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Cutting back before retiring

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Mary Ellen B., age 68
Village of Loch Lloyd, Missouri
Married, two children
"We were planning to go to Europe this year. We'll probably do a road trip instead."

Mary Ellen's Tips

  • Get used to living below your means before you retire.
  • Make financial decisions that allow you to be able to do what is important to you.
  • Start scaling back on risky investments in the years before you retire.


  • Mary is cutting spending to protect what's important — spending time with her family.
  • By being careful with money, she and her husband were able to move to a place they enjoy.

Mary and her husband have a conservative lifestyle — and retirement portfolio.

"We've always lived below our means; we've never had credit card debt or a second mortgage. We bought used cars. Seven years ago we moved to a town we like; the community has a health center, a lake and a golf course. We can stay active. We plan to stay here for as long as possible."

Picking and choosing what is important to spend money on.

We're enjoying retirement. But this meltdown of the economy is concerning. We will scale back on vacations and home improvement. When I resigned from my job, it was so I could spend time with my granddaughter. Fortunately, my husband was smart enough to say several years ago, "Let's focus on preserving capital, rather than focus on gains", so our investments haven't been as risky as other people's we know."

Take the Next Step.

Let's talk about the retirement you want.

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