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Investment Strategies

You’ve spent much of your life accumulating a retirement nest egg. Why take unnecessary risks now? The experts at Marsh Wealth Management guide you through the development of a retirement plan that will bring you peace of mind. We help you weigh risks and arrive at what’s right for you and your family. Because outliving your money is not an option.

There’s No Time to Recover in Retirement

You’ve probably been investing in the market for a long time, so you know first-hand how the markets go up and down. Before retirement, two key factors are in your favor: employment income and time. A drop in the markets has less long-term impact; your regular 401(k) payroll contributions keep buying into the market when it’s low, and you have the luxury of patiently waiting for the markets to rise again. But once you retire, you don’t have that same luxury. You may have to sell low because you have bills to pay and need the supplemental income. You don’t have time to wait for the markets to recover. Even if you do everything right, the timing of a market dip can have a significant impact on how long your money will last and how well you’ll be able to care for yourself and your loved ones. 

Income Planning

As you approach or enter retirement, even a sizable 401(k) or other retirement account does not equate to a plan. Marsh Wealth Management can help you develop a strategic retirement plan that will provide you with investment income after you are no longer generating employment income. Said another way, income planning is about making your money work hard for you after you’ve worked hard to earn it. 

Using dedicated Social Security maximization software, Marsh Wealth Management can identify your optimal Social Security claiming strategy. We then build a personalized Retirement Income Plan to determine sustainable spending goals over various life expectancies, using your current assets and savings rates and applying inflation factors and estimated investment returns.

​Do you have a burning question about retirement planning? Send it to us, and we’ll answer it for free.

Schedule a no-obligation consultation (in person, by phone, or over Zoom). Contact us now.

Want to learn more about income planning?

Yvonne Marsh has been a life saver for me. I’ve been going to her to invest my money ever since I sold my home after my husband died. Since then, I’ve inherited money and Yvonne has invested it well, so I have a larger income monthly now. I have total trust in Yvonne’s experience and knowledge.

Marty S.

The testimonial above was provided by a non-compensated current client who has no conflicts of interest.

Structuring Your Investments to Last

Live Long & Prosper

You’ve worked hard and are looking forward to a relaxing, leisurely retirement. But it’s hard to relax when, in the back of your mind, you’re wondering how long your money will last — or how long you will need it to last. Thanks to advances in healthcare and healthier lifestyle choices, we are living longer. Fortunately, a Retirement Income Plan from Marsh Wealth Management can help you sustain your lifestyle over a longer period.

From a statistical standpoint, you’re likely to have plenty of time to enjoy retirement. According to the Society of Actuaries, the life expectancies of 65-year-olds are increasing. For example,

  • Male: A 65-year-old man has a 41% chance of living to age 85 and a 20% chance of living to age 90.

  • Female: A 65-year-old woman has a 53% chance of living to age 85 and a 32% chance of living to age 90.

  • Couple: Married couples live even longer. There’s a 72% chance that one of them will live to age 85 and a 45% chance that one will live to age 90. There’s even an 18% chance that one of them will live to age 95.


Higher-income households also have longer life expectancies. At age 40, the richest 1 percent of men can expect to live 15 years longer than the poorest 1 percent, and the richest 1 percent of women can expect to live 10 years longer. Advances and accessibility of healthcare, healthy lifestyle choices, and genetics all play a factor in increasing life expectancies. The result is that you could easily have a 30-year retirement to plan for!

How Living Longer Affects Your Retirement

In retirement planning, making sure you have enough money for as long as you live is of utmost importance. The longer you live, the more chances you’ll experience rising taxes, rising inflation, costly health events, and multiple market corrections. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, in the 64-year period from 1945 – 2009, the US experienced 11 recessions. If this trend holds, your investment portfolio could need to weather 4 to 6 recessions over a possible 30-year retirement. This means your assets need to continue supporting you so you can maintain your comfortable lifestyle even through multiple market downturns. Retiring without a professional retirement plan could mean you run out of money.

Few companies today offer pensions to their employees. According to a Towers and Watson survey, between 1998 and 2015, the percentage of employers still offering a pension plan to newly-hired employees fell from roughly 50% to 5%. And growing concerns about the long-term reliability of Social Security has prompted many to realize the importance of informed income planning ahead of retirement.

Your Income Stability Ratio

As part of your retirement planning process, it’s important to look at your income stability ratio. That is the percentage of your income coming from guaranteed sources (like Social Security and pensions) divided by your total income needed. A general rule of thumb is to have enough guaranteed income to cover your essential expenses like housing, food, transportation, and insurance costs. Having a higher level of guaranteed income can enhance your comfort and overall satisfaction in retirement. A 2012 Towers Watson report found that retirees who received guaranteed income in the form of a traditional check-a-month pension or annuities tended to have higher retirement satisfaction scores than those without such income.*

Towers Watson. 2012. “Towers Watson: Annuities and Retirement Happiness.”

Another solution to making your social security and retirement savings last is structuring your investment portfolio into time horizons. (Think: Now, Soon, Later.) This involves investing money you’ll need in the near term more conservatively than money you won’t need until later in retirement. Investing according to “time and purpose” is an important transition from the typical accumulation strategy during your working years.

Longer life expectancies mean you have more time and are likely to face more obstacles — like market corrections, a major health crisis, rising inflation and living costs, and tax increases — in your retirement years. Unfortunately Murphy’s Law has shown that these risks rarely happen in isolation. It’s entirely possible for the stock market to take a dive at the same time your spouse gets a scary diagnosis and Congress raises tax rates.

Sequence of Returns Risk

Let’s assume you have $1 million of retirement savings that earns a modest 5% each year and that you plan to withdraw $60,000 each year to supplement your other sources of income. Assuming no market corrections, your retirement savings will support your lifestyle with over $330,000 remaining. But if you suffer a market correction of just 11% in the third year of your retirement, you will likely outlive your money. And if you suffer a second market correction, things could get grim.

Whether you are a pre-retiree or retiree, the structure of your “Soon” bucket is about minimizing Sequence Risk. Marsh Wealth Management proactively minimizes this risk before and during retirement. We call the five years before retirement through the five years after retirement “the Fragile Decade,” when Sequencing Risk is the highest.

Why is this the Fragile Decade? Because if a market correction happens early in your retirement years, your money won’t last as long as an average rate of return would suggest. For example, a market correction of 20% early in your retirement requires that your remaining money earn 25% returns just to get back to your starting point.

It’s really hard for a portfolio to take a hit early in retirement and build back while simultaneously providing stable income to you for 30+ years. The Marsh solution is a clear investment strategy focusing on Now, Soon, and Later, with a Soon bucket containing a conservative allocation that provides a buffer against sequence of returns. 

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