What are the most important Do's & Don'ts of retirement planning? Join hosts Johnathan and Melissa Rankin as they discuss retirement planning topics that you will either want to make sure you are doing or make sure you are avoiding.
Retirement planning can be stressful and that is why it is equally important to know the things that you should do and the things that you shouldn't do. Avoiding retirement mistakes is a must. In this episode of The Retire Once Show, Johnathan and Melissa discuss topics ranging from starting retirement planning early, to avoiding getting sucked into large annuity purchases in down markets.
Head to Retireonceshow.com to submit a question or schedule a free retirement assessment.
- Johnathan Rankin CRPC® CEPA®, Founder & CEO,
- Melissa Rankin - Wealth Management Advisor
- Theorem Wealth Management, Financial Advisor Dallas, Texas
- Retire Once Show - 2022 Retirement Podcast Series
0:00 - Introduction
2:28 - Do - Set Goals
4:38 - Don't - Wait to Start Planning
7:03 - Do - Be a Disciplined Investor
10:05 - Don't - Annuities in Down Markets
13:30 - Do - Eliminate Debt
15:04 - Don't - Stop Saving
16:43 - Do - Constantly Update and Stress Test Your Retirement Plan
18:55 - Don't - Think Retirement and Investing is a Steady Process
20:48 - Recap
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Disclaimer: Johnathan Rankin is a Registered Representative of Sanctuary Securities Inc. and an Investment Advisor Representative of Sanctuary Advisors, LLC. Securities offered through Sanctuary Securities, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC. Advisory services offered through Sanctuary Advisors, LLC., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Theorem Wealth Management is a DBA of Sanctuary Securities, Inc. and Sanctuary Advisors, LLC.
Song: Can't Get Over
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Hello, and welcome to the retire wants show designed to help you get to retirement. Most importantly, stair retired. I'm your host, Jonathan Rankin. I'm the founder and CEO of theorem wealth management. And I am joined as always by my lovely cohost. Hi, I'm Melissa Rankin. Thank you for joining us. We are so happy for you to be here.
We've got a great episode for you today. I mean, if you thought that top gun was good, just wait till we dig into. We've also not seen top gun yet, but this is true. So hopefully it's as good as everybody makes out to be. And, uh, hopefully this is as good as I just made it out to be well, so bond, both fronts.
So right now, what we want to talk about today is, you know, with everything going on in the markets and the economy, you know, I always feel like during periods of uncertainty, people always make dramatic changes, knee jerk reactions, if you will. And so today what we want to talk about are the. And don't of retirement planning because there are quite a few.
So in fact, I actually think we need to, we need to say that in use the do's and don'ts of retirement planning, just to make it that much more dramatic and funds. So, um, that's what we're gonna talk about today. So we also want you to head to retire one show.com. You can submit a question there. You can access our retirement toolkit and you could schedule a free retirement assessment. And so make sure you had to retire once show.com. We will link to that in the show description and the show notes, uh, wherever you're watching this.
So, um, let's with that, let's go ahead and dive into it. Okay. So again, thank you for joining us. And like we talked about there, I mean, it's hard not to have an immediate reaction when things are going good or bad, but in this case with your retirement, you don't want to just rush all in or rush out on either way.
You don't want to do anything crazy. And you also have. I don't want to not, I mean, I know that's a double negative, but it goes with the do's and don'ts. So our first do is do set goals. Yeah. This is, this is really meant for people who have been saving for retirement and really have done it on autopilot.
So meaning that, you know, you start at your job and you're always told, I gotta put money in the 401k. I got to get this match. And, you know, I got to invest for my long-term retirement. You get to the point where you go, well, what am I really saving for? I know I'm saving for this retirement, but if that retirement 10, 15, even 20 or 30 years away, what does that really look like?
And I know it's hard to figure out what your lifestyle is going to be in 20 years. Well, you got to start somewhere. And the reason why it's important now is because goals will help put all of this market volatility. Uh, it'll help give you that realization that you were saving for a purpose and not just throwing money away is what a lot of people feel, especially during markets of all or most of the utility or accounts or assets go down.
