123: How a Professor of Finance Designed His Own Retirement

Today’s guest is David Littell. David is the Joseph E. Boettner Chair in Research at the American College of Financial Services, where he teaches and develops courses and textbooks. In fact, he’s the co-creator of the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) designation and coordinates its course curriculum!

His work has helped countless financial advisors, including myself, better plan for retirement needs and understand how to work with older clients.

However, for today’s conversation, I’m catching David at a truly interesting time in his life: his own transition into retirement. He joins the podcast to talk about why he decided to do it at the age of 66, how he continues to bring value to his community as he builds a bridge to retirement, and the many decisions – financial and otherwise – that come along the way.

In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:

  • Why David decided to make 2019 his last year of full-time employment – and how staying on part-time has allowed him to focus on the things he loves most about his work.
  • Why so many retirees find themselves overwhelmed after they stop working – and what David is doing to avoid that feeling.
  • What David did to cut back his risk and retool his finances as he retires – and why he recommends all retirees work with a qualified financial advisor.
  • Why there is no single best investment asset to address all the unique challenges of retirement – and how to build a powerful patchwork of financial tools.
  • When it’s appropriate and how to strategically make account conversions.
  • Why retirement planning is all about eliminating as much uncertainty as possible.
  • David’s advice for retirees looking to take investment withdrawals to supplement their income.
  • What David has found most surprising about the retirement process

Inspiring Quote

  • “Advisors are supposed to be dispassionate. They’re not supposed to hate things. They’re supposed to help you think. You can hate things as a consumer but advisors shouldn’t hate things.” – David Littell

Interview Resources

Read The Transcript