I’ve been preaching about the importance of securing true income in retirement for a long time. And for just as long, I have seen that financial firms and advisors tend to view retirement planning as simply the accumulation of savings before retirement and the drawing down of savings (often described as “deaccumulation”) after retirement.

Of course, saving is important. But creating a plan to turn that savings into reliable income after you stop working full-time is the real answer to enjoying a satisfying retirement.

When I wrote about the 40th anniversary of the 401(k), I argued that for all its value in helping people to save, it does not replace the traditional pension, which offers guaranteed income for life.

Put income into retirementI went so far as to say that a 401(k) or other retirement savings plan is only half a retirement plan.

That’s a pretty strong statement, but the analytics support it.

Our research shows that the weighted average of pre-retirement savings will make up slightly more than 50% of lifetime savings for an individual who:

  1. begins contributing to a 401(k) plan at age 30,
  2. earns average returns on the 401(k), and
  3. takes Required Minimum Distributions starting at age 70.

That “50% figure after retirement” is why I argue it is critical to treat retirement as a separate life stage with its own strategies – or what I call retirement income planning – to help you find the other 50%.

That’s why I developed Income Power, a simple calculator that will tell you how much guaranteed retirement income your savings will produce. With that information, you can start retirement income planning for you and your family.

Find out your own Income Power by answering a few simple questions. There is no obligation, and you will be closer to understanding how much income you have – and will need – in retirement.