Have you ever had a full commission job during your working years? If so, you understand the unknown mindset. Even if you’ve had a good week, month, quarter or year….you’re not sure what next week, month, quarter or year brings so you often live conservatively….or maybe you should. On the flipside, full commission jobs often have a greater upside and ‘win big’ opportunity. For some, that appeal overshadows the unknown.

If you never had a full commission job, maybe the mindset behind the unknown did not appeal to you. You needed certainty, predictable income to live life….the known.

The unknown oftentimes paralyzes us. It prevents us from spending, doing, taking risks….living life.

With that said, it surprises me that so many people today are living the equivalent of mostly a ‘full commission retirement.’ Their guaranteed, lifetime income is oftentimes only social security. Their other dollars are often coming from investment withdrawals that may be too conservative because of the fear of future unknowns.

They spend their entire career saving and then in retirement they sometimes hoard their money out of fear. Fear that maybe the market crashes, interest rates stay low, they live to 100, healthcare costs, etc. And then…..they die.

What this means is they may have never enjoyed the dollars they saved so, ultimately, someone else gets to. There’s nothing wrong with providing a legacy but that should be part of the plan, not the default.

Retirement spending can be difficult because we can’t answer the 2 main questions: How long am I going to live? What returns am I going to get on my money? If we could, it’d be an easy math problem.

Questions to ask yourself as you prepare for retirement: Am I a commission person or do I prefer base salary? At minimum, how much of a base salary do I need to cover basic living expenses?

There are sources of guaranteed, lifetime income*, such as: Social Security, Pensions and Annuities. Figure out what your social security and pension (if available) will provide you. How do you feel about that amount? Do you need more base salary?

It’s okay to have unknowns in retirement but it’s not okay to go without a plan. A plan that addresses your fears can help you spend your $ – live your life.

You’ve maybe done a good job at saving. Now, what’s your retirement income plan?

*Guarantees are subject to the claims-paying ability of the underwriting issuer.