How to Combat Inflation for a Secure Retirement Lifestyle

Facing the challenges of inflation can be daunting, especially as you plan for retirement. Learn actionable strategies to maintain your lifestyle without falling victim to the rising costs. 

– Discover how inflation has changed the cost of living over time, with a comparison of prices from the past to the present. 

– Understand the difference between working and retirement investment portfolios and how to adjust accordingly. 

– Learn the importance of knowing the risk level in your portfolio and how to control it to outpace inflation. 

– Explore effective tax planning strategies that can potentially save you a significant amount during retirement. 

– Find out how survivorship benefits in Social Security work and what marriage can mean for your eligibility. 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

TRANSCRIPT

Molly Nelson [00:00:02]: 

Are you prepared for the rising cost of retirement? How to plan for inflation so you can live the lifestyle you want in retirement? Next on Retiring Today. Welcome to Retiring Today. I’m Molly Nelson here with Haley Gutschenritter and Loren Merkle. They’re both CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ and Loren is a Certified Financial Fiduciary®, and a Retirement Income Certified Professional®. Today we’re talking about inflation. We’ve all felt inflation over the course of our lifetime. I have a very vivid memory of filling up my very first car back in the mid 1990s gas was just ninety-nine cents a gallon then. 

Loren Merkle [00:00:51]: 

Yeah. Wouldn’t we like to have ninety-nine cents a gallon today? My most vivid memory of less expensive gas was also in, had to be in the mid-nineties. My brother and I were going on a road trip. So, this isn’t in Iowa where you probably filled up. I think it was around Georgia area, maybe Atlanta. 

Molly Nelson [00:01:07]: 

Okay. 

Loren Merkle [00:01:07]: 

Seventy cents a gallon. And I remember that because it was a lot less expensive than what we were paying here. And I was like, seventy cents a gallon? That’s fantastic. And here we are. It cost probably under $20 to fill up that tank. Just the other week I filled up and it was over $100 for my truck. 

Haley Gutschenritter [00:01:23]: 

So, $20, I must be aging myself because I’ve never spent that low on gas money. 

Molly Nelson [00:01:30]: 

No. And some of our viewers who are getting ready to retire, you can remember a lot less than $0.70. We’re taking a little walk down memory lane. Memory lane. Let’s do one more. 

Haley Gutschenritter [00:01:39]: 

Let’s look at groceries. 

Molly Nelson [00:01:40]: 

Let’s look at groceries over the last 20 years because we’re going to put some real numbers around this. First off, we’ve got kind of a sack of groceries. A side-by-side comparison here. A dozen fresh aids eggs in 2002, $1.03 in 2022, $1.66.

Haley Gutschenritter [00:01:55]:

White bread $1.00 in 2002, and today it’s $1.64. 

Loren Merkle [00:01:59]: 

One pound of sliced bacon, everybody’s favorite, $3.24 20 years later, $5.21.

Molly Nelson [00:02:07]: 

And this sack of groceries, you see the items there on your screen. The total spend in 2002, $11.55. To keep it round, we went to 2022, $18.58. So it’s one thing, Haley, to take a look back. We all kind of know what things have done over time and we can remember, you know, certain time periods. But looking forward and into retirement and what things would cost, that feels tricky. Yes. 

Haley Gutschenritter [00:02:31]: 

Forward thinking is key because inflation is inevitable. It’s getting harder and harder each day to afford the things that we need. So, we must have time on our side. And so, the sooner we can start building out a plan and implementing strategies to combat inflation, the better off your retirement would be. 

Molly Nelson [00:02:45]: 

But, Loren, this is often one of the overlooked parts of when people are getting to retire, they just don’t think about inflation. What it can do. 

Loren Merkle [00:02:51]: 

Well, it is because when you retire, you’re thinking about income, you think about where it’s going to come from. You think about all the fun things you want to do in retirement that you didn’t have time to do before. Inflation. So sneaky. I mean, it’s like you’re walking on a treadmill and the treadmill just slowly starts to increase. If you don’t increase your pace with it, eventually something bad will happen. Same thing in retirement, except for if you’re ten years into retirement and you haven’t increased your, your pace, then that can be really devastating because your lifestyle is the one, that is the thing that’s going to suffer from not being able to increase your, your income with inflation. And that’s the last thing in retirement you want to be impacted. 

