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ation can start
with having a
sion with a
expert. We once thought of retire-
ment as a time to relax, play golf
and maybe travel --- to finally have
a little fun. For some, that will still
be the case.
For others, the thought of retire-
ment brings anxiety: They re wor-
ried that they ll run out of money.
In a recent survey, 44 per cent
of workers of all ages cited having
insufficient finances as their biggest
And a quarter of middle-class
Americans said they "get
depressed" thinking about their
finances during retirement, accord-
ing to a Wells Fargo Middle Class
Retirement survey. Forty-eight per-
cent of those who have not retired
were not confident that they will
have saved enough to live "the
lifestyle they want" in retirement.
"I don t know that there is any-
one who doesn t have that fear,"
says Kevin Leahy, chief executive
of Connecticut Wealth Manage-
ment. "Our clients tend to be very
successful. Most of them have a
low probability of running out of
money. Yet they have that fear."
Added Michael Mussio, manag-
ing director at FBB Capital Partners
in Bethesda: "That is people s
biggest anxiety." He s found that
the fear comes mostly from people
realising that they are no longer
adding to their savings but will
soon have to withdraw. "The anx-
iety is that I will have to have this
last me for the rest of my life."
Thomas West, senior associate
at Signature Estate & Investment
Advisors in Tysons Corner, says it
is the overwhelming fear among
"Sometimes, the uncertainties
Afraid your retirement nest egg
won't last long? You're not alone
of how long someone is going to live
can be overwhelming, and the thought
of health-care costs can be overwhelm-
ing," West says. "And the complexity
can lock them out from taking any near-
The best way to feel better about
retirement is to develop a plan, financial
advisers say. Mussio says that involves
discussions of withdrawal rates from
retirement savings and longevity.
"Then you will understand exactly
where you stand," says Bob Gavlak,
wealth adviser with Strategic Wealth
Partners in Columbus, Ohio. "Rather
than sit there and think, Will I have
enough money? or I ll probably have
enough, have a set plan in place. Take
it from I think I m okay to I know I m
"What I try to do is get them engaged
in taking some action and not be a
bystander to their own retirement
future," West says. "I like to give people
something to do. It relates to how do
you make sure you are prepared, and
get them used to following a regular
process where they are making financial
Ryan Wibberley, chief executive of
CIC Wealth Management in Gaithers-
burg, says your chances of not running
out of money increase with some form
of guaranteed income.
Stephen DeCesare, president of
DeCesare Retirement Specialists in
Marlton, New Jersey, also says that fixed
annuities are a good strategy if you are
worried about running out of money.
"A fixed annuity with a cost-of-living
increase will give you steady income,"
Which brings us to the people who
really are in danger of running out of
money because they haven t saved
enough or are spending too much.
Tim McGrath, founder of Riverpoint
Wealth Management in Chicago, says
he sometimes recommends that the
client work an extra year or have a part-
time job during retirement. "That makes
a difference," he says.
"The most important first step is to
have that frank conversation," Leahy
says. "Sometimes people understand
that, and sometimes they don t. You
can tell someone they need to exercise
and diet and take medication. It doesn t
mean they will do any of those things.
But you don t want your physician to
dance around that."
"Perhaps they can retire later," he
says. "Perhaps they can cut spending.
Perhaps they can change the investment
approach. Sometimes they can become
more tax-efficient. Obviously, it s dif-
ferent for every person."
Mussio says the size of a client s nest
egg can sometimes make them over-
"We tell them the rate they are draw-
ing down from their portfolio is unsus-
tainable," Mussio says. "One million
dollars is always seen as a lot of money.
For someone who is retiring at 60 and
plans to withdraw $80,000 a year from
their portfolio for the rest of their life,
that s not realistic. We have to tell clients
that if you keep spending at this pace,
you will run out of money."
In extreme cases, he says, he will rec-
ommend that the client move to Plan
B---selling the house. But he says it s
less painful if clients follow their plan-
McGrath says he believes that many
are prepared and it s just a matter of
whether they can maintain the lifestyle
they want. But a huge swing in the mar-
ket, tax-law changes or inflation could
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