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Retire Rich But Die Broke!

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How Rich Should You Be When You Die?

A recent survey shows that once retired, most Americans are reluctant to spend their retirement savings.

Three quarters of retirees ages 60 to 75 with at least $50,000 in household assets say they either kept their nest egg principal intact over the past year or actually added to it, according to an AARP and American Council of Life Insurers survey.

Only about one quarter dipped into their savings. "People are so concerned about outliving their nest eggs that they will skimp on certain expenses," says Jean Setzfand, director of AARP's economic issues agenda.

How much money should you have when you die? As little as possible. In fact, your retirement plan should be such that the last check that you write is to the undertaker and it bounces.

In other words, and according to The World's Best Retirement Book, retire rich but die broke!

Don't let your last words on this earth be those of John Maynard Keynes: "I wish I would have drunk more champagne."

Here are a number of retirement-related quotes about how much money you should have when you die along with some quotes about wills to help you with your estate planning.

Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure. 

— Errol Flynn  


I don’t want to be the richest man in the graveyard. 

— Ben Kerr 


If your riches are yours, why don't you take them with you to t'other world? 

— Benjamin Franklin  


What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet. 

— Woody Allen 


Take care of your pennies and your dollars will take care of your widow's next husband. 

— American proverb  


If you want to really know what your friends and family think of you — die broke, and then see who shows up for the funeral. 

— Gregory Nunn 


It's better to live rich than to die rich. 

— Henry David Thoreau  


It's a wise man who lives with money in the bank; it's a fool who dies that way. 

— French proverb 


Heaven, that’s my retirement plan.
 Dwayne (Unknown last name) but Sam Smith's Father-in-Law

Welfare is not a retirement plan.
 from the international bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (Over 425,000 copies sold and published in 11 languages)

 Retire Happy Book


To die rich is to have lived in vain. 

— Jiddu Krishnamurti 


He who gives while he lives also knows where it goes. 

— Percy Ross  


Ah, well, then I suppose I shall have to die beyond my means. 

— Oscar Wilde 


Thy money perish with thee. 

— New Testament  


No matter how rich you become, how famous or powerful, when you die the size of your funeral will still pretty much depend on the weather. 

— Michael Pritchard 


Misers aren't fun to live with, but they make wonderful ancestors. 

— David Brenner  


Once you have decided to keep a certain pile, it is no longer yours, for you can't spend it. 

— Michel de Montage 


Money is only useful when you get rid of it. It's like the odd card in old maid; the player who is finally with it has lost. 

  Evelyn Waugh 





A recent Fidelity Investments' survey of spouses' attitudes toward retirement planning shows a big disconnect between each member of either a retired couple or a soon-to-be-retired couple. That's why it is important to include your spouse in your retirement plan. and not my retirement plan.


Not agreeing with your spouse about retirement issues can make retirement planning more difficult, but not nearly as difficult as not knowing what your spouse is thinking.


It follows that it pays to regularly discuss with your spouse your expectations about how you would like to live in retirement, how much money you need to retire, when you would like to retire, best places where to retire, and the financial risks that can affect your plans, such as a health crisis, a very long life and inflation, said Steven Akin, president of Fidelity Personal Investments.


Then get a sense of what you've got and how much more you need to accommodate your desires and minimize your risks.

As for their final wishes, only 64 percent of retired or soon-to-be-retired couples over 55 agreed they had a will or estate plan in place, while just 46 percent of
couples under 55 did.


The more you both know of your assets, liabilities, and financial options, and the more willing you are to make financial decisions together, the less stress you're likely to face in retirement.

If a man dies and leaves his estate in an uncertain condition, the lawyers become his heirs. 

— Ed Howe  


I owe much. I have nothing. The rest I leave to the poor. 

— Francois Rabelais (his last will) 


Surprise! having been of sound mind, I spent all my money while I was still alive. 

