the other problems to tell you at 65 when you are too tired, old or frankly just don't want to work that you are going to work as a greeter in Walmart part time until your 90.

Sacrificing a little now, for a delayed gratification later. Nobody likes it, but what's the alternative?

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 05.10.21 @ 07:37


November 23, 2015

Hi Alice! Of course you can spend your money! Who is telling you that you can't? You question reminds me of a couple I met with a few weeks ago. They were in their late 50's and saved their entire lives too. They had a good amount of money saved up, not millions, but a good chunk. The husband wanted to build shed and the wife wanted to travel. They did neither because they just didn't know. They didn't know how much they needed to fund retirement. They didn't know how long they would need it for. They didn't know how much to set aside for medical costs. Basically, they were afraid of running out of money. This fear paralyzed them. What they needed was a financial plan that planned out their retirement and showed them how to manage their cash flows during retirement. That's what a good financial plan does - it answers all of your questions like "how much money can I spend in retirement?"

Now, keep in mind, you DO NOT want to try to spend down your assets to $0. A good plan will have some money left over. The reason for this is that you can't be certain how long you are going to live, you can't be certain about the markets, and you can't be certain about other things that happen in your life. Because of all this uncertainty you will find it very difficult to try to spend your last dollar on the day you die. You don't want to try to find another job when you are 90 years old because you didn't plan ahead and ran out of money sooner than you needed. I'm not trying to scare you, just telling why you need to plan ahead.

If it's your husband telling you to not spend then it probably because he is uncertain about the future and is just trying to make sure you are both taken care of throughout retirement. If this is the case I suggest you meet with a good financial planner (I recommend a Fee-Only Adviser), go through a comprehensive retirement plan to put your mind at ease. Coming out of the plan you should know how much you can spend including a trip to Rome!

If it's your financial adviser telling you not to spend any money you need to ask why. Once they give you a rundown of what's in your plan (assuming you've completed a plan) then it's just a matter of changing priorities. Tell him it's a high priority of yours to travel. He should be able to find a trade-off that allows you to do this. That's really all a plan is, determining what your priorities/goals are and finding the best way to accomplish them. This would include trade-offs because you can't do everything. I hope this helps! Send me a postcard when you get to Italy :)

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 05.10.21 @ 07:37