Avoiding The Potholes Of Retirement – Investment Risk And Rate Of Withdrawal.

Let’s face facts…

Most people do not understand the investments that they have chosen.

Since they don’t understand the investments, it is not surprising that they do not have realistic expectations of the performance of their investments.

One of my favorite books about retirement planning is: “High Expectations and False Dreams: One Hundred Years of Stock Market History Applied to Retirement Planning” by Jim C. Otar.

He notes that the average life cycle of an investor begins with accumulation of assets, followed by withdrawal.  In addition, the last 100 years have given each generation an opportunity to experience a long mega-bull market and a long mega-bear market, each lasting between 16 and 20 years.

We are currently in a mega-bear cycle, which can be predicted to extend to 2016 or even 2020, based on historical data. Retirees who begin withdrawals from their accumulated assets during a  bear market are punished by both the depletion of their assets by withdrawal and the depletion of assets due to the decrease of the market value of their principal.

To avoid going broke in retirement, income investments must be maximized and total annual withdrawals from both stock and bond portfolios cannot exceed a paltry 4 percent per year.  If withdrawal rates are held to 4 percent, then the accumulated principal stands a 90 percent chance of lasting through a 30-year retirement.

Unfortunately, most people choose to withdraw assets during their retirement based on two false assumptions:

  • That future gains will make up for excessive withdrawals, and
  • That their life expectancy will be similar to lifespan of their parents

But medical advances have increased the life expectancy of U.S. citizens to 78.2 years.

In 1950, the life expectancy of male children was 65 years, and a female child could expect to live to 71.

In 2011, 50 percent of men who turned 65 will live to the age of 81.  And 50 percent of women turning 65 in 2011 will live to age 84, with 25 percent reaching the age of 90.  In other words, one out of every 10 women turning 65 these days will live to see 100!

You must take life expectancy risk into consideration along with very prudent asset withdrawal rates, so that you do not find yourself out of money and out of options.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!


Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Appointments available in Chicago, Aurora, Oak Brook, Schaumburg, and Joliet.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!


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