Thinking about Retirement

Tina Haapala |

By Gary Silverman, CFP®

We’ve been talking a lot about investing in this space. If you’ve been following, you may be ready to start or have a better handle on what you were already doing. It’s important to remember, however, you should be investing for a reason. The most common reason is to help with costs in retirement.

I’ve been planning on writing a book about retirement planning. But since it’s probably a few years away from being published, let’s start looking at the subject for the next few weeks rather than have you wait.

Did you know that Baby Boomers fear outliving their assets more than they fear death? That’s probably a healthy fear because while they can’t do much about preventing death, they can prevent running out of money.

Over the next few weeks we’ll touch on how to make your money last as long as you do. There is no trick, no investment you have to buy, and you can do this on your own without having to pay someone.

We have heard many people say that they had to delay retirement or go back into the workforce because of something “the market” did to their investments. The truth is that they were never financially ready to retire. Real estate goes down sometimes. Recessions happen. The stock market occasionally drops 50% and periodically has a decade with zero return. Inflation happens. And even bonds can lose money.

Frankly, it’s a scary world out there. But with proper financial planning and decent investment management, you will make it through just fine.

Most people do no planning and have an investment portfolio that “just happened” over the years. They don’t know what to do if the market goes up (typically they buy); they don’t know what to do when it goes down (typically they sell). They have no idea what they are spending now, let alone what they will need in retirement. And they are doing even worse when we look at how they are managing the normal risks of life and investing.

I don’t want you to be one of those people.

Up to now we’ve dealt with the investment side of things. Now we’ll deal more with financial planning issues, especially when it comes to retirement planning. By necessity I am just going to scratch the surface on some issues you’ll need to deal with. These details would take a book of their own to explain fully (I’m working on it). My goal here is not to teach you everything, but to expose you to main points you’ll want to examine more fully or to seek professional advice about.

The main question we have to answer: How much do you need to accumulate so that your money doesn’t run out before you do?

We’ll start next week.

Gary Silverman, CFP® is the founder of Personal Money Planning, LLC, a Wichita Falls retirement planning and investment management firm and author of Real World Investing