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Decumulation isn’t just a tough financial problem. It can be an emotional strain to flip a switch from saving to dissaving.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/27/opinion/how-to-enjoy-reti...
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It can be an emotional strain to flip a switch from saving to dissaving

In the parlance of professional financial planners, it's the challenge of going from "accumulation" to "decummulation". This, as you show, is potentially one of the greatest problems in transitioning into retirement, particularly with those who have the greatest savings as a multiple of annual income at the start of retirement. An actual anecdotal story will clarify...

H&W target retirement with retirement savings of $2MM (all savings with no inheritance) and a final work year AGI of $100K (20-to-1). Their adult children convince them to take that $40K 30 day world cruise they had always dreamed of. At the behest of the children the couple's CFP calculates this expense is well within their means. So off they go!

30 days later they return. They are miserable. The trip was unenjoyable. They spent most of the trip in their room for fear of spending anything. The prices for anything on ship or shore was far more than they would ever spend.

Learning to 'Spend' for chronic habitual savers is a gradual and slow process. Any financial planner who has not learned this is setting themselves up for a rough time.

BruceM
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Meanwhile many use a special budget for their vacations. That is part of a vacation.

It is an adjustment but many make that adjustment once they see unspent funds accumulating. Its ok to spend and enjoy a surplus.
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30 days later they return. They are miserable. The trip was unenjoyable. They spent most of the trip in their room for fear of spending anything. The prices for anything on ship or shore was far more than they would ever spend.


How very sad.
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30 days later they return. They are miserable. The trip was unenjoyable. They spent most of the trip in their room for fear of spending anything. The prices for anything on ship or shore was far more than they would ever spend.

The Countess and I just signed on for an expensive retirement home. Large buy-in and large monthly "dues". I think she will be comfortable with the rate of cash flow, but I worry about me. My mother would roll over in her grave.

CNC
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How very sad

Very.

This happened in our financial planning firm in the first 6 months or so I worked there, while I was enrolled in my CFP course. The planners in the office had several conversations and debates over the planners responsibilities beyond just merely confirming it is doable based on the clients savings and projected consumption trends. It was a long and eye-opening event that showed us, in real time, the importance of non-quantifiable measures of personal finance.

BruceM
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Learning to 'Spend' for chronic habitual savers is a gradual and slow process.

Yup. Our planned way to spend during retirement was/is travel. But Covid put a lid on that. Our last international trip was in May 2019. Still hoping....
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Ah, but it's a great opportunity to dust off the reading list and try a few books you always wanted to read.
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Ah, but it's a great opportunity to dust off the reading list and try a few books you always wanted to read.

Thanks. As a grad student and then a professor, I probably read the equivalent of 300 books/year for nearly 50 years. I still read voraciously. But it's no substitute for going places and experiencing new (and not so new) things.
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