Retirement planning hits the road
I’m writing this column during a bumpy car ride (a rented Dodge Charger) in Florida, traveling from Orlando to Sarasota. (Yes, I’m dedicated.) My colleague, Theresa Robbins, is driving. She tells me the rough ride is due to the road, not the muscle car, and certainly not the driver.
I’m “on the road” giving presentations to chapters of the American Association of Individual Investors in Boston and in Florida (Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota and Winter Park). The topic: “An Expert Guide to Managing Retirement Wealth in Good Times and Bad,” the subject of one of my books.
Regular readers know that this subject is a favorite of mine and that I’m a fan of the AAII, a lifetime member and an occasional contributor to the AAII Journal.
This nonprofit’s mission is to help individuals become “effective managers of their own assets through programs of education, information and research.” How? Through educational resources — some free, some paid. AAII President John Bajkowski said, “We are here to sort through the noise to inform investors through independent education and back-tested research.”
That’s a mission I can embrace. The AAII also believes that individuals do not need any special talent to become educated investors.
A few other educational resources are Morningstar (I attend its conferences yearly to meet with portfolio managers) and BetterInvesting (I’ve spoken at its national conferences), to name a few.
Presenting to members who engage in AAII forums is a delight. I’m always prepared for challenges from the audience. For example, in Winter Park, we had a great discussion of William Bengen’s 4 percent safe withdrawal rule (“Determining Withdrawal Rates Using Historical Data,” Journal of Financial Planning, October 1994).
My message always carries the following caveats, which are based on insights I’ve gained over 30-plus years in law and money management. Investing in retirement is a lot different from buying stocks and bonds and mutual funds when you are in your 30s or 40s.
It takes much more planning and organization to run a portfolio in retirement for this simple reason: The goals are different. Before, the investor’s goal is to build wealth. In retirement, the goal is to create income from those assets. How to do that requires a very close assessment of your retirement finances — your personal cash flows (Social Security plus pension less expenses). Only then can a proper retirement portfolio be built. Inflation and taxes need to be factored in. Longevity needs to be considered. Current holdings, constraints and expected returns need to be part of the mix. And, most importantly, your vision for the future, along with your spouse’s vision, needs to be considered.
The idea is to make sure that your collection of investments is strategically changed into a portfolio that serves the family’s needs during retirement and beyond (if leaving a legacy for family or charity is part of the plan).
I’ll be presenting again at the AAII’s national conference in October. The conference attracts thousands of individuals who are genuinely interested in learning about investing. If that’s you, think about visiting the AAII website (aaii.com) and attending the Oct. 25-27 conference.
As Charles Rotblut, vice president and editor of the AAII Journal, said: “The conference is a fun and informative event for our members and attendees. We invite some of the best and brightest in the investing world to come give a presentation and offer tips that will help people navigate their investments. It’s catered to the individual investor on all levels, from speakers and exhibitors to the educational programming we ask our speakers to cover.”
For information on the AAII conference, visit aaii.com/conference.
The 68th BetterInvesting National Convention will be held in Chicago on May 16, 2019. Learn more here: https://tinyurl.com/y2uyvk4p.
The Morningstar Investment Conference will be held in Chicago on May 8-10. Learn more at morningstar.com/company/mic.
Then there is the MoneyShow, which I have never attended. The conference is in Las Vegas May 13-15. To learn more, go to https://tinyurl.com/y3kwe2bv.
Julie Jason, JD, LLM, a personal money manager (Jackson, Grant of Stamford) and author, welcomes your questions/comments (email@example.com). Her awards include the 2018 Clarion Award, symbolizing excellence in clear, concise communications. Her latest book, a curated collection of Julie’s columns, is “Retire Securely: Insights on Money Management From an Award-Winning Financial Columnist.” To hear Julie speak, visit juliejason.com/events.