We all struggle with decisions about how much to save for tomorrow, and how much to spend now. No one wants to run out of money too early, but most people don’t want to die with millions in the bank, either.
One of the most important aspects of our job as Certified Financial Planners and retirement specialists is to help clients devise the optimum spending plan that prevents them from running out of money, but also ensures they don’t miss out on those amazing opportunities that make life worth living.
We couple our own proven retirement spending strategies that we’ve developed over the years with cutting-edge insights from prominent behavioral finance experts like Meir Statman, Professor of Finance based at Santa Clara University.
Professor Statman’s advice to retirees?
“Don’t leave the best for last,” he says.
“We have a tendency to put off spending for enjoyment, thinking … that it is financially prudent. That is wrong … Take a cruise when you are 70 if you wish, but don’t delay it. Evidence indicates a pronounced tendency for diminished consumption beyond age 70, even among those with ample financial resources. A household headed by an 80-year-old spends 43% less than a household headed by a 50-year-old. Older people suffer physical limitations that make them less capable of spending money. And for personal reasons, such as the death of a spouse, they are less inclined to spend.”
It’s easier to decide how much you can spend on “splurges” when you have an annual spending plan, like our clients do, and monitor each year whether you’re staying on track.
But Professor Statman’s advice should make everyone feel a little more confident about grabbing those special moments while they can. That’s the real retirement secret that we all need to learn.
You may also want to check out our article “The Happy Medium Between Spending vs. Saving”