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What Weather Will You Face in Your Retirement?

We have all heard that “timing is everything.” But, did you know that the headwinds or tailwinds that you face in your retirement can make or break your plans!

Basically, the problem is this. If you make reasonable assumptions and figure you have enough money to retire, the facts and circumstances of your actual experience may yield boom or bust.

Consider this, an individual with $1 million invested 100% in the S&P 500 as of 1/01/73, withdrawing an inflation‐adjusted $100,000 per year would have run out of money in 9 years.

A second person with $1 million invested in the S&P 500 as of 1/01/82 withdrawing an inflation‐adjusted $100,000 per year would have $5.09 million remaining after 36 years, i.e., as of 12/31/17.1

Such variation shows that a set formula or a set plan, may be a recipe for disaster. The hard fact is, your success remains at the mercy of the markets that follow you into retirement. Whatever your assumptions may be in a fixed plan, your market results could bring success or stress!

So, what’s the answer? …Navigate. It’s as simple as that.

Who knows what headwinds or tailwinds may come during your retirement? The one thing for sure is, you must never “set it and forget it.” You might be lucky and have lots of extra money. Or, you could be in for a death spiral that will leave you broke with little or no options!

So how does one rationally navigate retirement?

Steer your course like you would drive a car to stay between the lines of your lane. Monitor your results, be ready to change your strategy, change your income, and perhaps even change your lifestyle, depending on what comes your way.

And, get the advice of a wealth manager. As you near and enter retirement, take advantage of advice from an investment professional. Of course, not just any financial advisor will do. It must be someone who understands investments and planning. But, most of all it must be someone who puts your success as the top priority.

Beware the sales pitch. Flee from those who only want your money to add to their income. Find a person who is committed to a fiduciary role in helping you navigate the bull and bear markets you may face in your retirement.

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1This calculation ignores the ultimate impact of taxes on the account which are due upon withdrawal, is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to reflect any specific investment or performance. Actual results will fluctuate with market conditions and will vary (source: BTN Research. 2018, February 26).