comprehensive written retirement income plan

Your Roadmap to Success: A Comprehensive Written Retirement Income Plan

The Number One Thing You Can Do to Gain More Retirement Security

In our book, Momma’s Secret Recipe for Retirement Success, we share our “7 Rules To Live By For Retirement Security.” Today, we want to focus on one of them: The importance of having a comprehensive written retirement income plan.

A comprehensive written retirement income plan should include:

  • Retirement income projection: income analysis + risk analysis + fee analysis
  • Income tax analysis
  • Beneficiary asset transfer analysis
  • Full plan details

If your plans for retirement were based on this concept, how would you feel? Probably a lot more secure. In our experience, working with retirees and pre-retirees, less than five out of every 1,000 people have an actual written document that lays out their entire retirement income plan as highlighted above. Chances are extremely high that you don’t have a written plan. At the same time, studies show the number one thing retirees want in planning for their retirement years is to have an actual written plan. And still, they don’t get one.

Case Study: Bob and Carol

Let’s examine a hypothetical case study to give you an overview of how the comprehensive planning process works:

Bob and Carol are both 65 years old. They worked hard and saved their money for over 40 years. They’d done a great job accumulating retirement assets of $1,600,000 not including their home. They were great savers, didn’t overspend, and had $0 in consumer debt. They’ve been retired for two years already and receive $78,000 in total pension and Social Security income. The $78,000 of annual income is enough to pay for all of their monthly costs and bills but didn’t leave them extra money for traveling. They had a broker for 22 years and he always told them the best planning strategy was to defer their income distributions until age 70 1⁄2 so they wouldn’t get killed with income taxes.

So how can they travel more if they don’t have more income? They want to travel a lot, and they want to do it now. They are only 65 and in great health, so they feel there is no time like the present, and they shouldn’t waste another moment. Bob has recently had a best friend his same age pass away from a massive heart attack and Carol’s best friend has been battling cancer for several years. Bob and Carol fully understand they can’t take their good health and their ability to travel for granted because they feel if they don’t do it now, they might not get the chance to do it in the future.

SEE ALSO: What is a ‘Safe’ Income Withdrawal Rate?

They are very worried about how high the stock market is and how the next stock market crash could be around the corner because they lost -50% between 2000 through 2002 and lost another -50% between 2007 through 2009 and don’t want to go through those recurring nightmares again. They are very afraid of running out of money because their broker has told them they need to grow their assets as much as possible to make sure they will have enough money. Then, on the other hand, the broker says if the market drops, they will need to “ride the market out” again, and they really don’t like the sound of that, because if they have to “ride the market out again” they will need to decrease or terminate their income distributions and their money will most likely run out sooner rather than later. And they won’t be able to travel. Their broker and CPA have both told them taking additional income distributions will significantly increase their income taxes.

They became such great savers while they were working, that they have been afraid to use their assets for income now that they are retired. Now retired, they have not taken out any income, and this is a common trait we see in retirees who have been good at saving money. They simply have not learned how to spend it, in most cases because they are afraid of suffering big losses, their money running out during their lifetime, and that they will pay too much in income taxes for using their money.

The other common trait we see all the time with people like Bob and Carol is that they do not realize they have achieved success. Not just a little success, but they have achieved success at the highest possible level that will allow them to have the retirement of their dreams, without having to worry about big stock market losses and without ever having to worry about their money running out for as long as they live. They have no idea they have succeeded because no one has:

  1. Told them they have already accumulated enough assets to actually attain their financial goals.
  2. Told them they must transition from asset accumulation to asset preservation and income distribution.
  3. Built a plan for them to reduce their risk and maximize their income.
  4. Put their entire plan in writing.
  5. Created a customized income plan stating they won’t run out of money for as long as they live.

Most People are Just Like Bob and Carol

The clients we meet with every day are often just like Bob and Carol in at least one major way (and maybe you are, too). If they just had a plan, a detailed written plan, they could begin to live out their retirement dreams starting today! And just like you, they don’t have that plan.