Molly Nelson [00:03:30]: 

And I think you have a good example of not only what inflation can do to retirement, but how to plan for it, because we don’t want to be a victim to it. We don’t want to have to change our lifestyle or cut back on all the things we’re enjoying in retirement. 

Loren Merkle [00:03:41]: 

Yeah, two things, the impact of inflation. And then the most important thing, what can we do about it to combat inflation? This is a surprise for a lot of people. Let’s say you’re 60 years old., You have a portfolio in retirement of $1 million dollars, and you need $6,000 a month to afford your lifestyle. But we fast forward 15 short years in retirement. That same lifestyle cost of $6,000 is no longer $6,000. In fact, it’s $9,300 a month. We keep accelerating 15 more years in retirement. $9,300 a month turns into $14,500 a month. 

Loren Merkle [00:04:20]: 

Remember, you retired at age 60 spending $6,000 a month, and now it’s nearly $15,000 a month for the same lifestyle. That doesn’t include any excess costs that you might need for long-term care or health care. This is just the same lifestyle that you were enjoying at age 60 when you retire. So that is significant. And this goes back to what Haley was talking about. We cannot let this sneak up on us. We must think forward, because if you, if you start planning for inflation at 75, then there’s very little that you’re going to be able to do with this. So, 5, 10 years before you retire, you want to start implementing, implementing strategies to help combat inflation. 

Loren Merkle [00:04:59]: 

One of the biggest strategies you can implement is how you construct your portfolio. And one of the biggest unknowns about retiring and portfolio construction is your portfolio should look different when you retire than when you’re working. Because the biggest difference of retiring versus working, when you’re working, you’re putting money into your portfolio. When you’re retired, your lifestyle is going to be dependent upon your portfolio and the income it can generate. So, what we did here for you is we gave you an idea of what a working, what a portfolio would look like when you’re working versus what a portfolio could look like when you’re retired. And this goes against the grain of probably what you’ve always heard about investment portfolios and risk. You’ve always heard the more risk, the better reward, where that’s not necessarily the case, especially in retirement. Let’s take a look. 

Loren Merkle [00:05:52]: 

We have five years of performance, starting with that $1 million. This is the working year portfolios. This is the retirement years portfolio. Year one, the working portfolio earned 15%. You’re happy. That’s a good return. The working portfolio earned 10%. And if I was to ask you which portfolio, would you prefer? Of course, we’re all going to be over here, but let’s look at year two. 

Loren Merkle [00:06:17]: 

Year two of the market also does well. The working portfolio also does well at 16%. The retirement portfolio, a modest 11% return. The one thing that’s constant about markets is they go up and they go down. On average, we see recessions every five to six years. So, if you’re lucky, over the course of your retirement, you’re going to see four, five, six recessions. So it’s not a matter of if, it’s when. And then how does your portfolio react. 

Loren Merkle [00:06:47]: 

And that’s what we saw in year three, when the working year portfolio went down 37%. Now, that’s one thing. If you’re working and you’re putting money into it, then you can actually benefit from that type of discount in the market. But if you’re retired, that could have long lasting, devastating impacts on your portfolio, which means it could severely impact your lifestyle. The retirement portfolio was down only 10%, significantly better than the 37%. And because it didn’t drop as much, that means it doesn’t have this huge hole that it has to dig out of to get back to even after three years. Remember, we started with a million in the working portfolio, only $840,000. A million here, almost $1.1 million. 

Loren Merkle [00:07:36]: 

This is a much better experience in retirement than the working portfolio. Year four, the market comes back up $950,000 almost $1.2 million. And finally, the fifth year, almost $1.1 million, 3% return over here. Not the best, however, because you didn’t suffer a huge loss in year three. That is going to work for a one-year type of performance. And what’s really important is the long-term experience. After the five years working portfolio made $82,000. Not too bad. 

Loren Merkle [00:08:09]: 

But if we’re really looking to combat inflation and keep up your lifestyle with the pace of inflation, we need more of this $211,000 increase with a total difference of $128,000. That is significant if we’re looking to improve our lifestyle, or at least keep our lifestyle the same. That retirement type experience is, is what retirees need.

