For many people, retirement planning is something of an afterthought. It's something they do just before retirement, AFTER, they have spent a lifetime saving and investing. The problem is, not all financial instruments are the same, and the sad truth is, most of the products sold while working and accumulating retirement assets are not the best instruments to retire with. Holding these products into retirement can result in inefficiencies that drain resources, increase taxes, and not only do little to ensure reliable lifetime income, but can actually sabotage it..
Often clients are presented with a false choice: have more money now while you are younger and more active, or save it until later in case you have a longer-term need. We call this Long Life vs. Good Life, in other words, choose between more now and less later, or less now and more later.
This false choice can lead to costly planning mistakes like poor Social Security and pension elections, inefficient structuring of withdrawals, mismanagement of taxes, and outliving your money. Worse, many of these are one-time decisions that cannot be undone. Mistakes can not only be costly, but they can haunt you for the rest of your life, as well as that of your spouse.