Tackle Retirement Risks

As difficult as it is to scale Mount Everest, coming back down from the world’s tallest peak is far more deadly based on various studies.  Among climbers who died after scaling higher than 8,000 meters (26, 246 feet) above sea level, 56 percent succumbed on their descent from Everest’s 8,850-meter (29,000-foot) summit, and another 17 percent died after turning back. Just 15 percent died on the way up or before leaving their final camp.

When coming down, the body is much weaker than the one you had going up. You may have consumed a critical amount of resources in your summit attempt and have insufficient resources for the descent.  It should be no surprise that that is when most succumb.

Although likely not as scary as climbing Everest, accmulating assets during the pre-retirement phase of your life can feel like scaling a massive mountain.  Understanding the risks you may face in retirement can place you in the position to successfully and safely come down from the mountain.

Some key risks are:  inflation, outliving your money, tax law changes, volatility of returns, loss of principal, and lifestyle changes (e.g. health).  Unfortunately the conventional wisdom does little to address these risks proactively placing many at unnecessary risk.

The typical advice has many people saving and investing in retirement accounts for future distribution needs, seeking to have enough in their “nest egg” to self-insure, and buying “cheap” term insurance with no expectation of their family benefiting from the costs.  This approach puts signifcant pressure on the assets accumlated and can put people in the mode of scarcity.  They fear of running out of their money and having to pay excessive taxes.

The alternative approach takes aim to mitigate or reduce many of the risks associated with the typical advice and turn them into benefits.  This will allow for more enjoyment of wealth over your lifetime as well as position more money to pass on to heirs and charity most efficiently.

One simple change is to convert the term insurance policy to permanent life insurance.  This asset and income maximizing strategy combined with other accumlated assets (e.g. 401k) can provide massive benefits such as:

  • Reduction on taxes
  • Ability to withdrawal more than just the interest from accumulated assets
  • Inflation protection
  • Elimination of loss of principal
  • Additional tax-free income

The coordination of your assets as well as how you take your income during retirement can have a significant impact to the wealth you get to enjoy and pass on to future generations.  To avoid or minimize the risks when coming down from the mountain, you need to have a fuller understanding of how you assets work together to better protect you from changes you cannot control.


Enjoy the descent without fear by exploring new strategies that can put you in more control of your wealth.