Demystifying Life-Long Retirement Income Planning
Regardless of how much money you save for retirement, the real challenge for a High Net-Worth (HNW) family is to save enough money to live without compromising their lifestyles in retirement.
Stabilizing your financial condition once you stop working is the culmination of a well-thought out financial plan. There is no point working so hard all your life to live luxuriously, only to have to give it up when you decide to stop working.
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Aside from investing wisely and having a strong financial plan in place, there is only one way to save enough money to sustain your lifestyle after you retire: save far more money than what you spent during your working years.
This might seem like a very pedestrian sort of suggestion, but that’s what the math says. As long as you maintain significant cash surpluses throughout your life, you will end up saving far more for your Golden Years.
This is, however, only one part of the picture. Even HNW retirees must keep on growing their wealth to make sure that they are well-off, even though they aren’t actively working.
To achieve these goals, they need to take into account future expenses, inflation rates and adjust their financial activities in a way that they can keep up with increasing financial burdens across huge timeframes.
Depending on what your post-retirement financial and life goals are, your retirement planning begins today. There is no difference between living hand-to-mouth and making 6 figures monthly if you haven’t set yourself up for your Golden Years where you can keep up with medical expenses, your travel plans and whatever expense you intend to undertake in the future.
If you haven’t considered it yet, perhaps it’s time you contextualized your current income and earning to your desired financial conditions when you retire.
After all, at that point there will be very little you can do about your income. Now is the time to set yourself up for a comfortable retirement.
What Does A Failure to Plan Imply?
You might be young right now, hale and healthy, capable of exerting yourself beyond your limits. You may not have as many dependents and your current returns might even be enough for you to live comfortably.
However, as time goes by, the circumstances of your life will change, it’s simply a fact of life.
You will find that your expenses rise, you might have to take on supporting grandchildren and your elderly parents. There is no telling how much you’ll have to pay out.
If you don’t apply financial plans that will offer a corresponding increase in your income, then your net worth will begin to fall. As your net worth decreases, you might even find yourself compromising on your lifestyle. Appreciating what the future might bring is the cornerstone of astute financial planning. Failure to do so might mean having to give up much of the comfort you’ve worked for.
Regardless of whether you’re close to retiring or already retired, it is never too late to begin laying out your retirement. As a High Net-Worth individual you can still move around your investments such that you begin to make major payouts. These returns can set the grounds for a content retirement and the room to leave something behind for your children.
Planning For the Future: Some Considerations
Since you are planning for the future, a good retirement plan will accurately account for the financial environments you will face at the time. Creating a hypothetical scenario that is close to your actual financial future is essential when planning for your retirement. Developing such a scenario will help you assess what your lifestyle will cost and determine projections of your financial conditions that will allow you to continue living your desired lifestyle.
Some questions that you want to ask yourself when making a financial plan are:
- What will the impact of inflation be on my cost of living?
- How can I make sure I keep up with or outpace inflation with the income I generate?
- What income streams can I tap into when I have retired?
- What additional expenses can I expect when I have retired?
- Do I want to leave behind money to my children and/or dependents, and how much?
- What investments should I pursue right now for high levels of fixed income in the future?
- Can existing investments help generate the wealth needed to live my preferred standard of living after retirement?
These are only a few of the questions you should ask yourself. But they do form the crux of considerations that will determine your retirement plans. Add more questions to this list if you feel that your comfort is at risk from other fronts.
However, be sure to consider these questions if nothing else.
The Beginnings of a Plan
As a HNW family, it is always advisable to consult with a wealth manager when developing a retirement plan. Although you can also do it by yourself, it’s just that there are a fair number of considerations that many individuals don’t account for.
A trained expert can make accurate assessments and projections that will set the principles that will direct your financial decisions and your overarching retirement plan.
At this moment, all your financial activities are to be taken in light of how you want to spend your life once you decide to call it a day.
