Retirement Spending, Spending, Retirement, Financial Advisor, Spending Plan

Retirement Spending – Just Not All At Once

A Case Study by Melissa Tosetti

The first year of retirement offers the majority of people more time and more money than they’ve ever had before.

For Doug and his wife Suzanne, retirement came after a grueling final year of working for a government organization during a particular volatile-news covered crisis. The days were long and the breaks were few and far between. When Doug “clocked out” on that last day he was ready to live life!

Their first six months saw the purchase of an RV, a planned vacation to Europe and the beginning stages of a remodel of their kitchen. That’s when their financial advisor called The Savvy Life.

While Doug and Suzanne could spend on all those categories, their Financial Plan just couldn’t withstand them doing it all at once.

When we began gathering their current expenses, which now included the RV payments and maintenance, as well as estimates for the trip to Europe and kitchen remodel, they saw just how much of an impact those purchases were going to make on their cash flow. They decided to hold off on the European trip and instead, focus on enjoying their RV. They also decided to pace the work on their kitchen, spreading the cost out over two years. This was especially easy since they were on the road so much.

During this process they also realized much of the hurry they felt to do so much at once was a carryover from the frenetic pace of the last year of Doug’s work life. By slowing down, they were able to enjoy each day so much more.

They came to us with a spending profile of 120% of their annual retirement distribution. At the conclusion of our work together, they were enjoying their retirement while only spending 95% of their distribution.


If you’d like to learn about how we work with clients to create Spending Plans and then teach them how to live within their plans, you can contact me at or by phone at 650-299-1500.