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Seniors Speak Out on Outliving Their Money

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In our annual senior survey, we ask consumers what’s the number one thing they worry about. Always at the top of the list is the fear of outliving their money. When you hear that response from your own clients, how do you respond?

Do you sit down and go over the overall retirement plan? Do you identify the debt, their housing situation? Based on our research, seniors really need reassurance and guidance—a plan!—when overcoming that fear (and reality) of outliving their money. If you have a great answer to that question, please send us your thoughts.

In the meantime, read over responses from seniors and how they addressed our question: “Do you believe you have enough money to last your entire retirement?”

No, but that wasn’t always the case. My ex-wife got our house in the divorce. Ever since, I’ve been living in a senior community apartment, trying to get the pieces back together. I admit I made some bad choices. There’s no way around that. Both personally and financially, but feeling bad about it isn’t going to make things better. I need to get a plan together. I have some investments, but they took a squat in 2008, so I’m not exactly sure where I am with that either. It’s not a good future right now.

Greg, 62 Memphis, Tenn.

Um, it could go either way, but I guess that depends on how long I live (laughs). My wife and I both retired years ago. We were smart or lucky and downsized our house before the bottom fell out of the market. So, that’s been a real blessing. I’m disabled and have gotten some money from that that’s helped us a good bit. Unfortunately, as the cost of living goes up each year it makes our margin of error that much smaller. It’s a tight window. Like I said, it could go either way.  

Carl, 71 St. Louis, Mo.

No. I’ve had a bad run of luck since 2008 and the answer is no. I was upside down on my house until the bank took it. It’s very frustrating as I worked more than 35 years for a local company that I won’t name. I’ve been in a lawsuit with the owners over the pension and other benefits, but that was overturned. I lost and right now it’s pretty dark and I’ve been looking for a job.

Bill, 60 Castle Rock, Colo.

It’s looking good. I’ve made a good living as an attorney. I’m a partner in our firm and am still very active in the practice. You know, lawyers never really retire. One of our founding partners is 87, so I have a long time before I catch him. Seriously, though, I know it’s a real issue out there for so many Americans. They either didn’t make enough to begin with or didn’t plan it out. We’ve had to help quite a few clients work through some tough times financially. It’s sad, really. They deserve better.

Barry, 62 San Diego, Calif.