Fear of RUnning out of money in retirement

When Rest & Relaxation in Retirement Becomes Fear of Running Out of Money

Retirement is supposed to be a time of rejuvenation and relaxation, but for many retirees, financial stress can quickly turn it into a time of worry and struggle. One of the biggest concerns for retirees is running out of money. Unfortunately, it is a major issue, and it can happen for a variety of reasons.
The following are some common reasons retirees run out of money in retirement:

  1. Insufficient Savings: One of the primary reasons retirees run out of money in retirement is due to insufficient savings. Many people don’t start saving early enough, don’t save enough, or don’t have a good understanding of how much they will need in retirement. As a result, they may end up with a retirement fund that is too small to last their entire retirement period.
  2. Increased Life Expectancy: People are living longer than ever before, which means retirement savings must last longer too. Unfortunately, many people do not plan for an extended retirement period, and their savings run out before they pass away. This can be particularly challenging if they require long-term care, which can be very expensive.
  3. Inflation: Inflation is a fact of life, and it can significantly impact retirees’ ability to maintain their standard of living. Many retirees are on fixed incomes and may not be able to keep up with the rising costs of goods and services. This can lead to a situation where they need to dip into their retirement savings to cover their living expenses.
  4. Health Care Costs: As we age, health care costs tend to increase. These costs can be particularly challenging for retirees, especially those without health insurance. According to some estimates, a couple retiring in 2020 will need about $295,000 to cover their health care costs during retirement.
  5. Poor Investment Choices: Investing is an essential part of retirement planning. Unfortunately, some retirees make poor investment choices or do not understand how to manage their investments effectively. This can lead to a situation where their retirement savings do not perform as well as they had hoped, and they run out of money sooner than expected.
  6. Debt: Debt can be a significant problem for retirees. Those who carry debt into retirement may find that they need to use their retirement savings to pay it off. This can quickly deplete their savings and leave them without a financial cushion.
    Running out of money in retirement is a widespread problem that can happen for many reasons. However, with careful planning and thoughtful decisions, retirees can reduce or even eliminate this problem. While there are many strategies that folks can take, the most important step is to plan properly and consider the risks facing your retirement.

Market Volatility: Invest Smart, Know the Risks

Investing into the market for retirement funds is a risky business. Retirees often purchase individual stocks or invest in financial products such as mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or even variable annuities. There are other options such as defined contribution plans that invest into stock market and sometimes a company’s stock. 401(k)s are a common option offered by employers with a matching percentage. Having various investments allows for a more diversified portfolio, leading to a better chance at the safe and secure retirement you have always dreamt of.

However, invest smart and know the risks: the financial markets have significant fluctuations. There is a huge chance of majorly reducing retirement funds due to a bad down in the stock market. Therefore, long- and short-term investments are encouraged.

With the roller coaster of the financial markets, timing is everything when it comes to withdrawing from retirement savings & investments. Unfortunately, what may happen with the return of these investments is more negative than anything to the investor. Meaning, more of the account or assets may need to be liquidated to ensure spending power and keep that consistent stream of income. This is called sequence of return risk. An example of this was with the 2008 Recession; where the market declined and many lost their homes, their other investments, their retirements. For those who have awhile to save and plan are able to likely recover loss. Retirees with less time or who need their income soon will have to sell their investment assets while the market is down to reduce further loss and keep that income. A great loss is encountered if assets cannot be recovered.

Diversification of these assets/investments is important. Individual assets, such as the mutual funds and ETFS, may be managed professionally. These funds may have a focus on small to larger companies, even with specific fields or industries in mind. For individually chosen stocks and annuities, consider stock investments. Within these various options, there are performance and choice risks. Investment for retirement funds is a choice that should be taken with research and guidance.

As mentioned, there is always risk with investing—especially for your dream retirement. The following are some great strategies to limit the risks.

Diversify. Hold various investments across the classes (i.e. hold bonds and stocks). The more spread out and full the investments are better at loss absorption your portfolio is. For example, loss in individual stocks can be offset by holding stocks in 15+ companies and balancing the funds throughout these. If you were to hold the same amount over 5 companies/stocks, you are exposed to a greater risk if one of those companies crashes versus if you have the funds spread over 15 or more. Even considering fixed income investments is great! These will not yield as much return, however.

Long term is best. With investments, time is typically on your side. Especially in the case of recovering losses. It is rare you will see recovery happen overnight—it takes years. Those near or in retirement will want to monitor their investments closely because if a major loss occurs, you may be better off selling. Top experts suggest relying on income-generating policies while moving funds from the stock market throughout your retirement years.

Roll with the pooled. Like carpooling to an event, a pooled investment is smaller contributions from individual to make a larger investment fund. Some examples are mutual funds and target-date funds. Oftentimes these are done with financial experts and there may be fees involved.

Remember fees. Higher fees do not necessarily mean a higher yield on investments. They reduce the overall return, so monitoring and understanding them is important for your financial wellbeing. 401(k)s and other defined contribution plans may have fees; sometimes a fee may be charged if using a financial advisor for advice and portfolio management.