This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

The New Retirement Rulebook

BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- The rules of retirement are in need of a rewrite.

The loss of company pensions, longer lifespans, concerns over Social Security and a volatile investing world are among the forces that have made planning for a financially secure retirement more challenging than ever.

Longevity and market volatility mean that retirement goals and how to reach them have changed.

Retirement strategy has long been almost entirely focused on the accumulation of assets, but study after study has continually moved the goal post for what is needed in savings -- $500,000, $1 million, $3 million.

The problem is that big numbers of that sort can either scare investors into thinking a target is unobtainable or force them into a risky glide path in search of returns to reach that magic number. More skeptical savers point out that the very financial firms that benefit from the growth of investible assets have been the ones marketing bigger and bigger "numbers."

How much people need to retire has become more individualized, more of a moving target. Building needed assets may require more than just the standard simplicity of splitting a "buy and hold" portfolio among stocks and bonds.

"There's a lot of people who are vulnerable. When you really take a look at the most vulnerable people, any of the baby boomers fall into that category because they lack that defined benefit-pension plan, and the old three-legged stool of having a pension plan, Social Security and savings is kind of broken," says Bill Smith, president and founder of Ohio-based Great Lakes Retirement Group. "With the 401(k) now being the primary source for funding an individual's retirement, what happens is it becomes up to the individual to build their own pension."

Smith advocates an approach that takes into account an "individualized inflation rate" based upon standard of living. A laddered annuity approach can cover baseline expenses to "give peace of mind for lifetime income that they can never outlive."

"In theory, they can spend the rest of their money and never run out of income," he says.

That personalized inflation rate is determined by assessing basic necessities and retirement goals. Someone with a history of medical problems, for example, may need to account for the higher rate of health care inflation; those who live in a major city may also see basic expenses increase at a greater rate.

1 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,805.41 +127.51 0.76%
S&P 500 1,964.58 +13.76 0.71%
NASDAQ 4,483.7150 +30.9230 0.69%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs