What do you fear about retirement?

Jul 7, 2010

Running out of Retirement Income Scares Retirees More Than Dying


According to a recent survey of 3,200 baby boomers by Allianz Life Insurance Co, about 61 percent of retirees and soon-to-be retired say they fear outliving their retirement money more than they fear death.

What's more, 31 percent of these baby boomers said they don't know what their retirement expenses will be, and 36 percent have no idea if their retirement income will last.

In response to this survey, several financial and retirement writers have been advocating that baby boomers calculate how much retirment income they will need to retire comfortabley. In other words, they should find a good answer to the question, "How much do I need to retire?"

Following was my comment to an article in which someone was advocating that baby boomers spend some time calculating what their retirement expenses will be and how much retirement income they will need:

    As you say, the exercise in determining how much money you will need for retirement will not result in perfect information.

    But even if people could come up with perfect information, most people won't make use of this information because they aren't about to increase their savings much, if at all, and will likely need at least some type of retirement career.

    There are two problem conditions that most North Americans suffer from:

      1. A need is any luxury that their neighbor happens to have.

      2. Instant gratification takes too long.

    I have just started writing a book called How NOT to Retire BROKE in which I am going to make the point that saving 10 percent of your income is for amateurs and losers and people should save at least 40 perent of their income, like I started to do when I turned 45 because I had no money saved at that time.

    Of course, I think I have done well by saving 40 percent of my income and not all that concerned about not having enough for retirement.

    But I was delighted to hear that someone is doing even better with their saving rate.

    On January 17, 2010, in reply to a blog post Five Reasons Why You Will Retire Broke and Unhappy, an individual who writes his or her own blog post stated:


      "I personally am taking my retirement savings seriously and have by living very frugally been able to increase my savings to 60 percent of my gross earnings. I’m targeting a very early retirement. Achieving this high rate has been partly achieved by watching my Lifestyle Creep as you identify in Point 5. As I achieve pay increases I have actively decided not to change my standard of living."


    In short, knowing how much money people need to retire comfortably will do them absolutely no good if they can't handle money. Saving for retirement takes handling money properly.

    Now for one of my favorite retirement quotes:

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