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Advice from Dear Webby
Husband's spending spree - "you can't take it with you"

Dear Webby,

We are in our mid-seventies. Last year my husband lost 2 good friends, one was younger than he and the other the same age. Now he is spending money like there's no tomorrow.

I worry that there is and we could live another 20 or 25 years of tomorrows and run out.

Afraid of running out

Dear Afraid

Even though we all know it is inevitable, it is very scary to see people our age, or younger, dying. Some people can't bear to even read the obituaries. But burying our heads in the sand doesn't change a thing.

Your husband's recent losses have emphasized the fragile nature of life and he seems to be subscribing to the "you can't take it with you" theory.

Webby can understand his feelings but agrees with you that some prudent financial planning is in order for the rest of your hopefully long lives.

Do you have an IRA, retirement plan or something you can count on? Have you an accountant or financial planner who can advise you on how much you have to spend each year? Are you hoping to leave money to your family, church or a charitable organization?

It sounds like your husband isn't and that's ok but you and he have to be on the same page. Find a calm time to discuss these matters with him.

Does he realize that for every year you live after a certain number the odds get better that you'll live to a ripe old age? Mid-70s may sound ancient but so many are living well into their 90's and even beyond. Ask him to count the deaths in the paper of aged people compared to how many are still alive and kicking in your area.

Webby had friends who, in their late forties and with no children, decided they would spend every penny they made. They lived high. They traveled, enjoyed expensive foods and drinks - they denied themselves nothing.

He lived into his seventies and she into her eighties.

Perhaps they might have lived longer had they indulged less, but that's another subject. They found themselves low on funds and had to give up their lovely home and go into lesser quarters. After he died she found a kind niece who took her in.

They both died bitter at what their lives had become. On the other hand, we can save and save and save and mañana or that rainy day may never come.

Webby recommends that you find out what you have to work with (perhaps with the help of a professional), use a little common sense (not too much) and have fun. It's your money and the two of you deserve to enjoy it.

As long as you can afford it, enjoy your money, your things and your time the same was as you do your friends and relatives - in moderation!

Too much of a good thing isn't really that good.

Good luck,


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