Planning for retirement, protecting your family, and creating generational wealth has never been more challenging than it is today. There are so many variables and choices to make that deciding which path is right for you can be a tough decision. You probably have assets in financial vehicles that made sense to purchase at the time but the circumstances of your life have changed, and it’s important to make sure your assets change with them.

The key to a successful retirement comes down to a financial skill that many people have spent their entire lives practicing – the ability to manage income. You’ve spent your entire life living within your means, managing your income, and saving money. When you retire, dealing with your assets as a lump sum may feel like a daunting prospect. You probably enlisted the help of a financial services professional who focuses on income planning to help you structure this plan.

But the truth of the matter is that if you know how to create a budget and stick to it, then you know how to create a retirement income plan that ensures your assets will be able to generate enough income to replace your old working salary. However, even after your income needs are met, you probably still have a sum of money left over.

What do you do with your lump sum of money? It’s such a large amount of money that you’re probably not going to intentionally spend it because most of your expenses in retirement are pretty predictable – golf, vacations, new clothes, etc. Or, if they’re not predictable, they’re at least fairly financially manageable.

So if you’re not going to intentionally spend this money and you have other safeguards in place, what are you going to do with this money? Most likely, you want to give it to loved ones or a charity as part of your legacy. But what do you do with it until then?

Let’s talk about rainy days. When you think about the people you know, some of the rainiest days are due to illness – the exorbitant cost of health care later in life can have a profound impact on your retirement income and lifestyle.

Ask yourself:

What would you do if you became ill?
What if you need someone to permanently take care of you?
Is long-term care insurance the best choice?

Two things that you can’t put a price on are family and health. There are “routine” emergencies and there are “exceptional” emergencies, and threats to our personal wellbeing or the wellbeing of our loved ones almost always count as the latter. For example, if your house burned down, it would be a devastating emotional loss: you would lose your pictures, important documents and keepsakes, but your homeowners insurance would most likely provide enough protection to keep your retirement income plan intact. But what will you do to make sure you loved ones and legacy are safe?


Recognizing the need for protection is easy although knowing the best way to position your assets so they can provide it can be challenging. Your financial landscape has changed over time so it’s important for the strategies you use to invest and protect your money to change with them. As you approach retirement, it’s critical that your money is properly positioned in the marketplace so that it will:

Be kept safe and accessible
Pass to your family or charity in the event you don’t spend it
Leverage the money for care if it is needed

Meeting with a financial advisor can help you maximize your assets, give it a purpose, and better prepare for that rainy day. You never know when a storm may hit and threaten your well-laid plans. Instead, with a little preparation now, you can plan on a retirement filled with sunny skies.