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What Will You Do about Money If You Live to Be 100?

Experts think that any of us living today, who reaches age 65, healthy and vibrant, will easily make it to age 100.  Whoa! That will change things financially, to say the least.  In the “old days,” between 1960 and 1980, people who reached retirement age lived just four to eight years past retirement to about 69 for men, and 72 for women. It wasn’t too big of a stretch to have between five and 10 years of retirement income saved . But consider working 35 years, then retiring for 35 years instead of just 5 to 10.  I read an article in 1983 that said by the year 2000, many people would be retired as long as they worked. At the time I balked at that idea — NO WAY! I thought. But the fact is, those numbers are a reality now and that longer retirement period is presenting some very challenging problems we all need to think about:

  1. How will you afford to live 35 years into retirement? 
  2. Will you need to work more years than you had originally planned, until age 75, for instance? What if you can’t because of poor health?
  3. Will you have to reduce your living costs drastically to make ends meet?
  4. What about inflation? If the inflation rate keeps averaging 5 percent screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-2-31-17-pmper year as it has been doing, living on a fixed income for 35 years is not going to work very well.
  5. People may be living longer, but especially in the United States, where the standard American diet is so poor, you won’t be living to
    a ripe old age in good health. What if you’re one in four people who will require long-term care? This is expensive at between $2,500 and $6,000 per month.
  6. Social Security will be bankrupt in 2034, according to the Social Security Administration’s annual report, so what do you do if you can’t count on even that income in retirement?
  7. If you are one of the many retired persons who is divorced, what will you do to live on just one retirement income instead of two?

The old way of looking at retirement planning may not work for you anymore. Trying to save using a basic 401(k) is passe. It’s time to get creative and look at real estate, life insurance, annuities, and leasable resources as other options for creating a predictable retirement you can’t outlive. I suggest you read the book MONEY, What Financial Experts Will Never Tell You Full of case stories and practical, holistic approaches to financial planning and retirement that are easy to apply, this book is a BookCovermust-read. Get it in time for Christmas and give it to your kids as well. They will for sure be living longer than you, in most cases, and will have to be ready for a long retirement period. Why not prepare them for that now?  Get going, as time will keep marching forward. Will you be pleasantly surprised when you reach retirement age, or will you be horrified and shocked at what you have done to yourself financially by not taking things seriously today?

10 Tips for Retired People that Will Help Protect Your Nest Egg

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has noted:

As an older investor you are a top target for con artists. The files of state securities agencies are filled with tragic examples of senior investors who have been cheated out of savings, windfall insurance payments, and even the equity in their own homes. This is the bad news.

Now the good news: You can avoid becoming a victim by following 10 self-defense tips developed for seniors by NASAA:

 

  1. Don’t be a “courtesy victim.”
  2. Check out strangers touting “strange” deals.
  3. Always stay in charge of your money.
  4. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
  5. Watch out for salespeople who prey on your fears.
  6. Don’t make a tragedy worse with rash financial decisions.
  7. Monitor your investments and ask tough questions.
  8. Look for trouble retrieving your principal or cashing out profits.
  9. Don`t let embarrassment or fear keep your from reporting investment fraud or abuse.
  10. Beware of “reload” scams.

Now my take on the NASAA’s recommendations:

As we age we have experienced enough that we assume things are always going to stay the same.  But times change and this change brings with it new products, new technology, new methods of processing, new ideas, and so forth. Old ways go away and die.  Because of this, we have toScreen shot 2016-06-01 at 4.20.39 PM step up our willingness to pay attention to the details and not just be satisfied with the status quo.

Here are some additional suggestions for those in the retirement years that I have personal experience and want to suggest as a way to help protect your valuable nest egg in a period of your life that can make you quite vulnerable to changing times. 

First, make sure you have a loved one who has your best interest at heart to assist you in making financial decisions.  Get their perspective as a check-point for your actions.  You don’t need to agree with them at all times, but at least have a third party’s input.

Second, keep a journal of decisions made.  This allows you to refer back to what you have discussed about financial mattes and how things need to proceed as you age; it will help you recall assignments given and received.

Third, when making decisions, assess all options, make a choice, record it on paper, and then wait a week.  Don’t jump into an action quickly, if at all possible. Seeing the decision on paper and looking at it over a period of time will give you perspective.

Fourth, track results and compare.  We all know that flying from New York to Los Angeles is not a straight line.  The pilot must constantly adjust for the wind-currents that continually force the plane off its course.  Pilots say that they are on direct course only 20 percent of the flight time.  Most financial decisions are similar to flying across country, so don’t be discouraged if adjustments are needed. Track adjustments and compare with what you originally planned. You will learn a ton about the situation and be able to make better decisions going forward. 

Fifth, experience is a good teacher so learn from her. I have had my share of experience.  Some has been bad and some has been good.  The point is, don’t waste what knowledge you have gleaned from prior experience. Use it to set goals about where you want to be in five and 10 years and make decisions based on your goals and objectives, not on someone else’s.  

