Retirement planning basics
If retirement planning scares you, you are not alone! Why is it so difficult?
- Retirement is a new world with new rules and complex financial decisions
- Everyone is in a different financial position so there is no one size fits all answer
- There is a fear of making poor financial decisions
Six retirement risks you must address in your plan
- Longevity (i.e. outliving savings)
- Inflation (i.e. loss of purchasing power)
- Unexpected (and uncovered) healthcare expenses for chronic illnesses
- Loss of principle during market downturns
- Loss of a spouse
There are other factors we cannot readily control but need to be aware of in planning. For example,
- Changing tax rates play havoc with long term planning
- Social Security has potential funding issues
- Retirements are lasting 30+ years! A lot can change in 30 years!
Would you drive your car without auto insurance?
We have been responsible for insuring our health, home and automobiles, life, etc. from catastrophes but no one really ever talked about insuring our retirement. In fact, in many cases, our retirement nest egg is worth more than our homes and cars and other assets combined! It only makes sense to think in terms of protecting and insuring your retirement assets for peace of mind during retirement.
A secure retirement is nothing more than the natural conversion from a saving mindset to an insuring mindset!
Start planning before you retire
- Work a few more years
- Increase your savings contribution rate
- Cut expenses
- Start paying off debt
How will you replace your paycheck in Retirement?
- How will my paycheck continue (i.e. lump sum, weekly, monthly, etc)?
- Where will it come from (i.e. annuity, pension, Social Security, 401k, IRA, savings, home equity, etc)?
- Is it secure, reliable (i.e. is there a chance it could be depleted due to market risks or company bankruptcy)?
- How much will it be once I receive it (i.e any tax loss)?
- Is it stable (i.e. does it increase with inflation)?
Why do people not plan for retirement?
Retirement planning is challenging and financial choices have to be balanced with:
- Managing both protection and growth of assets
- Meeting goals and desires such as legacy wishes and lifestyle wants
- Handling unexpected medical emergencies
- A large dose of reality (income needs vs income resources)
The biggest challenge is modifying behaviors
Changing behaviors around accumulating wealth to spending in retirement is challenging. As we age, we should be shifting from accumulation strategies that carry risk to protection strategies that minimize risk.