Explore Our
“Off The Wall” Blog

Unique, straight-forward, unfiltered opinion on topics of concern for individuals with newfound wealth.

Tips to Ensure Your Retirement Income

Tips to Ensure Your Retirement Income

In the early 1990’s, I started my career in the financial industry with one of the most well-known Wall Street firms. Many changes have occurred since 1993. Thousands of different investment strategies have been created. Banks and insurance companies have become financial planning and investment firms, and the reverse as well. We have seen technology break down the barriers to access that once greatly benefited the major banks, and the emergence of independent private wealth management firms.

But today, the biggest challenge that all advisors have to deal with, irrespective of what firm you own or work for, is an environment where the expected rate of return and the risk associated with getting that return has changed, especially for older investors. In other words, your income during retirement is lower today than it has been in a long time.

So what should you do to ensure your retirement income? The simple answer is to save more and plan achievable and realistic rates of return during retirement. Three to six percent is reasonable, depending on age and whether you want to exhaust your savings or pass it on. Below are ten steps towards doing just that.

  1. Eliminate as much debt as you can. Start focusing on this well before you retire by living below your means and paying down floating rate debt first, such as credit cards and home equity lines.
  2. Fix the rate on any debt you cannot eliminate. Although mortgage rates have risen a bit, they are still very low. In some cases, it may even make sense to raise your monthly payment a bit to secure a predictable fixed rate.
  3. Insure your earnings with life insurance especially in the last few years of work if you identify that you need more savings to achieve the lifestyle you desire.
  4. When approaching retirement or at retirement, assess your insurance coverage. Often times, pre-retirees and retirees are over-insured in life insurance yet have no long-term care or proper health insurance. Explore the concept of co-insurance when buying long-term care. In other words, compare the cost of a policy that pays for 30 percent to 70 percent of future care costs rather than 100 percent, because it will likely be less expensive. This can be done if you have saved and can cover some costs in the event you need the care.
  5. Plan so you know what you need. Analyze pensions, Social Security, real estate income, etc. to get an exact number that needs to come from savings, interest or investment gains.
  6. Consider taxes when planning. It is critical to understand that tax rates vary. Drawing principle from a taxable account with no realized capital gains costs nothing, individual retirement accounts and other retirement distributions are taxed as ordinary income, and Social Security and real estate have their own tax ramifications, so look at after-tax or net income not pretax.
  7. Get liquid before you retire. Having a substantial net worth and very little liquidity can greatly restrict the income you receive. This is particularly tough when interest rates rise or are high.
  8. Consider less traditional and less liquid investments in exchange for security and higher yield. Many have floating rates that will increase the income as rates rise rather than losing value and having fixed rates.
  9. Don’t chase yield. Several bond markets, such as high-grade municipals, AAA-rated corporate and government-backed bonds may be susceptible to a major correction. These bonds are interest-rate sensitive and therefore their values go down as rates rise.
  10. Don’t be afraid to spend savings if you have accumulated enough.

I hope this helps. Start planning now to ensure your retirement income, and it should work out just fine.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendation for individual. To determine which investment is appropriate please consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is not guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

Read this article on U.S. News & World Report >


Please remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Monument Capital Management, LLC [“Monument”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Monument. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. No amount of prior experience or success should be construed that a certain level of results or satisfaction will be achieved if Monument is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services. Monument is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice.

A copy of the Monument’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.monumentwealthmanagement.com/disclosures. Please Note: Monument does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Monument’s website or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

Historical performance results for investment indices, benchmarks, and/or categories have been provided for general informational/comparison purposes only, and generally do not reflect the deduction of transaction and/or custodial charges, the deduction of an investment management fee, nor the impact of taxes, the incurrence of which would have the effect of decreasing historical performance results.  It should not be assumed that your Monument account holdings correspond directly to any comparative indices or categories. Please Also Note: (1) performance results do not reflect the impact of taxes; (2) comparative benchmarks/indices may be more or less volatile than your Monument accounts; and, (3) a description of each comparative benchmark/index is available upon request.

Please Remember: If you are a Monument client, please contact Monument, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services.  Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently. Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.

Stay up to date!

Subscribe to our “Off the Wall” Blog for articles and videos on all things wealth management, by all members of our Team. Unlike Facebook, we will never share your data with anyone.