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Retirement Planning and the Hope of Outliving Your Money July 24, 2008

Posted by retirementwithaplan in Uncategorized.
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Hope of Outliving Your Money

What makes us, as investors, so optimistic when we shouldn’t be and so pessimistic when we still have control over our retirement destiny? Consider these thoughts from a recently published online survey of 2100 adults ranging in age from 55 to 70.

Chances are, if you are retired, you often find yourself feeling hopeful about your future (48 percent) than your cohorts who are still working. Only a third of those who are still in the workforce see themselves as well positioned for the future despite the fact that many of the respondents still have ten years to complete their retirement plan.

The numbers get worse from there with much of the late aged workforce exhibiting far less confidence about where they are and where they hope to be that their retired counterparts. In fact, if you are still working, half of those questioned are worried. The respondents it should be noted had “household assets of $75,000 or more, excluding the value of real estate holdings”.

From Point A to Point B

It is generally believed and certainly well touted among those who write about personal finance – myself included – that the stock market is the single greatest opportunity to get from point A (which seems to be the point of greatest concern) to point B (reaping the benefits of adding to accounts that grow over time, compounding and providing wealth that any other means simply cannot give).

But these folks are mostly frightened about their abilities (43% of those still employed, 28% of those that are not) and are unwilling to let trust the equities markets to live up to their billing. Almost half feel this way.

What is most problematic is the inability to make good estimation about how long we will live beyond the day we first begin drawing those accounts down. Many retired people are pulling a full 10% from those savings annually. This is far beyond the recommended 3-4%, which would get them well into two decades of after work income. Forty percent of those retired felt confident that they would have enough money. Yet they also found themselves very concerned about where their health was headed.

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