• Darryl Rosen

Are you making any changes?

I recently read a study by Prudential Insurance that reported 56% of future retirees are making some changes because of the last year.

I am one of those people.

Here's what I'm doing and why I'm doing it!

  • Darryl Rosen

My wife says I talk too much.

It’s true; I can be a bit too open with subjects that, arguably, nobody really needs to know. One such subject for me is financial regret.

It started in 2007 when I sold my business. I got terrible financial advice which will forever affect my family. Things are not as I imagined, and it bothers me.

You might be thinking, “Poor Darryl, cry me a river,” but that’s not why I speak of this. And don’t you go setting up a GoFundMe campaign either, but thanks! (I’m kidding…)

This was years ago. In the midst of a difficult time, I found a new career that I love and created a process that helps people enjoy safety, simplicity and strength in retirement.

These days I have everything I need in life. A wife who loves me (pretty sure), 3 sons who like me (I think) and a doggie who absolutely adores me. (This I’m certain.)

I have no complaints, but I do have regrets and try as I may, I can’t shake them.

So, medicine for me is helping you avoid this feeling. I know many of you have everything you need, and most of what you want and JUST WANT TO KEEP IT THAT WAY!

That’s certainly our goal.

This is the last post of this three-part series on making difficult financial decisions when you don’t have all the facts.

Specifically, I am speaking to those of you who have made some plans but aren’t so confident that your work is done. There are still some decisions and you know what they say…

The road to easy street is paved with difficult decisions.

Anyway, back to regret. This intense emotion has been a favorite topic for philosophers.

Nietzsche said that remorse was “adding to the first act of stupidity a second.” It actually took me a moment to understand this sentence. He doesn’t see any usefulness.

Thoreau praised the power of regret.

“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.’

So, there’s that!

The philosopher in me suggests it’s not about the usefulness of regret, it’s that this sentiment focuses on the past.

Hindsight is 2020, for sure. It’s super easy to think, I should have asked this, done this, not done that…AFTER THE FACT!

…but this is exactly the point.

If you consider this now, while making decisions you’ll be better off. You’ll move regret to the front of your decisions – where it’s more useful to you.

Here’s an example:

You read somewhere that savvy investors like you should be changing investment strategies as you near retirement. So, you have a few options.

Option one: You could say, “No way! What I’ve done my whole, entire life has worked…” and you keep things the same.

You might even draw on a negative experience from 30 years ago to steel your resolve. Or,

Option two: You could draw on your successes, learn from what didn’t go your way AND also look towards the future.

Looking forward will help you see how your finances will change when you’re not working (and have no paycheck), or if you’re sick and relying on your blessed (but busy) children to help you.

Or how the ups and downs in the stock market might affect you when you actually need your nest egg to pay your bills. Or whether you should take a lump sum distribution from your pension plan. The list goes on and on.

Incidentally, as a retirement specialist, I can explain how the skills required to accumulate assets are dramatically different than those needed in retirement or how retirement savings are not the same as a retirement plan, blah, blah, blah!

This won’t help you.

Rather, my role is helping you see your future self to help you understand…

What might regret look like?

At the very least, coming to peace with what could go wrong will feel better than refusing to acknowledge it, only to face it only after it’s happened.

After-the-fact regret has the potential to consume you. It gets better over time, so they say, but for me not so much. Maybe I’m triggered because I help people plan for retirement but…

…It’s always there for me.

Let’s make sure it’s not there for you!

  • Darryl Rosen

We can all agree on the following statement:

It would be useful to know exactly how much you can spend each year in retirement to be sure you won’t run out of money.


This way you wouldn’t overspend and go broke, nor would you underspend and do without the fun things many people enjoy in retirement.

Like doting on your grandkids if you like them or buying a big wide-screen TV if you don’t!

Would this information would be useful? So, things would be just right.

We think it would!

So how do you determine this number.

Well, in 1994, an economist named William Bengen created the 4% rule.

The 4% rule was the answer to the question…

How much money can you safely spend each year – if you want to be nearly 100% certain your money will last 30 years.

He calculated that amount to be 4% - so if you had $ 500,000 in retirement savings – you could safely spend $ 20,000 in year 1 and could increase that number by a few percent each year to keep up with inflation.

This was the accepted rule of thumb for many years.

But a lot has changed since 1994.

Payphones are a thing of the past.

Some people have gone bald, and…

Interest rates were much higher in 1994 and now sit at historic lows.

The 4% rule was based on a portfolio of stocks and bonds. The bonds paid higher interest amounts. They weren’t as risky (as stocks) and created streams of income.

Today, the 4% rule may be obsolete not just because of low interest rates, but also because of market volatility.

Volatile markets can erode the ability to generate income from your portfolio.

And, yes, while stocks have mostly gone up over time, there have been many periods of volatility.

Volatility within the first several years of retirement GREATLY increases the risk of failure – when clearly failure is not an option.

All this begs two important questions because you only have one chance to get this right.

  1. Can you handle the short-term volatility of owning stocks? And,

  2. How much lifestyle risk are you willing to accept? (Presuming that you don’t want to end up living in a shoe.)

There is a better way!

Do this:

  1. Create enough income to cover your basic spending needs like food, shelter, medicine.

  2. Protect and grow your nest egg but make sure to limit large losses. For example, this money to be used for vacations and leaving money to your heirs)

  3. Reduce income taxes by using every available strategy so Uncle Sam doesn’t get one penny more than he should

The SECURiMENT™ method uses the entire universe of tools and tactics in a strategic manner to help you feel secure, by managing the risks that might reduce your security.

- You shouldn’t have to worry about market volatility

- You shouldn’t have to forego the things that might give you pleasure in retirement

- There ought to be a better way.

And there is – with SECURiMENT™!