With our Retirement Solved approach we deploy 8 Alpha Efficient Strategies which can potentially improve your retirement outcome. Alpha is simply the measure of return or benefit above a given average. The sum total of these Alpha increases gives you an Alpha Efficient plan that you’ll be hard pressed to replicate either on your own, or with any other advisors.
You can rest easy knowing that each of these “retirement optimized” strategies have been researched and tested, and are backed up by industry academics, and our retirement planning software. We never implement a strategy based on a hunch or best guess.
In our process of building your retirement plan we’ll educate you on the role each strategy plays in your plan. We explain how retirement income distribution planning works, the impact of risks, the importance of balanced portfolios, the methods for optimizing all your sources of income, including Social Security maximization, proper withdrawal strategies, long term care planning, and how to do all of these things in the most tax efficient manner. Most people understand the concept of debt/expense reduction and saving for retirement, but many have no idea how much annual income they’ll get from their efforts and if it will be enough to last throughout retirement.
In fact, 81% of baby boomers don’t know how much money they’ll need to retire (Age Wave/Merrill Lynch, “Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions,” 2017).
Our number one goal is to reduce your inherent retirement risks and extend the life of your portfolio. We do this by deployings everal Alpha Planning components which we call Alpha Efficient Yield (AEY) to potentially add additional value to your portfolio. AEY is the efficient yield that can be realized above the traditional investment Rate of Return (ROR). We also address and minimize the impact of volatility, sequence of return, interest rate, inflation, longevity and taxes in the alpha strategies. Read our Alpha Strategies white paper
In phase 1 of the strategy planning, we use the results of our Retirement Income Projection Analysis to determine which of the Alpha strategies we’ll use to optimize your portfolio and potentially extend its life by 10 or more years! Our Multi-Discipline Retirement Strategy (MDRS) offers the optimal portfolio allocation based on your goals and risk profile. It includes a balanced combination of traditional investments (stock and bonds) annuities, SPIAs, and other products to balance growth and risk reduction for maximum retirement portfolio sustainability. Read more about MDRS
In phase 2, we review and implement strategies to protect your portfolio with life insurance/long term care, healthcare/Medicare, and estate planning, as needed.
Our Strategy combines academic research, sophisticated software, planning tools and a balanced combination of financial products (growth, guarantees and protection) with our experience and expertise to give you the best retirement outcome possible. We think it’s safe to say we’ve figured out how to optimize and protect your income for life!
Based on the data we extract from our Retirement Income Project Analysis or RIPA, we first optimize your portfolio by deploying varying combinations of the below Alpha strategies based on your objectives, risk tolerance and needs.
Alpha #1: Reduced Portfolio Management Fees –
We start with fees because it’s one of our major differentiators. While other advisors in the industry charge up to 2% to manage your portfolio, we’re able to charge 50%-75% less than that! Because we are more efficient on many levels and because we leverage technology and have access to the best products in the industry, we’re actually able to offer more for less.
Alpha #2: Behavorial Coaching –
People sometimes get taken in by media hype, greed-fear driven tactics and the marketing machine behind the big financial companies. Everyone has the temptation to chase returns and make uninformed, knee-jerk reactions as the volatile markets move up and down. In fact, these behaviors have been proven in numerous studies to negatively impact portfolios over the long term. Our value is being your advocate to guide you (and keep you calm and on track), providing our experience and expertise while also presenting you with the facts based on academic research vs. hearsay. Our steady hand during turbulent times can have a significant impact on the long term survivability of your portfolio.
Alpha #3: Evidence-Based Planning & Investing –
According to Robin Powell, a British journalist, “All too often we base our investment decisions on industry marketing and advertising or on what we read and hear in the media or on something else altogether.” Evidence-based retirement planning and investing is the idea that no advice should be given until it’s backed by reliable research and evidence, and shown to be effective over the long term. Thus, evidence-based advice requires a commitment to being a student for life, consistently staying abreast of academic research and best practices while protecting client’s best interests. Most advisors aren’t interested in this level of commitment or learning…it’s far easier to simply collect investments, fees and commissions and call it a day.
Alpha #4: Investment Management-
Utilizing high quality money managers or individual stocks combined with “low-cost” index strategies can yield a higher portfolio return or increased Alpha (above benchmark returns). It’s imperative to utilize managers that have proven Alpha ability, in combination with indexing asset classes where Alpha is harder to attain. In addition, low advisor fees are paramount to allowing a portfolio to outperform the appropriate benchmark over time. We partner with institutional money managers which gives us access to institutional investments that aren’t available to individual investors. These investments carry substantially less internal expenses. If fees are kept as low as possible, Alpha increases.
Alpha #5: Multi-Discipline Retirement Strategy (MDRS) –
Proper asset allocation and diversification are the most powerful ways an advisor can help a client manage retirement risks (volatility, sequence of return, inflation, interest rate and longevity) and achieve their retirement goals.
