10 Ways People Are Making Sure They Don’t Outlive Their Money

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The most difficult task in planning for retirement might be determining whether you have enough money to last throughout your golden years.

Experts have a lot of theories about how much you need to save, but nobody really knows the answer. So, we all make an educated guess, then do what we can to build up a nest egg of that size.

Recently, Northwestern Mutual surveyed 2,381 adults for its 2022 Planning & Progress Study and asked them what they are doing to ensure they don’t outlive their savings. Following are their answers.

10. Obtained information from relevant associations

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Respondents who took this step to address the possibility of outliving their savings: 9%

Turning to expert sources of retirement information — the survey cites AARP as an example — can help you glean tips about how to extend your savings. A little education goes a long way when it comes to maintaining a nest egg.

9. Learned more about government assistance available to me

Uncle Sam and taxes
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Respondents who took this step to address the possibility of outliving their savings: 10%

If hard times put your back against the wall, turning to the government for help might be your only option.

For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hosts a list of programs that offer assistance to seniors. And if you cannot afford health care coverage, Medicaid can step in to fill the gap.

8. Conducted research or information searches

Senior woman playing on her tablet
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Respondents who took this step to address the possibility of outliving their savings: 14%

The internet offers a wealth of information on an endless variety of subjects. With a little time and commitment, you can learn about the many ways to get the most out of your dollars.

Start your research with “15 Ways Retirees Can Stretch Their Savings.”

7. Purchased insurance

Shaking hands with financial advisor
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Respondents who took this step to address the possibility of outliving their savings: 16%

Life insurance, disability insurance and other forms of coverage — including standard homeowners and auto insurance policies — are vital to protecting your nest egg over the course of your retirement.

So, consider investing in the “6 Types of Insurance for a Worry-Free Retirement.”

5. Sought advice from an adviser (tie)

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Respondents who took this step to address the possibility of outliving their savings: 18%

If money issues leave you flummoxed, talking to a financial adviser can be a great way to come to grips with your situation and to explore options for moving ahead. Stop by Money Talks News’ Solutions Center to search for a financial adviser.

5. Discussed options with my family (tie)

Multigenerational family members
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Respondents who took this step to address the possibility of outliving their savings: 18%

To ensure you don’t outlive your money, it’s crucial to get everyone in your household on the same page.

It also helps to tell children and other extended family members exactly how much financial help you can — and cannot — provide to them given your finances.

4. Purchased investments

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Respondents who took this step to address the possibility of outliving their savings: 21%

Few people want to take on risk during retirement. But a little risk likely is necessary if your investments are going to provide the growth you need to fund a retirement over the long haul.

For more, read “5 Simple Ways to Invest Your Retirement Savings.”

3. Put together a financial plan

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Respondents who took this step to address the possibility of outliving their savings: 22%

Even the best retirement plan cannot guarantee you won’t outlive your savings — but it sure improves the odds.

If you need help crafting a plan, enroll in the Money Talks News course The Only Retirement Guide You'll Ever Need.

This 14-week boot camp is intended for those who are 45 or older, but anyone can benefit from the lessons.

Taught by Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson, the course will provide you with such wisdom as:

  • How to invest to reach your retirement goals and never outlive your savings
  • How to score up to $12,000 more in Social Security benefits every year
  • How to stay in top shape and manage your medical costs

2. Increased my savings

Happy older woman with money.
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Respondents who took this step to address the possibility of outliving their savings: 25%

When planning for retirement, there are a lot of things you cannot control. Financial markets and the wider economy will do their own thing, regardless of whether you like it or not. Prices will go their own way, even if it ends up hurting your wallet.

One thing you can control a little better, however, is how much you save. And the more you save, the better off you are likely to be.

For more, read “7 Fast Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings.”

1. Nothing

Confused senior shrugging
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Respondents who said they have not taken any steps to address the possibility of outliving their savings: 36%

That’s right: 36% of respondents in the Northwestern Mutual survey said they have yet to take any steps to address the possibility of outliving their savings, making “nothing” the most common response of all.

Funding retirement is not easy, but it’s a challenge you must face head-on.

Don’t expect Uncle Sam to bail you out. Social Security payments are relatively skimpy, and Medicare does not cover all of your health care costs.

So, a secure retirement is up to you. Sign up for the Money Talks News retirement course — or the Money Made Simple course, which may appeal to those not yet nearing retirement — and start crafting your plan to make sure you don’t outlive your savings.