Michelle Boyce | Director of Practice Management, 1847Financial South Florida
As the end of October sets in, the celebration of my favorite holiday approaches, Halloween! Spooky decorations adorn the neighborhoods, haunted houses and fall festivals become the entertainment, and Jack-o-Lanterns light up the front porches. Most associate Halloween as a day for the young, dressing up and trick-or-treating. For most people, this season passes quickly, and their attention is turned to Thanksgiving. But one group lives with certain spooky fears year-long: retirees. Although the calendar changes, the haunt of retirement doesn’t.
These are the top five issues that scare retirees while in retirement:
The Market Everyone has always been told at some point in their life, “Don’t worry, the market will come back,” and over time, the market does come back. The question is, in what time frame? Once retired, you’re required to take income from your assets no matter what the market is doing. If your account is down in December and you must take your income out in January, is that enough time for the market to “come back?” Chances are it’s not and you are forced to “lock in your losses”. Essentially you just bought high and sold low. Not a recipe for success!
Interest Rates Many retirees use the strategy of shifting their assets out of the market and into safer investments to try and eliminate some of the market risk mentioned above. This potentially could be a good strategy, but what happens when interest rates are at an all-time low during your retirement years? The visual of someone calling bank to bank, annuity carrier to annuity carrier, to see who is offering .01% more on their money is a real occurrence.
Tax Rates “You will always be in a lower tax bracket in retirement.” This thought process is as wrong as the scary clowns at a haunted house. That statement may have been true when tax brackets were 60% to 70% or higher. In reality, that may not be true for someone who has worked the past 20 years, when the top bracket has been near 40%. That person has just deferred years of taxes only to potentially pay out at a much higher rate. Personally, I can’t think of anything scarier.
Health Care Costs This is the one topic that is a complete unknown. Health care costs continue to rise with no foreseen solution in sight.
Long Term Care Event The long-term care conversation is near and dear to anyone who has ever had to be a caretaker. Long-term care events do not discriminate. You could go into retirement with the best laid plan possible only to watch that plan be derailed quickly.
These fears are a retiree’s spooky reality and are much scarier than the headless horseman at the local pumpkin patch.
Are you spooked yet?