As stated in the August 16, 2009 post, the importance of retirement income planning as a separate and distinct discipline was magnified during the October, 2007 to March, 2009 stock market decline. This was true for both my clients and for me. This is what motivated me to expand my expertise and develop proven conservative retirement income planning solutions for my clients that would stand the test of time in any type of market.
My goal in writing this blog remains the same as it was five years ago: to bring to your attention innovative planning strategies that you can use to create and optimize your retirement income, and in many cases, reduce your exposure to adverse financial market conditions. Per my August 16, 2009 post, the customization and implementation of these strategies for your needs by an experienced retirement income planning professional should enable you to visualize and live a more fulfilling and less stressful life.
Living a more fulfilling and less stressful life doesn't happen by accident. It's a goal. Like all goals, you need to create and systematically follow a plan in order to achieve it. Achieving this particular goal during one's retirement years is especially challenging. As evidence of this challenge, simply take a look at the list of categories in the right-hand column of this blog for some of the issues that need to be analyzed and addressed in a retirement income plan.
While the basic goal of retirement income planning has always been, and will continue to be, not to outlive our assets and income, none of us knows how long we're going to live. Unlike other financial planning goals which have definitive start and end dates, this isn't the case when it comes to retirement income planning. Increased longevity compared to our ancestors adds more potential years of planning on the back end.
Included in the category of financial challenges, although not always considered in many plans, is health care. This expense, if not properly planned for, can single-handedly reverse one's planning efforts and ultimately lead to financial devastation. Proper planning for routine health and unpredictable extended care needs is critical to the success of any retirement income plan.
As I always tell my clients, there's much more to retirement income planning than the financial aspects. Assuming that your goal is living a more fulfilling and less stressful life, you need to plan for how you will spend your time each day. This can be especially difficult for someone who has worked outside of the home most of his/her adult life and hasn't cultivated any meaningful hobbies or non-work related activities.
As I've done in all of my annual celebration posts, I want to thank all of my subscribers and other readers, clients and non-clients alike, for taking the time to read Retirement Income Visions™. If you also read my MarketWatch RetireMentor articles, a double thank you to you. Here's to a more fulfilling, joyful, and less stressful life!