Do you have a question about your financial affairs? Financial planning consultant, Robert S. Pennartz, CFP(r) takes calls at 1-302-654-5556, extension 138 or 1-800-366-0632, extension 138. A selection of these questions and Pennartz's responses are published in this column. Anonymity is assured.Q. I will retire soon. My pension and social security will only go so far. I'll need more income than they can provide, but I'm afraid that my other investments won't give me enough return over the years to help. I'm concerned that I'll eventually run out of money. Any ideas?
A. A lot of people feel the same way. As a nation, we are living longer (due to advanced medical science) and therefore need our retirement resources to last longer. Outliving one's money is a big concern. Here's an approach that can help. Instead of looking at your income first, look at how much income you need. Put your income needs into two categories: essentials (like food, shelter, basic expenses, etc.) and non-essentials (like vacations, new cars, gifts, etc.). Then arrange to cover the essentials with guaranteed sources of income (pension, social security, etc.). If you need more income to cover the essentials, look at guaranteed immediate annuities from insurance companies. These contracts provide a consistent income, and can be guaranteed to last for your entire lifetime. The non-essential expenses can be covered by your investments. If your investments are not doing that well, you can temporarily choose not to take out money for a vacation, etc. Put off the expense until you have the money.
As always, you should review this strategy with your financial planner to coordinate the details and monitor your accounts.
o Robert S. Pennartz is a certified financial planner practitioner at the Financial House, a registered investment advisor, in Centreville, Del. He lives in Pocopson Township with his wife and children. He is a registered representative offering securities through Jefferson Pilot Securities Corporation, Member SIPC. Jefferson Pilot Securities Corporation and its representatives do not offer tax or legal advice. You should consult your individual tax or legal professional regarding your individual circumstances.