Ask Me Anything Experts Empower Older Adults

The Empower'd Aging Group launched last week and things are gearing up. 

Members have an opportunity to actively plan for growing older, whether one is alone or has nearby support. 

Currently, the worksheet and book bundles include a housing and re-location guide and information tip packs that address directives and other health concerns. More will be added to help with health concerns like chronic conditions, exercising, avoiding isolation, where to find support when needed, finding and creating a community, managing finances, various ways to pay for care, and much, much more.

Recently, an Ask Me Anything Financial advisor, David Treece, Treece Financial, joined us to discuss managing finances. He came to us via a Washington Post article, where David talks about the 'alone' segment and how this group of individuals are at higher risks over the married or partnered.   (Thank you for the acknowledgment)

Since money and having enough of it is one of our biggest concerns, I asked David, "What do you recommend to older clients when planning around money for the next 10, 20 or even 30 years? How does one understand their financial picture and learn the options?  What areas should the person look at to help them determine the upcoming 5 years and longer?"

David Treece graciously tells us, "This is a great question, and one I work on frequently with clients. I have an income planning software package I use that I really like which allows us to look at all of the variables and run 'what if' scenarios."

He adds, "We input how much somebody will need to live on monthly in retirement, and then look at the assets, Social Security and any other income, such as a pension, business, rental income, etc., I estimate rates of return both before and after retirement (we're usually a little more conservative after retirement,) add an inflation factor (I've been using 2.8%, which has been on the high side, but just a couple weeks ago, the Social Security Admin. announced the cost of living adjustment for next year will be exactly 2.8%,) and when the person wants to retire if they are not already retired. That really affects the success or failure of an income plan."

David breaks it down into simple steps:

  • We ask how much they are saving into a retirement plan (again if they are not already retired.)
  • We then visually show them if (or when) they could theoretically run out of investable assets. From that, if it looks like there is an issue, we look at changes we can make which often includes downsizing. It may mean selling a home and moving to a more affordable location, reducing other expenses (such as providing for children or spending on luxuries) and it may mean looking at ways of increasing income, such as part time work, postponing retirement, or possibly using home equity in a more severe case of a shortfall.
  • The next step, we look at "sequence of returns" risk which refers to retiring in a year like 2008 when the market tanked, or retiring in 2000 when the market was down double digits three years in a row. If you are withdrawing money in a down year, you can greatly shorten the lifespan of your portfolio.
  • We look at all of those issues, and prepare an income plan, and then, very importantly, we monitor it and update the numbers regularly to make sure that we are on track. This is one of the most important planning functions that we do.


Treece adds, "Almost nothing gives more peace of mind knowing that you will not run out of money, and this can also help us to reduce investment risk. Why invest as aggressively as the market if you don't need to in order to meet your goals? It all ties together."

"Most people have never really looked at this in any depth, and if people see that they are OK, they have tremendous relief. If it looks like they are falling short or borderline, it seems to give them the tools and motivation to take charge and finally make changes that they need to get where they need to be," concludes David. 

Thank you, David, for helping me understand where to start when planning for the next 10 or 20 years. 

We're just getting started over in the Empower'd Aging Group. Next up, we'll start adding Patient Advocates and other professionals, even NCOA.org says they'll join us to discuss healthy aging and managing chronic conditions. 

We're offering a one week free trial, so join us to begin your aging well journey

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