At my age, money is ….
This is the 3rd in the weekly Series called Retirement Happiness. In this Series we discuss the issues and concerns about money, and how its various components are so inter-twined that sometimes we cannot see a solution to our constant fear of running out of money as we get older.
Part 6 – The Nest Egg
The phrase “Nest Egg” apparently was coined from farmers’ practice of placing real or fake eggs in nests to encourage hens to lay more eggs. More eggs means more money.
Nowadays we use the expression to describe the amount of money we have stashed away for our retirement. Unfortunately it doesn’t end at a definition. It is perhaps the most confusing and troubling aspect of our retirement lives, notwithstanding health issues.
The idea that we just stash the money away over many years, then when we hit the retirement years, voila, all will be good. We can lie on the beach and think about everything other than money. Yeah right.
We’ve discussed investments in earlier Issues in this column. That is the income and capital protection side of the equation. On the other side is spending the retirement fund, which we will get to in later Issues, but for the time being we are constantly thinking about how much of the nest egg we can leave to the kids and grandkids.
Perhaps some of you are even wondering if you should leave anything to them.
“Blow the lot “, I hear you say.
In truth, for many people it is a very worrying issue. Finding the balance between having enough money for yourself to live on, while trying to leave some when you’ve departed. Staying solvent and in the black is a good hedge against all kinds of concerns. You will sleep better, you will not be afraid to express your opinion and you will be confident about yourself. Money talks. And it talks to you every day.
If the kids are going through hardship and need a little financial assistance, and you have some to spare, then by all means, give them some to tide them over. But don’t leave yourself short. They have time to recover and get back on their feet – you don’t !!
If they are spending needlessly on the basis that soon you’ll kick the proverbial bucket and then they’ll get your money to pay off loans, credit cards, etc, then it’s time to have a word with them. In fact, have several words with them. That is NOT a satisfactory lifestyle for them, and most assuredly not for you.
If you feel you should be able to enjoy yourself in your retirement years, and spend some money to do that, then you are most entitled to do so. And I’ll let you into a little secret – your kids want that for you too. Don’t let them put you on a guilt trip. They genuinely want you to have fun in your latter years. Don’t let them down.
Lastly, why not make it easy on everyone ……. State that your nest egg will skip a generation. Leave it all to the grandkids. Who’s going to argue with you…?
You should be able to instruct your pension provider, and in turn, the investment manager of your pension fund, what tolerance level you have for your investment decisions, ranging from “conservative” to “aggressive”. It is not an easy decision to make, especially to get it consistently right, so every appropriate financial advice must be taken. This is a broad overview and by no means can be classified as solid advice in your case. Be careful.