PENSIONS, RETIREMENT AND DECUMULATION?

#pensions #retirement #decumulation #MoneyandTime
The news stories appeared next to each other on the same day.
One headline read, “As pension plans fade, workers find retirement more elusive.” The story, written by Peter Whorisky for The Washington Post, talks about how pension plans are on the decline and workers are increasingly dependent on their own savings for retirement.
The second headline read, “Why you should resolve to spend more money.” The story, written by Suzanne Woolley for Bloomberg News, talks about how retirees who have diligently saved and invested for their retirement, should consciously decide to spend down some of those savings after years of frugality.
Both stories were published Jan. 28, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The obvious question here: what retirement position are you in, and is it the right place for you?
Many can relate to the former. Perhaps they were promised a pension by their employer when they were hired, but that pension is no longer offered. Or, perhaps the pension benefit disappeared.
Perhaps not nearly as many can relate to the latter. If you are fortunate enough to have a good retirement nest egg, by all means, enjoy it. Do what you like to do. But, as any financial adviser would tell you, it’s best to take out the dividends, interest and other earnings your money produces first. A good rule: if you never touch your principal, you will never outlive your money. So, spend, but spend with some care.
Retirement didn’t used to be this complicated. In decades past, one was hired for a job and, if they stayed out of trouble, showed up every day and did what was expected of them for many years, they could count on retirement benefits.
They would get whatever pension their employers gave, combined it with Social Security and, perhaps, some savings and/or a no-stress, part-time job that provided some pocket money.
To live in such a retirement, one had to spend carefully. Perhaps they had enough to enjoy some hobbies, travel, spoil grandchildren etc. But most had to watch how they spent their money. You may have heard the pleas of, “we’re on a fixed income, you know.”
Hopefully, by this time, their mortgages were paid off and there were very few other debts.
Contrast that with today. Job security is non-existent. Pensions, as the article says, are not offered to as many people. Many don’t have a great deal of savings for retirement, and perhaps have vowed to work until they die – or until their employer forces them to leave.
The “fixed incomes” of many fortunate retirees is greater than those of many of the younger, working cohort that’s helping to fund their parents’ Social Security payments.
The part-time “retirement” jobs many are forced to take involve longer-than-desired hours, much stress and take away whatever fun retirement might offer.
There is some good news in all this. There are many ways people can earn potentially good incomes by spending a few hours a week – and have some fun doing it. The good news: it doesn’t involve taking a second, or “retirement,” part-time job. To check out one of the best, message me.
If you are young, you can think about doing this using some time when you aren’t working at your traditional job. If you are diligent, you could be in the position of having a comfortable, spendable nest egg when you retire, and have the kind of decision the second article features.
If you are retired, either by choice or force, time is on your side, and you may find a less stressful way to earn an income.
So think about your retirement position today, and bear in mind that what you were promised, or what you thought you might get, may not be there. Build enough of a nest egg, however you choose to, so you won’t have to “work until you die.”
Peter

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