Warren Buffett is one of the greatest investors of all time. In this post, I’m going to see how we can use some of his advice to help plan a successful retirement.

“I do know that when I am 60, I should be attempting to achieve different personal goals than those which had priority at age 20.”

When you get closer to retirement age, you’re going to have to start withdrawing money from your savings and investments. Your goals are different than when you were in the middle of the savings or accumulation stage in your thirties and forties. Because time is shorter to when you’re going to start making withdrawals, make sure that you have some portion of your assets invested conservatively. At Streamline, we manage this by first creating an income plan for our clients. Then the income plan informs how we invest so that the plan will be successful. We don’t have to participate in or worry about the market fluctuations.

“Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.”

And for the same reason, you shouldn’t ask an insurance salesman if you need insurance. Be aware that most of the advisors that we come in contact with are really salespeople in disguise. One way to find out if they’re acting in your best interest, is to ask how they get paid. This is a common question to ask in the first meeting when you’re initially getting to know someone. Think twice about working with an advisor who gets paid a commission for recommending mutual funds, annuities, or other insurance products. Find an advisor who works on a fee-only basis, or a retainer model instead.

“What the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end.”

Chasing the latest hot investment has burned a lot of people that come to Streamline looking for help. And after getting burned a few times, they figured out to just do the things that work. Now, the hard part about doing the things that work is that it’s boring. And the financial media doesn’t want to talk about boring things. If everyone used tried and true methods for successful retirement, financial channels would be out of business.

The good news is that the game the financial media plays, or the game of the guy hitting the buttons on what stock to buy or sell, or when to be in cash, or when to be invested, that game is not one that you need to play. You can competently ignore the commotion, knowing that you have a plan that works in both good and bad markets. That’s really the ideal goal: ignore the noise and just focus on the thing that works. It’s about having the income you need each month without having to worry about what’s happening in the market, while still achieving some growth to outpace inflation.

If you need help thinking through your retirement plan, reach out to me or check out the DIY retirement plan by clicking here.