Ep 14: Retirement Plan Customization Is King

Most people understand that a customized retirement plan is much better than a one-size-fits-all approach. And yet, most people don’t have a plan that’s truly customized. We’ll share some of the things that need to be considered if you’re going to build a truly customized plan.
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Show Notes For This Episode

On this episode of Saving the American Dream, we’re talking about customized retirement plans and why they’re so much better than the one-size-fits-all or do-it-yourself approaches.

Planned retirement age

Many people think 65 is the correct retirement age. But every person’s financial situation is different, and there are definitely times we need to customize. There are also times when we need to just focus on the rules and principles.

Most 30 and 40 year olds, you have no idea what your retirement age is going to be and you don’t need to yet. We just need to stick to the rules and principles as it relates to our retirement age and things are going to take care of themselves over time.

If you are 50 years old, we probably need to hone in on figuring out a potential retirement age or range of years where we want to retire. There are important conversations you need to have about how much risk you’re taking in your portfolio, what types of products you’re using and figuring out potential retirement related expenses and healthcare decisions.

Lifestyle and income needs

Your lifestyle and income needs are going to influence how much money you need to save for the future.

Maybe you’re living in a big city right now and you could do the same work from another location that has a lower cost of living. Or maybe you need to move because you’ll have a better chance of meeting your lifestyle and income needs from somewhere less expensive.

These are important conversations that a lot of people should be having with their advisor.

Risk tolerance

No matter your age, you need to know what your risk tolerance is. Most people don’t know how to measure risk. In the world of investments, risk is measured through standard deviation and everyone has a standard deviation and an expected return on their specific investment that they have.

It’s critical to understand what that is because you need to understand how much your portfolio could be going up or down in any given year. And the standard deviation is going to put a number on that for you.

Listen to the full podcast or use the timestamps below to jump to a specific section.


Navigating the Show

[1:49] – Retirement age

[5:54] – Lifestyle and income needs

[8:12] – Risk tolerance

[12:22] – Family longevity

[16:02] – Financial legacy

[17:55] – Emotions

[19:43] – Mailbag: Give away money now?

[23:04] – Mailbag: Dividends


“Every person’s financial situation is different, and there are definitely times we need to customize. And there are also times when we need to just focus on the rules and principles.

– Michael Schulte

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