Retirement Planning

A Behavioral Approach to Retirement

Creating and Following a Worry-Free Path to Financial Security.

Retirement investing isn’t for the timid. It takes careful planning, determination and consistency in the face of volatile markets and the kind of unexpected life changes that threaten to undermine even the best of intentions. That’s why Randy Thurman, founder and co-president of Retirement Investment Advisors, Inc., teaches clients the importance of overcoming behavioral obstacles for achieving long-lasting retirement security.

Thurman, a retirement expert and author of “The All-Weather Retirement Portfolio,” explained that being reactionary and deviating from a well-defined plan is the most common – and the worst – mistake that investors tend to make.

“When things are going great, people want to be more aggressive. When things are going bad, they want to go to cash,” Thurman said. “It’s never volatile on the way up. It’s only volatile on the way down.”

Early and frequent communication is key to avoiding these pitfalls. Thurman makes sure his clients are informed enough to expect market ups and downs, and are prepared to stay committed to their plan along the way. “A disciplined plan gives you the best shot at financial security for the rest of your life.”

By taking a conservative approach, Thurman notes that the goal isn’t to hit home runs. “The goal is to maximize the probabilities so that no matter what happens out there, the clients are going to be okay for the rest of their lives financially.”

Thurman also strives to change client expectations when planning for the distribution phase. “We start talking about 40 years, especially if they are married,” he said. “That changes their belief system in terms of how we invest and the things we need to do to work toward that long term planning. Then, we can back it down into monthly goals.”

Thurman added that setting aside 3-6 months of expenses expected within two years, along with enough to cover major purchases, such as a car or vacation, in a no-cost, liquid account is crucial for weathering life’s storms.

“Most Americans don’t know that that needs to be part of their financial plan – to have that cash reserve,” Thurman said. “It’s an educational process that needs to be shared with as many financial professionals and clients as possible.”

Understanding the difference between investing for accumulation and investing for retirement also helps clients stay on track. “When you’re investing to accumulate, you have the principle of dollar cost averaging,” he said. “When you are on the distribution side, it’s just the opposite. You have the reverse dollar cost averaging effect.”

Ultimately, Thurman believes his greatest successes come when he’s able to successfully communicate long range expectations to clients in a way that allows them to trust that their plan will work and to delegate all of their financial anxiety to him so they can simply enjoy retirement.

Learn more about Retirement Investment Advisors, Inc., online at

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