Ep 24: Don’t Fumble Your Retirement in the Financial Red Zone

Just like football players don’t want to fumble the ball in the red zone, you don’t want to fumble your finances as you get close to retirement. We’ll explain how to protect your finances.
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Show Notes For This Episode

On this episode of Saving the American Dream, we’re talking about the financial red zone. It’s a crucial time when you’re getting close to retirement and need to keep your finances in check.

We define the financial red zone as the 10 years before and after retirement. These are critical years where you don’t want to make costly financial mistakes.

Unless you have a gigantic pension, it’s important to make sure you have a strategy in place that you can execute. For example, you don’t want to overspend or take too much risk in your portfolio.

Some people take too much risk with their investments because they want to make up for lost time, but this can backfire. But if you want to retire in your 60s or 70s and live until your mid-90s, you need a better plan in place.

Hopefully, you’ve at least been putting money into your 401k through the years, which isn’t a plan, but that’s a lot better than nothing. If you can build a big nest egg, you will have more options in retirement.

Just like with health, the earlier you can diagnose problems in your finances, the earlier you can fix them. In our office, we prefer to onboard new clients at age 30 or 40.

That helps us work on their plan from scratch and build up their plan for a decade or two before we start retirement planning. If you come in when you’re 50 or 60 years old, we can still help you, but starting early is critical.

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

Navigating the Show

[1:55] What is the financial red zone?

[3:25] Why these years are crucial

[7:59] Common mistakes

[9:51] It’s not too late

[10:36 ] Be proactive

[11:44 ] Diagnose problems earlier

[12:46 ] Mailbag: Company stock

[16:47] – Mailbag: Save more


Nothing in life is a sure thing. So we have to make sure that we’re diversifying that risk away.

– Michael Schulte

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