How long will your savings last?
What an uplifting question!
But in retirement planning, it is probably the MOST IMPORTANT question and the most impossible to answer. If we all knew how long our savings would need to last, it would be so easy to determine how much we could afford to spend during retirement, what age to retire, how much risk to take for growth, and on and on.
Just for fun (I know, an odd idea of fun), I went onto a website I’d heard about for years. It’s called The Death Clock (www.deathclock.com) and by filling out just a few fields, I got my exact date of death. I’m reluctant to tell you in a public forum because then thieves will know when my funeral will be and take the opportunity to rob my house.
Oh, what the heck! I’m not using that stuff anymore so let them have it. My estimated date of death is September 30, 2073. Wow. Those would have to be some old thieves, too, so I guess my house is safe.
Here are a few areas of perspective this gave me:
- That is age 101. I hope I don’t look a day over 80.
- At today’s standard retirement age of 65, I’ll need my savings to support me for 36 years. Sounds like a reason to work until at least 70.
- If my sons have kids by age 30 and their kids have kids by age 30, I’ll live to see my first great-grandchild enter his pre-teen years.
- If my husband lives as long as I do (and he has 3 living grandparents, so why wouldn’t he) we will be married for 77 years.
And the last item of perspective I will share is this: If I make on average 2 major decisions per week (where to send my kid to middle school, how to invest my savings) and 50 small ones (what to wear to a meeting, what to cook for dinner, People Magazine or Us Weekly), I will make over 154,000 decisions between now and my appointment with Mr. Reaper. Some will be good, some not so great, but since I have until 2073 to see the ultimate results, I think I’ll try to chill out a little.