Shelly Kostrunek’s article, Retirement withdrawal mistakes to avoid, which appears in this month’s issue of Income Planning, focuses on a very important part of income planning: taking withdrawals.
Do read the article. And ponder her startling chart, which we also show here.
Numbers like those should send a chill through financial advisors everywhere. If consumers have the wrong mix of assets, they risk running out of money before age 100-and perhaps before they die. That chart assumes a 4% withdrawal rate. If the rate were higher, the risk would be greater.
Many income planning professionals have been sounding that alarm in recent years. Withdrawals taken, or not taken, are critical to achieving a comfortable retirement. But advisors really need to carry that message forward, if they are to help aging boomer clients make good income decisions.
The message is underscored by a finding from of a MetLife survey, which we also show in this issue of Income Planning. The survey found that, among U.S. near retirees, about 43% of near retirees believe they can withdraw 10% or more of their retirement savings each year while preserving their principal. Imagine that-10%! This is even though most experts in recent years recommend that retirees hold their withdrawal rate to 4% or less. (See a report on the survey here.)
Kostrunek is an advocate of incorporating immediate annuities into the asset mix. In her chart, she shows a 65-year-old man who takes out 4% a year for retirement income. As you can see, the man will probably do okay with a 50/50 asset mix (lifetime annuity to stock-bond portfolio). But if he has a 0/100 asset mix, he could run into in deep trouble-only a 70% chance that his money will last to age 100. Again, that’s at 4% withdrawal rate. His opportunities would dim if using the 10% withdrawal rate that MetLife’s survey says 43% of near retirees assume they can take.