Risk Assessment for Retirement Planning: What to Know

By Paul Chastain on March 15, 2023

As you approach retirement, there are a variety of important considerations to keep in mind, not just whether or not to take up pickleball. One of the biggest worries for many retirees is ensuring their funds last throughout their retirement. To help achieve financial stability in retirement, it's important to understand and prepare for a range of risk factors, including inflation, market fluctuations, lifespan, spending habits, and health. This can be achieved through a comprehensive risk assessment.

By taking a closer look at each of these risk factors, you can better understand their potential impact on your retirement funds and create a more secure financial plan for your golden years.

Risk Factors of Retirement

Longevity, or living a longer lifespan, can have a significant impact on retirement planning. As life expectancies continue to increase, the likelihood of outliving one's retirement savings becomes a growing concern. This means that individuals must plan for a potentially longer period of time in which they will need to have a steady source of income.

To prepare for a longer lifespan, retirees should consider strategies such as delaying the age at which they start drawing Social Security, which can increase their monthly payments. Additionally, investing in a lifetime income annuity can provide a guaranteed source of income for the future.

It's important for retirees to factor in the possibility of a longer lifespan when planning for retirement, as it can have a major impact on the sustainability of their financial security in their later years.


Market Volatility and Market Risk are two key factors that can greatly impact your retirement funds. Market volatility refers to the fluctuations and instability of the financial market, and market risk is the chance that your investments will lose value. Market risk is a common concern among retirees, as they have limited time to make up for any losses.

For instance, if the stock market experiences a downturn, your portfolio value could decrease, leaving you with less money for retirement. Market volatility can also make it difficult to determine when to invest, when to sell, and when to take distributions. This uncertainty can lead to fear and indecision, and may cause you to miss out on growth opportunities.

Additionally, market risk can also impact your investment strategy, as you may need to reduce your exposure to equities as you approach retirement. This can limit your potential for growth, but can also reduce your market risk, allowing you to preserve your retirement savings.

Overall, market volatility and market risk are critical considerations for retirees, and it's important to have a solid understanding of how they may impact your retirement funds. This can help you make informed investment decisions and ensure that your retirement is secure and comfortable.

Inflation is one of the most significant risk factors associated with retirement. Inflation refers to the general rise in prices over time, which can erode the purchasing power of your savings and retirement funds. This means that your hard-earned money may not be able to buy as much in the future as it can today. Over time, the cost of living, including housing, healthcare, and food expenses, can increase, leaving retirees struggling to make ends meet.

Retirees are particularly vulnerable to inflation, as they rely on fixed sources of income, such as pensions or Social Security, which may not keep pace with rising costs. This is why it's crucial to factor in inflation when planning for retirement. To mitigate the effects of inflation, some retirees choose to invest in assets that have the potential to grow with inflation, such as stocks, real estate, and commodities.

Others may choose to use a combination of both fixed and growth investments to balance their portfolios and reduce market risk. It's also important to plan for unexpected expenses, such as medical costs, which can rise rapidly with inflation. By considering the effects of inflation on your retirement plans, you can ensure that your nest egg will last throughout your Golden Years.

Overspending is a common risk factor that can greatly affect retirement funds. It is important to create a budget and stick to it, especially during retirement when there is no steady source of income. Overspending can quickly drain retirement savings and leave individuals struggling to make ends meet. It is important to have a clear understanding of monthly expenses and make adjustments where necessary to ensure that retirement funds last throughout their lifetime.

It's also a good idea to prioritize essential expenses such as healthcare and housing, and reduce spending on non-essential items such as dining out, entertainment, and travel. By staying disciplined with spending and making adjustments as needed, individuals can mitigate the risk of overspending and ensure a stable financial future during retirement.


Healthcare Expenses can have a significant impact on retirement, especially as people age and require more medical care. The cost of healthcare is constantly rising and it can be difficult to predict exactly how much you may need to set aside for medical expenses in retirement.

Some people may have chronic health conditions that require ongoing treatment, while others may require more significant medical care in the form of hospital stays or surgeries. Additionally, long-term care expenses, such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities, can also be a major drain on retirement savings.

To mitigate the impact of healthcare expenses on your retirement, it's important to plan ahead and prepare for the unexpected. This may involve setting aside money in a dedicated healthcare account or investing in a long-term care insurance policy.

You should also take an honest look at your own health history and consider factors such as your lifestyle, genetics, and overall health, to better estimate your healthcare expenses in retirement. Additionally, it's important to stay informed about changes in the healthcare industry and be proactive in managing your healthcare expenses as you age.

Making Preparations

Proactive preparation for the potential risks of retirement can help you strive for a more secure financial future. Consulting with financial advisors or estate planners may provide you with expert insight and personalized strategies to potentially manage these risks and attempt to safeguard your retirement savings.

General Disclosure

Not an offer to buy, nor a solicitation to sell securities. All investing involves risk of loss of some or all principal invested. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Speak to your finance and/or tax professional prior to investing. Any information provided is for informational purposes only.

Securities offered through Emerson Equity LLC Member: FINRA/SIPC. Only available in states where Emerson Equity LLC is registered. Emerson Equity LLC is not affiliated with any other entities identified in this communication.

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Article written by Paul Chastain

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