Personal Finance

How to Avoid Running Out of Money in Retirement

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When I was 17, the day after I graduated from high school I left my home in Atlanta and, along with my friend Andy, hitchhiked across the United States.

A couple of months later, we ended up in San Francisco with about $5 between us. As the money started to dwindle, we went from eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to just peanut butter sandwiches to just bread and finally to not much of anything.

On our way back home, I remember getting a ride from a guy in an 18-wheeler hauling potatoes. As we got out of the truck around dawn in Amarillo, Texas, I asked the driver if I could take a potato. Standing there by the side of the road trying to find another eastbound ride, Andy and I tried to eat that raw potato like an apple.

If you’re ever tempted to try eating a raw potato, here’s some advice: don’t.

Running out of money when you’re a 17-year-old vagabond is one thing. Running out when you’re retired and too old to make more is something else entirely.

Which is why it’s no surprise that running out of money before running out of time is the single greatest fear of those approaching retirement. In fact, according to one survey, for some retirees, outliving their savings is a greater fear than death.

The problem as we approach retirement is that there are critical variables we can’t control: how our investments will perform, how much money we’ll need (what if I end up in a nursing home?) and the biggie: how long we’ll live. Since we can’t know the answer to these and other questions, you can’t be sure your savings will outlive you unless you’re very rich.

What’s an investor to do?

That’s what this week’s “Money!” podcast is about. We’re going to talk about growing your nest egg, and just as important, reducing your anxiety over it. After listening to this show, you’re going to feel better about your odds of entering your golden years better prepared than you expected.

As usual, my co-host will be financial journalist Miranda Marquit. Listening in and sometimes contributing is producer and novice investor Aaron Freeman.

Sit back, relax and listen to this week’s “Money!” podcast:

Don’t listen to podcasts?

A podcast is basically a radio show you can listen to anywhere and anytime, either by downloading it to your smartphone, or by listening online. They’re awesome for learning stuff and being entertained when you’re in the car, doing chores, jogging or, if you’re like me, riding your bicycle.

You can listen to our latest podcasts here or download them to your phone from any number of places, including Apple, Spotify, RadioPublic, Stitcher and RSS.

If you haven’t listened to our podcast yet, give it a try, then subscribe. You’ll be glad you did!

Show notes

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Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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