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How To Enjoy A More Worry Free Retirement

How to enjoy a more worry-free retirement

The steady path to a dream retirement

My wife and I are retired, have a comfortable income and a substantial nest egg. We have a nice home and no debt. Still, I worry constantly about our financial future. What can we do to better enjoy the retirement we’ve worked and saved for?–A.N.

Plenty of people have good reason to be concerned about their retirement security. Their nest egg simply isn’t large enough to allow them to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed during their career.

But research shows there are also lots of retirees like you who appear to have more than enough resources to live comfortably, yet still feel anxious about their financial future.

For example, one new study finds that we become less optimistic about the stock market, the economy and our future financial health as we age, a shift that may lead us to focus so much on preserving our wealth in retirement that we don’t enjoy it as much as we could.

And while some earlier studies may not have homed in on why many affluent retirees seem reluctant to draw on their nest eggs, they have demonstrated that many seniors find it difficult making the transition from saving to spending.

Last year, for example, researchers from Texas Tech and William Patterson University documented what they called “a retirement consumption gap,” or the fact that many retirees were spending much less than they could actually afford based on the size of their retirement accounts plus income from Social Security and other sources.

Similarly, a 2015 report on retirement spending estimated that retirees with $100,000 or more in 401(k)s, IRAs or other retirement accounts spent only 60% of the money they withdrew from those accounts and ended up reinvesting the remaining 40%.

In short, for whatever reason — increased anxiety about the future, fear of running through their nest egg too soon, trouble shaking a deep-seated tendency toward thrift — many retirees simply may not be enjoying retirement as much as they should be given the financial resources at their disposal.

So how can you, if not eliminate, at least reduce this sense of foreboding and start leading a happier and more satisfying post-career life?

I’d suggest you begin by getting a handle on where you actually stand financially. That way you can at least determine whether there’s a rational basis for your financial concerns.

You can do this on your own pretty easily by going to a retirement tool like T. Rowe Price’s retirement income calculator. The calculator estimates how long your nest egg is likely…

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