Giving yourself permission to spend

Life is too short to put off those things you've always wanted to do.

I have had many discussions over the past few months with folks that are not giving themselves permission to spend their money even though they have no reason not to. This prompted me to write an article on this issue.

The discussion tends to go like this:

“We own our home with no mortgage, we have a pension that pays all our monthly bills and we have $200,000 in investments. We are in our mid-60s, retired and want to do some traveling but we are not sure if we should be spending our money as we do not want to run out of it.”

I have found in most cases the reason for this positioning is folks have not had the opportunity to sit down with a financial advisor and calculate how much money they could spend and not run out of cash. Once an advisor can demonstrate to you that you can go ahead and travel without being concerned about running out of cash, at this point, you are empowered to give yourself permission to spend without guilt.

We keep hearing that one needs $1,000,000 to retire today, this is clearly not the case. The reason people come up with these lofty numbers is because everyone makes that same mistake. The mistake is to think that one needs a linear amount of income during retirement, when the opposite is true.

What generally happens in the early years of retirement is that your income needs might actually go up as you are active and healthy and are traveling, as you get older your income needs will decline. Eventually one of the two spouses will have a health issue, travel insurance becomes too expensive and traveling generally becomes a pain.

Remember that when you retire hopefully your kids have left home, you probably will be mortgage free, you will more than likely downsize to one vehicle.

I meet too many people with regrets about trips they did not do as they never gave themselves the permission to spend their own money.

When I sit down with them and analyze their financial situation they could have done the trips.

It is particularly frustrating when people are not intending on leaving a large estate but do so because of bad planning at the expense of not fulfilling their travel dreams.

If you have some extra cash or even a home that is debt free and have some travel dreams, meet with a financial advisor to discuss your options.

Life is too short.

Written by Stuart Kirk, CIM. Stuart Kirk is a Retirement Planning Specialist with Precision Wealth Management Inc. The opinions expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Precision Wealth Management Ltd.  For comments or questions Stuart can be reached at  or 250-954-0247.



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