A retirement planner retires — and lays out her strategy

After 18 years with an investment firm and a banking career before that, Christine Fahlund is finally getting a chance to practice the preaching.

As senior financial planner for T. Rowe Price, Fahlund, 69, has been the company’s public face for retirement planning services. Now, she and her husband, who is retired, have bought a recreational vehicle, and she’ll retire in June.

After many years spent thinking about retirement for clients, Fahlund talked about planning her own career exit:

QUESTION: How did you know it was time to go?

ANSWER: I really had been practicing retirement throughout my 60s, both emotionally and financially. During that time I would say we were in pretty good shape financially, but emotionally, I was not ready to leave. My husband was fine with whatever I wanted to do and wasn’t nagging or pushing me to go, so I had the pleasure of deciding on my own terms. Then I lost several friends last year, one of them very suddenly at the age of 48. She never got the opportunity to retire, and I started to think that if it was within my grasp, I should take advantage.

Q: What about the nest egg? How did you know you have enough?

A: Knowing all that I know, I was concerned that I would be overanxious about that. I don’t know what snapped inside, but I’m much more calm about it now. We hit “our number” about seven years ago, where projected Social Security plus an initial 4 percent portfolio withdrawal rate would equal something in the neighborhood of 75 percent of current salary. And if you wait until age 70 to start withdrawals, you can withdraw 5 percent. So we’ve been able to play a bit (by suspending retirement contributions and using the money for travel and other luxuries) while continuing to work while the nest egg compounds.

Q: Have you begun collecting Social Security?

A: We began some spousal benefits at full retirement age. We both decided to wait until age 70 to collect our delayed retirement credits.

Q: Do you have long-term care insurance?

A: Yes. We bought it in our 50s. To afford the premium, we agreed to a 365-day elimination period, so we’ll take a hit for 12 months if we need it. And if we need to, we could stop the inflation increases to lower the premium more.

More in Herald Business Journal

Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Before the buyout, 21st Century Fox will spin off the Fox network, stations and cable channels.

For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence about past inopportunity.

Angel of the Winds pays $3.4M for Everett arena naming rights

The casino replaces Xfinity as the lead sponsor for the publicly owned downtown Everett events center.

Delta orders 100 Airbus A321neo jets valued at $12.7 billion

The airline said it will use the 197-seat jets to replace smaller planes.

Tulalips break ground on new Quil Ceda Creek Casino Hotel

A 150-room hotel was added to what is now a $140 million complex expected to open in spring 2019.

What can be learned from the optimism of Churchill, Elon Musk

A new movie, “The Dark Years,” depicts Winston Churchill during the perilous… Continue reading

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Merger would make Providence part of health care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

Teddy, an English bulldog, models Zentek Clothing’s heat regulating dog jacket. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Everett clothing company keeps your dog cool and stylish

Zentek uses space-age fabrics to moderate the temperature of pets and now humans.

Bombardier promotes its C Series airliner as American made

It says more than half its all-new jet is made in US factories with final assembly near Montreal.

Most Read