(“A wise man climbs Mt. Fuji once; a fool climbs it twice”)
In the late 1990s, Pete climbed Mt. Fuji, located about an hour outside of Tokyo, Japan. Reflecting on that experience, he equates planning for retirement like climbing the sacred mountain. The ascent is long and arduous. It takes energy and mindfulness along the way to ensure good progress is made. This is like our “working years,” from our early 20s to mid-60s. And, much like retiring, reaching the summit brings a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
However, the journey is only partially complete: there is also the descent. This part, although it may seem easy, actually requires just as much preparation, energy, and mindfulness as the initial climb. While living in retirement, it is important to have someone on your side to ask and evaluate the answers to these important questions:
- How do I consolidate all of my accounts into an income stream?
- Which assets should I use first?
- How much can I withdraw each year without risking running out?
- How much risk am I comfortable taking now?
- What happens as my lifestyle changes through different phases of retirement?
- What about things such as taxes, inflation, and market risk?
Here at Entirety Financial, we use detailed financial planning software that allows us to create a distribution plan illustrating answers to all of these questions. In addition, we then use that plan to consider additional scenarios, such as:
- What happens if I need long term care?
- How will the early death of one spouse affect the other’s ability to stay retired?
- How can I pay less in taxes?
- How do I avoid paying higher Medicare premiums for Parts B and D?
- How will higher inflation affect my plan?
- How much of my income is reliant on market performance?
- How will RMDs affect my taxes?