In this recent article by Carmen Reinicke, a personal finance writer at CNBC, she noted that “after saving up for decades to retire, many Americans are excited to finally stop working and enjoy their free time. Yet for some, switching to a spending mindset after being so focused on saving can be a difficult transition.”
“There’s a lot of unknowns and if there hasn’t been detailed planning or a high-level overview, someone might enter retirement with a lot of stress and anxiety,” said Anjali Jariwala, certified financial planner, CPA and founder of FIT Advisors in Torrance, California.
Many retirees don’t want to spend down all their assets. Instead, they want to preserve or even grow them during retirement. On average, nearly 47% said they plan to spend none or just a small portion of their accounts, according to an April study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The group surveyed 2,000 households aged 65 to 72 with less than $1 million in financial assets.
“People are trying to hold onto their money because it makes them feel more secure to see a pile of money,” said Steve Vernon, a consulting research scholar at the Stanford Center of Longevity. “I like to call it Scrooge McDuck syndrome.”
About 40% expected to spend down all or a significant portion of their assets in retirement, and about 14% wanted to grow their accounts during that period.
Of course, having money left over when you die isn’t necessarily a bad thing — some people want to leave t family members with an inheritance, for example. On the flip side, you can miss out on enjoying retirement if you don’t have a spending plan that’s tailored to your needs.