You, you know, imagine if you're saving every single two weeks or every month into your account and you see it go down every single time you look at the account, you know, well, what am I saving for? Well, having those goals, we'll keep that in perspective, setting goals will also help you understand. Are you saving too little, or even if you're saving too much, you know, let's say you put together your retirement goal and then realize, oh, I'm putting away more money than I actually need.
What about some of the other things you want to do with your money? Are there, are there children or grandchildren that you want to fund that. College. Is there something else that you want to do that you can divert some of that savings to something else it's important to keep sight of kind of what you're doing it for.
So that's why you want to have an idea, even if you don't know exactly what your future looks like. Like you said 20 years from now, but it's important to know kind of big picture, at least. So you have some general idea, right? Yeah. I saw a statistic that only half of Americans know how much they need to save for retirement.
Half the people watching this would likely have an idea of what they actually need to save every single month, or I pay every paycheck to get to retirement. So setting those goals is important, which leads us to a. So we're going to balance it there. See how we do and the don't exactly. Don't wait to start planning.
Yeah. This is important because I know a lot of people who do what we were talking about before, which is they set it, forget it, like they're baking a chicken and they invest on autopilot. So they invest on autopilot for 20, 25 years and retirements coming up and they go, well, now I want to start planning.
Well, the reality is even if retirement's 20 or 30 years away, you always want to start that planning process as early as you can, because that allows you to make changes. And I always think about the example of, uh, I talked to some, I talked to people all the time who are either retired or near retirement that asked me, Jonathan, how do I save money on taxes in retirement?
When are you retiring? I said, well, uh, in the next six months, or I'm already retired, it's too late to do anything. So the reality is you want to start as early as possible because that's where you can start being very creative in the savings, the type of accounts, the investing strategy that you're implementing.
There's a lot of things you could do if you're starting that planning process early. So don't put that off. You know, it kind of leads into the next part. It will help also establish a proper investment allocation, which during markets like we're going through right now are very important. It's got, you know, you can think of that long-term perspective.
You've got the right investment allocation because it's based on the plan that you're putting together where you're at currently. It sounds crazy. But once you start contributing to a 401k, no matter where you're at in your career, that's when you need to start thinking about your work. I mean, realistically, those should go hand in hand.
I know, like you said, so many people think, oh, retirement is 20 years out and I'll worry about that later. Now, if you're thinking at all, if you're putting any money away, you should be thinking more specifically about retirement. Cause you, you already kind of are. Yeah, you are. And it's just putting that to the F you know, to the forefront of your mind, at least on a routine basis, whether that's.
Quarter or every six months, every year at worst case, just thinking about that plan, even if you're in your twenties or thirties, and you're just starting out, you want to have an idea of where you're going. That is going to change over time, but you want to at least have a target that you're shooting for.
And starting that planning process really is never a bad thing that leads us into our next do do establish an investment discipline. Yeah. You see this a lot with, um, with markets like we're going through right now. You know, for the past couple of years, we've had one sector, a few sectors leading the market and it's, I want to race to that hot new thing.
And then, oh, well now that's falling. I'm going to get out of that and go into something different. And you're always trying to catch the next best thing. It always seems like that when we go through markets like this and it always reminds me of, you know, when everybody talks about they want to get in shape or they want to lose weight.
And you hear about all these fad diets, I, you remember Atkins. Weight Watchers, Nick Quito, you know, the juice cleanses, which if anybody is watching, can you explain to me the difference between keto and Atkins? Cause I swear, ketos just Atkins rebranded. I think, I think you're right. I have no clue, but ultimately, and I don't know enough because I follow a discipline model, but I swear they're the same thing.
So if any of our viewers or listeners know that answer, could you please let me know? Yeah. Yeah. She is very curious about that, but that is, I feel like that's the. That's the same example of what we see in the investment market is that it's always chasing that hot new fad. When ultimately when you're trying to lose weight, it comes down to one thing, calories in calories out, you know, it, no matter what the diet or label the diet is just burn more than you're actually taking in.
