It's the most common fear among retirees. We get expert advice

Are You Afraid You'll Outlive Your Savings?

by Gary Foreman

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According to The Journal of Accountancy the biggest fear of retirees is outliving their money. And that was true for high net worth retirees, too. So we wanted to get some ideas on how to address this problem. We turned to Bryan Slovon, CEO of Stuart Financial Group in Washington, DC.

Q: Many (most?) retirees are afraid that they'll outlive their income. Is this a rational concern? Or are they worrying without a good reason?

Mr. Slovon: Yes, with interest rates still nearing all time low and negative rates in Europe, stock market volatility, if monies are not properly allocated along with living within your means this can be a tremendous problem.

Are You Afraid You'll Outlive Your Savings?

Q: Are there certain traits or activities that are common among people who outlive their income?

Mr. Slovon: Undisciplined, with no plan would be among the top traits.

Q: Are there any early warning signs that someone is about to outlive their income? And, if recognized, is there anything that the retiree can do to prevent that outcome?

Mr. Slovon: Warning signs may be excessive worry, spending down of all the assets, and people wanting to do planning only at the last moment rather than when it should have been implemented years before.

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Q: Are there habits and/or techniques that will tend to prevent a retiree from outliving their income?

Mr. Slovon: Yes, working with a qualified income planner who strictly focuses in this area. It is a specialization and requires focus on a budget, lifestyle as well as the investments.

Related: Should You Use a Financial Planner for Retirement Planning?

Q: What happens when a retiree outlives their income and Social Security isn't enough to cover their needed level of care?

Mr. Slovon: Maybe look at a reverse mortgage or major lifestyle change like renting an apartment, scaling down, etc.

Reviewed November 2017

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Bryan Slovon is the founder and CEO of Stuart Financial Group (, a boutique financial planning firm exclusively serving retirees and soon-to-be retirees in the District of Columbia metro area. He is a financial planner specializing in retirement planning and wealth preservation to a select group of clients. He currently holds his Series 65 license and is a Registered Financial Consultant as well as a Comprehensive Wealth Manager offering investment advisory services through Global Financial Private Capital, an SEC registered investment advisor.

Gary Foreman

Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who founded The Dollar website and newsletters in 1996. He's the author of How to Conquer Debt No Matter How Much You Have and he's been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report, US News Money, and Gary shares his philosophy of money here. Gary is available for audio, video or print interviews. For more info see his media page.

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