What do the rich worry about? Surprisingly, it’s money

The Globe and Mail – Diane Jermyn

Most older people worry about whether they will have enough money to carry them through retirement. The wealthy are lucky they need not bear the same concerns, right?

Not entirely true – even the very rich worry about outliving their money. According to a 2017 survey by the Illinois-based Spectrem Group, a financial research firm, 20 per cent of ultra-high-net-worth investors, defined as those with a net worth between $5-million and $25-million, are concerned about having enough cash to last throughout retirement.

While rising health-care costs, taxes and low interest rates on investments were cited as general concerns in the U.S. study, wealthy Canadians typically share similar financial fears, experts say. So what do Canadian high-net-worth clients worry about?

People feel angst about running out of money in retirement whether they have $1-million, $10-million or $50-million, says Gordon Stockman, a fee-only financial planner and principal of Efficient Wealth Management Inc. in Mississauga.

They are all trying to estimate whether they will have enough income to support their current lifestyle, he says. “Most of us wish to go into retirement maintaining whatever lifestyle we’ve become accustomed to having. High-net-worth people spend lots of money. It’s the same equation, just bigger numbers.”

Once they achieve a certain standard of living, it’s difficult to dial it back, says Ian Black, a fee-only financial advisor at Macdonald, Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver.

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