Retirement Roundup | November 2018

Articles and ideas to help you live a fulfilled life! 

In this month’s Retirement Roundup, we’ve curated our favorite articles from around the web to help you plan for and live successfully in retirement!

We start off with an interesting article about the changing views of retirement. 71% of Americans are not what you would call “traditional.” We follow up with a closer look in to the retirement age and why that magic finish line is becoming more and more arbitrary.

Then, we switch gears and focus on the implications of taking your social security at different ages. We may have stumbled upon the most important social security chart you will ever see! Next, we discuss why (prudent) spending rates matter more than savings rates. Switch your focus and take control over your money!

We then move on to how to protect your portfolio for the next stock market crash. We have a strategy at True North that will help you wade through the volatility. Lastly, we look at 401k investing and why less is more! Sometimes too many choices can lead to difficulty in decision making.

Enjoy this month’s installment of the Retirement Roundup!

Retirement Needs A New Name, Maddy Dychtwald Says

(Evan Simonoff, Financial Advisor Magazine)

Traditional views about retirement are being disrupted due to the fact that people are living much longer these days. Maddy Dychtwald, founder of AgeWave, recently spoke at the Inside Retirement conference. She and discussed how longevity is impacting how we think about retirement.

Today, only 29% of Americans want to live a “traditional” retirement. The other 71% desire some form of work, either part-time or full-time. Many Americans hope to pivot into a different industry in “retirement” and continue working.

According to Dychtwald, “after they retire, loss of social connections emerges as the leading void in most retirees’ lives.” Many retirees are blindsided by this and it can lead to loneliness and depression after transitioning into retirement.

Today, financial independence is often the primary goal for many. A traditional retirement is not even on the radar. Financial independence provides the flexibility and choice to work…or not.

We’re seeing this more and more among our clients who are approaching retirement. It boils down to a desire for more flexibility and more choice when it comes to working, and a lessened desire to stop working altogether.

Why ‘Don’t Retire’ May Be The Best Advice For Some Clients

(Christopher Robbins, Financial Advisor Magazine)

In a bold statement, speaker, author, & advisor coach, Mitch Anthony says: “Retirement is a social construct that no longer fits the age we live in. It’s an artificial finish line imposed upon our lives and based on age, and I can document this: The chief cornerstone of all retirement policy is nothing less than ageism.

Does society expect 60-somethings to retire to a lifestyle of lower productivity and fade into the background? Many Americans are rejecting the idea that they should retire at the arbitrary age of 62 or 64 or 68.

Anthony further encourages pre-retirees: “Get to the place financially where you can do what you want, with whom you choose, at the pace that’s comfortable to you—that’s a whole lot better than retiring.”

The key, for many, is to try to find the right balance between work and leisure in “retirement”. If you have questions about balancing and planning for a non-traditional retirement, we can help. At True North, we have the tools and expertise to help you design a life plan that will work on paper and in real life!

The Most Important Social Security Chart You’ll Ever See

(Selena Maranjian, The Motley Fool)

 The “most important social security chart you’ll ever see,” according to Selena Maranjian, shows the approximate percentage of your full benefits that you’ll get if you start collecting at various ages.

This chart is so important because it shows the impact of waiting to take social security. For example, if you take social security early at age 62, your income will be 30% lower than it would be at full retirement age (67).

Conversely, if you are eligible to collect social security today, but you wait until age 70, your monthly checks will be 32% higher than they would be at your full retirement age.

>> See the chart

Depending on your life expectancy, the difference in lifetime income among several different options can be well into the six figures! I did a social security analysis for a client last week. The difference between the client taking social security at age 62 vs. age 70 was over $400,000 in lifetime income, if they live to their life expectancy.

Did you know… social security analysis is free for clients! Don’t make this major, financial decision alone. Let us help!

