I had a very interesting conversation with a potential client this week, and he said something that struck me because he literally verbalized the point that I try to make during every conversation I have about people’s retirements.
This gentleman and his wife have a pretty sizable retirement nest egg, but also want a pretty sizable income in relation to their assets. Because of this income desire, it was going to take a good portion of their retirement assets to fund their Atlas Annuity Strategy.
Although we have not moved forward yet, because it is a big decision and I never harass people to make a decision before they’re ready, his realization during our overview visit was profound enough that I felt I had to share it with all my great readers.
This discussion came up while we were looking at the risk of running out of money using a diversified portfolio in relation to the amount of income he wanted for his retirement lifestyle, which was over a 7% withdrawal rate. With an income amount that high, he wasn’t going to be able to leave as much to his kids as he was hoping, and that was only if he didn’t run out of money completely.
This is a scenario when determining the “Purpose of Money” becomes vital, and it’s also where this realization was acknowledged. Here it is (in a nutshell):
“I guess in retirement it’s no longer about worrying about leaving money behind or chasing the highest returns. It’s more about making sure we have the income to be able to live the life we’ve been dreaming of in retirement.”
BOOM! I mean he absolutely nailed it!
Any entrepreneur or professional investor understands that everything is about “cash flow”. It’s about income. A big pile of money does nothing if you don’t know how you can spend it.
The hardest mental shift people have to make in retirement is walking away from a paycheck, and having to rely on their investments to sustain them for an unknown amount of time into the future.
Here is a scenario that most people do not consider in retirement (but it happens):
- They have a lot of free time, so they start spending more than ever.
- They see money flying out the door and then a downturn in their portfolio happens.
- They freak out and drastically cut their spending. And they remain freaked out until they regain all their losses. But that almost never happens because you still need money to survive, so they continue to pull money out. Although not as much as they would like.
- They regain a portion of their losses, but now they’re too old to do the things they wanted to.
- They die and their kids do all the things with the remaining money that the parents were too scared to do because of that first downturn.
It’s a sad situation. In a lot of ways, retirement is very similar to mountain climbing (so I’m told).
Take a look at this blurb from kuluarpohod.com that I read on why, and when, people die on Mount Everest:
“Climbers have a simple rule. Climbing to the summit is only half the journey, and congratulations on a successful ascent can only be given when you return to base camp. If we take away the atypical 2014 and 2015 (when more than 30 people died because of avalanches), most deaths occur on the way down, after reaching the summit. Why is this the case?”
“Actually, the reason is very simple. On the way to the summit, the mountaineer has a big goal for which he spent a lot of money and time, spent 1-2 months in the mountains, wandering between camps and acclimatizing. And so, when up to the summit remains literally a couple of hours, many go over the edge of their capabilities and spend the last forces to achieve the goal. Then they lack strength and concentration for safe descent, and often time, which results in breakdowns, exhaustion, freezing.”
Did you catch the most important part of that statement? Most people die on the way down!
Most of you have spent 30, 40, or even 50 years working and sacrificing to get to the summit (retirement), and you are looking at that huge pile of money in your IRA or 401(k) without any realization of the dangers that could lie ahead when you try to get back down the mountain safely.
“The Retirement Mindset” is the acceptance that it’s a whole new world on the other side of this mountain. The same paths, techniques, and equipment that got you to the summit are not the same as the ones that will get you back down.
At this point in your journey, it’s about guaranteed income (cash flow) to help you weather the storms that are inevitable. And the best way to create guaranteed income is with an annuity. If there was something better, I would be pursuing that instead. But I haven’t found anything close to what these annuities can provide. But, you also need to know how to use the right annuities to maximize your results. If you haven’t already, please watch my video series, “20% More Income in Retirement.” I go through a lot of details on how my Atlas Annuity Strategy works. And once you have a chance to work your way through that series, reach out to me by clicking the “Schedule a Call” button and let’s see what kinds of solution we can create for you.
All the best,