by Sue

We are both retired and have some savings. How do we decide what to spend NOW and what to save for LATER?

Do we live on what we're receiving monthly and not touch the savings "just in case" OR do we dip in that (limited) savings and enjoy a cruise (for instance) now?

It is not our goal to leave money for our two boys, so that isn't a concern.

What are your thoughts?

Comments for Savings

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Save or Spend?
by: Anonymous

This is the age-old question for sure! My husband and I are faced with it right now. I retired a year and a half ago at 65. My husband is 4 years younger and probably will work until at least 65.

We have some money, and eventually will be collecting a pittance of Social Security and small 401k disbursements. Overall - we'll ultimately be living on about $2500 a month.

Problem is, my husband has prostate cancer which is currently in remission. He has been living with it for 8 years. None of us knows how long we've got, but faced with a known issue (like cancer) I feel that we should do some fun things now, while we are both still somewhat healthy.

Of course, something could be lurking inside me that I don't know about yet... We know what we have, we don't know what's to come - I say enjoy yourselves now while you still are viable and have each other.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Now I just have to get my husband to get on board with my philosophy!

Always save
by: Paul/NY

I find, since I retired, I have more extra cash than when I was working. I set a goal of saving a minimum amount and put it into "safe" savings. I find zero coupons from Treasury Direct to fit that goal. Then I attempt to match that amount and put money into DRIPS every month. If I cannot save the total amount, I always insure that I put into "safe" savings first, so I do not loose my initial investment.

by: Anonymous

Be like tom come to the uk so the taxpayer can pay for your care also free operations I dont know how that works as we have to pay for care till money gets to low also my daughter in law cant even come to the uk to live as they wont give her a visa from america she has a husband whos moved back here to the uk as hes in the services and they have a baby yet everyone else seems to

by: Tom in Sri Lanka

My wife and I saved all our lives and seven years ago bought a beautiful house on the shores of the Indian Ocean in Sri Lanka. My wife was then diagnosed with having Alzheimer's disease and is at present in a dementia home in UK. Luckily the NHS pay for this.

I am now in a position where I am financially secure but alone. My advice is, go on a cruise, live life like there is no tomorrow as you never know what is around the corner

Save or spend in retirement
by: Anonymous

The issue of whether to spend some of our savings once we are retired or continue saving is indeed a personal choice. Obviously we need to have something to fall back on should we need nursing home care but at the same time we shouldn't worry about what may never happen.

When I had my will revised recently my attorney told me to spend the money and not save it for someone else to spend.

I wouldn't dip into savings for my routine monthly expenses but using part of it for a cruise or doing something else 'special' provides memories for the future when one or the other partner is no longer with us.

If you have sufficient to cover that once in a lifetime expenditure without totally depleting your resources, go for it.

Do It Now
by: Mike

Hi Sue,

I will be newly retired this year at 51, and think of this issue often. I will live on my monthly pension, but then at some point I might need to use investment income to pay for regular expenses or a vacation.

I've also thought of it in terms of time. My spouse is 9 years older, but I'm retiring early so that we both can enjoy time and experiences together while we're both still in good health.

Author Leo Buscaglia told the story of a man whose wife wanted to buy a red dress and go dancing. It never happened. When she died, her husband buried her in a new red dress.

The point? If you can afford it, experience the cruise or trip now, while you can. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow. You could "save" for the cruise out of your current income in the same way you saved for items when you were working. Or, use your savings to pay for the cruise and then replenish the savings from your current income.

Also, if the weather is just as nice, take the cruise or trip in the "shoulder" season when the cost is less. Take the cruise or trip now, and have a GREAT time.

When you're 99 (and still cruising!) you'll be glad you did!!

by: Anonymous

Yes, Wendy, that's exactly what I'm saying. Do we keep x number of dollars in savings for that MAYBE nursing care down the line?

Or do we take some of that money for something now?
Do we keep putting money in our savings?

It is an individual decision, but I'd like to hear others ideas on this.


Savings in retirement
by: Anonymous

Ive long thought it best to not dip into savings if at all possible - you never know if you'll need those funds in the future - medical expenses, etc.

Then, sadly, I've seen friends and family members pass on far before their time - and before getting to take that special trip that they always planned for 'when I retire'.

Tomorrow isn't promised to anyone.

While spending like a drunken sailor would be foolish, realizing a life long dream or making important memories together is the true fabric of life. We try to travel as much as possible now, while we still have the ability to do so, but set a budget and scale back where possible (ie shorter trips, less fancy hotels).

by: Wendy

I think this is a very personal decision...

I have quite the same here.... I've saved for a lifetime

  • Do I FINALLY allow myself to have some real fun? (I honestly don't know what that might be...) What if one of us needs nursing help later and our savings are gone?

  • Then again, what if we both die young? We saved all our lives. We've never really wanted for anything but we also never lived BIG.... so we die, and someone else spends our hard-earned money.

    It's really a Catch 22...

    My folks, at 90, still have savings... and it really bothers them that IF they live long enough, they may need nursing care at $6000/month. They don't want their savings to be spent that way -- but it is what it is. Right?

    The other question is: When is Enough Enough when saving for retirement? A financial planner can make an educated guess -- but until the future plays itself out, who knows what happens?

    Curious to see if everyone tells you -- DO IT.
    I want to say that, but I can't do it for myself - yet!

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