How I Designed My Own Retirement Plan

I have lots of experience in the insurance and retirement industries. While the knowledge gained in those experiences enables me to offer Go2Income’s unique retirement income planning solutions, it’s one thing to espouse a point of view, and quite another to put it into practice. With success.

In this new monthly series, From Jerry’s Desk, I will share my personal experience and the strategies (but not my personal numbers) that I have implemented for myself and my family.

From Jerry's Desk

Securing income first is a philosophical – not numerical – approach

“Income first” has allowed me to “retire” from corporate life and start a new business – Go2Income – with the hope of helping others secure the retirement they want, from travelling to finding the perfect lifestyle and even being an entrepreneur.

I recognized that this Go2Income business would not make money right away. So I needed the income from my financial assets (my only real estate holdings are for personal use) to cover my expenses – without additional risk.

Secure income facilitates your goals and aspirations. And that’s why it comes first.

Only when I was certain that my retirement income was solid could I make plans for my new business. And just as in business planning, I created a retirement plan that looked to the future and guided my decisions about the present. I’ve described to people that my business is the “micro-cap” part of my investment portfolio – no immediate cash flow but lots of upside.  So, at the same time I was creating a business plan, I was creating a retirement income plan. 

Applying Classic Planning to My Personal Retirement Plan

I was taught that every plan (business or personal) ought to have a mission, objectives, strategy and tactics.


To create a secure retirement for my wife and me, and leave a reasonable legacy for my heirs.


To create secure steams of income that are independent of market results. And to push market risk and market growth to the kids and grandkids.


Create enough secure income from dividends and interest, as well as annuity payments, to cover a generous budget. Minimize withdrawals of capital that are subject to market results and the highest tax bills.


From a tactical standpoint, work with my investment advisors to create a diversified high dividend portfolio and a municipal bond portfolio. Add higher-yielding taxable securities, if necessary, to deliver the desired cash flow. Convert the portion of remaining savings to annuity payments for both me and my wife to meet our goals.

More personal considerations

  • We didn’t want to be dependent on our kids late in retirement
  • We want to deliver a legacy to them as efficiently as possible.
  • We want to maximize the after-tax spendable income.
  • We don’t want to compromise on our living space or location.  

More on this in later editions.

Why I think what I think

I’m a baby Boomer, and this is information I have developed to prepare my retirement plan. I’ve done the classroom learning; I have also lived it, not speculated about it There are other approaches to planning your retirement– asset allocation is popular with financial advisors — but my gut is that if you don’t prioritize your income, your retirement won’t be as effective. This may be self-serving but as someone with years of experience, I can’t tell you off the top of my head what $1 million of savings will produce, unless I detail the income. So neither you nor your advisor can.

In future articles of this series, I will discuss more specifics about building income and legacy.

In the meantime, if you have questions about your retirement, submit them to me, and I will get back with specific answers.