Common Sense Financial Podcast

Episode Intro

Retirement isn’t a thing that happens. It’s a time of life that needs to be planned for. When it comes to planning for retirement, there are a huge number of assumptions that people make about what’s going to happen and when, but what if those assumptions are wrong? Find out why you may need to rethink your retirement plans.

Show Notes

  • Most people envision retirement as a destination. A fixed point in time where their pension or Social Security begins, but retirement is a transition, not a timestamp.
  • Planning for the rest of your life requires certainty, not hope and optimism. Most retirees retire while relying on things that are out of their control, and on assumptions made in the past.
  • They assume the rate of return, their income needs, their life expectancy, inflation rates and tax liabilities.
  • Take longevity. The world of health and medicine is likely to make a major transformation. We are already seeing more people live beyond the age of 100. What if your retirement plan had to take into account you living an additional 10 to 20 years?
  • The 4% Rule may make sense if you live an average of 30 years as a retired person, but if the average lifespan keeps increasing, the 4% Rule could lead to disaster instead.
  • Any financial strategy that relies entirely on the stock market for support relies on performance that you have absolutely no control over.
  • Looking at the past performance of the market doesn’t paint a great picture, and even averages can be misleading if you’re looking at a large enough time period. The problem is compounded when you add in withdrawals in retirement.
  • Sequence of return risk is a major problem all retirees face. Making withdrawals during a down period can rapidly deplete your assets.
  • Taxes are never going to go away. The government controls us using the tax code and there are 1000s, if not millions of jobs supported by having a complicated tax code. Every administration wants to either tax the rich or cut taxes on the middle class, and you can’t be sure what’s going to happen when you’re retired.
  • We are guaranteed a tax increase in 2025 whether or not anything changes. Inflation is another constant that we need to take into account.
  • It’s risky business when your plan is heavily reliant on consistent stock market returns, low taxes, low inflation, and a mortality that is historically in line with what is anticipated because all of this is outside of our control.
  • Many financial advisors use probability analysis to offer confidence in a form of a percentage likelihood of money lasting until a predefined age. The trouble is the factors used in the analysis are based on the same risks.
  • The core of every retirement plan is the fear of running out of money. You need to look at the worst case scenario and do what’s necessary to prevent that.
  • Your goal should be moving more into your control, not giving up control.