Retirees Want Seven (7) Main Things From Their Money
With 10,000+ Americans retiring every day, there have been countless studies completed detailing what retirees want from their money.
There are many opinions and differing answers depending on the study and the participants. We have reviewed many of these studies, with some focusing on risk, some on investing, others on generating income, several on longevity, and many on the fears and concerns retirees have about their money in general. While all of the studies differed, we noticed a common core, basic similarities, in the results of the studies we reviewed. We found retirees want seven (7) main things from their money:
#1 – Retirees want a guarantee they’re not going to run out of money for as long as they live.
That sounds pretty simple, but it’s very difficult for retirees to figure out how to do this. They get conflicting advice. Some advisors might tell them, “Well, it’s okay if you take 6% out of your portfolio per year, and you’ll never run out of money.” Some might say 5%, 4%, or even 3%.
Whatever the number is, you have to make sure whatever amount of income you are taking out, is guaranteed to last for as long as you live, and if you’re married, for as long as your spouse lives. If your income ends before you die, your plan for a successful retirement goes up in smoke.
#2 – Retirees want to avoid all large stock market losses and never suffer another 2008 again.
Small losses can potentially be acceptable, but large losses are very, very difficult to recover from. For example, in 2000 through 2002, and 2007 through 2009, the stock market in general went down by about 50% each time. If you lose 50%, you have to receive a 100% gain just to recover where you originally started from. For example, if you have a million dollars in your IRA and you lose 50%, you’re down to $500,000. Well, the $500,000 must earn $500,000, which is a 100% rate of return, just to break even. This could take a long time, and it might not happen at all. The recovery can be even more difficult, maybe even impossible, if you are receiving income distributions during the downturn and through the recovery. You must avoid all large stock market losses.
#3 – Increase their income without getting killed with taxes.
Many retirees feel very uncomfortable increasing their income significantly during retirement, because they’re afraid of taxes, and it’s simply because no one has explained how the income tax rates actually work. You could make $150,000 per year in retirement income, which is substantial for the average retiree, and the typical retiree will pay less than 14% in federal taxes on their $150,000 of gross income. Think about it, $150,000 of income equaling 14% of tax. You shouldn’t be afraid of increasing your income during retirement. Check with your tax advisor and make sure the numbers fit for you.
#4 – Earn acceptable rates of return without taking excessive risks, protect what they have.
You are retired, and it’s no longer prudent to focus on earning the highest possible rates of return because if you try to get the highest rates of return, you have to take the highest level of risk. And when you have taken the highest level of risk in the past, what has happened? You probably either lost a lot of money or did not earn anything close to what you had hoped to earn based on the amount of risk you took. You need to make sure you know what the rate of return objective for your plan is, meaning, what rate of return do you need to make your plan work, which might only be a 3%, 4%, or 5% rate of return to make your plans for retirement successful.
#5 – Understand and reduce the total fees they pay, both direct and hidden.
Many retirees think they are paying 1% in total fees on your portfolio because that’s all they can see on their statements or that’s what their broker has told them. But what if you found out that you, like most retirees we have seen, are actually paying 3%, 4%, or even 5% per year in fees? That would really hurt your plans for retirement and will probably make your money run out a lot sooner than you had planned. You must understand your direct and indirect (hidden) fees, then reduce them as much as possible, and get your fees in writing.
#6 – Know what they can potentially leave to their beneficiaries.
Most of us want to leave money to our kids, grandkids, and/or charities, but we don’t want to sacrifice our own retirement security and happiness in doing so. If you are like the majority of retirees we have interviewed, you want to make sure you have as much income as you need for as long as you live and never run out, then leave all remaining funds to your beneficiaries. We have found that knowing what you can leave to your beneficiaries will make it easier for you to be willing to spend some of your money.
#7 – Have their entire plan for retirement, all of the details, in writing.
This is possibly the most important of all seven (7) of these items. Retirees want a plan, they no longer are willing to settle just for investments or asset statements, they want every detail about their plans for retirement written down, so they can read it, understand it, and make sure they’re not going to forget what their entire financial plan, what their entire retirement success, is based on. If you are like the overwhelming majority of retirees, you probably feel you don’t understand and are confused about your plan. This is not because you don’t understand or are confused, it’s because you don’t have an actual written plan. If everything about your money was written down for you in plain English, there is a high probability you would understand your plan. These seven (7) items are all part of the one (1) thing we found thousands and thousands of retirees want:
They all want to finally be able to stop worrying about their money.
- The Bad News: Retirees have not been provided these things by their current broker/advisor.
- The Good News: The right financial professional will happily give you all these things and more. The authors of this book strive to do this every day.
What does a typical new client that usually needs comprehensive retirement income planning look like? Someone who is between 55-80 who has accumulated between $250,000 and $20 million dollars of investible assets like IRA’s, 401(k)’s, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, bank accounts, annuities, CD’s, and other types of portfolio assets not including real estate, businesses, or other illiquid assets. At Peak Financial Freedom Group, we will work with people with investible assets of $250,000 up to $100,000,000 or more. Contact us today to schedule an initial conversation so that we can determine the next steps in helping you get the comprehensive written retirement income plan you deserve.