Prudent retirement strategies



We want to ensure investors adopt retirement strategies that mitigate longevity risk. Between the ages 40 and 50, the simple solution is to convert lump sum capital into income streams by way of annuities. This simple strategy mitigates longevity risk but the decision is a difficult one because investors part with their long life savings to exchange for an income stream. The decision is emotional because investors know they will never be able to get the money back.

For this reason, while annuities are part of a simple strategy to exchange lump sum for income stream, many prefer to use strategies that preserve liquidity while meeting retirement needs. It is possible to use Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) to create payouts during their lives. The key is working with your advisor to create an expected cash flow over a predetermined time frame. This is not a simple task. The set of future cash flows will have to meet retirement benchmarks shaped by inflation. It is intuitive for this custom set of cash flows to be benchmarked against the payout of a simple annuity instrument that is inflation protected. This will ensure the maintenance of real purchasing power.

Enhancing the retirement income

One other consideration is phased retirement. Besides creating a prudent retirement investment strategy, the investor should also consider postretirement positions, reduced workload and salary. The ability to create an alternative stream of salary, albeit reduced from previous scale, can enhance the retiree’s quality of retirement life. Gradual retirement allows the individual to reduce working hour and to acclimatize with a lifestyle of lower income. The individual can continue to receive predictable income and some health benefits.

Risks to consider

Retirement risks can be hard to incorporate into the investment strategy. How do we mitigate long tail market risks? You may own a sound dividend income plan, but a sudden crisis can create a volatile change in asset values and dividend payout plans. Fixed income investment strategies dependent on reinvesting coupon payments can fail to provide the required rate of return when rates turn for the worse systematically.

Relative to inflation and longevity risks, which can be often managed using a statistical framework, personal circumstances can also affect one’s retirement plans. To manage these risks, an individual must start considering insurance plans early. Use investment strategies to mitigate statistical risks such as longevity, inflation and market risks. Take on insurance plans earlier to mitigate future health risks and circumstance risks.

The entire retirement process may be complex. One way is to engage a prudent adviser to discuss your options early.