Tune in to levels of control

Published 4:27 pm Friday, June 30, 2017

By: Stephen Poitevint

Know what you can tweak to find your ultimate retirement income mix

As much as some of us would like to control everything, the truth is we can’t. Many retirees harbor a distant fear that their money may not last as long as they need it to. When it comes to something as important as your retirement income, knowing what you can control and by how much may help save your energy for the things you can change.

Email newsletter signup



Where your money lives

How and where you put your money is one of the largest areas of influence you have. Work with your advisor to ensure your asset allocation reflects your risk tolerance, your time horizon and your short- and long-term needs.

How much you spend and save

Save as early – and as much – as possible, and live within your means. Your advisor can help you decide on a with¬drawal rate to keep you comfortable during a long and fulfilling retirement. Depending on market returns, this rate may need adjustments.


How long you work

While you may want to work in retirement, nearly half of retirees in 2014 left the workforce before they planned to due to health concerns, caregiving responsibilities or company changes.

Your health

While you don’t know for sure what will happen, you can increase your chances of a long, healthy life through better healthcare, preventive care and good nutrition.


The what-ifs                                                                                                             No matter how much you try, there are always unknowns that you can’t exactly plan for. Build in a contingency plan by creating a financial cushion should you need cash on short notice and by mitigating risks with proper insurance coverage (e.g., long-term care insurance).

The markets

Even with thoughtful planning, no one has ever been able to predict what the market might do. Consider what you’ll do if you encounter a series of less-than-ideal market returns.

The cost of living and taxes

Things cost more over time. The inflation rate for retirement-age Americans is higher because they spend more on items that rise fastest in price, such as healthcare and housing.

As for taxes, without knowing when the government may implement a change that may affect you, be sure to take advantage of savings in tax-favored accounts, particularly those geared toward retirement.

You are your best advocate when it comes to fulfilling your retirement dreams, so be sure to exercise your power thoughtfully and proactively. Your advisor can help you stay ahead of the game and implement a plan that reflects what’s most important to you.


• Review your budget regularly as your needs evolve.

• Overdue for a doctor’s appointment? Schedule that belated visit today.

• Test your financial plan with your advisor for what-ifs and worst-case scenarios.

Asset allocation does not guarantee a profit nor protect against losses.