Retirement Planning

The transition from asset accumulation during working years to the asset distribution phase during retirement is a pivotal stage in each retirees step towards financial well-being.  The first big question is always “When should I retire?” quickly followed by “Do I have enough money to retire?”.  For most people at or near retirement, there are typically more questions than answers.  We want to change that.  At Thomas Financial, we specialize in retirement cash flow management for clients who desire an investment portfolio that offers predictable and sustainable income.  Through our in-depth retirement income evaluation, we work with our clients to analyze each clients “Retirement Readiness”. Below are some key factors we like to use to begin retirement planning discussions.

  1. Longevity – Your life expectancy is the single largest uncertainty of retirement planning.  According to the social security administration, 1 out of 4 retirees will live past age 90 and 1 out of 10 will live past age 95.  We must design a plan with longevity top of mind.
  2. Accumulation Planning vs. Income planning – Life looks pretty different when you are no longer receiving a steady paycheck every two weeks. Your investments should look different too! As our clients transition to a lifestyle of living on fixed income, social security, and possibly a pension (if you’re lucky), we believe your investments should reflect that change in life.  Our expertise allows our clients to have a retirement income advisor for the time in their life when taking extra risk is no longer worth the reward or anxiety.
  3. “The market” and your portfolio – Through our research, we try to fit clients with the proper investments during retirement.  Below are a few pitfalls we try to avoid with proper asset allocation
    • Poor sequence of returns – Bad investment performance the years before retirement.
    • Emotional investing – Selling low and buying high based on “feelings”.
    • Portfolio Drawdown – Invading the principal of a portfolio due to poor income planning.
  4. Social Security Income – A big question for those at or near retirement is when to start taking social security income. Many retirees do not understand their options to optimize their check each month, or that social security can be reduced or taxed depending on your age and earnings. Our firm has great expertise and has spoken at firms such as UHY, Butzel Long, Strobl &Sharp and the Financial and Estate Planning council of Macomb. We specialize in weighing each option and making the right decision for each family.
  5. Inflation – Recent stock market volatility has caused some investors to run for the sidelines. Unfortunately, there is a risk in doing nothing at all.  Having too much money in cash, CD’s, fixed investments etc. can also cause long term harm to a portfolio.  In fact, inflation at 3% will cut your purchasing power in half in 20 years.  The risk of doing nothing is high and the cost of goods continues to grow almost every year. Our team works to combat the effects of inflation while staying within our clients risk tolerance.
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