Recently while at a financial conference on retirement planning, I asked myself, "Am I making a Difference?” This conference focused on a Harvard Business Review study called the Crisis in Retirement Planning. Dr. Robert Merton, a well known expert in this area and professor at MIT, explained how the way consumers and the financial industry is looking at retirement is all wrong. He said the process is broken and that is why families are not enjoying the once thought of Golden Years of Retirement. Here is a link to the article: HBR: Retirement Crisis Article
The key take-aways from this conference are: 5 Key Risks in Retirement and a 3-step process to solve the problem.
- Investment Risk - Potential for a market downturn along the way that reduces your assets.
- Inflation Risk - Along with your parents telling you the story of how they used to walk up hill both ways to school, didn't they also tell you how gas used to be only $.25 a gallon and milk $.10 a gallon? It is expected for the cost of goods to double every 18 years. Your assets and income need to keep up with that.
- Withdrawal Rate Risk - In the first few years of retirement most retirees spend more than they did while they were working. Think about it, what day of the week do you spend the most money? Most people would answer the weekends while not working. In retirement, every day is Saturday. Withdrawing too much early on can erode your wealth faster.
- Sequence of Return Risk - This is quickly becoming one of the most talked about risks. Sequence of returns risk involves the order in which investment returns occur and the impact of those returns on people who are near retirement, transitioning into retirement, or recently retired.
- Longevity risk is the most important risk by far because it increases the severity of these risks. If you only lived 5-10 years in retirement, inflation would not be a huge problem. However, if you lived 20+ years, goods like groceries are going to be twice as expensive than when you originally retired. The longer you live, the higher the probability of a market downturn and exacerbated withdrawal rate and sequence of returns risks.
Changing your view on retirement planning can be the solution. It is not about accumulating a high net worth. Focus instead on producing a monthly income at retirement. This can make all the difference.
3 Step Process:
- List all of your basic necessary expenses or your needs, next list all of your discretionary expenses or your wants and nice to haves.
- Create enough guaranteed income to cover your basic necessary expenses for life, i.e. Social Security, Pensions, Guaranteed Income Annuities.
- Maximize and invest remaining assets to protect against inflation, create flexibility and any additional desired income.
Change your view change your world. TrueView.
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