What is crash proof retirement text over a picture of stock ticker symbols and a big read arrow dropping down showing the market is crashing.

What is crash proof retirement?

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The biggest fear that I have in life is outliving my money. There are things that you can potentially do to mitigate this risk like following the 4% rule or having 2 years of expenses in cash that you keep up-to-date to handle the recession that occurs roughly once every 10 years. But what else can be done for a crash proof retirement?

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These ideas are based on my personal experience and opinion and should not be considered professional financial investment advice. Furthermore, the ideas and strategies should never be used without first assessing your own personal and financial situation, or without consulting a financial professional.

What is crash proof retirement? text over a picture of stock ticker symbols and a big read arrow dropping down showing the market is crashing.

What is Crash Proof Retirement?

Crash proof retirement is a plan created by financial expert Phil Cannella that offers individuals an alternative to the traditional methods of saving for retirement. It is a proactive approach to developing a secure financial future and involves the use of vehicles that are not typically used in long-term savings, such as annuities, stocks, and bonds.

Crash proof retirement focuses on providing protection against market downturns and maximizing returns without exposing the investor to unnecessary risk.

Phil Cannella’s system helps ensure that investors have access to their hard-earned money when they need it most, regardless of market volatility or economic factors. His methodology takes into account both short-term investments, like fixed-rate annuities, as well as long-term strategies like low-cost index funds and diversified portfolios.

Benefits of Crash Proof Retirement

Crash proof retirement is an investment strategy that seeks to protect a person’s retirement savings from economic downturns. This type of investing focuses on preserving capital, generating steady returns through dividends and interest, and avoiding high-risk investments. While crash proof retirement can help shield an individual’s nest egg from significant losses during downturns in the market, there are other benefits as well.

First, dividend-paying stocks, bonds, and other investments offer reliable income streams that help retirees maintain their lifestyles while they draw down their savings.

Additionally, these investments can benefit from capital appreciation over time which can lead to greater returns than traditional stock index funds and mutual funds without the same level of risk associated with them.

Finally, crash proof retirement strategies can also provide tax advantages for those who choose to invest in qualified accounts such as IRAs or 401(k) plans.

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How to Choose the Right Options for You

With so many different choices available, how do investors decide which crash proof investments are right for them?

The first step is to determine what your investment goals are. Do you want to invest for growth, or are you looking to preserve capital? Are you investing for retirement, or do you want to save money for a child’s education?

Once the goal is established, investors can then select the appropriate investment vehicle. However, there is no one correct answer for everyone. The key is to select the strategy that best fits your investment objectives and risk tolerance.

Defining Your Retirement Goal

Retirement planning is a priority for many individuals, however, the process can be overwhelming and even intimidating. To ensure that retirement is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what ‘retirement goal’ you are aiming for. By defining your retirement goal, you will be able to make the most out of your retirement years and create a plan that best suits your needs.

You need to know what your retirement number is and there is a quick way to figure this out. Take what you believe your expenses will be and multiply that number by 25. This takes advantage of the 4% rule that states if you only remove 4% of your earnings a year you will never run out of money.

You should know that if most of your money is from a retirement account like a 401k or IRA you will need to take minimum required payments or you will pay heavy fines in taxes. Most people won’t save enough for this to be a consideration but know that it is a possibility if you save lots of money.

The term ‘crash proof retirement’ is used to refer to an investment strategy that allows investors to benefit from stock market gains without risking major losses due to market crashes or downturns. This type of investing typically involves diversifying investments across multiple asset classes such as stocks, bonds, and real estate while minimizing risk exposure through prudent financial management.

Investment Strategies for Crash Proof Retirement

Investing can be a scary thought when it comes to retirement, as it involves putting your hard-earned money into the stock market with no guarantee of returns. Many retirees are looking for “crash proof” retirement strategies that will protect their savings should the stock market take a dive. If you’re wondering what is crash proof retirement and how to achieve it, read on for some tips.

A crash proof retirement strategy essentially means investing in securities that have less risk but high potential rewards, such as bonds or dividend stocks. It also means diversifying your investments so that if one security does fail, you won’t lose all of your money at once; rather than investing in just one company or sector, spread out your investments across different sectors and industries to minimize loss if something were to go wrong.

Types of Accounts to Utilize

When people talk about crash proof retirement plans they normally speak about annuities. Annuities are primarily for older people and not a growth strategy. Most financial advisors would steer you clear of annuities and the reason for this is because they have high fees and not a lot of growth possibilities.

There is also some concern about whether or not they pay out well in retirement, because you have very little control of the investments now that they are locked in an annuity.

You see there are growth retirement accounts vs protection accounts.

Growth accounts are designed for those that have 10+ years left until they want to retire. It allows you to be invested more in stocks and less in bonds. It does mean that your money is more at risk because you are betting that you will have time to recoup any money lost by being in higher-risk stocks. Now, these higher-risk stocks could just be investing in index funds like the S&P 500 / Rusell 1000 and 2000 / Total Stock Market / International Indexes.

Quick definitions of these index funds:

S&P 500

This is roughly the top 500 publicly traded stocks. It is currently over 500 because some companies like Alphabet (better known as Google) have 3 stocks on the S&P 500. But these are the biggest 500 US publicly traded companies.

