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Retirement Insight: April 2015

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Retirement Insight: April 2015

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Monthly news and information for current and future retirees

ARE TODAY’S RETIREES TOO FOCUSED ON INCOME?

Baby boomers want their retirement incomes to keep pace with inflation. Can this objective become a detriment?

Inflation isn’t the only financial risk that retirees face. Longevity risk (outliving your money), sequence risk (your nest egg losing value while you withdraw from it) and market risk (volatility) are also significant. If portfolio assets are allocated too heavily into income-producing investments, that portfolio can become less diverse and less balanced. Diversification and a balanced investment mix should be viewed as a plus for the long run, and not through a short-term lens as a minus potentially restricting yield.

Interest rates are low now, but they will eventually rise and may normalize by the end of the decade – a good reason to shape a portfolio in a way that will serve long-range goals and not merely present cash flow needs. Alternately, if your portfolio isn’t yielding enough to provide sufficient yearly income, you could consider selling certain components of it to generate some cash. The important thing is to recognize that having money for tomorrow is just as important as having income today.1

MOVE TO LIVE LONGER & BETTER

We all want to live well right up until the end. Exercise might be a key to doing that. As an article in Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research concluded, consistent exercise (cardiovascular, weight-bearing) may postpone mortality by as much as nine years and morbidity by as much as 16 years. Ongoing exercise may also give us the gift of “compressed morbidity” – staying physically and mentally active until the very end of our lives.

If you haven’t been very active, consider that just stepping up your exercise in middle age could potentially change your physiology for the better and ward off some effects of aging. A Journal of Physiology study examined collected data on 125 cyclists aged 55-79, analyzing their various physical capabilities. In looking solely at these characteristics, researchers could not tell how old the cyclists were; the ones in their seventies appeared as healthy as those in their fifties.2

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

In a first-quarter Gallup poll, 47% of Americans surveyed said they were better off financially now than they were a year ago (much improved from just 23% back in 2009).3

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