Die Broke — on Purpose: An Unconventional Retirement Plan

Source: Daily Finance

This will probably come as a shocker to most people: Three economists from leading universities have found that “a substantial fraction of persons die with virtually no financial assets — 46.1% with less than $10,000 — and many of these households also have no housing wealth and rely almost entirely on Social Security benefits for support.”

Got that? The findings, in a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research show that a huge portion of America is relying almost completely on Social Security, and that they die with hardly any money to their name.

Awful … or Awesome?

Dying broke probably sounds just awful. But it doesn’t have to be.

morgue tag

In fact, it should almost be a goal to which we all aspire. For many of us, a perfect financial life would be one in which we amassed exactly the amount of money we’d need in life, and in which we ran out of money the day we died.
After all, what’s the sense of dying with lots of money in the bank? You can’t take it with you.

The reality of those who do die broke isn’t as neat and clean, though. The professors’ data reflects millions of Americans not living perfect financial lives, but instead struggling to get by in retirement. They don’t end up running out of assets on their last day, but long before it.

For a clearer picture of the situation, know that the average monthly Social Security benefit (as of early this year) is $1,230. That’s $14,760 per year. Can you imagine yourself living on that – or, let’s even up it a little, on, say, $20,000 or $25,000 per year?


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