Molly Nelson [00:08:38]: 

Most people are saying, I want that second portfolio in retirement. What’s the biggest difference between the working portfolio and the retirement portfolio? 

Loren Merkle [00:08:44]: 

Yeah, there’s three things. One is we must focus on transparency. Transparency in the fees. A lot of portfolios have hidden fees. If you can decrease the hidden fees or just the portfolio cost altogether, that’s immediate return to you. The other thing around transparency is to make sure you’re truly diversified. To be truly diversified, to create a portfolio experience like that, you have to know what you own. And there’s a lot of working type of portfolios that just don’t offer that transparency. 

Loren Merkle [00:09:14]: 

It’s really hard to be truly diversified. And then the other thing is control your risk. Understand how much risk you’re taking, make sure it’s appropriate to beat inflation, beat taxation, and then grow it on top of that, which is significantly different when you’re working. If you’re 40 years old and you lose 37%, and it’s painful, but it’s not going to be the end of the world in retirement. We just can’t do that. 

Molly Nelson [00:09:36]: 

And the biggest thing too, the very end of that too, Haley, is to think long term, to be patient, to understand that retirement isn’t just one or two years, it can be 20 or 30 years. 

Haley Gutschenritter [00:09:46]: 

Yeah, most people are hoping to have a retirement that’s 20 to 30 years long, maybe even more so. It’s extremely important to be patient. But what allows people to be patient is by having a plan, knowing how each component works within their plan, and how much risk they’re taking in their portfolio, so that they can understand what could happen when a market does correct or we go through a bad market cycle. All of those things, knowing what’s going to take place and understanding your plan is what allows them to have patience to get them through retirement. 

Molly Nelson [00:10:13]: 

We’ll continue talking about how to plan for inflation in your retirement. Next. 

Voice Over [00:10:57]: 

Do you wonder if you have enough saved for retirement? Will your money last as long as you do? Will taxes, health care costs and inflation derail your retirement? Get answers. Schedule a 15 Minute Retirement Check-Up Call today. We can cover a lot in 15 minutes, including strategies you can implement now to start your retirement journey. Schedule a call at MerkleRetire.com the first step to a confident retirement starts with a simple phone call. 

Voice Over [00:11:29]: 

The Merkle Retirement Planning team provides personable and professional expertise unrivaled in this area. They include us in every step of the planning process. The peace of mind provided to us by the Merkle team allows us to fully enjoy this special time of our lives. Instead of feeling snake bit, we feel confident that with the Merkle Retirement Planning team at our sides, we can navigate any challenge that comes our way. 

Molly Nelson [00:12:09]: 

Welcome back to Retiring Today. Now it’s time for Your journey Your questions this is when we answer questions from you. These are questions that we get during our online Journey to Retirement workshop. Here’s today’s question. If a person is collecting a deceased spouse’s Social Security benefit, will they lose that benefit if they remarry? 

Haley Gutschenritter [00:12:29]: 

Oh, that’s such a good question. It honestly gives me a little bit of chills because I’ve seen this question play out, and unfortunately, it fell on the wrong side of the coin. But the special thing about this question is they’re talking about survivorship benefits. And so, there’s a lot of caveats to this, but one important caveat is that you can start collecting survivorship benefits as soon as age 60, not 62. So, most people think of Social Security and they think about their own primary benefit. The soonest age of eligibility is 62. But for survivorship, you can start collecting survivorship as soon as age 60. Only if you haven’t remarried before 60. 

Haley Gutschenritter [00:13:07]: 

If you remarry after age 60, you are eligible. And so, I was speaking to a woman after a workshop, and we were talking about this, and she kind of came up to me a little bit frustrated, and she told me that I ruined her night. And so I was immediately thinking, oh, no, what did I do? Was my public speaking horrible? And she said, no, no, no. I just. I listened to this, and I realized that I got remarried about six months before my 60th birthday. And if I hadn’t done that, she could have had an additional $1,500 a month for retirement based on her deceased husband’s Social Security.  

