100% of all retirement planning will fail to provide you with a guaranteed lifetime income.
Yes, 100% is correct. Regardless of how big the planning company is and how lucky or smart the advisor is, none can guarantee you an income for as long as you live.
The best they can do is guess how much or how long you could expect to get checks in retirement. Unlike Social Security and a company pension (not a 401k type plan) that can give you exact numbers, investment advisors can never give you any guarantees.
There are two separate and distinct areas of planning that confuse. Both of them start with the word Retirement. Retirement planning is what an employee gets when he starts working for a company and needs to learn about his investment options, risk tolerance, and dollar matching in the company’s 401(k) or IRA plan.
However, retirement “Income” planning is very different. Note the word income. How to get this saved money to produce a monthly paycheck as I or we are nearing Retirement? That sounds like a reasonable question to ask- how much can I take out for as long as we are both alive? In all honesty, it is the only question that matters. (I have put together critical questions you need to ask now). Income planning should be seriously looked at about ten years before you want to retire.
The retirement planning investment pros cannot give you an answer to that seemingly simple question. Why not? Social Security and company pension plans know to the penny how much you will get guaranteed for your life and a partner if you have one. How come to your retirement planner cannot do the same? Unfortunately, there is no way for them to do that. They can’t give any guaranteed amounts or length of time the money may last.
Why? You see, investment advisors are prevented by law from doing so. Because they can’t give you any guarantees, they need to craft a story that will convince people to leave their money with them: failure to provide a convincing story will result in them losing billions of dollars in commission and fees!
The first step is for you to believe they are the authority by multi-million-dollar advertising.
The second step is to do hypothetical case studies and use computerized projections to tell a story that looks so factual that you believe it. These projections appear authentic by predicting (really guessing) the chances your savings will last and not run out during retirement. To do this, they must apply guesses about what inflation will be projections for portfolio growth, (even though every investor knows “past performance does not guarantee future results, asset mix, and a sustainable
Withdrawal rate. These many assumptions lose any basis in reality. Countless economic studies have proven no one knows what percentage you can take out of your portfolio without running out of money. (No one can predict to future). Now your retirement planner puts these assumptions into a computer, presses the go button, and from these “guesses and assumptions,” impressive report prints.
The best part is that it looks official, leading many to a false sense of security (no guarantees) and the real possibility of running out of money in retirement.
It would be best to ask your advisor direct questions about how your money can produce income now. I have created a robust list of questions, including a guide highlighting each question and detailing what to look for. Please reach out, and I will send them.
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