For more clarity of thought go to www.moneymastery.com

The Real Need for Long-term Care Disclosed…

Across the United States only 22 percent of folks over 65 believe they will be required to stay in a long-term care facility.  However, the national statistics show otherwise. A whopping 70 percent of all Americans will spend time in a long-term care facility.

What is the result when two tsunamis collide?  I’ll call one tsunami the catastrophe of 70 percent of all retirees needing some amount of long-term care.  The second tsunami is that the average person reaching age 65 today has less than $60,000 of total assets to their name!  When you combine these two you’ve got a serious catastrophe looming. To compound this problem, if one spouse has to have long-term services and uses all the assets and then dies, the surviving spouse will be forced to go on welfare, or be totally dependent on family.

Why is the need for long-term care so devastating? The cost!  Average providers charge $3,200 a month and in some areas of the country, there are only $5,000-a-month facilities available.  Calculating these costs predicts a $36,000 to $60,000 annual cost for 70 percent of people age 65 and older, with most needing care for three years. Because most people reaching retirement age today have only $60,000 to their name, you can see the dilemma.

So what can you do? Good solutions are very few.  I offer some options here from my own experience of 45 years.

  • I have seen some people set up a reverse mortgage on their home. This stops the debt payments and may allow them to pull money out to use for long-term care.
  • If you are in your 50s, long-term care insurance can be somewhat affordable and may be worth looking into. Once you reach your 60s, forget it. The premiums become too high to justify.
  • Many people are forced to use their Social Security income through Medicare for long-term care, but the facilities that accept Medicare are often poor quality and may already be full.
  • Some life insurance companies have been creative and added long-term care riders to annuities and life insurance policies, but this has not yet caught on in a major way. It may be worth your time to investigate insurance companies that offer such riders.

If you have been thinking that you need to do a better job saving forDon'tWait retirement, now is the time to really step things up.  Begin looking at adjusting the way you spend your income, the way you take debt for granted, and the need you may have to get creative in your working years to figure out ways you can fund your retirement more efficiently so you can save for long-term care needs, because 3 out of every 4 people will need it. Will you be one of them?

We plan well for other risks and catastrophes, but we don’t often think about planning for poor health in old age. How does the risk of long-term care compare to other risks we insure against?  Take at a look:

LongTermCare

LongTermCare

When you understand that three-fourths of all Americans will need some form of care you will see that now is the time to take action, before it’s too late. Stop assuming you won’t be one of them. It is more than likely that you will. You will find the need to adjust the way you are spending your income, the way you take debt for granted, and the lack of any long-term savings plan.  Get help before you are sitting on a cold park bench drinking soup from a tin can.

For some great options for funding retirement and ensuring against old-age poverty, contact me directly: peter@moneymastery.com, (801) 292-1099.

A Long Life Multiplies All Other Risks…

We all hope for a long and healthy life.  The only problem is having enough money to enjoy this longevity.  The facts are that 33 percent of men and 44 percent of women will live beyond age 90.  And 63 percent of all married couples will have at least one of them live beyond age 90.

Just 50 years ago the average life expectancy for men was 68 and for women was 72.  In the news we all hear about age 70 being the NEW 60.  I read an article by Alan Greenspan in 1978, saying that in the near future people would be retired as long as they were working.  At the time I thought, “how could that possibly be?”  Well, look around and see how many people are living past age 80.  My mother is doing well at age 93.  My daughter and husband had a2042 new baby boy last year, making him my mother’s 124th great-grand-child.  Since then others have been added.  Not counting spouses, my mother has 170 direct descendants.  All this is because of her living longer. But living longer doesn’t always mean better if you have not planned financially for that longevity. If you plan to just live until age 90, but then live 5 years more, for example,  what will you do then? What will you live on if you do not plan appropriately?

 

The Risks of Longevity You Should Consider

Inflation.  The longer you live, the more inflation becomes a risk. It erodes the value of your purchasing power and makes your limited retirement money tap out sooner.  

Interest rate. The longer you live, the more risk you have of not earning enough interest on retirement funds over the long haul and possibly running out of money too soon.

Withdrawal rate. If you take too much money out of our retirement pool of cash, you will run out of money.  If you have health problems that cost a lot of money (which you more than likely will if you live into your 80s and 90s), they will drain your pool of retirement money as well.

Order of return. If you withdraw a level amount of income at retirement, but the market goes down, then there is a risk of having your retirement fund depleted too early. One solution is not to take any money when the market goes down, so you don’t draw out the principal.  But who wants to retire and potentially not take any income to live on?  This is a huge risk.

Now let’s combine all these risks and see what would happen if you live a good long life?  Inflation will have a longer period to work against you.  Interest rates certainly have a bigger chance of being too low.  The rate at which you must withdraw your money could certainly increase due to increased health problems. And market declines that can occur more than a few times could cause the value of the principal to decline.

When you make plans for retirement, I caution you to manage all the risks, inflation, interest rate, withdrawal rate, and order of return, not just the amount of money needed. The only way to do this with any predictable confidence is to run the numbers using a reliable forecasting software. Call me today for information on how to do this: (801) 292-1099, ext. 2.