Now that we have the considerations set out, it can only help to understand how these apply to your situation:
Inflation is a direct consequence of economic development. As incomes rise, wage pressures on employers force the costs of production to rise in their goods being sold.
As a result, consumers are forced to buy less with the same amount of money and this becomes more pronounced as time goes on, unless incomes can keep pace with inflation as well.
Often people find that they cannot outpace the rise in inflation with a rise in incomes. Even though they make more money than they did before, there is an overall decline in their purchasing power.
This is perhaps the biggest challenge you have to overcome in retirement. Your retirement plans are designed to help you maintain your buying power whether you are working or not. Adjusting your income with respect to inflation is the first major consideration when you set a financial goal for your retirement.
Maintaining Your Purchasing Power
The remaining questions we posed were simply to help identify how you can maintain your buying power. However, they considered how your expenses will increase as your life goes on. So, you see, keeping up with inflation is not the only consideration you have to keep track of, there is also the question of where else you will spend your money as you grow older.
Putting it in the simplest terms possible, an effective retirement plan will include a financial plan that will let you keep on increasing your income despite increasing inflation and increasing expenses. Some ways that a HNW family can continue increasing their wealth in proportions greater than their expenses include:
Develop Fixed Income Generating Portfolios
Starting out early with fixed income investments ensures you have a steady stream of income flowing into your accounts. Municipal bonds and investment-grade corporate bonds provide some of the best income yields. Upon retirement, you’re likely to undertake fewer risky investments.
Fixed income investments are a great way of ensuring you continue developing a softer cushion in your portfolio, while you play with riskier, higher income-yielding investments that you can use to further supplement your fixed earnings.
Balancing Out Risky Investments
Many people are under the impression that once you start aging, you should reduce the risk you take with your investments.
It is an assumption that unnecessarily restricts your financial freedom when you’ve retired. Nothing is to say about whether your investment decisions will not pay off, it may very well be the case that you will need to generate similar returns after you’ve retired, especially if retirement is going to last 20–30 years!
One way of mitigating some percentage of the risk is to work with investment managers and financial planners. These individuals can spread your risk in a way such that you keep on generating an appropriate amount of returns with the money you will invest. Consulting with experts about investments is a way for you to enjoy acceptable returns without having to worry about financial risks.
Understanding taxation ordinances and how they apply to your profits is an essential component of maximizing your wealth even when you have retired.
Not only do they affect the amount of money you will save over the years that you work, taxes will form a significant portion of the expenses you will bear in your Golden Years.
For this reason, it is essential that all your investment plans take into account your taxes to keep your head above the expenses you will bear.
Perhaps, consulting with your financial planners to create tax plans to minimize the tax burdens you will have to bear is a good idea. By manipulating how income is generated, it may be possible to minimize your tax payments while generating a high enough income from your investments.
The Price Is High
Financial stability that lasts you a lifetime requires consistent re-evaluation and re-consideration.
As an individual who has a high liquid net worth, you play a much more significant role than you realize. You serve as an example of how intelligence and decisiveness pay off in the long run.
You set the standards for countless others to set themselves on a path to financial success. You enable them to pursue the best possible life that they can envision.
For these reasons you owe it to yourself, your loved ones and those who treat you as an inspiration to make sure that you achieve the best life for yourself.
Developing retirement plans is a complicated process. With the right combination of financial services and foresight, it is highly likely that you will continue living the life of your dreams. As you begin to plan ahead for the eventualities that the future brings, you will find that you have lived your life unencumbered and achieving the epitome of self-actualization.
Hutch Ashoo and Chris Snyder are co-founders of Pillar Wealth Management. We are a fee-only expert wealth management firm for High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals. With years of experience in financial planning and investment management, we can help guide you toward continued financial security.
We have 30+ years of experience and are published authors. Our bestsellers include a hardcover book titled, “Protecting Ultra High Net Worth Portfolio Estates”
We take a very active role in helping High Net Worth clients maintain and enjoy their wealth.
Call us today for a complimentary conversation with our expert advisors.