Retirement Answer Man

It’s easy to say don’t live your life based on assumptions. But how can we do that in retirement when assumptions are our way of managing uncertainties? Assumptions are basically just guesses at things we don’t know. And we need to make some assumptions to create a retirement plan. So today we’ll finish off the setting your retirement assumptions series by exploring 5 rules for setting and managing retirement assumptions. Join me to learn how you can make good assumptions so that you can rock retirement.

5 Rules for making and managing assumptions

  1. Recognize the assumptions you need to make. Even if you don’t like to make assumptions, you still have to make some to effectively plan your retirement. It’s important to recognize the assumptions that are important to retirement planning. There are obvious ones like inflation, rate of return, and longevity. But some may not be as obvious. Spending rhythms are difficult to understand in retirement and challenging to predict. You also may not understand how to live a life without the boundaries that have constrained you for your whole life. 
  2. Investigate the data surrounding your assumptions. Don’t just assume blindly. Do your research. It’s good to start with historical data, but you can also think about more personal factors. One example is with longevity. You should consider your personal health and family history when estimating your own longevity.
  3. Beware of making extreme assumptions. This one can be challenging in the times of COVID-19. We tend to start believing in extremes when faced with extreme situations.
  4. Determine which assumptions have the biggest impact on your life. Next identify which ones you can control. Where those two meet is precisely where you want to focus your time and energy.
  5. Don’t trust your assumptions. Although we need our assumptions to help plan for retirement, we can’t trust them fully. This is where being agile comes into play. When you are agile you can find the blips on your dashboard and then readjust your model accordingly. Agile retirement planning can help you keep your model up to date and relevant as life changes.

Why is identity such a big issue for retirees?

When you retire you lose your work identity and your identity as a wage earner. It can be easy to become lost. But instead of lamenting the loss of what was you can instead take this opportunity to create a new identity that you choose. You can create this identity based on who you really are. So give it some thought, who do you want to be in retirement?

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [3:00] 5 Rules for making and managing assumptions

COACHES CORNER

  • [16:10] Why is identity such a big issue for retirees?

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [28:00] Go through these rules think about how you will manage your retirement assumptions

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center



Direct download: RAM327.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Once again we are tackling your retirement assumptions on Retirement Answer Man. This week we’ll discuss market assumptions. You are modeling 30 years out, so the market assumptions that you make can easily overestimate or underestimate the amount of money you will need. What kind of market assumptions have you been making with your models? 

What are capital market assumptions?

Capital market assumptions are the assumptions that investment managers or asset allocation software use to design your pie chart. It will include what the expected returns are for the asset class. The factors include what the return assumption is, what the standard deviation is, and how each ingredient reacts with each other. We can refer to these factors as return - volatility - correlation. We try to manipulate these assumptions and put our own views on top of them. It is important to note that these are the components of your pie chart asset allocation forecast. 

It’s different this time…

We always think that this time is different. Each major crisis has been unique. The Great Recession of 2008 hit us all hard and changed paradigms. During The New Economy of the 90s, many threw caution to the wind because they just knew that returns were always going to be 20%. But this time is different, right? This pandemic, it’s personal. The safety of our families is at stake. You can’t leave your house. But this time just like all the rest one thing stays the same. It is difficult just to try and be reasonable. 

What kind of historical market assumptions do you use to plan your retirement?

Many people like to use the 10% number to plan their retirement model. But why do they choose 10%? Is it a nice round number? The last 5 years’ stock market returns were 7.7%. During the past 10 years, they were 15%. Over 50 years that number drops to 8.4%. And over 94 years it averages 10%. We often use these historical numbers in our models, but these numbers don’t factor in the lumpiness. These numbers vary wildly from year to year which is why linear models fall apart over time. 

Find the answers to your retirement questions

In our Q&A segment, you’ll hear the answers to questions like, should you consolidate all of your assets in one place? How should you rollover your pretax and post-tax dollars? How hard is it to get a mortgage in retirement (even if you have a pension)? Should you use withdrawal strategies in retirement? Listen in to the end to hear all of these questions answered on this episode of Retirement Answer Man. 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? 

  • [1:02] Capital market assumptions

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [2:50] It’s different this time…
  • [7:05] What are your assumptions that the stock market will do going forward?
  • [10:32] It is easy to overestimate the viability of your plan

Q&A SEGMENT

  • [19:15] Should you consolidate all of your assets in one place?
  • [23:30] Is qualifying for a mortgage in retirement challenging with a pension?
  • [29:16] Should you use withdrawal strategies in retirement?

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [31:20] Reexamine your market and inflation assumptions

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center




Direct download: RAM326.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

One of the biggest assumptions you can make in retirement is in your spending. Spending is one of the greatest financial pieces of retirement planning. On this episode, we’re talking about spending. How do you track your spending? How do you know how much you will spend in retirement? Will your spending change after you retire? Listen in to hear how to break free from your retirement assumptions so that you can not just survive retirement but rock retirement. 

Americans want to keep working remotely

American views are changing amid this Corona disruption. According to a recent study done by IBM, 54% of Americans would like to continue working from home and 70% would like to retain the option to work at home. Major events like the one we are experiencing accelerate social trends. We are all learning a new rhythm of life and many of us like it. If you are enjoying working from home it’s time to consider, what does this make possible? Would working from home give you access to more time freedom? Would it cut down on your wardrobe and commuting costs? Listen in to brainstorm with me how you can use this new trend to perhaps extend your working life. 

