Three Steps Toward A Better Retirement In 2018 Did You Know?

Feb 5, 2018 2:45:00 PM / by Darwin Bayston, CFA


For seniors who have already entered retirement, there are some important things that can be done in 2018 to make it better and more fulfilling:


1. Consider your spending. 

Create a budget and track your expenses.

Most experts say you'll need at least 70 to 80 percent of your current income to live the same lifestyle in retirement, so after you figure what you'll get from Social Security and any other income sources, you'll need to create a nest egg that can throw off that much without your having to use any of the principal.

Also, your retirement can last for a good long time. According to AARP, a healthy, upper-middle-class couple who are 65 today have a 43 percent chance that one or both partners will live to see 95. Financial planners now advise that you withdraw no more than 3.5 percent a year out of your savings for both your regular expenditures and one-time items like a new roof or a big vacation for the money to be around as long as you are.

2. Take that dream trip while you can. 

Research by Joseph K. Goodman of WashingtonUniversity in St. Louis, and Sarah Lim at Seoul National University, South Korea, among others, shows experiences bring more happiness than things. You want to get in as many good times as you can while your health holds out.

Another impetus: Many hotels, resorts, restaurants, attractions and tour operators offer special discounts for older travelers. For example, for less than $100 you can get a lifetime pass that lets you enjoy every national park in the country. Ask when you book about discounts for seniors and you may save enough for an extra trip or two.

3. Inventory your assets for sources of cash. For example, take a good look at any life insurance policy you no longer need. It could be sold for a significantly greater amount than the policy's cash surrender value through something called a Life Settlement. You get a cash payment and the purchaser assumes all future premium payments in exchange for the benefit. Candidates for life settlements are typically aged 70 or older, with a life insurance policy that has a death benefit of at least $100,000.

Such a sale could improve retirement for many, yet fewer than half of American seniors are aware of the option. That's one reason the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA), a non-profit organization that is the nation's largest association representing participants in the life settlement industry, is committed to making sure that older Americans have all the information they need to make an informed decision. To explore whether a life settlement is a good option for you, you or your financial adviser can contact a licensed life settlement professional who is a member of the association and is subject to a rigorous vetting process.

Learn More

For further facts about life settlements, how they work and whether you're eligible, call the LISA office at (888) 504-8561 or visit

Darwin Bayston, CFA

Written by Darwin Bayston, CFA

Darwin Bayston is President and CEO of the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA). His charge is to extend the outreach of the Association to all participants of the life settlement industry from consumers to capital providers, including producers, brokers, providers and service providers who are part of the life settlement market. He was previously Managing Director of Life Settlement Consulting & Management (LSCM), founded in 2004 and specialized in life settlement policy and portfolio valuations, and life expectancy analysis. He has published several articles and participated as speaker at a number of life settlement conferences. Previous to that he operated an investment advisory firm. From 1980 to 1993, he served in several capacities, including President and CEO the CFA Institute (and its predecessor organizations). While at CFA, he founded the continuing education program, was editor of the CFA Digest and supervised research projects funded by the Research Foundation of the ICFA. He began his career as an investment analyst with a Midwest life insurance company. Mr. Bayston has been Chairman of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation ($100 million), a member of the Hospital’s Finance Committee and a past member of the Board of the Institute for Quantitative Research and Finance (Q Group).