The Retirement Resource - The 12 Steps to Retirement Success, retirement planning, the retirement resource podcast, Beau Henderson,

The 12 Steps to Retirement Success with Kate Stalter

I first created The 12 Steps to Retirement success because, in the many phone calls and questions I have received over the years, I saw people focusing on the wrong parts of retirement planning. These 12 steps are all about creating an integrated strategy because if we focus on the right strategy and behaviors, we’re going to be in good shape.


1.  Plan for longevity. If we plan like our parents planned, much less like our grandparents planned, we’re going to run out of money within 15 years of retirement… but many of us will spend 30 plus years in retirement.

2.  Build in inflation. Too many tools out there for calculating your retirement don’t take inflation into account.

3.  Create an income plan. Be realistic about how much you can withdraw, and only give yourself pay raises when it’s appropriate.

4.  Make sure you’re budgeting and preparing for health care expenses in retirement. The average couple uses about $265,000 over the course of retirement for healthcare, but that’s often not addressed on retirement income plans.

5.  Assure spousal continuation. Your spouse should be involved in the financial planning, and it should incorporate both of your income and expenses. You will also want to assure that, in the event of your passing, your assets transfer to your spouse correctly.

6.  Long-term care expenses should also be considered in your retirement strategy. Have you talked to your family about your desires, reviewed all of your insurance options, and considered when a long-term care scenario might be best for you?

7.  Get a suitable market strategy. You have to make sure that the money you will need to access in the short term is properly allocated so that a major correction doesn’t totally throw your plan out the window. There a place for market risk, but it should be a different bucket of money from your short-term income.

8.  Understand interest rate risk. Old-school logic is that stocks are risky, bonds are safe. But in a low-interest rate environment, long-term bonds can actually lose money as interest rates go up.

9.  Understand how the sequence of returns works. Unlike the models in some financial planning software, market returns do not remain the same year over year. Significant losses in the early years of retirement, especially when you’re drawing down money, can turn a 30-year plan into a 12-year plan really quick.

10.  Know where to get your cash. Nothing’s worse than realizing, too late, that you have no liquidity. You need an income plan, a growth plan, and a liquidity plan.

11.  Keep one step ahead of the game. You don’t control everything that affects your retirement, such as a forced retirement, and as a result, your first plan may not work out how you expect. You need a contingency plan in place, or plan to be flexible.

12.  Stay current on policy change. Things like the ongoing tax reform or the 2015 Social Security reform will likely affect your retirement, and it may be positive or negative.


  • Want to assess if you’re prepared for retirement success? Download the FREE 12 Steps to a Successful Retirement Checklist at

“The Twelve Steps To Retirement Success


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About Beau Henderson

Beau Henderson is a financial advisor, author, coach, radio personality, and CEO of RichLife Advisors. He has helped over 3,000 clients to not just improve their relationship with money, but to live the life of their dreams.


  1. Robert Wilson on April 6, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    I retired 9 years ago. I am 72 years old , am I wasting my time???

  2. Richard White on April 18, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    I have been retired for the past 16 years. I am almost 80 this August 13. I think I have a good base for money coming in with cash pension of 4100, and 700 from social security. I am helping my youngest daughter with college expenses, she is 27 years old now. She is now starting to work. She is living with her boyfriend and his mother, who makes good money. But her son is not able to work, because of accidents, and not finding his ideal job That I think he never will because he is a momma’s boy, his health is bad. Now he has Gian Berae syndrom which is a very serious disease. He now is lade up in bed because he can’t walk at this time.
    I have been paying for her
    tuition and books every year for the past nine years and she has only be finishing up her 2 year degree this summer. I can’t seem to get her to understand I am not a bank. I want to start living.

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