Financially Speaking: “I Don’t Want to be the Richest Person in the Cemetery…”
By LouAnn Schulfer, AWMA®, AIF®
Accredited Wealth Management Advisor®
Accredited Investment Fiduciary®
Our firm has an advisory council consisting of five diverse clients who we get together with twice per year for a half day of uninterrupted deep discussion. We ask for perspective from a client’s point of view on aspects of their financial lives as well as ways that we can enhance our services.
In the middle of a discussion, one of our council-member clients said half-jokingly that she does not want to be the richest person in the cemetery. In other words, she wants to be able to enjoy her hard-earned money during her well-deserved retirement. This opened up discussion among the group. While many people say they fear running out of money during retirement, the other side of the coin is that the fear of running out of money can influence behavior not to spend it. Another of our council members agreed, stating his concern is whether he is spending enough during the younger, healthier years of his retirement.
Consensus of the group was that this ambivalence is diffused when you have a sound plan in place that is followed, reviewed annually and adjusted when needed. I shared an experience I had with a retired couple during a consultation a few years prior. They had those familiar two concerns, she feared running out of money and he feared not spending any. Unfortunately, she feared change so much that she did not want to withdraw any money from their retirement accounts. Incidentally, her husband was also handcuffed by her fear and nearing 80, had not yet realized many of his retirement dreams even though they had the money to do so.
Accumulation is the focus during your working years. Distribution is the strategy during your retired years. If fear is overtaking your behavior, it may be time to visit your strategy, especially if you do not want to be the richest person in the cemetery.
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.