Haley Gutschenritter [00:13:46]: 

Yes, that’s real life. And I jokingly told her, you know, hey, if you get divorced, then you become re-eligible. But I don’t know if they wanted to jump through all those hoops. I’m not sure if they did that. But that is a huge, significant amount of income that she could have had for life if she hadn’t remarried before age 60. 

Molly Nelson [00:14:01]: 

And remind me of survivorship benefit. That is, when you were married for a certain amount of time, and then your spouse passes? That’s when you’re eligible for a survivorship benefit? 

Loren Merkle [00:14:10]: 

Yes, that’s correct. You have to be married for a certain amount of time, then your spouse passes away. Then you become eligible at the age of 60. So going back to this question, she must. She didn’t tell us, or we don’t even know if it’s her. But this person didn’t tell us what age they were. But they did say they’re already collecting, so they had to be over age 60, which means they could remarry because they were over age 60. Yeah. 

Molly Nelson [00:14:31]: 

And I think a lot of times people get maybe three elections in their minds. 62 was the first time I could elect Full Retirement Age, which is 66 or 67. Right? Or 70, when the benefit doesn’t grow anymore. But, Loren, in the online Journey to Retirement workshop, you definitely show people, you kind of open up their eyes that there are many more options than three when it comes to Social Security. 

Loren Merkle [00:14:51]: 

And we really think that’s a good thing because the complexity can actually work to your advantage if you understand how to apply that complexity to your situation. And that’s what we demonstrate in the online Journey to Retirement workshop with our hypothetical couple, John and Sue, by using all of the options that they have available to them instead of just the three that’s displayed on the statement or when you log on online. They were able to get more than $80,000 of lifetime benefit by maximizing, optimizing their Social Security, using the complexity to their advantage. And I’ll give a little tease. A lot of times with Social Security, people say, take it as soon as you can, take it as soon as you can. Or delay and take advantage of the 8% guaranteed increase on the lifetime benefit from Full Retirement Age of 70. We didn’t do either of those with John and Sue. We used what we call a combination strategy, and we give you the details in the online Journey to Retirement workshop. 

Molly Nelson [00:15:45]: 

You’re going to want to meet John and Sue. They go on a Journey to Retirement with our retirement planners. And here’s what happens. Not only do they elect Social Security, they make other retirement decisions. You will enjoy seeing what they do, seeing what’s coming in retirement. It’s going to give you a great look at what lies ahead on your journey to retirement. Whether you’re married, single, widowed or divorced, you will learn a lot. There’s some information on your screen right now. 

Molly Nelson [00:16:08]: 

You can go to RetireWithMerkle.com. Haley, who is a good candidate to attend the online Journey to Retirement workshop? 

Haley Gutschenritter [00:16:28]: 

Well, anyone who’s 57 and older, close to retirement, and is looking to start thinking about these decisions and how it’s going to be implemented and affect their 10, 20, 30-year retirement. What I love about the planning stages is that it really begins to show you all of our six different pillars and how those work in conjunction with the other. We talked a lot about Social Security, and there’s already so many decisions to make with that. But how does that decision impact your investments? How does that decision impact your tax plan? And that you can start to see as you go through that workshop. 

Molly Nelson [00:16:59]: 

And if you take nothing else away, Loren, an extra $80,000 to spend in retirement is a great thing. 

Loren Merkle [00:17:03]: 

And that’s just on Social Security. We talk about how they can save six figures on their retirement tax bill. So just by tuning in, you can save a bundle. But the primary benefit is the confidence that you have going to and through retirement. When you’re talking with your friends or your coworkers or neighbors and you’re talking about Social Security, it’s often what are you going to do with your Social Security? What do you do? What should I do with, right. Very few people know because very few people have that comprehensive retirement plan. That plan is the roadmap to these decisions and confidence. 

Voice Over [00:17:49]: 

Do I have enough saved for retirement? When should I take Social Security? Which Medicare option is best? How do I plan for inflation? Sometimes the road to retirement starts with more questions than answers. Were here to help? Join us for our upcoming Journey to Retirement workshop. Get answers and start your retirement journey with confidence. Our online workshop includes information on Secure Act 2.0 and changing retirement rules. Visit RetireWithMerkle.com to register for an upcoming workshop. Your retirement journey starts now. 

