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Healthcare Planning

Navigating the Most Dangerous Decade: How To Thrive In Transition

In terms of retirement, there’s one particular span of 10 years that is the most critical. Known as
the “most dangerous decade,” the five years prior and the five years post your retirement are
the greatest predictors of retirement outcome. The term “most dangerous decade” was coined
by retirement researcher Wade Pfau who found that over 80% of retirement outcomes are
determined during these ten years. Reasons for this include the general shift in lifestyle,
spending, and investment management.

As you navigate this fragile phase, careful planning and strategic decision-making become
important to ensuring long-term financial security and health in retirement. It’s key to receive the
advice of a trusted expert in this period especially; however, there are a few things you can do
to best position yourself for this crucial time.

Rethinking Income Strategy

Many people think that achieving a savings goal is the single most important element of
preparing for retirement. The truth is that it’s even more important to create a strategy around
generating income in retirement. You simply don’t know how long savings will last. Creating an
income strategy in retirement equips you with an action plan that continues on. The more
diversified your income streams are, the better off you’ll be. Dividend-paying stocks, i-bonds,
real estate investments, annuities, and more all provide additional income streams. Diversifying
income streams enhances financial resilience and ensures a steady cash flow even as you
move out of the workforce.

Prepare for Healthcare Costs

Healthcare just keeps on improving! As medical advancements continue to progress, people are
living longer. That means retirement income has to stretch further as a result. Planning for
healthcare expenses is crucial, but it’s hard to anticipate these big things that haven’t happened
yet. Additionally, inflation for healthcare services continues to outpace the general economy. So,
costs for care are only going up, up, up.

A lot of people make the mistake of assuming Medicare will cover all of their medical bills in
retirement. But that’s simply not true. Medicare will cover some medical expenses. You’ll still be
on the hook for important things like vision, dental, and long-term care. While it’s difficult,
planning healthcare expenses early on is essential to mitigate financial strain in later years.
Even with the level of uncertainty, insurance premiums and medication costs are things you can
better plan for in advance.

Consider Your Investments

In retirement, your system of adding new money to your savings will shift and you’ll more
regularly be taking money out of your accounts. If the stock market is doing well, the money you take out might be balanced by new gains. But if the market is down for a while, every time you
take money out, it could be more like taking a slice from a shrinking pie. This is called sequence
of returns risk, and it’s something that all investors have to contend with.

If you retire when the market is up, you might be okay even if it goes down later. But if you retire
when the market is down, your savings might not bounce back. This risk is heightened during
the first decade of retirement when your portfolio balance is at its highest, and withdrawals may
have a more substantial impact on its sustainability. The market’s timing is beyond your
control, but you can take steps to minimize the risk. Regularly checking and adjusting your
investment mix every 6 to 12 months can help. Make sure your portfolio is diverse and matches
your age, goals, and how much risk you’re comfortable with. The important thing is to have a

Stay Active, Stay Healthy, and Stay In Touch

Beyond financial considerations, it’s extremely important to prioritize your health – mental and
physical – throughout the period right before and right after retirement. It’s a time of major life
shifts, disruption, and, frequently, some stress – no matter how welcome your retirement may
be! Staying active, engaging in meaningful activities, and maintaining social connections are
vital to a fulfilling retirement. By cultivating a healthy lifestyle, you not only enhance your quality
of life, you also reduce the risk of costly medical interventions in later years.

The most dangerous decade certainly sounds scary! And the truth is, it can have a huge effect
on your overall retirement. However, with planning and proactive strategies relative to your
income planning, healthcare costs, and investment portfolio, you will be well-positioned to
weather the storm. Your journey through retirement is not only about financial security; it’s about
living a fulfilling and purposeful life. Our comprehensive retirement planning aims to equip you
with the full package so you can do just that. To review the strategies for your “most dangerous
decade”, call us today at 952-460-3290.

5 Considerations To Help You Land the Right Financial Advisor

With more and more financial products hitting the market and a growing number of so-called gurus shilling financial advice from every nook and cranny of the internet, it’s more important than ever to have a trusted financial advisor in your corner. But with so many opinions floating around, how can you determine who to actually trust? Navigating through the maze of investment options, retirement plans, and financial strategies demands tried-and-true expertise and insight. We’ve put together a list of five things to consider as you sift through the noise and find a professional who’s worthy of your trust.

  1. Communication Style: Clear and effective communication is crucial to the advisor-client relationship. In this industry, things can get complex and confusing quickly. You want an advisor who can spell it all out for you in a way you understand. Beyond that, you’ll want to work with someone who responds promptly and is willing to provide you with regular updates. Transparent and open communication fosters trust and ensures that you remain in the know and empowered throughout your financial journey.
  2. Credentials and Beyond: Formal credentials can be a valuable indicator of expertise, but they don’t provide a complete picture of competency. In the world of financial consulting and retirement planning, there is a whole spectrum of designations ranging from rigorous to just plain formalities. Take into account a prospective financial advisor’s track record, integrity, and compatibility with your financial goals, rather than simply relying on the acronyms trailing their name.
  3. Specialization: Just like you’d consult a cardiologist for heart-related concerns rather than your family doctor, you should seek out a financial advisor whose expertise aligns with your specific financial needs. At Secured Retirement, our specialization revolves around income and tax planning for retirement. Having a specialty indicates the presence of proven strategies. Whether you’re interested in retirement planning, estate management, or investment strategies, and depending on where you are in your financial journey, working with a specialist ensures guidance and comprehensive insights tailored to your goals.
  4. Life-Long Learning: Even the most decorated financial professionals should seek out ongoing education and training. This is a field that is constantly changing. You want to work with advisors who keep up with this change. What’s more, you want to know that the training they’re doing isn’t on sales techniques, but in areas of financial substance. Ensure your financial partner values honing their knowledge and skills in their area of expertise so that they consistently stay on top of their game.
  5. A Range of Approaches: Every family’s financial situation has its strengths and weaknesses. Within their specialty, your financial advisor should be able to tailor their approach to your unique situation in order to achieve your personal financial goals. You need a partner who takes the time to listen to your vision and can craft a strategy around it. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in this industry, and if anyone claims there is. . . Beware!

In the complex world of financial planning, working with competent financial professionals you can trust makes all the difference. At Secured Retirement, we’ve built our business with these very considerations in mind. We’re a partner you can rely on and thrive with. 

Connect with us today: 952-460-3290

Danielle Christensen


Danielle is dedicated to serving clients to achieve their retirement goals. As a Paraplanner, Danielle helps the advisors with the administrative side of preparing and documenting meetings. She is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict, with a degree in Business Administration and began working with Secured Retirement in May of 2023.

Danielle is a lifelong Minnesotan and currently resides in Farmington with her boyfriend and their senior rescue pittie/American Bulldog mix, Tukka.  In her free time, Danielle enjoys attending concerts and traveling. She is also an avid fan of the Minnesota Wild and loves to be at as many games as possible during the season!