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3-2-1 Retirement Newsletter (12-12-2019)

3 insights, 2 findings, 1 action (December 12, 2019)

5-minute read

Happy Thursday!

It’s the holiday season, and I’m in a generous mood, excited to share insightful knowledge, helpful strategies, and useful tips to enable you to live the best retirement possible.

Please enjoy these three Insights, two findings, and one action for the week...



I. A retirement income strategy equals retirement success.

Apart from taxes, retirement will be your largest lifetime expense. And crucial to meeting this expense is the need for a comprehensive retirement income strategy that combines the best retirement income tools to optimize the balance between meeting various goals (expenses) and managing the retirement risks that stand in the way of those goals. 

Your retirement income strategy will go a long way in determining whether you have a successful retirement.

II. Delaying Social Security is one of the smartest retirement planning moves.

Many claim Social Security benefits at age 62 because of a lack of other retirement income sources. However, claiming benefits early or even at full retirement age may not be a wise move because claiming early passes up larger checks in later years of retirement.  An additional benefit of delaying Social Security is a reduction in various retirement risks such as market (investment), inflation (cost of living), longevity (living longer), and cognitive (old age).

Delaying Social Security can...

  • increase the spousal survival benefit because the surviving spouse receives the larger of the two benefits for the rest of his or her life

  • increase the amount of inflation-protected income as Social Security has built-in cost of livings increases to keep pace with inflation

  • simplify financial management and decision-making as benefits are known in advance

  • extend the life of other assets as an increased benefit means less is needed from other resources

  • decrease market risk by increasing the amount of income free from market ups and downs

  • protect from theft, fraud, elder abuse, and cognitive decline as more of your retirement income is put on autopilot and less is subject to manipulation

III. Enhance your retirement by enhancing your efficiencies.

Your greatest retirement risk is living longer than expected, which means it’s all the more important to plan for a long retirement and focus on efficiencies that support greater lifetime spending and increased amounts left to heirs. Ignoring such long-term, efficiency-improving actions can lead to a permanently reduced standard of living in retirement. Here are a few efficiencies to include in your retirement:

  • delaying the start of Social Security to increase lifetime benefits

  • purchasing income annuities to increase sources of stable income

  • paying a bit more taxes today to enjoy paying lower taxes in the future

  • opening a reverse mortgage line of credit to extend the life of other assets

  • making home renovations and living arrangements to age in place to lower long-term care costs

What efficiencies have you incorporated to enhance your retirement efficiency?

I. The top 6 retirement mistakes to avoid.

As you get closer and closer to your retirement party, it’s important to stop and assess your readiness for retirement. Even if you think you are prepared for a sound financial future during your retirement years, you may not have considered these six retirement mistakes. Learn how to avoid them by watching the video below.

II. Women and Retirement

Planning for retirement is difficult, and for women, it can be even tougher. If you have ever wondered why, here are some eye-opening facts: 


I. One task you must complete to successfully transition into retirement.

Well-established research indicates 15 developmental tasks need to be completed while still working to transition into retirement. 

We’ll look at one of these tasks for our action item this week and reveal a new one each week.

The completion of these tasks does not suggest a person should retire. However, failing to complete the tasks will put a successful transition into retirement at risk.

This week’s task is related to work: You must decide which of your skills could be easily transferred to a new part-time job if working in retirement is a possibility.

This is important because transferable skills can...

  • increase human capital (the ability to earn income) when it’s most needed

  • position you as a valuable resource to your current employer and make you a more attractive candidate to future employers

  • lower health care costs through continued employer health coverage 

  • delay cognitive decline as continued work keeps the mind active


Have a Question? Want to chat about it?

Get In Touch

Until next week,

Mark Sharp, CFP® EA
Mark Sharp Retirement