Paycheck for Life


The goal of retirement planning is to position your retirement savings so that it can generate a sustainable, inflation adjusted, lifetime income for you in your retirement.


The sources that are available to you are as follows:

            1.    Social Security.  Social Security will provide a portion of your income in retirement based upon your earnings history.  The income social security provides is sustainable, in that it is the government that will be providing you with the payments for your life and they will not run out until you die.  It is also adjusted for inflation with Cost of Living increases built into it to keep pace with inflation or the increased cost of living.  Lastly, it will continue for your entire life, no matter how long you live regardless of how much money you paid into it.

 For a married couple, there are 81 different combinations as to when and how you can elect to take your Social Security benefits.  On order to optimize which is the best case scenario for your particular situation you need to weigh the factors of taking your benefits early against waiting until full retirement age or waiting further until age 70.  The wrong strategy can cost a married couple hundreds of thousands of dollars over their retirement lifespan if they guess wrong.  Profession help in analyzing this should be sought out as there is no “cookie cutter’ approach to selecting the correct strategy.

            2.     Pensions.  Whether it is provided by a government municipality or a private employer, a pension also provides a sustainable, lifetime income.  It may or may not be adjusted for inflation and if you are married, and want to protect your spouse, you may elect a spousal benefit that results in a lower monthly payment to the employee.  However, it will provide a lifetime income for you and/or your spouse.          

            3.    Savings/Investments.  The third available source of funds for retirement is your savings and investments.  Most of these are in IRA’s, 401(k)’s CD’s or Money Markets and may even be in other investments such as rental real estate.

The goal in retirement, if you really want to be secure, is to position your money so that 80%-85% of your monthly retirement income comes from sources that will consistently pay a set amount each and every month to you, that it will go up with the cost of living and will last your entire lifetime, no matter how long you live and regardless of how much money you paid into the plan.  Social Security and Pensions will do that for you, but they generally will not make up 80%-85% of your monthly retirement income. 

However, 401(k)’s IRA’s and CD’s will only provide you with a set monthly income that will last as long as the money in the account lasts.  If there is a dip in the market and the value of the account goes down, as you continue to draw a set amount from it, that account will now be depleted sooner because there will be less money in the account.

Also, if inflation goes up dramatically and you need to increase the amount you withdraw to maintain the same purchasing power, again, the amount in the account will be depleted sooner than you might have planned.

Lastly, if you live too long you may draw out all the money assuming your withdrawal rate was based on your living to age 85 and your still going strong at age 90.

What if you could position some of your 401(k) or IRA or CD funds in an account that would provide you with a lifetime income, adjusted for inflation like Social Security or a Pension?  Would you be interested in learning about how you could do that and potentially put 80%-85% of your monthly retirement income in sources that will provide you with a paycheck for Life?


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Joseph Adelizzi

Admitted USTax Court, 1987

Cal. Ins. Lic. 0768932

IRS CAF No.: 036-45708R



Information Not Legal Advice. This article has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information in this article is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state to state, so that some information in this article may not be correct for your jurisdiction. Finally, the information contained in this article is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this article cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your state.

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Joe Adelizzi