Crossing the Retirement Finish Line: Shootin' It Straight with Stan®
Today's topic is “Can you actually cross the retirement finish line?” I'm running into this a lot right now. I had a call the other day and these people had enough money that they never had to worry about another thing. All they had to do was just peel off interest, and never touch the principal. It was done. We looked at their income needs. They could have just bought CDs and Fixed Rate Annuities for the rest of their life, and it would've been over. But for whatever reason, it was hard for that person to cross that retirement finish line.
What I mean by that is there's an addiction out there and I can talk about addiction. I am 17 years, getting ready to go on 18 years, sober, not drinking any. But I think a real addiction out there that needs to be addressed is the stock market addiction, the addiction to returns, the addiction to gains, the addiction to what they call the ten-baggers, getting 10 times your money on a stock when you put it in there.
This person did not need to be doing that. He admitted to me in a conversation that he's addicted to it. He's addicted to the whole thing. He's addicted when his friends at the pickleball match talk about stocks and talk about the markets and things like that. It's hard for him. Just like it's hard for me to go to a bar and watch people drink. I don't want to put myself in that situation.
So, my question to you is can you really cross that retirement finish line? Here's the problem right now that I think is in the financial industry. Everyone's like, "Well, you have to have some money in the market." I say that to people too when I feel like that's what they have to do. But if you're at an asset level where you don't need to do that, I'm also going to step in and say, "You don't need to do that. You can cross the finish line and leave all of that growth hopes and dreams behind." But so many people can't do that. So many people cannot leave it alone. They have the fear of missing out.
I did a recent video called “It's Okay to Miss Out”, which dovetailed into “You Won the Game. Why Are You Still Playing?” This topic I’m talking about today, piles into those two titles. Now, this is hilarious, and these people had a lot of money that they didn't have to worry about it ever again. But they start bringing up inflation and things like that. Let me tell you something, if you have seven figures plus and you're in your seventies and you're talking about inflation to me, I'm going to blast you. I'm going to ask you questions like, "Can you buy eggs? Can you buy bread? Can you go out to eat? Can you travel? Can you put gas in your car?" The answer is, yes, you can. Yeah, it is higher, but is it going to disrupt your lifestyle? No. Is there a product that can solve inflation out there? No. So stop looking at it.
There is no product that adjusts for inflation, that you can really put real money in and address it. I bonds are pretty good, but they limit you on what you can put in. But I want you to do some inventory here on where you're at in your life. Now, I understand that most of us came from no money, most of us grew up lower middle class, middle class, whatever. We didn't have a lot of money. Our parents didn't have a lot of money.
That's the great part about this country, people like me and like you who can work hard and save and accumulate wealth. It is fantastic. That's what separates this country from every single country. Anytime I hear people talk about how bad this country is and it's not fair. No, no, no. It's fair. Now, there are some bad things happening out there and they always have been, there always will be. But if you go out there and work and if you show up on time and you tell the truth and you do what you say you're going to do, you're going to be pretty successful. But once you reach that success point, can you cross the finish line?
My mom is the best example of this. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida. She's 83 years old. My dad passed away five years ago and I ran the budget for her because she had never done that. She's from the South. I said, "Mom, here's the way it looks. Just from the interest off your money, you have to spend $230 a day every single day for the rest of your life and you still won't touch any of it. So if you don't spend the 230 that one day, then it rolls to the next day. If you took a day off, then you got to spend 460 a day." Now, she still goes to the restaurant and orders water. This one drives me crazy. You're going to laugh about this one. Instead of ordering lemonade, she'll get lemons and then put Sweet ‘N Low in the water and make her own lemonade. It's crazy. She can't cross the finish line.
I always tell her, "I don't care what they're charging for drinks, buy it. I don't care what gas is, buy it. I don't care what eggs are, buy them. I don't care what peanut butter is, buy it. I don't care what the markets are doing, leave it. I don't care what crypto's doing, leave it. I don't care what's happening in politics, leave it. Go live your life." Can you cross that retirement finish line? That means a lot. Can you pivot to chapter two of your life? Can you do things that are solely about you and not others? You've worked for others your whole life, your family, your kids, and the people around you. I'm not saying not to volunteer, but what I am saying is this is serious. With over 10,000 baby boomers hitting age 65 every day, I have a question for many of those people: why are you still chasing yield?
In current interest rate environments, you can contractually get whether you're doing CDs or Fixed Rate Annuities, which is the annuity industry version of the CDs, it's also called MYGAs, you can get upwards to 4% close to 5%. Most people are chasing markets to get 7% or 8%. Is it worth that extra 2% to 3% of growth to put your money at risk and to stress about it for that extra 2% or 3%? What I want you to do is I want you to take the total amount of the money that you have, IRA, non-IRA, Roth IRA, bank accounts, and savings accounts, I want you to total it up and I want you to multiply that by 3% or 4%. Now, once you do that, with that money, that interest plus Social Security or whatever pensions or whatever else is coming in, is that enough income floor for you to live comfortably the rest of your life? For a lot of you out there, it is.
If you've multiplied it by 3%, that's the low end. That's if you want to go short-term with CDs and MYGAs. Or the high end, 4%, it can actually be a bit more, but I'm being conservative, so multiply that by the total amount, add in your Social Security payments, whatever pension payments if you're so fortunate to get that, and then ask yourself if that's enough income for you to live comfortably on and never touch the principle.
You have to include RMDs from your IRA because that's what I call a forced annuity because they're forcing you to take money out. That's another income stream. Add all those up and ask yourself, "Can I live off that? Can me and the spouse live off that comfortably?" If you can, then I am encouraging you to cross the retirement finish line for good. You've won the game. You don't need to keep playing. I know that everyone's going to tell you that you need to be in the markets. If you have enough money and you can take the interest off that money and never touch the principle, then why wouldn't you do that? Answer that question. There's no good answer for putting your money at risk when you're at that point.
I encourage you to schedule a call with me. We will have an open conversation about this. We will talk about your situation. We will run math numbers because annuities are math. They're data points. If the math works contractually, it is what it is. Not hypotheticals, not theoretical, not projected, not hopeful return scenarios. Mathematical contractual guarantees.
Can you cross that retirement finish line? Do you have enough guts and fortitude to do that? Do you have enough wherewithal to do that? Can you trust the contractual math enough to do that? I hope so because you're going to live a better life if you do.
Never forget to live in reality, not the dream, with annuities and contractual guarantees! You can use our calculators, get all six of my books for free, and most importantly book a call with me so we can discuss what works best for your specific situation.