Living to 100: Downsize to keep the nest egg from cracking
Fifty years ago, only about 3,300 Americans had made it to 100 years old. Now, Florida alone has more centenarians than that collecting Social Security checks.
Financial advisers say more clients should plan for their money to last 30 years or more in retirement and many South Floridians may need to rethink how long their savings will to last.
"We just had a client who died at 108," said Boca Raton financial planner Alan Galinsky. "If we don't plan long enough for our clients, their assets will not exceed their life expectancy. What do we say then? Oops! Sorry!"
Preparation is especially crucial for aging baby boomers — who make up the largest age group in South Florida — to plan now before they retire, he added. Few will have pensions, and many don't have much in savings, Galinsky said.
More South Floridians are living to age 90 — and beyond. Some 16,458 people age 90 or older lived in Palm Beach County in 2010 — a 49 percent increase from 2000, while Broward had 15,270 residents, a 10 percent increase.
"He forces you to look at reality," said Galinsky client Debra Kurzius, who is considering a move to South Florida to save money on housing, property taxes and maintenance costs. She and her husband, Jeff, have a home in pricey Bergen County, N.J., and estimate they could still buy a comfortable house in South Florida for half the price.
"We know we have to get out," Kurzius said, adding, "We know we will eventually run out of money if we stay here."
Galinsky said he often recommends clients move to smaller homes early on to cut costs so they don't outlive their retirement savings.
Many seniors have found ways to cut back to preserve their savings.