Four Questions to Ask Your Financial Adviser About Outliving Your Assets

Retirement Daily Guest Contributor

By Martin Powell

Life expectancy has grown considerably in the past several decades. According to data from the Social Security Administration, if a married couple in the U.S. jointly reaches the age of 65, there’s a 50% chance that one of them will live until age 89. Moreover, the average U.S. life expectancy has grown from 70 to 78 years over the past five decades.

Martin Powell

The reasons for this trend vary, from individuals adopting healthier habits to continued advances in modern medicine – but no matter the cause, this means you could spend almost as much time in retirement as you do saving for retirement. Here are a few questions you can ask your financial advisor to kick-start the conversation about how to enjoy your golden years worry-free – and without needing to go back to work.

Will my retirement income plan keep up with inflation?

Income taxes, property taxes, food, travel and healthcare are the top five expenses in retirement, and they can quickly outpace your income. Make sure your advisor factors this into your planning.

How can I position my nest egg to not run out of money in retirement? What investments are available to me besides Social Security?

Advisors should aim to reduce financial uncertainty and mitigate the risk away from your retirement funds. They should also be able to help you match your investments to a) your expected lifespan, and b) your desired quality of life.

How are you compensated?

Fees can have a big impact on account balances over time. Ask your advisor how they’re compensated. Cost is one of the driving factors that determine whether you meet your financial goals.

Can you run a Social Security claiming analysis?

Waiting to age 70 to claim Social Security could increase your payment by 132%. Spouses can pursue claiming strategies to maximize survivor benefits. These decisions can have lasting consequences and could potentially cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of retirement.

While no one wants to think about how long they’re likely to live, the point of retiring is being able to enjoy it – and starting a conversation with your advisor about this is the best way to start.

About the author: Martin Powell

Martin Powell is Vice President & Head of Annuity Distribution at CUNA Mutual Group, a leading insurance, financial services and technology company focused on helping people achieve financial security through all life stages.


Planning for & Living in Retirement