The saying that no amount of money is ever enough for the human, tends to make the question of when to stop saving a rhetoric. It is a financial reality particularly in retirement. Consider an individual who started saving for retirement early enough to take advantage of the time value of money, this same person is debt-free and has other personal investments. The general rule of thumb will be that it is safe for the individual to stop saving and start spending since he is debt-free and his retirement benefits alongside return on investments can cover his expenses plus inflation.
Unfortunately, the situation above assumes certainty and generality of several factors for all individuals. Below are highlights of some of these factors that determine everyone’s response relative to another:
- Making money to last through retirement is an increasing problem, largely because life spans keep changing. This uncertainty suggests that there is no right time to stop saving and engage only in spending as emergencies may come up to erode your accumulated funds. For example, old age comes with regular healthcare needs and your inability to rely on your own income for treatments may be detrimental to you.
- Another key factor is the lifestyle of an individual. It might be possible to tell yourself that you have enough to stop saving for retirement. The question of when depends on the lifestyle you want in retirement; where you want to live and what you want to do during that period and any unanticipated lifestyle changes that can increase your retirement expense.
- The number of dependents you have goes a long way to determine how sufficient you feel about your retirement savings. Having no dependents gives more room to stop saving early provided you do not anticipate a change in such status.