“Retire to something rather than from something”

retire to something
Donna Skeels Cygan

Prepare psychologically for retirement

By Donna Skeels Cygan / Invest in Joy

July 16th, 2017

“Is Sunday evening the best part of your week? Many recent retirees tell me they savor their Sunday evenings, because they are no longer stressed about going to work on Monday morning.

Today’s article covers how to prepare psychologically for retirement. Next month’s will cover how to prepare financially for retirement.

Mitch Anthony recommends that we strive to retire to something rather than retire from something in his book The New Retirementality. This may be a play on words, but it reinforces the importance of preparing for retirement.

The days when a man retired at age 65 and died at age 67 are long gone. We now have 25- to 30-year retirements for men and women. Retirement is a major phase of our life, and it is important to plan properly. Use the following steps as a roadmap to a joyful retirement.

  • Ponder your retirement
  • Add some structure
  • Embrace change
  • Plan something special.”

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Donna Skeels Cygan, CFP, MBA, is the author of “The Joy of Financial Security.” She has been the owner and financial planner for her own firm in Albuquerque for 19 years. 

The “Rule of 100” investment strategy

Rule of 100

When I was in my late 20’s I started planning for my retirement.  I was not afraid of risk and so I purchased several mutual fund accounts focused mostly on foreign and domestic stocks.  When I retired from teaching at the age of 55 my investments were in a bit more conservative portfolio which included bonds.  I had followed the “Rule of 100,” which is a measure whereby you subtract your age from 100 to determine the approximate percentage your assets could be invested in stocks (more risk). The rest should be invested conservatively (less risk). For example, I am now 57 years old; 100 minus 57 is 43. So the Rule of 100 would suggest I have 57 percent invested in lower risk accounts (cash and bonds) and 43 percent could be placed in higher risk accounts (stocks). Therefore, the older you are the more conservative your portfolio should be since you don’t have time to make up any losses due to a downturn in the stock market.

This is my current asset allocation in my retirement investment portfolio at age 57:

  • 13%     Cash
  • 37%     Bonds
  • 28%     Large Cap Stock
  • 15%     Mid/Small Stock
  • 7%       International Stock

So, you can see I have 50% of my portfolio in cash and bonds (low risk) and 50% in stocks.  Pretty close to the Rule of 100 suggestion.  However, my online financial advisors at VOYA Financial suggest I put less in bonds (24%) and more in international stock (23%) since I have time to recoup any losses and current interest rates are low.  Their investment strategy does not follow the Rule of 100.  That Rule is no longer suggested due to low interest rates.  Read more about this and other common investment rules which no longer apply.

I may consider adding more international stock to my portfolio in the near future, making it a bit more risky, as our economy appears to be changing.  What is your current asset allocation?  Do you still follow the Rule of 100?


Not just for women

This spring I read the book The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement: How to Save for Your Future Today by Mary Hunt and want to pass on a few important excerpts:

Pages 162-164

“Here are six steps you can take to become more financially independent.

  1. Maintain good records.  Be sure you have copies of all current assets, bank account numbers, safe deposit information, insurance beneficiary information, IRAs and other retirement account records, tax returns going back seven years, mutual funds statements, stocks and bonds, health insurance policies, homeowner’s and auto insurance policies, the lease or mortgage information for your home, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and birth and marriage certificates.  It is also a good idea to keep receipts of major appliances with information on warranties.

Read moreNot just for women

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