We asked Bob and Carol why they saved the money in the first place while they were working? They replied they saved the money so they could use their assets during retirement to create income that would last for as long as they lived, so they could enjoy their retirement as much as possible. Carol answered, “So they could travel the globe.” To do this, Bob and Carol have to convert or transition from a “saver” while they were working with a “money-hoarders” mentality to being a “spender” now retired with an “I-deserve-the-best-retirement” mentality.

SEE ALSO: Adjusting to Retirement: 8 Helpful Tips

Going from a saver to a spender is far harder to do than you would think. It is very, very difficult for many retirees to spend the money they have saved for so many years. Especially for those that have always focused on save, save, save, save! Do without, do without, do without! Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice! Hoard the money, hoard the money, hoard the money! Now it seems so strange, it almost seems like they’re bad, doing something wrong, to even think about actually spending their money. We know the hesitation to use their assets comes from their fears. But what if Bob and Carol could have a retirement income plan that reduced their risk of large stock market losses and guaranteed they would never run out of income for as long as they both lived, and kept them in a low-income tax rate on all their income? Do you think they would be willing to use their assets for income? You bet!

We met with Bob and Carol five times to build their plan. We asked them about how much risk they really wanted to take, and they replied they would like to keep their risk level between -5% to a maximum of -10%, meaning they don’t want to lose more than -5% up to a maximum of -10% of their assets. We asked them how much income they would like to be able to take out of their assets and they replied, “as much as possible as long as it will never run out for as long as they lived, and as long as they won’t be in too high of an income tax bracket.” We asked them if it was important for them to leave money to their beneficiaries and they replied, “Our number one goal is to make sure we have enough money for as long as we live, and then we’d like everything left to be passed on to our children.”

By completing a portfolio analysis and reallocating some assets, we reduced the projected overall risk of their portfolio significantly. We reduced their loss risk and their recovery gain, and the most exciting part of the plan was that we increased the annual income from their assets, too!

Although we’ve been talking about a hypothetical scenario, this is a typical type of plan we implement on a daily basis for our clients. This type of planning is focused on transitioning your portfolio from Stage One of Retirement Planning – Asset Accumulation, to Stage Two of Retirement Planning – Income Distribution and Asset Preservation. (Read more about the two stages here.) And Bob and Carol received an opportunity to receive tremendous potential benefits:

  1. More control of their assets.
  2. A greater understanding of their money.
  3. Fees significantly reduced.
  4. Risk of loss reduced.
  5. Risk of recovery gain reduced.
  6. Annual income from their assets increased, with a majority guaranteed for as long as they both live.
  7. No longer worried about their money.

Would you like to enjoy these benefits, too? At Peak Financial Freedom Group, we believe it’s important to feel in control of your financial future. 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

This information is provided and intended to be used for general educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a solicitation for you to buy or sell any financial product. This information is not mean to be relied upon as actual financial or tax advice. The ideas, thoughts, and strategies presented here are those of the Management Team and provide an insight to our views at Peak Financial Freedom Group, LLC and its affiliates. None of this information is intended to give you specific tax, investment, real estate, legal, estate, or financial advice. The planning and ideas in this data are not suitable for all individuals or situations. Consult a qualified financial professional before making any investment decision.
All research information provided is public source material. This material may also include additional references to articles, news, commentary, opinions, viewpoints, analyses, and other information developed by Peak Financial Freedom Group and/or affiliated and/or unaffiliated third parties, which is subject to change at any time without notice. Information and opinions provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Peak Financial Freedom Group and its affiliates are not responsible for errors or omissions in the material and do not necessarily approve of or endorsed the information provided. This information is provided “as is” and no party makes any representations or warranties of any kind either express or implied, with respect to this information. Peak Financial Freedom Group, LLC and its affiliates do not warrant the information provided to be correct, complete, accurate or timely, and is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the information or any investment decisions, damages, or other losses resulting from, or related to, use of said information. The ideas, thoughts, and strategies presented here are those of our management teams and provide an insight into our views on Peak Financial Freedom Group, LLC, and its affiliates. Every detail presented here is subject to change without notice at any time.
Peak Financial Freedom Group
2520 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 110
Roseville, CA 95661


