There are so many issues when people retire – some are easy…clothes – only what you want to wear; alarm clocks – you no longer need one (although by this time it’s built into you). Some are complex – money and managing investments, should I change my primary residence…etc..
The psychological ride moving into retirement is full of issues, most when approached from a reasoned perspective, can be navigated.
Having watched clients move from 55 to 60 to 65 and on into their 70’s, clarity is the essential ingredient to success. We refer to it as “See Clearly”. Having a clear and precise plan of what you want and allowing yourself to take advantage of what you have is your own personal competitive advantage. Many retirees still want to function as they have over the past 45 +/- years; it’s their comfort zone.
Some retirees want a regular weekly/monthly check/income similar to receiving a weekly paycheck. However, clarity is key to deciding where you receive your cash flow or income…taxable versus non-taxable, fixed income versus dividends or from cash reserves.
An extremely critical decision is how much liquidity/cash do you need and/or should you hold in your accounts. Depending on the types of liabilities you have: a mortgage, supporting grandchildren, vacations, etc.… as well as your “regular” expenses, will help you decide how much cash you should maintain and what types of risks are appropriate.
Many people will give up return and pay higher fees to receive a regular “safe” payment, often in the form of an annuity. This strategy trades certainty for increased fees, commissions, and, many times, lower returns. A potential better alternative is to manage withdrawals based on the tax status of the accounts and your overall needs by keeping enough liquidity while investing prudently for the longer and medium term.
An investor profile and subsequent investment allocations and rebalancing should be made across the individual’s total assets and not solely from retirement accounts. Individuals who have multiple accounts should create a broadly diversified portfolio across all accounts.
In our last post, How do I invest my retirement money?, we discussed how long term gains are treated better outside of an IRA because the long term capital gain tax rate is lower than income tax rates. Having income producing assets inside an IRA so you can defer, accumulate and tap into only when needed can be a very effective strategy.
Investing monies for and during retirement can be tricky and create anxiety. However, if you have a clear strategy driven by logic and executed with little to no emotion you are almost always going to be in a position to be successful. Nevertheless saying it and doing it are very different.
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