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Steve Vernon: How To Avoid Going Broke in Retirement

Stan Haithcock
April 19, 2022
Steve Vernon: How To Avoid Going Broke in Retirement

About Fun With Annuities Episode #105

Steve Vernon is one of the most sought-after retirement experts in the country.  He is the president of Rest-of-Life Communications, where he speaks, writes, and conducts research on the most challenging aspects of retirement, finances, health, and lifestyle.  In other words, he is a major thought leader in this retirement planning space.

Steve has written more than 1,000 online columns on retirement and longevity topics for CBS MoneyWatch and over the last 12 years.  His latest book, Don’t Go Broke in Retirement: A Simple Plan to Build Lifetime Retirement Income, was released in July 2020 and is a best seller.

This podcast was a firehose of good retirement information. We dived into the curse word for most retirees…decumulation. Most people have no problem with the accumulation phase of life, but the rubber meets the road when people come to the “retirement decumulation fork in the road.” Steve’s insight was fantastic.

I had to pick Steve’s brain about crypto-currency and the current inflation issues, and he did not disappoint with his answers.  Let’s just say he’s not convinced that Bitcoin is a thing and warns retirees to tread lightly.  He also mentioned that his free newsletter covers these topics, which means that there is no reason not to sign up.  It's a NO BRAINER!

Steve was a 30+ year consultant with Watson Wyatt Worldwide and was at the forefront of the transition from defined benefit plans (i.e., company pensions) to defined contribution plans (i.e., 401ks).  It was fascinating to hear him explain the future retirement problems he saw this corporate benefits pivot created.

He knew he needed to do something to educate the public about making the correct retirement choices. Steve Vernon is your new retirement consultant and a retirement superstar addition to any team! Enjoy the podcast!

"There’s just a whole bunch of things you need to think about, and so I encourage people - it’s gonna take some time. You’re not gonna do this in an afternoon. I encourage people to learn their options and hire professional help." —  Steve Vernon. 

Brief Bio on Co-host: Steve Vernon:

Steve Vernon F.S.A. is president of Rest-Of-Life Communications, where he delivers retirement presentations, webinars, and retirement education campaigns to help older workers as they transition into retirement. He served as a consultant to the Stanford Canter on Longevity from 2013 to 2021, where he conducted and directed research on retirement income, retirement planning and decision-making, and behavioral economics.

In his prior career of more than 35 years, he helped large employers design and manage their retirement programs. He retired in 2006 and was Vice President and Consulting Actuary with the human recourses consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide; after 25 years of service, he also consulted for Mercer from 2010 to 2012.

Steve produces unbiased, trusted information and strategies to help working people prepare for their retirement years. He is quoted frequently in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USAToday BusinessWeek, Fortune Magazine, Kiplinger’s, and Money Magazine. He is an experienced speaker and currently serves on the Society of Actuaries Committee for Post-Retirement Needs and Risks.

“For this next phase in my life, I want to use my skills and life experience to help people with important life planning-to, to help them live long and prosper.”

In this episode, The Annuity Man and Steve Vernon discuss:

  • The Scrooge McDuck Syndrome
  • Facing your reality
  • Focusing on the future
  • Maximizing your social security

Key Takeaways:

  • The problem with decumulation is foremost a psychological one. People feel better seeing that account with money sitting there, but you have to turn the switch and spend it down.
  • Develop lifetime paychecks that last the rest of your life, no matter how long you live. Take a look at your living expenses and see it’s below your paychecks. If it’s not, you need to find a way to either reduce expenses or increase income.
  • Many people who are transitioning to retirement don’t plan ahead that much when they should. Focus on the future because if you don’t, it’ll be too late to have planned for it by the time it arrives.
  • Maximize your social security, and don’t buy an annuity until you’ve taken steps to maximize that social security because that’s the best-priced annuity you’ll ever get. Use your savings if that’s what you need to do to delay your social security benefits.

Fun With Annuities® Podcast is hosted by America’s Annuity Agent®, Stan Haithcock, The Annuity Man®. Hear brutal annuity facts with no sales pitches from the top independent agent in the country, licensed in all 50 states. Author of 7 books, Stan dives deep on all annuity types and strategies. It’s fun, learning the contractual truths on how annuities actually work and if they’ll fit your personal retirement lifestyle.

Listen in on how you can be livin’ the reality, not the dream®. Listen and subscribe on Libsyn, Stitcher,Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and Spotify.

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