BOSTON (CBS) – Retirement is here and you thought all would be golden.

If you haven’t planned well for retirement you may find yourself coming up short.

The most common goals:

  • Make the money last as long as you do.
  • Travel
  • Spoil the grandkids

You and your spouse are 66 and have begun collecting Social Security benefits of $40,000 and you also have a pension paying $10,000 a year with no cost of living adjustment. Your IRAs are worth $250,000 and they are all invested in bonds. That’s over a quarter of a million dollars you remind yourself.

But you are spending $65,000 a year to maintain your current lifestyle so you will need to withdraw $15,000 a year from the IRAs and that will increase each year due to inflation.  That IRA withdrawal amount will be up to $20,000 in ten years so you can maintain your current lifestyle. Inflation is a nasty reality of retirement!

And if there are any major purchases such as a car or new roof that also will come out of the IRAs.

If something happens to one of you the surviving spouse will receive only one Social Security check, the larger of the two checks and a smaller pension. Living expenses will be less but not by very much if you stay in the same house.

Other alternatives:

  • Get part time jobs to supplement your retirement income.
  • Downsize your current home.
  • Modify your current lifestyle so you need to withdraw less from the IRAs.
  • Invest some of the IRA money in the stock market.
  • Move in with the kids (just kidding!).

As for traveling, that may mean you visit your sisters on the cape and in Kansas or use elder hostels instead of a cruise to Alaska.

As for spoiling the grandkids, spend time not money on them. Teach them to garden, to knit, to cook.


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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