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Maintaining Your Standard of Living in Retirement


Are you concerned you may run out of money in retirement? There are many reasons why retirees run out of money-Social Security benefits claimed too early, life expectancy underestimated, money loaned to children or college-funded for children, and divorce from spouse are just a few. Retirees that run out of money use up all of their retirement savings as well as home equity and are left with limited income streams. These may include Social Security and money from a pension, for those lucky enough to be entitled to one. Retirees may also need to seek financial assistance from family members or from government programs. Not only can running out of money in retirement cause financial hardship, but it can also force you to reduce your standard of living.

Standard of living contributes to quality of life. The level of wealth and services that are available to a socioeconomic class or geographic area are factors that impact standard of living. The fear of running out of money in retirement is real and should cause concern. While market volatility, inflation, and interest rates are factors that a retiree cannot control, it’s important to focus on that which can be controlled. Let’s explore three things that can be controlled in preparation for and during retirement.


Health is your wealth. Poor health can affect your ability to hold down a job which can negatively impact the amount of wealth that can be saved for retirement. Furthermore, poor health prior to retirement can equate to higher healthcare costs in retirement. Healthy people, on the other hand, have longer life expectancies, which give financial investments more time to grow. Investing in proper nutrition, getting a good night’s sleep, and seeking sufficient physical and mental medical support can reduce health problems and help one maintain the desired standard of living in retirement.

Retirement Age

Waiting until full retirement age to claim Social Security benefits can increase your monthly payments. For those receiving benefits early, the benefit amount is reduced a small percentage for each month before the full retirement age. While it may make sense for some retirees to claim benefits early due to job loss or poor health, such retirees will receive less per month, but more checks in total. Delaying benefits will result in larger checks but fewer payouts in total. This can be beneficial if you plan to continue working later in life. While there is no single best answer for every retiree, the goal in claiming Social Security benefits is to maximize your monthly income. The more income you have in retirement, the better your chances of maintaining your desired standard of living.

Retirement Withdrawal Rate

What you spend plays a role in your retirement. Therefore, your retirement withdrawal rate matters. While you may believe you will spend less money in retirement than you do in your working years, it is possible to spend just as much or more in retirement. As such, financial planning in the years leading up to retirement, with a realistic expectation of monthly expenses, and the establishment of a sustainable withdrawal rate in retirement, can help your money last longer and help you maintain your desired standard of living.

Personal – Saving, Planning & Budgeting

Ready to explore how Sunflower Bank can assist you? Speak to a personal banker at a branch near you, contact a specialist on our Wealth Management team, or find the right financial partner on our Commercial Banking team for your business needs. 

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This article contains general information only. Sunflower Bank is not, by means of this article, rendering accounting, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This article is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, before making any decisions related to these matters, you should consult a qualified professional advisor.