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Can You Retire in 2024? A Real-Life Retirement Plan


In our recent video, "Can You Retire in 2024? A Real-Life Retirement Plan," we delve into the intricate process of retirement planning through the lens of a hypothetical couple, John and Mary Anderson. We talk through the key points discussed in the video, offering valuable insights into the complex world of retirement planning.

Understanding the Common Retirement Questions

Retirement planning typically revolves around four pivotal questions:

  1. When Can I Retire?

  2. How Much Can I Spend in Retirement?

  3. When Should I Draw Social Security?

  4. What If Something Goes Wrong?

These questions form the foundation of our discussion, guiding us through the complexities of financial planning for retirement.

Case Study: The Andersons' Retirement Plan

To illustrate these concepts, we introduce John and Mary Anderson, a fictional couple approaching retirement. John, aged 61, and Mary, aged 59, are contemplating retirement, with John aiming to retire at the end of 2024. Their financial landscape includes a combined annual income of $192,000, yearly expenses of $136,000 (including taxes), and investment assets totaling $2 million. This scenario sets the stage for a deep dive into the nuances of retirement planning.

Financial Planning and Cash Flow Analysis

A crucial step in retirement planning is analyzing the current financial status and forecasting future cash flows. We break down the Andersons' income plan, considering factors like salaries, Social Security benefits, and portfolio withdrawals. This comprehensive approach helps in visualizing their financial future, ensuring that their retirement plan is both realistic and sustainable.

Strategizing Social Security Benefits

One of the most critical decisions in retirement planning is determining the optimal time to start drawing Social Security benefits. This decision hinges on various factors, including life expectancy and the desire for higher monthly payouts. We explore the trade-offs between early withdrawal and deferring benefits, using the Andersons' situation as a case study. This part of the planning process is vital in maximizing retirement income while considering personal and financial circumstances.

Risk Management and Plan Adjustments

No retirement plan is complete without considering potential risks and the need for flexibility. We delve into the concept of the 4% rule and how it serves as a starting point for determining sustainable withdrawal rates from investment portfolios. Moreover, we conduct a 'retirement stress test' to simulate how the Andersons' plan would withstand significant market downturns, such as the 2008 financial crisis or the dot-com bubble. This exercise is crucial in understanding the robustness of the retirement plan and the need for potential adjustments.

Crafting a Personalized Retirement Strategy

Retirement planning is not a one-size-fits-all process. It requires a personalized approach that considers individual goals, financial situations, and risk tolerance. In the video, we emphasize the importance of crafting a plan that reflects the unique needs and preferences of each retiree. Whether it's adjusting spending habits, reevaluating investment strategies, or considering part-time work, each decision is tailored to fit the specific scenario of the retiree.


Retirement planning is a dynamic and ongoing process. It's about creating a road map that not only meets your financial needs but also adapts to life's unpredictability. Through the case study of the Andersons, we have shown how a comprehensive and personalized approach to retirement planning can lead to a secure and fulfilling retirement. We encourage viewers to consider these insights and strategies as they navigate their own path to retirement.


About The Author

Alchemist Wealth is led by the expertise of Andrew J. Tudor, CFP®, RICP®, CAP® and Fred Tudor III, AFC®, MBA. Alchemist Wealth serves clients as a fiduciary specializing in providing fee-only financial planning, investment management, and retirement planning services. With over 2 decades of combined experience in financial services, Fred and Andrew bring a wealth of knowledge and personalized solutions to meet your financial goals.

The information contained herein is intended to be used for educational purposes only and is not exhaustive. Diversification and/or any strategy that may be discussed does not guarantee against investment losses but are intended to help manage risk and return. If applicable, historical discussions and/or opinions are not predictive of future events. The content is presented in good faith and has been drawn from sources believed to be reliable. The content is not intended to be legal, tax or financial advice. Please consult a legal, tax or financial professional for information specific to your individual situation.

This content not reviewed by FINRA

Alchemist Wealth, LLC is registered as an Investment Adviser with the State of Ohio and only provides advisory services in states where registered or otherwise exempt from registration. All information provided herein is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be viewed as investment advice. Any links to third party information or data are believed to contain accurate information at the time of publishing.

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