I built a nest egg of $1 million and I’m only 46 — so why do I still spend my waking hours worrying?

  • Written by MarketWatch
  • Published in Economics
Dear Moneyist, Over the past 25 years, my wife, 47, and I, 46, have both held professional careers, making well above the average income. Our home, purchased in 1998 for $84,000, and after $50,000 plus of upgrades and additions, is valued at $185,000. We have invested our money, maxing out 401(k)s and IRAs (including Roth IRAs) when we could. We have made investing mistakes, but learned from them. We have over $1 million in investments for ourselves, an additional $50,000 in investments for our two girls to be used for college. We have made investing mistakes, but we have learned from them. All told, we currently have over $1 million in investments for ourselves, an additional $50,000 in investments (529s and a Scottrade TD, +1.30%[1]  custodial account) for our two girls to be used for college, with our only debt being the final few years of our mortgage. We have never had credit-card debt. I will also point out we both started with nothing — literally. Don’t miss: I earn $15 an hour and will inherit $150,000 — how do I secure my financial future?[2] So far, you may not think we have a problem. But we do. I spend a lot of my waking hours worrying. In 2017, as we approached the $1 million dollar milestone, the realization that our retirement is only nine years away (when I turn 55 in 2027) really hit me. I will point out now that we amassed our savings all on our own, without an adviser. I anticipate to have $2 million. How do we handle that legacy? What vehicle can we use, such as a trust, to ensure that money lasts not just with our kids, but multiple generations? Here is our problem: By the time we retire in early 2027, we should have about $2 million in investments. We plan on living conservatively as we do now, with the majority of our time spent traveling. I anticipate that we will live on less than our accounts make, and that $2 million will grow even more. Without throwing out what I think that number might be at the end of our life, my point is how do we handle that legacy? What vehicle can we use, such as a trust, to ensure that money lasts not just with our kids, but multiple generations? How do we handle estate planning with emphasis on reducing or forgoing death taxes? Next Steps in Peoria, Ill. Dear Next Steps, You have lived within your means and even managed to buy a home before the property bubble — not an altogether common feat for someone in their mid-40s. Not only have you invested wisely and...

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