Gut-check Planning Assesses Assets and Mortality.

Retirees often avoid or procrastinate planning for the long term, despite the peace of mind benefits it can bring. Ever-increasing longevity is actively accounted for by the government and actuaries, but is slowly acted upon by retirees confronting a Catch-22 scenario of dollars vs. duration.

Retirement advisers often observe clients and prospects who willingly spend many hours planning a two-week vacation, but precious little time planning for their remaining financial lifetime. It’s an inverse commitment of sorts, the type that can provide short-term gain and result, long-term pain.

The reluctance to plan, especially by Baby Boomers, has numerous root causes: Anxiety about life’s uncertainties, Health concerns. Fears of an economic downturn. Insufficient recovery time. Whether accumulated assets supplemented by Social Security will suffice or endure. The list goes on.

Such uncertainties are best seen through a lens of reality that a retirement planning specialist can provide: Longevity is increasing into the late 80s and early 90s. At 88+ years, the median for females, half will live longer. Retirements can easily last 25 – 30 years. Traditional “set and forget” retirement plans, along with employer-sponsored pensions, represent a bygone era. Access to financial help from friends and family typically diminishes over time.

A qualified retirement planner cannot only help with the fact-finding; he or she can assess a location’s cost of living, rents, taxes and the appropriate age to retire. There are Social Security advantages of working until 70 or exploring a hybrid work-in-retirement arrangement. The combined facts, uncertainties and recommendations are the makings of a meaningful and actionable plan.

Such a plan, heretofore ignored, can include establishing a lifetime financial foundation by joining Social Security (and potential cost of living allowances) with a pension. Pensions can come from a traditional employer, or, the conversion of retirement assets to a fixed income annuity. Variations of this insurance-backed product can provide guaranteed lifetime income with no loss of value, subject to guidelines or restrictions.

Retirees, or aspiring retirees, who have taken a denial approach to a formal but flexible retirement planning process, can acquire peace of mind and “sleep insurance” by recalling – and acting upon – Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 Inaugural quote, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Syndicated financial columnist Steve Savant interviews top retirement specialists in their field of expertise. This segment features retirement specialist Lindahl Lucas. Right in the Money is a financial talk show distributed in daily video press releases to over 280 media outlets and social media networks.