I’m back again after a long blogging layoff. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to write about. I was just concentrating on life as it happened, pushing the reflection and writing to the back burner. Now I seem to have a little breathing room. So I will update you. Please read on if you are interested.
I finally got busy this week doing a lot of work on my retirement spending plan. This has been a work in progress for several years as I have acquired TIPS and I-Bonds as part of my Failsafe Retirement Plan grand strategy. But interesting things are happening (including getting older) and the time has come for me to get more specific with a plan for how I am going to use my retirement assets to provide spending money. I’ll try to explain my logic without giving too much away or boring you.
Do you have a plan for generating retirement income? Do you have any idea how much retirement income you can expect to generate from your existing retirement investments? There are at least two fast and easy ways to make this prediction. (And forget the outdated and discredited “4% rule.”)
July has been and will be a busy month for me. I just returned from a two week stay at Lake Barkley in Kentucky. This stay included the ninth in a series of extended family gatherings at the lake. (More about this awesome event later this week.) Towards the end of the month I am traveling to Ithaca, NY for my 45th high school reunion. Finally, I have been busy with an updated assessment of my retirement plan and net worth performance as of the end of the second quarter.
American baby boomers in general are not prepared for retirement. Many experts call this a crisis in the making. The crisis is that many of us will have to work into our 70’s to make ends meet, if we are healthy enough to do so. Others may not be that fortunate. Retirement will be forced upon them by health or other circumstances. They will live in relative poverty. It turns out that we are not alone. The crisis is world-wide.
Have you read about the “4-box strategy” for matching your retirement income to your retirement expenses? You should because it makes sense for the careful planner worried about retirement income survival.
A researcher (Ph.D. in Economics) with the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies has recently published a provocative paper on how to most efficiently produce retirement income. A somewhat radical conclusion is that for a 65 year old married couple using a 4% withdrawal rate to meet retirement spending needs, bonds (or bond funds) should not be part of their retirement portfolio.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to estimate how large of a nest egg we will need to retire. I have concluded that there is only one practical way to do this and it involves creating a comprehensive retirement spending budget. Many so-called experts suggest using an income replacement ratio or an income multiplier to arrive at a retirement “number.” In my humble opinion, that is a flawed approach.
After the black swan market events of 2008-2009, baby boomers and financial planners continue to search for new strategies for providing a secure retirement income. I have written about many of them, including the “Failsafe Retirement” plan that we are using. This week I read about another combination strategy for avoiding what the authors refer to as retirement “money death.”
If you are a baby boomer contemplating retirement, stock market gyrations are bad for your fiscal and mental health. A common reaction in recent years is to leave the market entirely and put your nest egg in cash and cash equivalents. Regular readers may recall that I agree with this strategy but only in part. More about that in a minute. [Read more…]