4. You have more choices to make

We tend to think of retirement as an investment problem. But three of the most important choices you will make have nothing to do with investments. They are how much to save, how much is enough, and when to retire. Clearly these are interrelated. If you are concerned about your progress toward your goal, increasing the amount you set aside or adjusting your retirement date, or even scaling back your retirement spending goals, can make a huge impact.

5. You need to build your own pension

We seldom put it in these terms, but the goal of your retirement savings is to build your own pension. At some point in the future, your current stream of periodic income (i.e., your paychecks) will cease and you will need to replace it from whatever means available. This shifts the question from “how much have I saved,” to “how much income can I expect?”

Add these five reasons together and you get a picture of retirement that is more complicated than many people imagine, which is why it is critical to be guided by clear goals. BlackRock’s CoRITM Retirement Indexes can help people 55 and older estimate their retirement income potential, giving you a new way to measure how prepared you are to retire. Then you can work with your advisor to create a specific plan, balancing growth, risk and income generation, to help get you there.


Chip Castille, Managing Director, is head of the BlackRock Global Retirement Strategy Group.