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Take Emotions Out of Retirement Planning

Finances

It’s hard to prevent money matters from feeling personal—after all you’ve worked hard to save for retirement. But removing emotions from financial decisions can set you up for future success.

“If you are watching the markets every day, it can put you on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs,” says Bryan Kuderna, a certified financial planner with the Kuderna Financial Team in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, and the author of Millennial Millionaire. “And when that happens, you tend to make bad decisions with your money.”

The last thing you want to do is act irrationally and jeopardize the future you’ve planned for. That’s why Kuderna and other financial experts will all tell you the same thing: Worrying about current events, policy changes, and other moves that cause markets to fluctuate does more harm than good.

The best defense against your emotions is to stick with a solid long-term plan. Follow these easy strategies to gain peace of mind and stay on track for the future.

Work with a qualified financial professional. Enlisting the help of a financial professional gives you a teammate who’s not only looking out for your money but can also take emotions out of the equation. While you should regularly check in, there’s comfort in knowing that he or she is constantly watching the markets and understands how to respond based on your retirement goals.

Log on less. Frequently checking your bank and credit card accounts online is a smart move, but the same advice does not hold true for investment accounts. “You shouldn’t sign in every day,” says Kuderna. Instead, look at your statements once a quarter to see how your money is moving over time.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. “One of the biggest flaws I see in retirement planning is when people commingle all their assets in one account,” says Kuderna. “When you do that, it’s easy to get emotional. If that account suddenly goes way up, you get excited, but if it goes way low, you panic.” The better play: Distribute your assets into three distinct portfolio categories.

The first is for the period immediately after you retire, a five-year stint Kuderna dubs the “go-go years.” “That’s when you’re most active and using a lot of your assets because every day is like a Saturday,” he says. “So we’ll be very conservative with that money, since it’s essentially working capital for five years. That account is much more stable, slow, and steady.”

The next basket is for the “slow-go years,” when you aren’t as active and therefore don’t spend as much money. “This is the cheapest phase of retirement,” Kuderna says, “so it’s where we’ll have a flex basket that’s moderately invested. If the markets are going up and down, you don’t need to worry because you’re not going to tap this account for at least 5 to 10 years.”

Then there are the “no-go years,” when you’re deep into retirement and your expenses drop but medical costs may rise. “We take a very long-term approach to this investment,” says Kuderna.

“When you have these different pockets of money you can tap into,” he concludes, “it allows you to take advantage of any dips or rallies in the market on your time and your terms rather than be reactionary.” That’s the power of having a plan.

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Annuities contain features, exclusions, and limitations that vary by state. For a full explanation of an annuity, please refer to the Certificate of Disclosure and contact your Financial Professional or the company for costs and complete details.

This material is a general description intended for general public use. Athene Annuity and Life Company (61689), headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, and issuing annuities in 49 states (including MA and D.C.), and Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company of New York (68039), headquartered in Pearl River, NY, and issuing annuities in New York, are not undertaking to provide investment advice for any individual or in any individual situation, and therefore nothing in this should be read as investment advice. Please reach out to your financial professional if you have any questions about Athene products or their features.

The term “financial professional” is not intended to imply engagement in an advisory business with compensation unrelated to sales. Financial professionals will be paid a commission on the sale of an Athene annuity.

ATHENE ANNUITIES ARE PRODUCTS OF THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY AND NOT GUARANTEED BY ANY BANK NOR INSURED BY FDIC OR NCUA/NCUSIF. MAY LOSE VALUE. NO BANK/CREDIT UNION GUARANTEE. NOT A DEPOSIT. NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY. MAY ONLY BE OFFERED BY A LICENSED INSURANCE AGENT.