Days of worry and anxiety-filled nights is no way to live. Unfortunately, this fate befalls many retirees who have or are close to exhausting their financial resources.
Not being financially self-sufficient or not even able to live the life you had envisioned is a terrible way to spend your golden years.
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Often this dreadful fate is not due to having not saved a substantial sum or not planning for the future. It happens to even sophisticated investors who took too much risk or put all their eggs in one basket.
Fortunately, there are ways to harness the financial markets to help assure that this fate never befalls you or your family.
To be sure, no financial tactic is 100% guaranteed. Even the safest, most secure investments can implode given the right economic storm.
This article will delve into five ways to assure that you will never run out of money in retirement.
Diversification is the cornerstone of a secure retirement plan. I gave it the No. 1 spot on the list due to its critical nature. All the other tools listed are part of a well-diversified plan and not to be utilized as stand-alone investments.
Many investors erroneously believe that having a diversified U.S. stock market portfolio is adequate to weather unforeseen economic events. While a diversified, income-producing stock portfolio is a vital component of a well-designed plan to never run out of money, it falls way short of being the end-all. The reason for this is that all stocks are correlated to a degree. All sectors and companies often rise and fall in tandem despite their divergent nature.
Adding international stocks to your portfolio is an ideal way to diversify outside of the United States while still being exposed to the equity markets. Assuring that you never run out of money by expanding your stock portfolio internationally is best done in the following two ways.
2. Limit U.S. Exposure
Properly diversifying internationally means not to purchase companies that have massive exposure to the U.S. markets. Given the international nature of most large cap firms and the huge role the United States plays in commerce, it can be difficult to locate solid firms whose majority of revenue is not domestic.
Also, investing in stocks from countries whose economic growth cycle is not in lock-step with the United States makes sense.
A combination of the stock’s primary revenue not being from the United States, as well as the firm’s home nation economy on a different trajectory than the U.S. is the ideal scenario for a properly diversified stock portfolio.
During U.S. stocks explosive growth, European stock markets have underperformed the U.S. markets making the eurozone an excellent place to look to diversify presently.
As an example, the first company that comes to mind fitting the criteria is Saint-Gobain (FR: SGO). Saint-Gobain is a French construction materials conglomerate that only earns 13% of revenue from the United States.
3. Emerging Markets
Owning equities in emerging markets is a must for a properly diversified, retirement stock portfolio. Over the last two years, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index surged over 80% crushing S&P 500 performance over the same time frame.
Ultra-high growth potential remains in the emerging markets since they represent 40% of the global gross domestic product yet only 12% of stock market valuation. An extremely bullish picture!
I like the GMO Emerging Markets Fund (GMDEX) ETF as a way to diversify into the emerging markets.
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4. Roads & Bridges
Investing in roads, bridges, and infrastructure is a powerful way to never run out of money in retirement. Municipal bonds are a great way to ensure long-term, relatively safe income for life. To be sure, municipal bond yields are low, but safety can make up for the relatively low yields.
Municipal bonds are a nearly $4 trillion market with over $10 billion par traded on a daily basis. The default rate is incredibly low in muni bonds at 0.089% for all-rated municipal bonds throughout the last 46-years.
5. Delay Social Security
Social Security is an excellent tool to ensure cash flow in your later years. However, delaying the payout until 70 years of age will help maximize the potential cash. While you can legally claim Social Security as soon as you hit 62 years of age, it will significantly reduce the amount you will receive by waiting a few more years. Every year that you delay the payments, up to age 70, provides an 8% increase in the amount.
Be wise and wait for your Social Security benefits!
Risks To Consider: The above five methods help ensure that you will never run out of retirement money when utilized as a group. However, no one knows what the future holds and nothing is ever guaranteed in the economy. We can only do what makes the most sense provided the current data.
Action To Take: Review your retirement plan to make sure you are maximizing the odds to never run out of money!