In some retirement accounts, this is called the Large Cap or the S&P 500 Index. Just search for the name of your brokerage (i.e. Vanguard, Voya, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, etc.) and S&P 500 for the name of the fund you may be able to invest in. The same would be true for the others I list below.

Russel 1000 and 2000

The Russel 1000 is the biggest 1000 US publicly traded companies. While the Rusell 2000 is the 1001 – 3000th biggest US publicly traded companies. So if you bought both the Russel 1000 and 2000 you would own a portion of the top 3000 US publicly traded companies.

The Russell 1000 is sometimes called the Mid Cap and the Russell 2000 is sometimes called the Small Cap index fund in your brokerage. Again you can do an internet search to find exactly what your brokerage calls these.

Total Stock Market

Not all retirement plans offer this, but if you can invest in this you are investing in all of the stocks that are publicly traded in the US. Currently, that number is over 4000. This is labeled as the Total US Stock Market or Total Market typically.


The international index fund is basically a collection of the top non-US companies from Europe and Asia primarily. In the 2000s the US stock market has been leading the world, but in the late 1990s, the international fund did better than the US companies. If you want to be even more divested than just US companies look into the international index fund. It is listed with the word international in your brokerage typically.

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What about retirement accounts designed for protection?

As you get older some will recommend that you move more and more of your retirement allocation away from stocks and toward bonds.

Bonds are another term for buying a company or government debt. Bonds are seen as safer investments than stocks because the company or government is more likely to pay back the loan you gave them. Stocks are owning a piece of the company itself. Therefore, since you own a stake in the company you are betting that over time that company will do well financially.

Another way to protect your money is to invest in stocks that pay out dividends. Dividends are when a company pays everyone an amount (typically quarterly) per share. So you get money just for holding their stocks. AT&T is an example of a stock that has historically given out dividends in excess of 4% a year. There are even index funds like SPYD on Robinhood that pay out dividends every month as they are like index funds with different stocks that all pay out dividends. Each of these stocks are on the S&P 500 list as well.

Another option while you are younger and if you have lots of cash on hand is to look into the concept of being your own bank. I go into that concept a lot more in my article on how to be your own bank here. In a nutshell, this is the practice of obtaining cash value whole life insurance and overfunding it for the first 5 – 10 years. Then the policy will have enough money to pay for itself after about 20 years. In addition to that, the policies I have are also buying more and more insurance. The cash value from these plans can be used at any time for any reason. This is also known as the rich person’s IRA.

Setting Up a Withdrawal Plan

When setting up a withdrawal plan, the most important thing to consider is understanding the basic principles of money management – such as budgeting, saving, and investing. To ensure your retirement savings are protected from market fluctuations, it’s important to allocate your funds between stocks and bonds or other safe investments. Additionally, it’s essential to factor in inflation when calculating how much money you will need for retirement expenses. Finally, be sure to review your withdrawal plan regularly to ensure that it is still meeting your needs and objectives as life circumstances change over time.

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Managing Risks & Unexpected Expenses

Managing risks and unexpected expenses is an essential part of retirement planning. Everyone wants to ensure that they have enough money set aside to live comfortably during their golden years, but there are a lot of risks associated with retirement that can put a strain on your finances. Planning for these risks in advance can help you protect yourself from financial loss and provide greater peace of mind.

When it comes to retirement planning, the key is to be prepared for anything life throws at you. This means looking into different methods for protecting your income from unexpected events such as job loss, inflation, market crashes, or medical expenses. It also involves researching ways to invest in order to safeguard your savings and create additional sources of income.

Wow, you read a lot to get here. Can you do me a favor, please? Can you leave a comment if this was helpful to you or if I missed something? Alternatively, it would help me out a lot if you shared this content with those that might need to see it. Thanks, you are the best!

How to set up a crash proof retirement or get as close as you can

Invest in growth funds for as long as you feel comfortable while moving money into safer vehicles as time moves on.

If you are building wealth by being your own bank you can be riskier with your retirement accounts. If you don’t then look into bonds and dividend-bearing stocks as you get older.

Ideally, you will want to know your retirement number by multiplying what you believe your expenses to be by 25.

If you want more tips please see my other articles on retirement here.

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“Marriage is hard. Divorce is hard.
Choose your hard.
Obesity is hard. Being fit is hard.
Choose your hard.
Being in debt is hard.
Being financially disciplined is hard.
Choose your hard.
Communication is hard. Not communicating is hard.
Choose your hard.
Life will never be easy. It will always be hard.
But we can choose our hard. Pick wisely.”

About Dwight Scull

I have been married to my wonderful wife, Rebecca, who puts up with me since 1999. I am a proud father to my Gen Z, son, and daughter-in-law. Grandfather to my favorite granddaughter who was born in 2021.

I lost my mom, father-in-law, and 12 others in 2013 and was DEEPLY in debt. I started reading and watching all the financial info I could find.

I chipped away at my debt and went from a negative $105k net worth having one home paid off, no credit card debt, and saving/investing 45%+ of my gross salary.

I used these daily habits to lose 100 pounds and keep it off.

I believe that you can overcome any challenge you face if you just take small daily actions and be consistent with them. It is how you will be financially successful.

Join my free Facebook group to get a ton of free resources to help you get out of debt, learn how to invest your money and work toward having the option of retiring early.

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