— Will of an unknown wise person  


Where there's a will, there's a lawsuit.

Legal maxim


Where there's a will . . . . I want to be in it. 

— Bumper sticker


The weeping of an heir is laughter in disguise.
— Publilius Syrus 


Of course, money will do after its kind, and will steadily work to unspiritualize and unchurch the people to whom it was bequeathed.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson


The rich widow cries with one eye and laughs with the other.
— Miguel de Cervantes


A son might bear with composure the death of his father, but the loss of his inheritance might drive him to despair.
— Niccolò Machiavelli

Rich widows are the only second-hand goods that sell at first-class prices.
— Benjamin Franklin


One does not jump, and spring, and shout hurrah! at hearing one has got a fortune, one begins to consider responsibilities, and to ponder business; on a base of steady satisfaction rise certain grave cares, and we contain ourselves, and brood over our bliss with a solemn brow.
— Charlotte Brontë


People don't have fortunes left them in that style nowadays; men have to work and women to marry for money. It's a dreadfully unjust world.
— Louisa May Alcott


Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.
— Johann Caspar Lavater


To kill a relative of whom you are tired is something. But to inherit his property afterwards, this is genuine pleasure.
— Honaré de Balzac


The way to be immortal (I mean not to die at all) is to have me for your heir. I recommend you to put me in your will and you will see that (as long as I live at least) you will never even catch cold.
— Lord Byron


All heiresses are beautiful.
— John Dryden


But thousands die without or this or that,
Die, and endow a college, or a cat:
To some, indeed, Heaven grants the happier fate,
T'enrich a bastard, or a son they hate.
— Alexander Pope


Of course, money will do after its kind, and will steadily work to unspiritualize and unchurch the people to whom it was bequeathed.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson


There is a strange charm in the thoughts of a good legacy, or the hopes of an estate, which wondrously removes or at least alleviates the sorrow that men would otherwise feel for the death of friends.
— Miguel de Cervantes

Animals have these advantages over man: they have no theologians to instruct them, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts law suits over their wills. 

— Voltaire  


I would as soon leave my son a curse as the almighty dollar. 

— Andrew Carnegie 


The patient is not likely to recover who makes the doctor his heir. 

— Thomas Fuller, M.D.  


Leaving your heirs a lot of money doesn't guarantee tears at your funeral. 

— Sandra Block 


If you want him to mourn, you had best leave him nothing. 

— Martial 

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Copyright 2022 by Ernie Zelinski,

Author of The World's Best Retirement Book

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A gold watch is the most appropriate gift for retirement, as its recipients have given up so many of their golden hours in a lifetime of service.
— Harry Mahtar

The requirements for successful retirements
are, of course, simple to map out: Begin saving earlier in life, set aside larger
percentages of your pay, invest wisely in low-cost funds, avoid debt, pay off
your mortgage, defer Social Security to boost payouts, and work past traditional
retirement age to make sure you don't run out of money. Stay healthy, too, so your medical expenses don't eat you alive.
We might as well complete this fairy tale by advising you to make sure you find a job with a traditional pension, and
to only work for employers with AAA credit
ratings and great health insurance.
— from US NEWS

Sometimes it's important to work for that
pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply
consists of choosing which color to slide
down on the rainbow.
— Douglas Pagels  

OVER 425,000      COPIES SOLD  

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How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on

Everyone needs a reason to put their shoes on in the morning [when they retire]. If you put on the slippers, you'll end up
dragging your feet all day.
— Norma Fagan


 The World's Second Best Retirement Book at

OVER 315,000      COPIES SOLD


 The Joy of Not Working on 

Whatever the challenge of a new age, in the end what really counts is not the years in our lives but the life in our years. It is not about longevity, but the depth of life. Long ago I learned that age does not wither the mind if people remain positive. No one is too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. It is a mind game. As Churchill suggested, "The empires of the future are the empires of the mind."
— Singapore Retiree Jennie Chau



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