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What is your biggest concern for retirement?

NO ONE does. You are right. I had advised my mom and, at times, helped advise husband and sister. Husband pretty much took over his when he retired and stayed good on choosing investments even as other parts of his thinking deteriorated. Ten or so years ago, sister wanted me to tell her what was going to happen to interest rates and I told her I did not have a clue - finally decided she needed to switch advisers lest I driver her off into the ditch with me. I am pretty sure that we have a while before interest rates go up again with a significance in life style for those trying to live on interest. Am not sure about inflation, but I did buy TIPS (about 20% of portfolio) 17 years ago and intend to keep them.
Primary fear has always been deterioration of my mind and inability to keep up with investments - something I have always enjoyed (running "pretend" portfolios since I was 12 and real since 24). Daughter has passed the investment part of one of the chartered financial exams - she is more conservative than I, which I suspect is good for when she needs to take over. I pray that I will know that time - have tentatively marked it as when I go to assisted living - if my mind still works, I will still want some to play with.
My biggest concern is the unknown, whether the market, government, or health. To that end, I have diversified my investments, and manage my own portfolio, balanced, and keep my expenses contained. Coming off 40 years in a corporate environment, I would never willingly put my hard-earned $$$ in the hands of an overworked financial advisor and become another post-it note on their desk, so I made it my first task after retirement to learn. I was fortunate in timing and swept some profits into good Real estate investments
deals in 2013-2015, and am now downsizing in a seller's market, which will further help me with my run rate. Big concern is that rates will never go up again, or dividends will all be significantly reduced, or the US large cap companies will go belly up ...

I find my expenses are much lower after retirement, and being raised in a family of 6 children, expense containment seems to be in my dna (smile). But still retain the ability to be generous with the family.

My planning for managing investments in the future ... I have discussed the portfolio management options with Fidelity, especially for my adult children, who are only marginally interested in investing (as was I at their age). Another avenue I like is to reduce the portfolio back down to an S&P 500 index fund, and a corporate bond fund, with 10 to 15% kept in a cash reserve or short term bond fund. In running the numbers, income is somewhat reduced, but still healthy if reinvested. And simple to operate.
It is unfortunate but financial advisors do have a vested financial interest in convincing their clients that they do not have enough
money to retire – so their clients will feel compelled to continue to take much more risk than is absolutely necessary to meet their goals.

I retired three years ago at 58 and found that most expenses, but not all, can be anticipated. I have also found that there it is very important to recognize there are two sides to a balance sheet – income and expenses. Both are relatively easily controllable, especially expenses.

Address any Physical/Health Issues (you have nothing if you let your health slip)

Reduce Expenses (I was able to reduce my expenses by 40% when I retired and saw not impact at all on my lifestyle)

Increase Income

And, I never ever take more risk than is absolutely necessary to achieve my goals. I am always amazed that so many financial advisors seem to openly advise people to keep a certain percentage of assets in equities and another percentage in fixed income, etc. in the name of diversification. Unfortunately, many a fortune has been lost because of this kind of irresponsible advice that feeds on greed.

I invest about 35% in equities and the rest in fixed income (even in this very low interest environment) because that is all the risk I
need to take to meet my goals. I am in better physical shape than I have been in for years, increasing my net worth year after year and am enjoying retired life more than I ever thought I would. Why would anybody ever take more risk than they need to? Only when unanticipated expenses arise (such as increased health care expenses) do I ever review the risk formula I have established because of the increased expenses.

Best financial thing I ever did was to set goals, reduce expenses and then determine the amount of income necessary to meet expenses. It's probably not a bad idea to do a trial run for a few months before actually retiring. And ignore all of the noise generated by those who would have us all take more risk than is absolutely necessary.

My biggest concern is that all the market chatter from professionals will somehow convince me to get tangled in the “greed game” while failing to realize that assets are simply a tool to continue maintaining an enjoyable and successful retirement. I guard against that daily.

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