for the REAL WORLD
“Reality should shape one’s retirement goals, not the other way around. Assuming reality will adapt itself to unrealistic goals is a dangerous proposition.”
- Douglas Brymer, President & Wealth Advisor
We hate to be the ones to break it to you, but there is no “colored line” which will guarantee anyone a comfortable retirement lifestyle. Recognizing this is the first step toward creating a Retirement Strategy for the Real World. While planning for one’s retirement is imperative, it is important to acknowledge that change is inevitable, and our retirement plans must constantly evolve to reflect those changes.
Retirement calculators and software are immensely useful – we use them every day with clients. That said, the end analysis is only as useful as the inputs being used. We should not mistake “assumptions” for “facts” – particularly when relying heavily upon historical data while ignoring present conditions.We should not assume that a 3 ring binder with 100 pages of charts and graphs will somehow guarantee that we will achieve all of our retirement dreams. At Round Hill, we prefer retirement planning without the binders - updating assumptions and analyses in real-time as required.
Below are guidelines that we use with clients in developing successful retirement strategies:
- Do not assume that retirement planning only occurs before you retire – retirement income strategies need to be consistently updated
- Like all financial planning, the more often “what if” is asked during the process, the more beneficial the results
- Within reason, over-estimate expenses and lifespan, then under-estimate returns and resources – rather than the other way around
- Do not forget that “past performance is no guarantee of future results”
- Never ignore reality – in other words, don’t make unrealistic assumptions (good or bad)
- Consistently update your plan – this can never be stressed enough
- Always ignore generalizations, unless considering how they affect your individual circumstance
- Always consider sequence of potential returns when making assumptions
Retirement Strategies for the Real World involve realistic assumptions while asking “what if” over and over again. Assumptions should incorporate what has happened in the past, but focus more on the present and what it may mean for the future. Whether retirement is 30 years from now – or occurred 10 years prior – there is no better time than the present to make sure your retirement strategies are designed for the Real World.