Are You A Retirement Cheapskate?

Spending in retirement might be scary. Inflation reaching a 40-year high is not the only factor that may keep you from indulging; there are several uncertainties and unanticipated threats. Even if hunkering down keeps you up at night, if you don’t spend your retirement funds, you defeat the purpose of collecting a nest egg in the first place.

 According to Rob Williams, managing director of financial planning, retirement income, and asset management at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, it’s pretty normal for retirees to behave cautiously when it comes to retirement spending. You’ve missed a salary; your capacity to return to work has diminished or maybe nonexistent; there are many unknowns and risks to expect. Medical bills are substantial. 

There is a larger likelihood that you may incur expensive medical bills or need long-term care, given that retirement might extend for decades. Housing is another expensive factor to consider. Rents are on the rise, and the shortage of affordable housing poses a serious dilemma for seniors. As a result, retirees skip vacations, hobbies, and nights out – the same activities for which they had saved throughout their working years. 

What they don’t know is that over time, it mounts up, and their money ends up outlasting them. This is ok if these people desire to pass their money to heirs or a charity. If not, it may be time to start spending some of those dollars if any of the following indicators are present. ​

You’re healthy

According to Fidelity Investments, the average 65-year-old couple would spend $300,000 on healthcare expenditures during retirement in 2021. It does not cover unforeseen diseases or long-term care needs, which can cost thousands of dollars. It’s one of the reasons retirees are frugal with their finances, but if you’re in good health, you don’t need to be. 

According to Andrew Meadows, senior vice president at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, your medical health is a good indicator. Are you exercising, eating healthy, and taking every precaution to avoid medical problems? If you can affirmatively answer this question, Meadows suggests that you need not be so frugal when it comes to spending on items that promote well-being and keep you active. You’ll have more money for pleasure if you’re healthier because you’ll need less medical care if you’re healthier.

​You don’t have a plan

We spend years planning our retirement savings strategy, saving money carefully and ensuring it is invested effectively. But, we do not have a specific strategy for how to spend our retirement funds. Without a strategy, it is difficult to determine how much you should really withdraw, according to Williams. It can result in some overspending and others underspending.

You adhere to the 4 percent guideline too strictly. According to a standard retirement spending formula, you withdraw 4% of your retirement funds in the first year. In subsequent years, you modify your withdrawals to account for inflation. This technique enhances the probability that you will not run out of money over your 30-year retirement. Williams, however, contends that this strategy isn’t appropriate for everyone and might force you to leave too much money on the table in retirement.

Williams explains that the 4 percent rule presupposes that annual expenditure would grow by the rate of inflation and that annual spending will remain constant. Often, this is not the case since expenditures fluctuate even annually and during the golden years.

 Starting off in retirement, you may spend a great deal, but as you age, you may spend less. Williams notes it’s a good place to begin, but it doesn’t always line up. Your spending rate must be individualized, adaptable, and annually revised.

You are clinging to a large home.

 Some retirees stick to their previous way of life, keeping the house where they reared their children or spent their working years. Keeping a large home as you age may be pricey, especially if you must pay others to maintain it. If you decreased your home, you would have more disposable income. Many individuals express a desire to travel when they are older. Maybe you no longer require the two-story home in which your family has resided for so many years, Meadows suggests. 

You delay too long to withdraw from your retirement savings.

It is usual for retirees to begin withdrawing funds from their retirement accounts around age 72. At this age, you must begin taking the minimum distributions, which are taxed as regular income. If you wait until then to withdraw, you may incur a higher tax liability. Williams adds that you are older and may not have as much energy or health to enjoy life as you had in your early retirement years. If this sounds similar, he proposes accessing your retirement funds while you may still enjoy them: Use some of that money during your active retirement years.

For more retireme