Will the money run out?

The other day, I read that retirees have less money but are spending more. My initial reaction, now that I have entered the semi-retirement phase of my life, was mild annoyance. Especially when the journalist started throwing numbers and statistical evidence to prove, without question, I was overspending.  Interspersed in the percentages was the fear factor message that I might run out of money.  And who was responsible?  The consensus was clear:  the fault lay with the retirees.  It seems that our bad spending habits were formed long before we exchanged our careers for a new beginning to the rest of our lives.   Recall that money is a finite resource and the sooner it’s spent, the sooner it’s gone.  This is elementary mathematics.

The article started me thinking about my spending habits.  Even though I don’t like being lumped in with the statistical masses, I recognize that I’m not unique.  I would like to think I’m an individual with the power to make sound choices.   But there are times when I look at my “stuff” and wonder what I was thinking when I bought those coffee mugs, knowing my cupboards were well stocked with previous purchases.

Fear does not motivate behaviour changes.  I think that we need a fresh approach.  It really isn’t about spending; it’s about creating a lifestyle that brings joy to our existence. It is personal choice; we can be unique.  It is possible to change statistics – it happens all of the time.

For more discussion on the subject of spending, OnTheRoad is reviewing Ellen Ruppel Shell’s Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture.

Shopping in Rome, Italy

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