Outliving Your Money: In light of the recent passing of tri-centurion Susannah Jones, age 116, people are coming to terms with living longer. But longevity risk is not just one retirement risk but also a risk multiplier for every other risk. If you live longer you’ll need more income, more medical attention, just more of everything.
Control of Your Money: The great myth among older investors is the illusion that they have control of their money. Anyone invested in the market knows that the market giveth and taketh away at its own discretion. Hoarding all your money in the bank can leave you with the feeling of control, but taxes and inflation are eroding what little returns the banks are offering. That’s not control, that’s fear.
Dealing with Inflation: Over the last decade the government has released low inflationary numbers that don’t reflect gasoline, groceries, utilities and medical costs. You can’t depend on Social Security for annual increases anymore, so you need other investments to keep pace with the real cost of living. You can also buy blocks of income that have annual increases to combat rising costs.
Leaving a Legacy: Retirees generally want to leave a financial gift to their children, grandchildren and charities. There’s nothing wrong with that. Benevolence is to be applauded, but not at the expense of living a life of scarcity. It’s not required. It’s not a sign of bad parenting. But if this is a heart’s desire and you’re healthy, you should consider life insurance. The economic leverage and tax advantages may be the solutions you’re looking for.
Making Investment Mistakes: Retirees make money mistakes. They’re not intentional, but they can make you gun shy about being in the market, or cause you to question your money liquidity and stress out over having enough income if you live longer than you expected. Retirement is not a do-it-yourself activity. You need to interview several advisers, understand their money philosophies, and select one that fits your personality and money goals. Don’t let past failures checkmate you from a successful future. Don’t go it alone.