Retirement Planning

QUESTIONS YOU MAY BE CONSIDERING:

  • Will I be able to maintain my lifestyle?
  • Will I be able to meet all of my expenses?
  • Can I retire now? Or should I wait?
  • How should my assets be allocated?
  • Will my money last?

Whether you’re in, nearing, or decades away from retirement, you face an increasingly complex challenge — planning for income to last throughout your lifetime.

You’re not alone. More than 35 million Americans are over age 65 right now. The first wave of baby boomers has just begun to hit the shores of retirement, and right behind them are millions more. The number one concern is the possibility of outliving their income.  The real challenge lies in how to utilize today’s financial planning tools to meet your need for adequate retirement income.

Putting together an income planning strategy is not something that can be done piecemeal. It takes all of the financial planning elements working together to build a realistic plan.

We start by developing a composite picture of your envisioned post-career lifestyle, estimated essential and discretionary expenses, and inventory of potential financial resources. Before you can transform this picture into a practical road map to financial security, however, you need to understand and integrate into your plan five factors that may put at critical risk your success in reaching your retirement income goals:

  1. Longevity
    Many people underestimate their lifespan and risk outliving their assets. The facts indicate that half of the population may outlive the “average” life expectancy. A successful lifetime income plan helps our clients prepare for living well into their 90s.
  2. Inflation
    The anticipated longer retirements and the impact of inflation make it more important than ever that portfolios include investments with the potential to outpace inflation.
  3. Asset Allocation
    Many retirees think they need a conservative portfolio, but given the anticipated length of their retirement, this could create a heightened risk of outliving their assets. A key to long-term success may lie in balancing your income portfolio with your growth portfolio.
  4. Withdrawal Rate
    Determining the proper withdrawal rate from your portfolio to generate a retirement income is critical — it could dramatically decrease the likelihood of retirees outliving their assets. This rate is determined based on your assets, your health, your life style and the level of risk you’re will to take.
  5. Health Care Expense
    Rising health care costs coupled with inadequate coverage can have a devastating impact on a lifetime income plan. Addressing this risk may mean targeting savings specifically for health care and considering purchasing long-term care insurance.

 

Steps to a Workable Retirement Income Plan

We help our clients develop a formal, written plan for building up retirement assets and drawing down retirement income. If you already have a plan, bring it out, rethink it, and revise it as needed to incorporate your understanding of the risk factors discussed here.

  ENVISION the retirement lifestyle you want.

 IDENTIFY your retirement expenses, and analyze which are essential and which are discretionary.

 REVIEW the income, accounts, and other assets available to fund your retirement.

 COMPARE expenses to income. Earmark known or predictable assets to cover essential expenses, and assign less-predictable assets to fund discretionary expenses.

 ALLOCATE your investment portfolio appropriately for your time frame, your willingness to take risk and your overall financial situation.

 MAKE SURE that your portfolio is set up to help minimize any foreseeable or likely risks.

 MONITOR your plan regularly or at least annually. An out-of-date or unrealistic plan is of no practical use in helping you achieve income to last through your lifetime.