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September 10, 2015
Retirement can be the time when you live a little instead of worrying whether your money will also make the whole trip.
A typical retirement plan might be to guard your savings and investments to stretch them out through an unknown period of time. With Americans enjoying longer and longer lives, that’s a rational concern and goal.
Along with managing their finances scrupulously to make it last, many people want to leave something of a legacy for family or other beneficiaries. But what if you’d rather spend it all and slide into home base, so to speak, with barely a jingle left in your pocket?
You can’t predict with any sort of reasonable accuracy how many years worth of retirement income you’ll need. But you can live better than you might, and use up what you’ve got, with a systematic decumulation of assets.
Skipping the big inheritance doesn’t mean that you’ll leave your kids in poverty.
Not Everyone Wants to Leave a Financial Legacy
Bill and Melinda Gates have famously said that their kids won’t have enormous inheritances. The same applies to Warren Buffett and rock musician Sting. Instead of creating trust fund babies, they’ve taught and encouraged their children to forge their own paths and create their own lives.
That’s not to say that they’re leaving their kids high and dry. The Gates kids, for example, will still inherit about $10 million each. But compared to the billions owned by their parents, that’s not much.
It’s becoming a sort of upper middle-class issue, with people of more modest means than the elite determined to leave vast wealth to their children. According to the Washington Post, baby boomers are currently set to leave about $30 trillion behind. But you can give them a leg up without financing the remainder of their lives.
You’ve got several ways to keep a dependable income through retirement, even if it lasts a very long time.
Protection of Assets Shouldn’t Rule Your Life
You probably don’t have tens of millions to worry about. And premature depletion of assets might factor in with your plans, at least to a certain degree. But if you’re well-funded, shouldn’t your intended lifestyle, and not the dollars that you have to spend, guide how you manage your money?
Many people become so wrapped up in micromanaging assets that they forget to have a little fun once in a while. Kenn Tacchino for MarketWatch says that each person needs a decumulation strategy that protects assets, but without focusing too much on never running out of money.
If you purchase an annuity and long-term care insurance, and also postpone taking Social Security distributions for as long as possible, you’ll have income for older age. It will be there. Now think about how differently you might live through retirement knowing that you don’t have to cautiously pore over every detail with how the remainder of your assets are used.
Spending it all isn’t the right approach for everyone. But neither is trying to perfectly plot every dime that you’ve saved so that you can leave a sizable sum to beneficiaries. You can accomplish that with other means, and have a better life in the meantime.
NewRetirement understands that no two people have the same retirement goals. Maybe you’re just starting out and the idea of beneficiaries is so far fetched that it’s not even on your radar. Or maybe you’ve accumulated a modest but tidy sum and want to protect it as best you can. And then again, maybe you’re among the people who do have enormous wealth.
Whatever your situation and goals, NewRetirement can help you make the most of them. The best way to start? Check out our retirement calculator. You’ll clearly see just where you are, and find out a lot more about where you want to go.
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