I took two retirement quizzes this week. One from Fidelity (click here) And the other from RISE (click here). I was as honest as humanly possible. I even downplayed it a bit. In both instances I was given rewarding, flying colors that my retirement planning was successful and I was doing AOK.
And yet, I still sit up at night wondering if I have done the right thing, will everything be OK, will I run out of money. I think the latter worry is the end all to catch all. How can you not worry about running out of money in retirement when every single article you pick up to read about the retirement subject has ALL of us running out of money?
It’s an epidemic, I tell you. They’re out to scare us to death unless we have millions in the bank. Let me tell you a true story about my dad. He had over $8,000,000 (eight million dollars) in his investments and he used to beg my sister to go to his bank, withdraw $50,000 in cash and had her line the dining room table with all that cash. My father wanted to physically SEE his money because he just didn’t believe anything. He was as scared to death of running out of money as the next one. No worries. he died at the age of 92 with that $8million still intact. 55% of it foolishly went to government taxes. The rest was split between his children and his girlfriend. (Note: I received the least out of everyone)
What with this article (click here) from the NY Times stating Social Security is facing its first shortfall ever in decades, interest rates (which retirees rely on heavily, me included!) are dropping like cement bricks (click here), Iran is sinking American oil tankers thus causing gas prices to rise the same exact day (click here), tariffs on both China and Mexico are causing all sorts of prices to rise (click here), half of all the business economists are predicting that we will have a recession in 2020 (click here), what’s a retiree supposed to do, think, act or behave (other than hide under the covers)?
Take the quiz, that’s what. And hope for the best.
Here’s the results from my Fidelity test (click here for your choice of tests). Note: these tests do NOT take into account my home equity. They are based on actual savings and investments I have currently on file with Fidelity plus DH’s pension. Right now DH and I are living on approximately $2400 a month, borrowing $500 a month out of savings (to cover property taxes & travel). Once DH officially retires in 33 months, we will no longer need to borrow anything out of savings but I estimated we will need $3300 a month to live on. I plan on both of us living at least till 90 years of age (note: DH is 6 years younger than me). We have a 90% chance of surviving fully on the money we have already on file, but I threw in additional savings of at least $1,000 a year, which we can easily do.
Here’s the results from my RISE (click here) test: I scored better than most everyone PLUS I don’t need an annuity to supplement my income. Whew!
PS: the odds of me consulting with a financial advisor is ZERO. What more could somebody else possibly do for me? Teach me how to print my own money? LOL!
Nonetheless, you’ll find me awake most nights worrying, worrying, worrying. I know there’s nothing much else I can do. What will be, will be. For sure, I have done my best. I keep ever vigilant on our finances. I am justified, however, to worry about hubby’s health. He does work 2 days per month (which is NOTHING!) but nonetheless, I worry about him. As long as we don’t become victims to lifestyle inflation or creep, as long as we keep our expenses low and maintain our course of action, we will be fine.
What about in real life? Should I be like my father and go to the bank and withdraw $50,000 in cash and lay it all out on my dining room table just to convince myself that I really do have cash? I doubt I will be doing that. I worry because I see how my kids treat me (shabbily, I must say) as I get older. I see how my family treats me (my sister is a bust). I see how the world treats elderly people when they don’t have money or run out of it. It’s not a pretty picture. More and more seniors are running out of cash, being foreclosed on because of reverse mortgages (don’t do it! don’t do it! don’t do it!) or evicted from their homes, are living on the streets or in their cars or boasting they gave up their homes so they can roam the American earth in their RVs. Sure they do.
I’m not going to berate myself because I worry. I think it’s a very good thing that I worry. I would worry more if I didn’t worry. That’s when you become complacent and that’s probably when bad things inch up on you and happen! Better to worry and be careful and mindful of your money and your future. Also, better to keep taking quizzes and tests and checking your retirement scores to make sure you are always on track.
Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.