All of the information presented here is provided and intended to be used for general educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a solicitation for you to buy or sell any financial product. None of the information presented is intended to give you specific tax, investment, real estate, legal, estate, or financial advice but rather to serve as an educational platform to deliver information. The ideas, thoughts, and strategies presented here are those of the Management Team and provide an insight to our views on Peak Financial Freedom Group, LLC. Every detail in this website is subject to change without notice. Seminar, radio shows, TV productions, book releases, magazine and book promotions are sponsored, promoted and paid for by Peak Financial Freedom Group, LLC.

2nd Opinion Package available to Qualified Retirees and Soon-To-Be-Retirees may include free consultations, a free retirement income plan, risk analysis, and fee analysis. In addition, a comprehensive written retirement income plan may be provided to those who complete the entire process. Qualified Retirees and Soon-To-Be-Retirees must have a minimum of $1,000,000 of investible assets such as IRA’s, 401K’s from past employers, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, bank accounts, money markets, CD’s, etc., but DOES NOT include real estate, businesses, limited partnerships, 401K/retirement plans that can’t be moved to another plan, and other illiquid type assets.

All investments involve risk, can involve the loss of principal, and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Past performance is no indication of future performance and such information cannot be relied upon regarding future potential gains. Nothing is directly or indirectly guaranteed by this information. The planning and ideas presented herein are not suitable for all individuals or situations. Hypothetical examples are used to explain concepts and are not indicative of potential results you could receive; past performance is not a guarantee of future results; and results are not indicative of any particular investment or income tax situation; your results will be different and could be lower or higher. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Insurance product features and benefits, such as guaranteed lifetime income riders, are subject to contract terms, limitations, fees, and the claims paying ability of the insurance company issuing the contract. The sale or liquidation of any stock, bond, IRA, certificate of deposit, mutual fund, annuity, or other asset to fund the purchase of any other asset including an annuity may have tax consequences, early withdrawal penalties, or other costs and penalties as a result of the sale or liquidation. Different assets can be complex and carry fees, costs, and surrender charges. If you place assets under management with Fiduciary Solutions LLC, we are paid an advisory fee from Fiduciary Solutions LLC and if you purchase an annuity through us, we are paid commissions from an insurance company.

2019(1), 2020(2), 2021(3), 2022(4) and 2023 (5) Five Star Professional Wealth Manager Award - Dan Ahmad and Jim Files have been nominated for and have won the 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 Five Star Wealth Manager Awards. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. Once awarded, wealth managers may purchase additional profile ad space or promotional products. Award does not evaluate quality of services provided to clients. The Five Star award is not indicative of the wealth manager’s future performance. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or this publication. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by Five Star Professional in the future. Award winners represent an exclusive group of wealth managers who have demonstrated excellence in their field by satisfying 10 objective selection criteria. For additional information on the Five Star award, including a complete list of the 10 objective selection criteria and their research/selection methodology, go to

Investment advisory services are offered through Fiduciary Solutions, LLC, a California Registered Investment Advisor. Insurance products and services are offered through PFFG Insurance Agency LLC, a licensed insurance agency (CA Insurance License #0N14013). Peak Financial Freedom Group LLC is a financial planning and umbrella marketing organization, which enables the provision of multiple financial services under one brand. Peak Financial Freedom Group LLC, PFFG Insurance Agency LLC, and Fiduciary Solutions LLC are affiliated entities with common ownership and control. Jim Files is licensed as an investment adviser representative with Fiduciary Solutions LLC (CRD # 1620449) and is a licensed insurance producer with PFFG Insurance Agency LLC (CA Insurance License #0F06511). Dan Ahmad is licensed as an investment adviser representative with Fiduciary Solutions LLC (CRD # 1491561) and is a licensed insurance producer with PFFG Insurance Agency LLC (CA Insurance License #0732913).

© 2023 Peak Financial Freedom Group