A successful retirement isn’t always about the tangibles. For many, it’s a time to realize dreams of travel and other experiences, but spending too frugally can get in the way.
“Often clients are overly conservative for fear of running out of money, but in the process they shortchange the retirement experience,” says Kevin Lum, a CFP in Los Angeles. “By the time they realize their abundance, they’re too old to spend it.”
Talk to your adviser about your big-ticket wishes and whether you have enough money to splash out a little before you settle into quieter spending.
Actual retirement spending looks more like a smile than a straight line, Lum says, with more spending at the beginning on things like travel and more spending at the end on long-term care needs.
“I’m not saying people should spend irrationally,” Lum says. “But thinking about retirement spending as a fixed calculation that doesn’t change across the retirement life isn’t a smart idea.”