And you're going to lose weight. Same thing with investing all it's very simple. Just basically put together a discipline that fits you, determine the amount of risks that you're willing to take, put together an asset allocation, fill that allocation with diversified investments, reassess, rebalance, and over time you're going to not get sucked into the latest, you know, craze of the latest and greatest.
Yeah. The, you know, the NFTs or the, or the crypto coins that we've seen go to zero things. Sounded great because the news, that's all they're talking about because it's the hot new item. Ultimately stay disciplined, create something that works for you. And going back to the last two, things fits into your plan to help you get to those long-term goals.
And I just want you guys to know he also, whenever I say, oh, I need to lose five pounds or whatever. I want you guys to know that he brings that very point up to me every time it's calories in calories out, you got to stay disciplined. So this is not something that he just applies here. It is in all facets of life.
I just wanted everybody to know that whether it's whole 30 keto, low carb, because I've asked to try them all. And I was like, what do you think if I do this? No. Yeah. My favorite art have gotta be those, uh, those juice cleanses with the cayenne pepper and the lemon just, I've also done that horrible. We, um, we lasted for one, one day.
No, I lasted for one drink of one cleanse. And I said, Nope, not doing this. And. Does it met all, ultimately it comes down to one thing, just like investments, just keep it simple and something that you can stick to that's it's like with anything, but especially investing. So in kind of the same line, our next don't where you don't want to get sucked into fads.
We hear a lot in down markets, especially. Annuities are the best thing to do. Yeah. And this is a big one. Don't get sucked into annuities and down markets. This is, this is where you start seeing the commercials about guarantees. And everybody wants to talk about protect your assets, protect what you've saved.
You know, it's the only product in the financial services industry that you can use the word guarantee associated with it, which in a down market. I mean, if you see your account continuing to go down here in guaranteed protection, I don't know, kind of jump out at your words. It, they do a very good job annuity salesman, do a very good job of selling the fear that everything's going to keep going down.
And this is going to protect what you have. And I'm not saying that annuities are a bad thing because they're not, but they really fit a specific investment strategy, a specific place. And it's frustrating. When I come across someone, who's put all their money into an annuity without real. Okay. You're locked into this thing pretty much forever.
Yes. You could eventually get your money out, but there is usually very high surrender fees or penalties that are associated with those. They're not meant to trade in and out of at all. So they're meant to, you know, most of the time give you a long life, you know, income. And so by putting your money all into one of these things, Yeah, just to keep in mind a new bitties for everybody.
Who's this is a little bit behind the scenes. Annuities are the highest commissionable product allowed in the financial services industry. And I've talked to a lot of financial advisors in my career. I've never heard one brag about the newest annuity that they have. You mean for them personally, for them personally, never.
I've never heard them say, I just got this new annuity, this thing's going to make me feel so great. And it's going to be the best investment I've ever made. I've never heard that. So I'm not saying that they're bad. They fit a very specific strategy, a very specific. But just because the markets are down doesn't mean you want to rush to just put your money into something that is going to tie you up for a long period of time.
That typically has much higher fees than you need. And you know, when you look over a course of a bull market, they, they underperform there. And so it's just important to make sure if you're going to buy. Make sure you go back to that financial plan, run your financial plan with it and without it, and look over a long period of time and make sure that that specific annuity makes sense for you.
I I've, I've seen it way too many times. I saw it in 2008, 2009. You know, I saw it when the market dipped in 2018 and then in again in 2020, you know, when the market goes down, especially double digits and in the twenties and that bear market starts coming around. The, the amount of annuities that people want to buy at that time are, are typically a pretty high at that.
'cause again, I mean, you hear the words, protection guarantee, and like we said, they're not a bad thing. It's just, you got to make sure it's the right one and the right fit for you just again. No knee-jerk reactions. Yeah, no. Yeah. If you're, if you're ever thinking about putting all of your money into one investment vehicle, just stop for one second.