You can’t rely on averages to plan your own spending

There is a rule of thumb in retirement spending. People who make close to $50,000 per year spend about 70-80% of that in retirement. But conversely, as your wages go up your retirement spending goes down. Those making over $100,000 per year spend only about 55% of that in retirement.

Another generalization about spending in retirement is household spending by age group. People under 55 spend about $57,000 per year. Ages 55-64 spend approximately $59,000 each year. But then the numbers begin to go down once people reach ages 65-74. This demographic spends $47,000 and finally those in their golden years who are 75 and older only spend $35-37,000 per year. 

We can look at averages and facts and figures all day long but they don’t mean anything. These averages aren’t yours. The data is a good place holder to use as you plan far into the future but in the short-term, the only figures you should be concerned with are your own.

We all have different categories of spending

Everyone has different ideas about what essential spending entails. I like to customize retirement spending into 3 categories: needs, wants, and wishes. Obviously the needs category includes food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare. But it is important to include a bit more than the basic rice and bean budget. Your needs category is your firewall. You want to make sure that you can really live your life on this level. The wants category may include more travel and discretionary spending. The wishes category is where you get to dream big. I encourage you to create different retirement budgets based on these 3 categories. 

Two ways to estimate your budget

There are two approaches to create a retirement budget. If you are still a way out from retirement, one easy way to project your spending is to do a top-down budget. A top-down budget is where you estimate all of your income sources and then subtract the money you save. This will give you a ballpark figure for your current budget. 

As you get closer to retirement you’ll want to create a more accurate model. You can do this by forming a bottom-up budget. This is where you will get a real handle on each category of your spending. This type of budget takes a lot of work, but it’s important to be as accurate as you can as you approach retirement. 

One way you can really dial in your budget is to live on your projections for a year and see how that works for you. 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

  • [1:21] Americans want to keep working remotely

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [10:45] Spending assumptions
  • [15:56] You can’t rely on averages to plan your own spending
  • [17:20] Health care costs vary per age as well
  • [23:45] We have different seasons of life
  • [35:36] Healthcare assumptions
  • [39:35] Two ways to estimate your budget

Q&A SEGMENT

  • [43:49] An asset dedication question
  • [47:41] An IRMAA correction
  • [49:02] RMD’s for 2020

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [52:33] Revisit your retirement cost assumptions

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Jasnon Aten’s article in Ink magazine

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

 

Direct download: RAM325.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

 What retirement assumptions do you have? In retirement planning, we rely on assumptions for just about everything. This may seem like a small thing, but this topic is so big that we are taking the whole month of May to talk about it. Today we tackle the life assumptions: how much you plan to spend, how long you plan to work, how long you think you’ll live. Join me as we consider the different assumptions we all make when planning for retirement. 

What is an assumption? 

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. An assumption means assuming something is true, taking it for granted. In retirement planning, we must make assumptions. Assumptions must be made to plug into the models. We assume for inflation, spending, costs, markets, longevity, and health. As you plug these numbers in, the range of potential outcomes gets wider and wider the farther out you project. And often in retirement planning, we plan as far as 40 years out. You can never get the assumptions just right but you can try to get as close as possible.

We often have incorrect assumptions about how we will spend money

We need to make assumptions about how we will live in retirement to be able to plan accordingly. One of the biggest inputs into the retirement plan is spending rhythm. Many people assume that they will continue to spend in retirement as they do now. But retirement spending is lumpy. It doesn’t have an even flow. In the go-go years at the beginning of retirement, we often spend a lot, then that spending slows down as life slows down. It’s hard to imagine yourself at age 70 or 80. But try to think about how you’ll be living your life at that age. 

We assume that retirement is like turning off a light switch

One day we’re working and then the next day we stop. Right? Wrong. Retirement doesn’t have to be that way. Most people actually work for a period of time in retirement. You can take that light switch and make it a dimmer switch. If you are willing to rethink work and rethink income then you can still work and have the time freedom that you seek. You can choose pretirement and slowly But oftentimes it’s not that way. And it doesn’t have to be that way. 

How will longevity affect your plans?

Be careful with statistics, they can fool you. We often look to statistics to plan our longevity outlook. But your health is not average and it’s not based on statistics. You need a more personalized plan. Consider where you really fall on the longevity timeline based on health, fitness, and family history. We also often assume that our mental capacity will remain the same. You may want to factor in some kinds of systems to help keep your finances running smoothly if your mental function begins to diminish. These aren’t things we have fun thinking about but they are important. 

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

WHAT’S THAT MEAN SEGMENT

  • [2:54] What is an assumption?

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [6:00] We often have incorrect assumptions about how we will spend money
  • [10:02] We assume that retirement is like turning off a light switch
  • [14:32] Is your plan dependent upon you working in retirement? 
  • [17:07] Will helping your kids impair your retirement plans?
  • [18:38] How will longevity affect your plans?
  • [23:44] You also need to consider your mental capacity
  • [26:02] Consider your assets

Q&A SEGMENT

  • [29:20] A super backdoor Roth question

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

John Hancock longevity calculator

Nova Article by Kate Becker

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

 

Direct download: RAM324.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

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