Our “unconventional” Multi-Disciplined Retirement Strategy (MDRS) combines offers a balanced (and objective) combination of traditional investments (stocks and bonds) with an allocation to annuities (for portfolio volatility reduction), SPIA’s, insurance and other unconventional investments to offer the optimum allocation and diversification of growth and risk reduction for maximum retirement portfolio sustainability.
Alpha #6: Income Buffer Strategy –
Creating a “safe money” Income Buffer, that is unaffected by stock market portfolio downturns, will increase the stock portfolios survival rate when experiencing severe market losses. The buffer should be in place prior to retirement to withdraw from when the stock market suffers a loss above 10%. The buffer can consist of any asset that will be unaffected by a market downturn such as cash value life insurance, a reverse mortgage reserve account, short duration high quality bonds, guaranteed Equity Index Annuities, etc. An Income Buffer should be created with 5-10 years of required annual retirement income to assure the funds are available to produce income necessary in the event of stock portfolio losses. The buffer should be utilized for income until the stock portfolio fully recovers from the loss in value. This strategy will dramatically reduce the effect of market volatility risk and sequence of return risk.
Alpha #7: Social Security Maximization –
Utilizing the optimal filing strategy and proper timing to begin Social Security benefits can dramatically increase your income and ultimately increase your retirement portfolio survival rates. Social Security accounts for approximately 33% of your income in retirement. It’s critical to deploy a strategy that allows you to keep as much of your benefit as possible. It’s not as simple as filing as soon as you’re eligible. There’s a number of factors and calculations that must be done prior to filing. Our software provides this maximization strategy as an integrated part of the overall analysis we conduct. The software also determines how to minimize the impact of taxes while maximizing your benefits. As you may or may not know, in some situations Social Security can be taxed up to 85%. Our Social Security Alpha strategy can have a potentially big impact on your retirement outcome.
Alpha #8: Tax Efficient Withdrawal Strategy –
There’s no getting around taxes is the conventional wisdom employed by most retirement planning strategies. But there’s a multitude of retirement tax planning strategies to offset income from a variety of sources.
Re-categorizing retirement assets and utilizing an unconventional tax efficient withdrawal strategy versus the conventional withdrawal strategy can reduce taxes to 0% in retirement and potentially add 5-15 or more years of portfolio survival. The most significant benefit of this is you don’t have to add a single cent to your portfolio.
Efficiently re-positioning retirement assets and utilizing the proper sequence of withdrawals (tax-free accounts, tax-deferred accounts, and taxable accounts) can reduce the negative effect of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) and Social Security taxation creating a more effective withdrawal strategy.
In phase 2 , we protect your portfolio with a number of risk management strategies. We again review your objectives, risk tolerance and unique needs to design the risk management portion of your overall retirement plan.
Risk Management: Long Term Care –
The cost of long-term care is quickly emerging as the number one threat to income in retirement with nursing home care leading the way.
A person at age 65 has a 70% chance of needing some type of long term care during retirement, but fewer than 8% actually carry any type of long term care insurance.
Having a strategy in place to protect your assets should you or your spouse require long-term care is critical for preserving your lifestyle and your legacy. Your Retirement Advisor can analyze your needs for long term care, as well as provide some unique solutions for paying for a policy should you need one.
Risk Management: Estate Planning –
51% of Americans between 55 and 64 years old don’t have a will. Whether you’re married or single, a parent or childless, a millionaire or middle-income, you need a will and an estate plan.
One of the most precious gifts that you can give your children or grandchildren is to plan your estate. You’ve worked hard for everything that you have, this is why it is essential to make sure your assets are protected and that your loved ones, not the IRS, receive a large portion of what you leave behind. With a few simple steps and a little initiative, we can help you save your loved ones from the inconvenience and added expense of reclaiming your assets.
Risk Management: Medicare/Healthcare –
A Fidelity Consulting Service study conducted in 2010 concluded; “Health care is a big-ticket expense for most retirees. Out-of-pocket health care costs for the average 65-year-old couple can reach $250,000 over 20 years in retirement and nearly $500,000 over a 30-year retirement.”
It’s critical to work with an advisor who can help you navigate the Medicare maze and make sure your portfolio has healthcare costs integrated into your retirement income projections.
Risk Management: Life Insurance –
Another critical risk management component to your “protection” strategies is life insurance. Many people are under-insured, while many others are over-insured. Because we are insurance licensed, we are able to do a complete analysis of your life insurance needs based on several factors to make sure you have the coverage you need for your particular circumstances.
Your Retirement Advisor is here for you with honest, approachable advice & free resources whether you’re a DIYer, or you’ve decided that you’d rather spend your time doing something else while we figure out the details of your retirement plan.
There’s no better time than now to start planning your financial freedom date. Follow these 5 steps to help you get started.
Follow the 6 steps to retirement readiness: read how to guides, watch videos and use our retirement calculators. We’re here if you have any questions or would like any number of assessments.