Just stop. Is all of my money in this one strategy, this one investment is that the right thing. And, and hopefully you, you start thinking about that and bring it back to your financial plans. So the next do, this is a good one. All the time work on eliminating debt. Yeah. We're going to eliminate debt, but really work on eliminating the right debt.
You know, this is the right debt, mainly credit cards and especially anything that's got a higher interest rate than historical investment. Yeah. So if you're locked into it two and a half or 3% mortgage, you know, you likely are gonna be able to outperform that over a long period of time by investing.
Whereas if you've got a interest rate on a credit card, that's 18 or 19%, then yeah, it's going to be hard to outperform that year over year. Tackle that credit card debt. And especially now that we're in a rising interest rate environment, a lot of those consumer debts that's non-mortgage debt typically have adjustable rates to them, so they can reset at higher rates.
So you just want to tackle that stuff as soon as you can. Um, but that it is important to think about the right debt. Not just if you've got low interest debt, maybe that might be appropriate to continue to have, because if your investments outperform that over a long period of time, it might be better.
But it still makes sense to always kind of evaluate where you're at and credit cards on that point. I mean, a lot of them start off with 0% or, you know, a very low rate and a lot of people don't realize when that kicks in to a higher rate or if it actually does at some point. So again, just work on eliminating debt that you have, but always evaluate kind of where you're at with credit card rates and mortgage rates, things like that.
You just want to keep all that in the forefront of your mind. So that leads us to our next down. Don't stop retirement savings to pay off said debt. Yeah. We talked about that in our last episode, you know, stopping your 401k contributions or stopping your savings for any reason, but just to pay off debt.
Yeah. It's important to pay off debt, but if it causes you to miss out on your employer, match your 401k, you know, maybe that's not worth it. I think the only time that it's going to make sense to stop contributing to your 401k, to pay. Is if you have so much debt that the interest every single month is higher than what you're getting in that employer match.
If that's the case, yes. You want to have an aggressive payoff strategy. Absolutely. Get that gun immediately and then go back to saving. But it's really hard to stay disciplined with savings when you're, when you're starting and you're stopping because we talked about that last episode, it's kind of like a mindset.
Once you stop, you you're so less likely what was your it less likely to restart, but you're also the thing is that you'll always find something to do with that money. If you're, if you decide to stop and now your paycheck goes up by a couple hundred dollars every two weeks. Well, now I can go get that thing that I wanted, or I can go on that trip that we wanted.
And you can always find something to spend that money on, as opposed to just putting it away, staying disciplined and you know, thinking about it as it's already out of your paycheck, it's not in your bank account. So unless you have. A tremendous amount of debt where the interest is much higher than what you're getting in that employer match.
Then I think stay disciplined to that savings. Okay. So with that, our next do constantly update your retirement plan with ongoing stress tests. We have talked about this before, but we want to reiterate the very, very important parts of it. I always like to say that retirement planning is about gaining confidence, that you can go out on your own with no salary and live off.
And you very cheesy way. You can think of retirement as you're jumping off a building and your retirement savings is the net. That's going to catch you. It's your safety net, it's your free fall. And by updating your plan, this is your way of making sure that throughout market cycles. And this is the important part.
When the market's at all time highs, it's great to put together a plan and make sure that you're on track, but it's also equally, if not more important to make sure that you're still on track when the market's going through a bear market, like. Because that's going to give you the idea of, okay, well, I knew I was good in an up market.
What about a, not so good market. That's going to help provide some of that confidence that you'd like to have going into retirement. And then we always talk about stress testing, but there are always new scenarios that you can think of. Markets like this present scenarios like that, you know, whether it's stagflation that we start hearing about and maybe inflation is a lot higher than normal moving forward.
Now, if we go through a period where let's say the market, doesn't go up for, you know, a year or two, or, you know, whatever that looks like throwing scenarios into your retirement plan, and just making sure that your stress testing that your goals are okay. It is important to do this, especially the closer you get to retirement because of the.
You don't have the time like you did when you were in your thirties or forties or even fifties, if you're, uh, if retirement's in the next couple of years, or even later this year, you really want to make sure that you're updating that plan and putting together as many stress tests before you get that last paycheck from you.
