Drafting A Retirement Plan with Ease

Nipapun Poonsatiansap CFP® Independent Financial Planner, Author and Lecturer


Fast facts - you have to stop working at one point of your life and we call it “retirement” and that is the main reason why we need mandatory financial plan or “retirement plan”.

The reason why retirement plan is so important was because that would be a period when all your source of income shifted from regular salary to your life savings.  How to make sure if your savings is enough for post-retirement spending.  Let’s fine-tuning retirement plan strategy at pre-retirement period.

The following techniques will help strengthen financial and asset management effectiveness to achieve approaching retirement affluently. 

1. Regularly review your retirement plan

Realistically, you should draft your plan as early as you can (ideally, start early in your career) instead of starting retirement plan or reviewing your plan at pre-retirement age.  Your retirement should be reviewed at least once a year. The important area to review is post-retirement income required, after factoring inflation rate your need to save more than your estimated (inflation is general increase in price and fall in purchasing value or decrease in purchasing power).

In addition, you need to review source of income post-retirement i.e., investment portfolio and the estimation rate of return. Hence, we should start regular retirement plan review at least 10 years before actual retirement age.

2. What should you do if review outcome was not as expected?

This is exactly why the urgency of retirement plan is so real. If the review outcome was not enough for retirement expense, you still have enough time to prepare. For those who stared their retirement late, with the same review outcome their retirement age must be extended further to source more retirement savings funds needed. It simply means they cannot afford to retire. What they need to do is increase income, reduce expense to have higher savings each year and invest on that savings.

3. Post-retirement asset management

There was a question ‘How long do we need to invest?’ and the answer is: we need to invest your whole life even after retirement. Do not forget that inflation does not retire. Hence, investment strategy post-retirement is maintaining your purchasing power or at least investment yield must beat inflation rate.

In addition, maintain sufficient asset to generate income enough for our necessities. Post-retirement investment strategy shift to low-risk investment with guarantee returns.

Below are the examples of asset management to be caution of:

  • Cashflow Management
     Essentially, cashflow is your first priority in investment portfolio allocation after retirement. You need sufficient emergency funds for 1-3 years baseline expense or specially for healthcare. Manage investment portfolio by avoiding low market liquidity investment i.e., private equity or over-the-counter financial instruments. These low liquidity assets would take more than one month or maybe six months to receive cash from sale.

  •  Revenue Stream Management 
     The revenue stream is determined by three major factors; estimated expenses post-retirement, total retirement asset value and life expectancy after retirement.

The followings are recommendation how to balance income and expense

  1. Monthly budget worksheet such as household expense, transportation cost, grocery, travels or hobbies and most importantly, medical expense. These data must be reviewed regularly at the beginning of every year to see the spending deviation resulting from fluctuation.in “inflation rate”. The average inflation rate increases 3-4% annually, but some expense increases at much higher rate i.e., medicine, foods, fuel and medical expenses.

  2. Review and record trade information of retirement funds and assets from bank accounts, financial instrument investment.

  3. Estimate life expectancy after retirement. The two remaining factors are important for monthly allowance calculation without exhausting all retirement funds prematurely.

  4. Do not forget to verify investment terms & conditions When selling investment fund, you need to verify terms and conditions, especially for tax benefit funds i.e., redeemable period of LTF and RMF. 

  5. Return on investment for retirement plan. We should set a specific investment timeframe or when to sell financial instruments for cashflow. It could be every month end or mid-year. Currently, various Asset Management companies offer automatic selling of investment funds when it reaches a specified due date and redeemable units. The investment units will be sold and redeemed amount will be transfer to your savings account automatically. 


In conclusion, you need put your retirement plan in place and review it regularly in order to stretch your money until your last moment. Post-retirement financial management are also crucial for the success of your plan. Do not be careless and wait until pre-retirement age before you start thinking about a savings plan because it would be too late ‘Nobody is planning to fail but failure often came from lack of planning’. What is your retirement plan?