Investment rules change as you move into retirement, financial advisor says
After a lifetime of deciding out how to get the best return on their investments, people nearing retirement could think they have this money thing figured out.
But they could be mistaken, says financial advisor Dave Lopez, a mathematics and computer science major that applies his analytical mind to solving retirement challenges.
“When people move into retirement, all the rules change,” Lopez says. “What worked for them in their investments during their working years may not work as well when they reach retirement.”
It’s also important that people have a comprehensive retirement plan that includes income planning, legacy planning, long-term care planning and growth, he says.
“When you are trying to build a retirement plan, you need the right tool for the right job,” Lopez says. “Once you identify your goal, then you can fund the tool to get there.”
Lopez, founder of ILG Financial, LLC (www.theilg.com), suggests four key points to keep in mind as you plan for, or move into, retirement.
• Recovery time has shortened. If the market takes a dramatic downturn when you are in your 30s, you have plenty of time for your investments to make a recovery. You likely draw a paycheck and have little or no need to dip into that money, taking a loss. But that’s not the case when you are in retirement and living off those investments. In later years, your investing strategies need to adapt so you aren’t as subject to the whims of the market.
• Hanging on to what you have. “You don’t need great returns if you can avoid great losses,” Lopez says. Sure, you might like to plow a huge chunk of money into the latest trendy stock that could take off and send the value of your portfolio soaring. But those kinds of investments come with risks that might be too great at this stage in life. By the time you reach retirement, it’s less important that you see huge earnings on your investments than that you keep safe what you have. A modest return at that point is fine. “The belief that the stock market is the answer for beating inflation in retirement may be disastrous,” Lopez says. Once again, it comes down to that recovery time, he says. You just don’t have much.
• One and done. “You won’t get a second chance to get your retirement planning right,” Lopez says. That’s why you need to plan carefully the first – and only – time around. He’s known people who had no plan, or whose planning relied on a specific chain of events that might or might not come about, such as assuming their lives would be shorter than they turned out. Essentially, instead of taking a mathematical approach, they were doing little more than hoping everything would work out.
• Seek a specialist’s help. It’s important to get advice from someone with expertise not just in finance, but in retirement planning, Lopez says. That person can help you understand what pitfalls you need to plan for and what tools you can utilize. “You wouldn’t use your primary care physician if you needed heart surgery,” he says. “Likewise, when moving into retirement, you need a specialist.”
Dave Lopez is the founder of ILG Financial, LLC (www.ILGFinancial.com) and has been working with individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area since 1986. He specializes in strategies that enable his clients to potentially build a retirement nest egg that they can rely on and can never outlive. Lopez has his Bachelors of Science degree from James Madison University with a major in mathematics and computer science. He is an investment advisor representative of AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor.