Along with how much you need to retire, people are often concerned about exactly how to get there. They are often very relieved to learn that there are lots of different ways to patch together the right assets and investments to provide for their retirement, and also that most people have at least some of the pieces.
A former co-worker and friend told me not long ago that she was concerned that her investment portfolio was not large enough to support her future retirement needs. Reviewing her investment portfolio of $24,000, her concerns appeared to be well founded. She and her husband had never placed an emphasis on building an investment portfolio, including not funding tax-free retirement accounts over the years. Working with an adviser to dig deeper into her overall financial picture, however, she had no reason to be concerned at all!
She and her husband each had their own businesses that, if they could be successfully sold, would be good contributors to their retirement income needs. However, like many small businesses, there was not a clear future buyer for either business, so this source of future income was by no means certain. Fortunately, both businesses carried term life insurance policies on each owner to provide a cushion if something happened to either one. It was agreed that those policies should remain in place until and if the businesses were sold in the future.
You are probably asking at this point why there is no reason to worry? Over the years, both she and her husband bought the buildings in which their businesses were housed and owned them personally. They had been focusing on paying down the mortgages on these commercial buildings with their savings.
Their plan is to hold on to these buildings in retirement as an income source. The contribution that income from the buildings will make each month, along with other sources of income they have, is enough to support a comfortable monthly expense level for them.