The Changing Concept of Retirement, Part III

Full Retirement Phase 

Quay Financial Group, Inc. has previously discussed several stages of retirement.  This next stage is the middle of your retirement cycle. By now, you have hopefully realized your travel dreams and fulfilled many of the goals you had planned for in your retirement.

Although you may be in good health, many people during this phase are more likely to decide to slow down and may possibly find more enjoyment in activities that are less fatiguing and slower paced. The hassles of traveling don’t sound as tolerable. Instead, local events and the pursuit of hobbies that are less physically tasking sound more appealing.

During this phase many people belong to groups or clubs that meet regularly and provide social interaction. Your expenses may actually be lower than in the early retirement phase if your activities (such as traveling) have minimized.

In today’s low interest rate environment, many experts are recommending that withdrawals from retirement plans be more conservative than those taken during periods of higher interest rates. This is why we like to sit with clients to help determine an appropriate withdrawal schedule.

Final Retirement Phase

The final years of retirement are the last stage. This is when you may find yourself battling the physical and mental challenges of old age. During this final phase, some retirees move out of their homes and into assisted care facilities or even nursing homes. Many times medical expenses, including prescription drugs, take up a significant share of your monthly income. You can even become restricted in your activities due to physical limitations.


Regardless of your age or which phase you are in or approaching, here are some important things that you need to constantly review and consider:

  • Realize that your cash flow needs can be different for each phase of retirement. Your early phase and final phase have the potential to have the most expenses. Expenses can usually be lower in the full or pre-retirement stage.
  • People are living longer. Better health habits, advances in medicine, and many new drugs have extended people’s lives longer than prior generations. It is imperative to monitor and review your investment choices on a regular basis to give yourself the best possibility of meeting the cash flow needs you will require throughout each phase of retirement.
  • It is imperative to periodically rebalance your investment portfolios to reflect the various changing priorities and living patterns as you go through each of these retirement stages. You should systematically revisit how you can adjust your portfolio based upon your actual life and health changes, goals, needs, objectives, and risk tolerances.
  • It is essential to review your needs for long-term care and other costs (like medical and burial expenses) before and during retirement.
  • It is crucial to constantly monitor your cash distributions from your retirement savings. We have experienced a significant decline in interest rates over the last decade and that can affect your portfolio. In this low interest rate environment, it is even more essential that you have a strategy for taking distributions from your portfolio. In the past, a larger distribution rate might have been acceptable, however, with today’s low interest rates it is imperative to make sure that your withdrawal rates are reasonable and will be sustainable over the long-term.

The bottom line is that throughout each stage of retirement it is wise to make sure that you plan and monitor.

Investors should always put their primary focus on their own personal goals and objectives. When equity markets become volatile sometimes even the best investors become not just concerned, but unnerved. It’s important to keep perspective when markets are volatile. It is very important that you understand your situation and your financial plan. Letting your emotions drive your decisions can be costly. Here are some strategies that money managers think about when making decisions.

  • Always allocate your investments to match your risk tolerance.
  • Add money to your investments regularly, if possible, and try to increase your additions during downfalls.
  • It’s nearly impossible to always time the market right (sell when you think the markets at its peak), so have a strategy.
  • Accept that volatility is inherent to investing, but not something to stress about for long-term investors.
  • Consider avoiding or ignoring nightly financial news and always try not to make any emotional decisions.

Our advice is not one-size-fits-all. We will always consider your feelings about risk and the markets and review your unique financial situation when making recommendations. If you would like to revisit your specific holdings or risk tolerance please call our office. For more information about helping you plan and save for your goals, we would like to offer you a complimentary Financial Checkup. To schedule your appointment, please contact us on Ph: 770 924 5440.


At Quay Financial Group, Inc. we believe in the welfare of our clients by creating a strategy to pursue personal wealth for now and through retirement. With services including planning for retirement and life events, saving for college, and advising on tax reduction strategies, we can help create a comprehensive and individual approach to your financial plan in order to help you stay on track with your personal financial goals. By serving our clients under a Fiduciary standard, clients’ interests must come first.

Everyone’s situation is unique and must be analyzed and evaluated to map the best direction for you. Our mission is to make your goals and dreams a reality. From analyzing the current risk of your investments and managing assets, to determining cash flow needs in retirement and optimizing Social Security, we strive to tailor a plan that fits you, your family, and your goals. Welcome to Quay Financial Group, Inc.