In their Complete Guide to a Successful & Secure Retirement, Larry Swedroe and Kevin Grogan identified the four horsemen of the retirement apocalypse at the time.
The first horseman was historically high equity valuations.
The second horseman was historically low bond yields.
The third horseman was increasing longevity of life.
The fourth horseman was the risks of long-term care.
The book was written a few years ago but the risks to retirement they identified then are still highly relevant today.
Too often, people view their retirement exclusively through the lens of their 401k account or IRA. There is so much more to planning for and being prepared for retirement than simply managing a portfolio of investments.
Financial security is often the factor that naturally garners the most attention since we can’t really survive or do anything else without money. However, taxes, estate planning, healthcare, risk management and figuring out how to spend your time are critical factors to a successful retirement. You don’t want to spend your life in retirement full of anxiety or depressed. That’s not why you work and save for your whole life leading up to retirement. In order to have a fulfilling life after your work years, you need to be prepared. Understanding and addressing the risks you face is part of the preparation. Having a well-thought out and comprehensive plan is another critical element of that preparation. It’s never too early to start planning and preparing for the future. You shouldn’t be afraid of it. Having a healthy respect for it though is probably a good thing.