Solving the three biggest risks in retirement

With the publishing of this page in mid-2017, I am ending a fairly substantial hiatus from posting about topics related to my industry, and beginning a new commitment to resume regular writing.

A few important starting points.

There is no magic bullet.

It is unlikely that any single blog, post, article, or collection of articles can answer all of a person’s questions about a topic as complex as “how to achieve security and prosperity in retirement.” Even with years of comprehensive study and a clear view of current conditions, the future remains in constant flux. This means the best we can do is to commit to an ongoing process of study, reflection and learning.

Be a student, not a follower.

As for the postings on this site, my intent is to provide helpful information and engage in an exchange of ideas. I do not ask anyone to accept my views as their own. Instead, readers are encouraged to do their homework, find what works for them, and leave the rest.

Fate favors those who act.

Someone wise once said, “Knowledge without action is a form of delusion.” We must strive to learn all we can, but at some point, we must also take action. No single course of action is right for everyone or without risk. It makes sense to identify your individual priorities, create a plan, and take steps to put that plan into action. Even just taking a moment to put a plan in writing is a great place to start.

So, what will I be writing about?

A little about life and about taking a simpler approach to things. Some about improving one’s health and overall peace of mind. Some about passion and pursuing your dreams. Some about mindfulness and living in the present. Some about entrepreneurship and where possible staying economically productive. But, also about how to solve for the three biggest risks in retirement.

And, what are these risks?

Healthcare Risk. This risk includes: 1) The cost of covering regular medical expenses like doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, prescription drugs, etc. and, 2) The potential of covering costs for “extended care” such as home health care, custodial care, adult day care, respite care, nursing care, and more.

Income Risk. This is the risk of running out of or outliving your money in retirement. Without care, drawdowns from a “nest egg” can lead to an eventual depletion of retirement funds over time. Income risk is of particular concern for women as they tend to live longer than men. Establishing a strong defense against income risk can prevent you or your spouse from becoming impoverished in advanced age.

Inflation Risk. This risk is about the tendency of inflation to erode the foundation of a retirement plan over time. Compounding this problem is the fact that people are living longer now than ever. It doesn’t take much inflation over a decades-long retirement to have substantial impact on future spending power. As such, inflation planning is a critical element for any sound retirement plan.

Why listen to me?

So, why care what I have to say about such topics? I am not a “financial planner” nor do I sell securities or investments. My background is in insurance. In particular, health insurance. My 25+ year career has been mainly dedicated to guiding commercial clients in the management of millions of dollars in healthcare risk. I became interested in the topic of retirement years ago when for personal reasons I began studying the subject for my own planning.

The more I learned, the more taken aback I became at the responsibility my industry bears for helping solve several pressing problems that relate to retirement. I suppose I had assumed such concerns were the purview of the investment industry. Coinciding with this realization was the observation that people in my industry could do a much better job telling their part of the story. In the end, I decided to do what I could to help improve the status quo.

Looking ahead.

Though others may benefit from articles posted here, much of the writing focuses on challenges facing the Baby Boomer generation. I personally am not a Baby Boomer. I was born in early 1965 and am, instead, a very senior member of Generation X.

While missing the designation of Baby Boomer by mere weeks, my hope is to provide a valuable perspective on future challenges this generation may face. Regardless of the obstacles we encounter on the road ahead, we live in amazing times. There are more creative solutions for problems available today than at any other time in history.

I look forward to being with you on this journey to help current and future retirees achieve greater security, prosperity and happiness in their senior years.

Best,


Ted Stevenot
Cincinnati, OH

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