Why (Prudent) Spending Rates Matter More Than Savings Rates

(Michael Kitces, Nerd’s Eye View)

Most Americans are not saving enough for retirement. It’s a well-cited fact. The conventional advice to save 10% of your income toward retirement often falls on deaf ears. This is because many people are not in a position to save more in the first place.

Michael Kitces contends that it’s because their spending rates are too high. He says it would be more productive to focus on reducing spending, compared to saving more.

Kitces says: “focusing on spending rates at least puts the focus back on what households can control – what they spend, and what they earn – rather than focusing on or criticizing a savings rate that ultimately is more a result of other decisions than a decision unto itself.”

I tend to agree with Kitces. Many people I talk to who are not saving enough, are struggling to manage their spending. Tracking expenses and looking at spending levels by category, can go a long way toward pinpointing areas to cut back on. Modify your spending so that you can save more.

In the end, it all comes down to priorities and trade-offs. You could easily spend $200/month on gourmet dog food. However, if that $200 is preventing you from retiring how and when you want to, is it worth it?

By understanding where your money is going every month, can you make better and more thoughtful decisions to spend money.

Ready For The Next Stock Market Crash? Here’s How To Protect Your Portfolio

(Paul Ketzeff, Investor’s Business Daily)

 September marked 10 years since the start of the financial crisis. In the month of October, markets were hit hard again with the stock market losing more than $2 trillion.

It’s important to keep in mind that long-term plans shouldn’t be abandoned, in times of adversity. We try to position our clients to grow in good markets and protect in bad markets. Even if we knew a recession was going to start tomorrow – we wouldn’t change how you’re invested.

A drop in the stock market, rising interest rates, or a potential recession shouldn’t cause you to abandon your long-term plan.

According to the article: “Studies repeatedly show that individual mutual fund investors rarely, if ever, get out of the market near its top. And they rarely, if ever, get back into the market at its bottom. Instead, time and again they end up selling low — then buying high after missing the often explosive start to a rally.”

What should investors do instead? Stay invested. Make sure you’re comfortable with your current portfolio mix going into a potential downturn in the market. Also, take advantage of drops by adding to your stock portfolio.

Use A Minimalist Approach To Win At 401(k) Investing

(Jill Cornfield, CNBC)

As Americans, we love choices. We have an entire cereal aisle, and 40 different kinds of milk to choose from at the grocery store. However, studies show that choice can actually hinder our ability to make decisions in the first place.

So when it comes to 401(k) investing, less is more.

Many 401(k) plans today offer target-date funds, which provide access to a diversified portfolio through one investment.

According to the article: “The simplest way to invest is through a target-date fund. This one fund gives you the correct allocation of stocks and bonds, and changes that mix over time as you near retirement.”

These can be ideal if you want to take an auto-pilot approach to investing in your 401(k). Therefore, it’s especially helpful if you don’t have access to a financial advisor through your plan who can provide customized guidance.

Target-date funds also take a lot of the guesswork out of investing in your 401(k) plan. Often, in your 401(k) plan, you will have 20-30 funds to choose from.


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The views outlined in this newsletter are those of True North Retirement Advisors (TNRA) and should not be construed as individualized or personalized investment advice or tax advice. TNRA are not licensed tax consultants, please contact your CPA for advice on your specific tax situation. Any economic and/or performance information cited is historical and not indicative of future results. Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly, will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for a given client or portfolio.

Investing in stocks includes numerous specific risks including the fluctuation of dividend, loss of entire principal and potential illiquidity of the investment in a declining market. Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond and bond mutual fund values and yields will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

Any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above should be addressed with TNRA. All information, including that used to compile charts and/or tables, is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but TNRA has not verified its accuracy and does not guarantee its reliability.

Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in the newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from TNRA or from any other investment professional. To the extent that you have any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to your individual situation, you are encouraged to consult with TNRA or the professional advisor of your choosing. All information, including that used to compile charts, is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but TNRA has not verified its accuracy and does not guarantee its reliability.


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