Voice Over [00:18:20]: 

Anytime I have even the smallest question about my accounts or what effect the latest tax law might have on my situation, the Merkle Retirement Planning team is always there and quick to help. I’m so glad they treat you like, well, like family. I’m so happy to have such an excellent team working for my future and ensuring I do the best to achieve my financial goals. Merkle Retirement Planning your retirement starts here. 

Voice Over [00:18:50]: 

You dream of a happy retirement, but there are some big questions to answer. Do I have enough saved? When should I take Social Security? How will I pay for health care and keep up with inflation? Go to MerkleRetire.com to schedule a 15 Minute Retirement Check-Up Call to talk directly with a Retirement Planner and get answers to your important retirement questions. The first step to your retirement starts with a 15 Minute Retirement Check-Up Call. 

Molly Nelson [00:19:29]: 

Welcome back to Retiring Today. I’m Molly Nelson here with Haley Gutschenritter and Loren Merkle. And we’re talking about inflation, how to plan forward in retirement. So we’ve got some action steps for you. Number one, invest with inflation in mind. 

Loren Merkle [00:19:41]: 

And how you beat inflation is to make sure you are diversified and stay away from the temporary traps. And that’s what we’re really seeing in this environment. With interest rates higher than what they’ve been for 15 to 20 years, you can go to the bank and maybe get four or 5% with a short-term safe product. Very tempting. You just want to be careful not to put too much of the portfolio, especially when interest rates are going to go down now that product matures and you don’t have anywhere to go to get something comparable. Long term investing is the best way. Diversify, just like the work, the working versus the retirement portfolio that we showed earlier, you can take risk off the table, control your downside to a reasonable amount for you and your plan, and still combat inflation long term just by making sure you have a very intentionally designed portfolio. 

Molly Nelson [00:20:31]: 

I’m glad you said risk, because that leads us to our next action step, which is understand your risk, because it’s easy for him to say take risk off the table. But I think people at home are going, well, how do I do that? 

Haley Gutschenritter [00:20:41]: 

Well, often when families come and find us, they don’t understand how much risk they’re taking. And that’s why we quantify that for them. We basically sit down with them, and we say, based on the way that your portfolio is invested, if we were to go through a really bad market cycle, you can lose x amount of dollars. So, if you see your $1 million portfolio drop $250,000 in a bad market cycle, how’s that going to make you feel? And better yet, would we still be able to accomplish everything that you want to accomplish in retirement? So, it’s so important for you to understand your risk. And that’s why when we sit down together, we define that spectrum. This is how much risk we need to take to beat inflation and taxation. We can’t take too much risk because we don’t want to blow up when the market blows up. But anywhere within that spectrum, if you’re comfortable with it, that’s where we need to lie to accomplish our retirement goals. 

Molly Nelson [00:21:27]: 

And Loren, do you find that people are usually taking more risk than they want to as they’re getting closer to retirement? 

Loren Merkle [00:21:33]: 

Typically, that’s exactly what we see, and it is a big surprise. The good news is, is that with the market up, this is a great time for you to discover how much risk you’re taking, because then you can take action. If the market’s way down, what you don’t want to do is be selling positions when it’s really depreciated. So, understand how much risk you’re taking. Do that analysis. We do that as a part of our overall process. And then if you’re taking the amount of risk that you feel comfortable with, fantastic. Now you have more confidence, you feel good about it. 

Loren Merkle [00:22:04]: 

If you’re taking too much risk, now you can do something about it. If you’re not taking enough risk, it is a great opportunity to take advantage of the overall environment as well. 

Haley Gutschenritter [00:22:13]: 

And this is something that we walk through with our clients as well. It’s not just about understanding your risk, but also understanding the intentions and the purpose behind each investment that you have, we have different bucketing strategies. Maybe this strategy is to provide income. This strategy is to grow the portfolio. This strategy is to protect against the downside. We need a diversified portfolio that’s accomplishing different things, because when we see different economic conditions, we don’t want everything reacting the same way. 

Molly Nelson [00:22:39]: 

Action step number three is have a tax plan. Of course, if you have a tax plan, you can have some more money to spend in retirement, and that’ll help you lift that $14,500 a month lifestyle at age 90. 

