The Retirement Income Process

Do you want a reliable retirement income stream over the duration of your retirement?


The Retirement Income Process provides the framework.


The debate over the best way to create retirement income has been raging for years. In addition to meeting your early retirement income needs, smart retirement income planning must address the following unknowns:  

How long will you need income for?

How will your unplanned spending change: unplanned spending and inflation.

Will health care costs continue to grow significantly faster than inflation?


Beyond stocks, bonds, taxation, and even comprehensive retirement planning, the multitude of income strategies is understandably confusing.  Further, some are merely rules of thumb with significant assumptions that likely do not apply to you or your plans!

What should my portfolio allocation be at retirement?

Should I buy an annuity to guarantee a portion of my income?

Should my portfolio include higher yielding bonds or only use higher quality bonds? 

Should I used a fixed allocation during retirement or can I get more conservative over time? 

Should I take Social Security early to keep my assets invested or delay taking my benefit?


Below I’ll explain how The Retirement Income Process works.

Scroll down as I’ve described each section individually.

First, let’s address Social Security – the discussion around when and how to use Social Security and Pensions should first occur during initial retirement planning and again during the transition into retirement. A number of factors to consider here (longevity, distribution planning, Roth Conversions, etc…) but we’ll leave this topic for another post.

Next is Your Retirement Reservoir – this is a portfolio custom designed (based on you and your retirement plan) to provide growth and income throughout your retirement.  Your Retirement Reservoir will provide Investment Income (dividends and interest income) to supplement your Social Security on a yearly basis.  Your Retirement Reservoir can contain both growth oriented and income focused investments.  This portfolio is adjusted in the context of your plan, the markets and as your retirement evolves.

Finally,  Your Income Reserves:

Your Income Reserves are custom sized to complement your Social Security (and pension if you have one) and Investment Income.  Your Income Reserves contain stable, income-focused investments and generally you will refill the “spent” Income Reserve at the end of each year.  But this isn’t done without consideration.  For example, in positive market year like 2019, we refill the empty Income Reserve at the end of the year to ensure we have a 5 full years of Income Reserves at the start of the following year. 

In contrast, we would not refill the empty Income Reserve in a negative year like 2018 when investments markets were down.  The key benefit of having Five (5) Income Reserves is the ability to “ride out” a significant economic or market events for at least 5 years, such as the Technology Bubble in 2001-2003 or the Financial Crisis of 2007-2011.  (Need more “insurance”?  The Retirement Reservoir could contain additional conservative income focused investments that can be accessed as needed.)

Combining these income streams can create reliable income throughout your retirement!



If you want to see how The Retirement Income Process can work for you, contact me directly at 860-661-3821, or set a time in my calendar to here.


Please Note:  Speak to your tax, legal or financial advisor for specific advice about your particular plans and situation.

John Bubello Retirement Financial Advisor

John R. Bubello CFP®

I specialize in Retirement Planning & Investment Management.

My clients worry less, maximize their money, avoid mistakes and retire with clarity and confidence.

The Retirement Income Blog

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