The other day, I found myself salivating when I noticed ESPN was replaying some SEC football games from LAST year as a teaser for the upcoming season. Being a die-hard Razorback fan, you will find me most Saturdays in Fayetteville pleading with the football gods that they allow Chad Morris to summon some Dabo Swinney magic and get the Hogs back on track.
Being a Hog fan, I also know the misery that happens when the team gets the ball inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and fails to score. That area of the field is called the “red zone” because scoring the ball from this area is a do-or-die proposition. Failure not only robs you of points you would have scored, it also emboldens the other team when they keep you out of their end zone.
Retirement has its own “red zone” marked not in yards, but in years before and after your retirement date. It marks a danger zone when missteps in investing can cause you to run out of money before you run out of time.
Think about it this way. The folks who were planning to retire back in 2010 found themselves behind the eight-ball when their portfolios tanked in 2008. Some saw about half of their retirement savings disappear and were forced to delay their retirement until things got better.
Likewise, those who retired in 2006 also watched their retirement account spiral downward, only to be accelerated by their monthly withdrawals of income. Some of those folks never recovered and had to rethink their withdrawal amount or even go back to work.
The problem with timing your retirement is none of us have a crystal ball to tell us what the future of the capital markets will be. If you have enough money, you can opt for super safe investments. But, with interest rates again approaching an all-time low, that strategy is best aimed at only the wealthiest of retirees.
The answer to uncertain markets lies in a well-designed retirement income plan crafted by an advisor skilled in the latest risk transfer and management techniques. Did you know that you can guarantee a portion of your retirement income? Such a strategy might make sense if you only have social security or a small pension as dependable income sources.
A well-thought strategy could be the difference in having a plan that might work and one that will work. Statistics show that only a small number of people have a written retirement income plan. The season is approaching…time to get in the game!
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.