Loren Merkle [00:22:51]: 

In retirement, it’s not about what you make. It’s about what you get to keep and then what you get to spend. Taxes is the number one risk that people face as they go through retirement. And one way to quantify what that risk is is if you have a million dollars in a pre-tax account, like a 401(k) or IRA you never pay taxes on before. Over a projected 25-year retirement, your retirement tax bill could be $500,000 or more. That is an astonishing number. That’s a big number. And for a lot of people, they have no idea. 

Loren Merkle [00:23:25]: 

Once you quantify what your tax risk is, then you can incorporate strategies to really decrease that. In the online Journey to Retirement workshop, our hypothetical couple, John and Sue, saves six figures over $100,000 off the course of their retirement tax bill just by implementing some simple tax planning strategies. 

Molly Nelson [00:23:45]: 

Okay, so $80,000. John and Sue are up on Social Security, and then they’re up over $100,000 on tax planning. Everybody wants that extra $200,000 to spend. 

Loren Merkle [00:23:55]: 

Absolutely. Talk about beating inflation. That is the number one way to do it. Combine these different strategies that now you have available to you because you’re looking to retire that you’ve never really had available to you before when you’re working, and then that will set you up in a really, really comfortable place for retirement in all of these decisions that you’re making, which many of those are permanent decisions you feel really confident about. 

Molly Nelson [00:24:18]: 

Okay, I’ve got one more action step. Here it is. Take action. It seems pretty obvious, but here’s the thing about a lot of these things: ignoring inflation, Haley won’t make it go away because it’ll still be there in retirement? 

Haley Gutschenritter [00:24:29]: 

Yeah. Ignoring it is just going to put you in a worse position. We must confront the things that sometimes we don’t really want to look into that much because it’s our reality. So, we need to be realistic when we’re designing the plant, what are your expenses? Knowing what it’s going to cost you money out the door to live the lifestyle that you want. We need to know what that amount is, because then we need to put that in the plan, factor in inflation, and then drive it out 10, 20, 30 years down the road to really get a realistic perspective of what retirement could look for you so that you can accomplish your goals. 

Molly Nelson [00:24:58]: 

And you can’t take action, Loren, unless you know what you need to take action on. And that’s where this online Journey to Retirement workshop can really be helpful. 

Loren Merkle [00:25:05]: 

And one of the things we really do in this workshop is we introduce the idea of what a retirement plan is. Most people think that a retirement plan, retirement plan is their investments because that’s how we all grew up, right? Let’s contribute to our four ones and our IRAs, and that’s what’s going to propel us to and through retirement. But as you get closer to retirement, intuitively, you start to realize there’s decisions you have to make you’ve never had to make before. We address those decisions in this online Journey to Retirement workshop. Even better than that, we provide actionable strategies that people can take away, incorporate almost immediately to help them on their way to and through retirement. To beat inflation, beat taxation, create a legacy plan. So, whatever’s left over from when you pass goes in the most efficient way to your loved ones and charities and much, much more. 

Molly Nelson [00:25:49]: 

And sometimes this stuff gets confusing. And the nice thing about the online Journey to Retirement workshop is that you can ask questions during that online Journey to Retirement workshop, here’s all the details you need, I promise. You want to meet John and Sue. Whether you’re married, like John and Sue, maybe single, divorced, or widowed, there is a lot of good information here because you’re going on a journey. You’re going to learn all of the things that are coming. When it comes to your journey to retirement, you can sign up and learn, get comfortable because it’s going to be almost 2 hours well spent, 2 hours. 

Loren Merkle [00:26:17]: 

Of great information that you can use to propel yourself to and through retirement. Answer questions that you’ve had, come up with questions you didn’t even know you had. There’s so much information. And you can be comfortable. You can view this from the comfort of your own home. You can sit on the couch. You can enjoy it. There’s a workbook that comes with it. 

Loren Merkle [00:26:35]: 

So, you can take notes and follow along with the workbook as well. There’s really no reason not to take advantage of it when we’re talking about something as important as the rest of your life, your retirement. 

Molly Nelson [00:26:46]: 

Your retirement is important. That’s why we talk about it on this show. It’s Retiring Today and we thank you for watching. 

