Outliving your money: It doesn’t have to be

Editor’s note: The following is an edited excerpt of “The Perfect-Retirement Formula,” a book by Robert P. Burns of East Greenville and CEO of Senior Safety Net, based in Center Valley. The book is available on Amazon and Kindle and through local…

Editor’s note: The following is an edited excerpt of “The Perfect-Retirement Formula,” a book by Robert P. Burns of East Greenville and CEO of Senior Safety Net, based in Center Valley. The book is available on Amazon and Kindle and through local booksellers.

I have an acquaintance who is a business writer, and when I told her about the general premise of this book, she said, “You’re being alarmist.”

I’m being alarmist?

It’s alarmist to point out that during the past dozen years alone, retirees have seen their nest eggs cut in half not just once, but twice?

It’s alarmist to point out that our economy is like a house of cards, and that our almost incomprehensible debt bill eventually will come due?

“Well,” she said, a bit more softly now, “the market has recovered, you know.”

It’s true that the broad market has come a long way back since the utter catastrophe of 2008. As I write this, the Dow hovers at an all-time high.

But there were countless retirees who were unable to stay the course; I’ve met dozens of them personally. They also show up in survey after survey by the likes of AARP, the National Bureau of Economic Research and other major organizations that do economic analyses.

These unfortunate Americans had no choice but to liquidate huge chunks of their decimated stock holdings in order to get by. Either that or they liquidated as a precautionary measure to protect against losing almost everything if the bleeding never stopped.

They haven’t “recovered,” and they never will. They were forced to sell when the market was in a deep trough. That money is gone.

What’s more, anyone who thinks the U.S. economy is back in full swing and we’re riding off into an infinite future of gorgeous sunsets is either very much out of touch with reality or has been smoking something that’s legal only when used for medicinal purposes, and only in a few states at that.

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