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Pity the Retirement Hoarder

The fear of running out of money isn't always without merit, he says, pointing to the "biggest risk of all" -- the eventual need for long-term care. With these needs in mind, he urges clients to create an income stream and hedge against future expenses with various annuity and life insurance policies that include long-term care riders. What he doesn't advocate is relying on so-called "safe" investments -- including cash, CDs and other bank products -- to provide peace of mind.

"CD accounts are not earning anything," D'Arruda says. "I refer to it as losing money safely. Look at inflation right now. You can go to the grocery store now and see how expensive it is, and there are also rising fuel costs and increasingly expensive health care. You need to be keeping up with inflation if you want to make sure you have money for the future."

Bovard sees several reasons for why some people have a hard time accepting that their savings are, in fact, sufficient. Factors include a lifetime of frugality, over-reacting to market fluctuations and the intangibility of wealth that is in investments, not in physical cash, gold or even stock certificates.

"A lot of time, I think I, as their adviser, am the person who can help them relax," he adds. "For the folks we have had longer-term relationships with, they look to you to tell them what they can do and what they can't do. If we tell them they can do it, they are more comfortable."

A challenge, he says, is getting clients to move past an all-encompassing drive to save and accumulate wealth and to focus as well on enjoying the fruit of their labor.

"People ask, 'How much do I need, do I have enough?' We don't really focus so much on the total number. We see how do you want to live and what it's going to cost," Bovard says. "If it is $500,000 a year, your $2 million isn't going to get you very far. If it is $50,000 a year then yes, you are probably going to be in very good shape."

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