Woodstock Financial Advisor – Third Act Retirement Planning —

How to Have a Successful Retirement

I have been doing retirement planning for 20 years. In fact, the first designation I earned, in the year 2000, was certified senior advisor. I have seen a few people have really bad retirements. Fortunately not many, but I’ve seen some people that have made some poor decisions, which led to a lot of stress and undue financial pressure during retirement. I’m going to talk about one example of what I saw that made for a stressful retirement. 

The major issue was debt. This was a couple who had debt because of multiple vacation homes that they owned and were unable to rent out successfully, so they both had to go back to work, even though they had a tremendously large pension income of $230,000 per year. Because of all the debt that they had on their own home, plus three other vacation homes, they were unable to really enjoy their retirement. They were stressed, complaining about not having money to spend. They ended up having to work 30 or 40 hours a week into their 70s. Eventually they were able to sell two of these three homes, but it took a decade before they were able to begin to feel a little relief during their retirement. By that time, they had already reached their mid-70s. So they had their retirement cut short due to some poor financial planning.


I recommend you watch this video I recorded that goes through how to avoid running out of money and increase your retirement income. You are also invited to set up a short 20 minute free no cost and no obligation Retirement Ready Success call by clicking here. In this short call we will

  • go over where you are now,
  • where you want to be,
  • and I will share with you some of the strategies I use with my clients to help them achieve financial freedom and peace of mind.

It’s not too difficult to answer, but it’s different for every single person. I don’t believe I’ve ever had two clients end up with the same exact number to save for retirement. You should have two goals: save for retirement to live comfortably, and plan for the worst. So you always want to test your investments by running them through some of the worst cases of stock market crashes that we’ve had throughout history to make sure that your financial plan is solid, so you’ll be more secure with how much you’re wanting to save for retirement. If you neglect a worst case scenario, then you can end up in a worst case scenario: running out of money at an age where you’re too old to go back to work. People always ask, well, does that really happen? Yes, it does. They are building new assisted living facilities all across the country, nursing homes are full, so there are many people that are running out of money. Of course, they have their Social Security that will come in, but they do run out of savings. In fact, most Americans die in debt. 

On the other hand, I’ve seen people make decisions that lead to them enjoying their retirement. In the case of the clients I just mentioned, they had bought two of those homes without consulting me. They only had one vacation home when they became a client, and then they called me up to inform me they had already purchased two, without getting any advice from me. However, they are an unusual case. Almost all of my clients I see enjoying their retirement. They don’t have a lot of debt. Their expenses are well below the income that they have coming in and the amount of money that they’re taking out of their investments. 

In fact, probably about half of my clients aren’t even regularly withdrawing money from their retirement accounts. They may withdraw some money for a vacation, a car, or some home improvements such as getting a new roof, finishing a basement, or doing some landscaping, but I would say at least half of them aren’t even taking a monthly distribution from their investments to live off of. They seem to be enjoying their lives. They’re volunteering. They’re spending time with their children and grandchildren. They’re spending time with their friends, they’re traveling. They’re really able to do what they want to do when they want to do it. 

I would say that one of the big keys to a successful retirement that most of my clients are following is not driving their expenses up, particularly through debt, when they were getting ready to retire. By keeping expenses and debt under control, they didn’t put stress on their cash flow situation from their Social Security, pensions and investments.

Click on the links below to subscribe to our YouTube or Podcasts channels called Cloud’s Retirement Chat. We offer valuable information in each show that can help you make wise decisions with finances:

Click here to watch my Free Video Presentation that Reveals…

How To Avoid Running Out Of Money In Retirement AND Potentially Increase Your Income In Retirement… By Making ONE Simple Change To Your Finances! You will learn:

  1. How one simple change to your finances can increase your retirement income
  2. How one simple change to your finances can help you avoid running out of money
  3. How to do all this without needing to invest more money or spend more time on your finances.

Or you are also invited to set up a 20 minute free no cost and no obligation Retirement Ready Success call by clicking here. In this short call we will

  • go over where you are now,
  • where you want to be,
  • and I will share with you some of the strategies I use with my clients to help them achieve financial freedom and peace of mind.
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