A retirement plan too often consists of answers to unanswerable questions. How long will you live? How will the stock market perform? What will inflation look like in twenty years?

These questions matter, but Karnak himself couldn’t answer them. Still, too many money managers spend their days promoting guesses as fact, often in ways that will sell products.

These questions look at only one piece of the picture. Mona Lisa’s smile isn’t so charming without the rest of the painting to make it so.

This news isn’t all bad. Living standard risk offers a complete picture of your retirement. Think of it as the entire retirement canvas.

It asks the question: What is your exposure to a major change in your standard of living? It considers social security, pension, savings, other assets and obligations in its answer.

Plans based on living standard risk keep you from falling for the inflated numbers money managers often say you will need to retire. And they rightly encourage the affluent to watch their risk.

Living standard risk isn’t a new idea, but it is one we’ve been waiting for the financial industry to catch onto.