So consistency and, uh, frequently on those. So that leads us to our next don't and our last one. Oh, good. The don'ts for some reason, just have a, I don't know, they sound like a negative, like don't you do that? I don't know. I just picture, should we say, should we not be in the contraction business? Should we just say.
No, I still don't. Okay. Our last do not do not think retirement planning and investing is a steady line. Now, as we could see, you have to be prepared to make changes. You have to understand that markets are going to go up and they're going to go down. If all investing was, was just making. You probably wouldn't make that much money.
There's a risk premium that we take. And that's why Marcus would go through what they're going through right now. But that's also why they deliver performance over a long period of time. So just knowing that you have to be flexible, life's going to throw a bunch of things at you. You know, at some point you may have health as user want to help out family, or something's going to come up that you've got.
I've never met anybody. Who's retired and every single year they're living off the exact same amount and adjusting that for a small bit of inflation. And then, you know, every single year they're getting that small adjustment and it's a static line. I've never seen that. It's always, you know, there are years where you spend more yeah.
The years where you spend less, it just, you have to be prepared that it's going to be, it's not going to be steady. It's going to be messy sometimes. And that's okay. And so, yeah. It makes sense. I mean, it's important to keep in mind that yes, you can plan for so many contingencies, but unless you're actually going back to the stress testing and being disciplined and things like that, it's important to keep your, I don't know, keep your life on track it kind of all times, because you don't know what's going to happen.
Yeah. And it's like someone telling us, you know, raising kids. It's simple said no one ever. It's like the same thing. Retirement planning and investing is easy and simple. And it's one steady straight line. No, just like kids. They don't just go from birth to 18 and leave the house. Like it's nothing. And your investments don't go from, yeah, they don't go from zero to a million dollars overnight or over the course of 20 or 30 years without some fluctuation.
So, um, Those are the retirement planning. Do's and don'ts, let's go through all of them just to summarize it for everybody. Um, so, so our first one, the do make sure you're setting your goals. That's very important because like we talked about, even if it's 20 years out or. Always be setting a goal, do not wait to start planning plan as soon as possible.
The second year, thinking about savings. I mean, you're already kind of preparing, you're preparing for something. So let it be your retirement. And three do establish an investment discipline. I mean, this is, this is something you're going to probably hear from us in every episode in some way, this is 15.
So when we're on episode 1500, you're still here. The same thing. I thought I heard that in episode 15. And if you have that type of recall, you've got a really good memory and don't get sucked into annuities in a down market. They can be good, but again, always evaluate your personal situation. Don't get roped into words like guaranteed and protection do work on eliminating debt.
That's something that's important all the time. Anyway, do not stop contributing to your retirement accounts to pay off your debt. Kind of goes hand in hand with the one before that do constantly update your retirement plan with the ongoing stress test. Again, something we reiterate all the time. Don't think about retirement planning as a steady line, nothing about this is a very straight line.
We wish. But it's not, it would make life so much easier if it was, but it's not. And if you have questions or wonder where you stand in terms of your retirement goals, especially now in this market, or let's say you're considering throwing all of your money into an annuity because you heard they're the greatest thing ever, please reach out.
We're going to put a link in the show notes below to go ahead and schedule a retirement assessment with us. We'll be happy to make sure we're running all of this through your specific. Uh, and especially the annuity part, because I want to be able to show you whether or not it makes sense for you, but we, uh, that's one thing we do offer is a free retirement assessment.
So if we're going to link to that, to go and schedule that.
So much better than top gun. Um, we want you to share it. Yeah. The little arrow there, share it with all of your friends, families, neighbors, you know, even if someone, you know, is just walking their dog along the street, yell at them. Hello. Do you know, have you heard of the retire one show? I think it's something you should list.
Let me share it to you. And then you hit the little arrow, send it to them so they can walk their dog and learn about all of the retirement do's and don'ts of retirement planning with that. I'm Jonathan Rankin and I'm Melissa Rankin. Thank you so much for joining us.
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