For many retirees, leaving work means depleting savings. But for Delaware retirees with smart investments and a keen understanding of elder law to avoid any scams or meddling family members, net worth can actually increase during the course of retirement. In fact, a recent study shows that one-third of seniors increase their assets over the first 18 years of retirement.

Those who had over $500,000 in non-housing assets were unsurprisingly more likely to increase their wealth in old age, as they had more assets to invest. The study also found that those who had less than $500,000 in financial assets at retirement spent an average of one-quarter of the nest egg within the first 20 years of retirement. While this is a substantial amount of money, it is less than retirement calculators tend to predict.

Even those with a small amount of savings, not including housing or 401(k)s, sometimes managed to increase wealth. For the lowest income group in the study, whose assets totalled less than $200,000, 35 percent of participants reported having more savings after 18 years than when they began. On the other end of the spectrum, one in five of the lower income participants had only 20 percent of their assets remaining after only four years of retirement.

The study found that retirement wealth can vary substantially, and that management of that wealth can make a critical difference in well-being. Research shows a complicated story of different people managing or failing to manage retirement savings, with varying results. Delaware retirees should consider the legalities associated with saving for retirement by working with a lawyer who focuses his or her practice on elder law.

Source: Forbes, “Many Americans Go Broke In Retirement, But Many Others Gain Wealth In Old Age“, Howard Gleckman, April 18, 2018