Voice Over [00:26:58]: 

Do I have enough saved for retirement? When should I take Social Security? Which Medicare option is best? How do I plan for inflation? Sometimes the road to retirement starts with more questions than answers. We’re here to help. Join us for our upcoming Journey to Retirement workshop. Get answers and start your retirement journey with confidence. Our online workshop includes information on Secure Act 2.0 and changing retirement rules. Visit RetireWithMerkle.com to register for an upcoming workshop. Your retirement journey starts now. 

Voice Over [00:27:29]: 

You dream of a happy retirement, but there are some big questions to answer first. Do I have enough saved? When should I take Social Security? How will I pay for health care and keep up with inflation? Go to MerkleRetire.com to schedule a 15 Minute Retirement Check-Up Call to talk directly with a Retirement Planner and get answers to your important retirement questions. The first step to your retirement starts with a 15 Minute Retirement Check-Up Call.

–––

We are an independent financial services firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of investment and insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. The content and examples shared are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or serve as the sole basis for making financial decisions. Individuals are encouraged to consult with a qualified professional before making any decisions about their personal financial situation. Our firm is not permitted to offer legal advice. Investment Advisory Services offered through Elite Retirement Planning, LLC. Insurance Services offered through MRP Insurance, LLC. 

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL

Visual-Insights-Newsletter-Ad_v2

Sign-up for our Visual Insights Newsletter for the latest retirement information and strategies – straight to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Elections and Your Retirement | Managing Market Uncertainty

In this episode of Retiring Today, Elections and Your Retirement, we dive into how market volatility is influenced by election cycles and effective strategies you can employ to safeguard your investments. Whether you’re apprehensive about the upcoming election’s impact on the stock market or curious about the potential changes to Social Security and how they…

Read More...

Early Retirement Strategies | 8 Reasons to Leave the Workforce Sooner

In this episode, Retirement Planners Clint Huntrods and Loren Merkle delve into the compelling reasons to consider retiring early. Discover the benefits of a more active retirement, the financial strategies to make it feasible, and how to plan for health care and Social Security.   – Learn about the significance of time as a crucial factor…

Read More...
Blue background thumbnail image, Chawn Honkomp smiling headshot wearing a suit

Simplifying Tax Strategies For Your Retirement

Discover simple yet effective tax strategies for retirement.  – Understanding the massive scope of the U.S. tax code and its implications on personal finance.  – Explore the concept of tax loss harvesting and how it can reduce your tax bill.  – Unravel the mysteries of Roth accounts, including contributions, growth, and distributions.  – Learn about…

Read More...
Retire During Inflation Blue Thumbnail with Haley Gutschenritter headshot

How to Combat Inflation for a Secure Retirement Lifestyle

Facing the challenges of inflation can be daunting, especially as you plan for retirement. Learn actionable strategies to maintain your lifestyle without falling victim to the rising costs.  – Discover how inflation has changed the cost of living over time, with a comparison of prices from the past to the present.  – Understand the difference…

Read More...
Plan Your Taxes in Retirement - Blue TV Set - YouTube Thumbnail Clint Huntrods Retirement Planner

Retirement Strategies | How to Stop Leaving Money on the Table

Don’t leave retirement money on the table due to taxes! We’re diving deep into strategic planning to save you potentially thousands in tax dollars.  – Learn about the whopping $650 billion in tax savings retirees could utilize each year with proper planning.  – Discover why traditional savings accounts, like IRAs and 401(k)s, could be a…

Read More...
Blue background with text "Is Your Income Enough" and headshot of Loren Merkle in a suit

Maximizing Your Social Security | Strategies for a Smart Election

Navigating Social Security benefits can be daunting, especially when you’re on the cusp of retirement. Experienced Retirement Planner Loren Merkle breaks down the complexities to help you maximize Social Security options.  – Explore the difference between taking Social Security early vs. at Full Retirement Age (FRA) and how health and longevity play into this decision. …

Read More...

Ready to take your retirement to the next level?

Let's chat! Schedule a RetireReady Call to talk with a retirement planner about your retirement vision.

Ready to take your retirement to the next level?

Let's chat! Schedule a RetireReady Call to talk with a retirement planner about your retirement vision.

Call Now Button