4 Challenging Money Situations in Retirement

You’ve planned ahead for all of the financial aspects of your retirement, from your income withdrawal strategy to your estate planning. However, even if you have the best-laid financial plan, you could still face some challenging money situations.

4 Challenging Money Situations in Retirement

Here are four common “challenging money moments” that test even the best planner’s ability to protect their finances (and their relationships):

1. Requests for Money

If you’re living on a fixed income in retirement, having an adult child or other family member ask for money can stir up a host of emotions — from shame at not being able to help to resentment that you were even asked. However, there’s nothing wrong with saying no to such requests. Taking care of yourself financially is a gift to your family.

What to Say When Family Members Ask You for Money?

Don’t tell your family member that you can’t afford to help. It’s not your would-be borrower’s business, and it can add tension to your relationship if your family member questions every purchase you make from then on. Instead, simply tell your relative that you can’t help him or her financially, but ask if there are other, non-monetary ways that you can help.

2. Pressure to Spend

New retirees often feel expected to keep up their pre-retirement spending style. This is especially true if your friends are still working or have retired with a more comfortable retirement income than you have. Don’t let dinners out and vacations with friends destroy your nest egg.

What to Say When You Feel Pressured to Spend More?

If the high-roller in your life is a dear friend or close family member, come clean about your financial situation and ask to make less-expensive (or free) plans together. If you’re not close with the big spender, feel free to decline invitations you can’t afford, or counter with less expensive alternatives.

3. Invasive Investment Questions

There might be a perfectly innocent reason why a friend wants to know the details of your retirement portfolio. However, you’re under no obligation to answer questions about your investments.

What to Say When People Ask About Your Investments?

Start by making it clear that specifics about your investments are not up for discussion. From there, ask why your friend is interested. If they some advice for their own retirement planning, offer to talk to them generally about your investment philosophy without sharing numbers. Otherwise, say you prefer not to discuss it.

4. Questions About Your Will

Some individuals are brazen when it comes to your estate planning. Distant relatives might ask how much money they’ll get when you die, or tell you what valuables they want you to leave them. Outside of a lawyer’s office or a heart-to-heart conversation with very close family, you should never feel pressured to answer questions about your estate.

What to Say When People Ask About Your Will?

You’ll probably be shocked to hear a greedy question about your will, a response that actually works in your favor. Horrified silence is a perfectly reasonable reaction, and it might even embarrass your questioner. Otherwise, say that the information is shared on a strictly need-to-know basis.

Also, make sure you keep your will up to date, and choose an executor you trust. Inheritance theft is a common problem, and you can only protect yourself and your heirs with a solid estate plan and trustworthy executors.

About the Writer

Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a financial blogger and the author of three books: The Five Years Before You Retire, Choose Your Retirement, and Making Social Security Work For You. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she specializes in writing about retirement and behavioral economics.

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