Dollars & Sense

How to Retire Happy, Even with Big Inflation!

Dr. Harold Wong

Inflation in 2022 hit 40-year highs, and how will you retire well, even if we have continued inflation and a recession in the next few years?

Case Study: I met Joe, age 63, and Judy, age 65, in June, 2019, at a seminar I gave at the Ahwatukee Event Center. They had $850,000 of financial assets, and 90% of it was in the stock market. They planned to retire when Joe reached 70, as he enjoys his job.

They were concerned about stock market risk and wondered how much they would be able to spend when retired. Their #1 priority was “Never Run Out of Money,” and their #2 priority was “Investments That Don’t Lose.”

Why should you spend your whole lives working and not be able to afford your bucket list items? In the Go-Go years, you have just retired and have unlimited time. The question is whether you have enough money to afford them. You may be spending more during your Go-Go years than when you were working.

The Solutions: Most take Social Security (SS) at age 62, and only 3-5% wait until age 70 when you may receive up to double what your retirement benefit would have been at age 62. Joe will wait until age 70 to take SS. If Judy waits until she is full retirement age, she can take either her SS based on her earnings history or half of Joe’s. Their total future SS when Joe retires will be $63,768. They then take 90% of their financial assets out of the stock market and buy two private pensions that are worth $44,254 of total income when Joe reaches age 70.

They also buy some solar equipment that will generate a safe $11,900 of annual income each year for 10 years. The solar tax credits and deductions also allow a big Roth IRA Conversion so that half of their private pension income will be tax-free. Now, total income at age 70 will be $119,922, which is almost $70,000 more than what they are currently spending and almost $45,000 more than the $75,000 they want to spend each year in retirement. They don’t have to worry about the high inflation the last two years or forecasted inflation for the next two years. They have so much more income than they thought possible.

Attend my Free Live Seminar and Lunch: Saturday, April 22, at Hyatt Place, 3535 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ 85226. The seminar is at 10 a.m., followed by a free catered lunch. The topic is “Beat Inflation by Saving Taxes and Increasing Income!”

To RSVP for the seminar or schedule a free consultation, please contact Dr. Harold Wong at 480-706-0177 or [email protected]. His website is

Dr. Wong earned his Ph.D. in Economics at University of California/Berkeley and has appeared on over 400 TV/radio programs.