“Optimal” Retirement Planning Strategies

“Optimal” Retirement Planning Strategies

I read articles regularly that discuss optimal portfolio withdrawal strategies.  I think these articles are great but are probably best kept in the academic world.  In other words, they should not be given to clients.  I have a friend that was forwarded one of these articles by an advisor as the basis for their retirement planning decisions and asked for my thoughts.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that this advisor is staying up to date on the latest research, but…

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New Page: Retirement Resources

New Page: Retirement Resources

The post this week is not a typical one.  I hope it is obvious based on my website name plus the content that I write that I am passionate about the subject of retirement planning.  I am also passionate about #RetirementLiteracy and improving the lives of retirees everywhere. There are many issues that I believe retirees should be educated about prior to turning in their retirement papers but often are not.  This is true regardless of net worth and regardless of…

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A Case For Long-Term Optimism – Words Matter

A Case For Long-Term Optimism – Words Matter

The words we use are important. When you hear the term “stock market,” what immediately comes to mind?  Recently, I completed an informal survey asking that very question of various non-financial industry connections and the number one response was “risky.”  I think part of the reason people view investing as risky has something to do with the term we use when referring to the assets we are purchasing — stocks. “Stocks” at an emotional level have no personalities, no balance…

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“Best Interest” is not Black & White

“Best Interest” is not Black & White

Back in March, the CFP Board voted to require every CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional that provides financial planning to be held to the duty of care of a fiduciary starting October 1, 2019.  I greatly applaud this move!  For folks not in our industry, if an advisor is a fiduciary, then that advisor is legally and ethically required to put your best interest before their own. Up to this point, the CFP Board separated the level of care required between planning…

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Why Saving In Your 60’s Is So Important – It’s Not the Reason You Think

Why Saving In Your 60’s Is So Important – It’s Not the Reason You Think

When I speak to folks that are in their final stretch leading up to retirement, one topic that often comes up is how much they should be saving.  While the simplest answer is “as much as possible”, I wanted to provide some additional perspective on why saving as much as possible in the homestretch to retirement is so important. It’s not the reason you think. Let’s say that you just turned 60 and you are thinking that you could squeeze…

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Dealing With Loss

Dealing With Loss

It’s been a tough month.  About a month ago, a friend of mine lost their son unexpectedly.  Though we rarely talk due to being far away, it is a dear friend whom I’ve known nearly my entire life and our families are still very close.  His son was just 24 years old.  Clearly taken from us far too soon. Then last week, another friend lost their daughter unexpectedly.  She was just 33 years old.  Married with two young children. Finally,…

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Objectivity as a Value Proposition

Objectivity as a Value Proposition

The Latin term panem et circenses (bread and circuses) is a figure of speech for a superficial form of appeasement.  It is a diversion or a distraction from core issues.  If you’ve seen the movie Gladiator, multiple times they show Roman soldiers throwing bread into the stands of the Colosseum prior to the starting of the games.  Both the provisions of bread and the games themselves (hence bread and circus) were literally designed to be distractions from the poor living…

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Lifeboat Drills

Lifeboat Drills

The last time you were on an airplane, do you remember what the flight attendants did before takeoff?  Of course you do.  They provided you with a safety demonstration on what to do if there is an emergency.  But I’ll bet that virtually nobody paid any attention to them because nobody ever does.  (Full disclosure: I also ignore the safety demonstration.) If the plane has an issue though, there is no doubt that mayhem would ensue.  And rightfully so, I’d be…

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How To Know If You’ve Saved Enough For Retirement

How To Know If You’ve Saved Enough For Retirement

One of the great fears facing many retirees is if they have saved enough to retire.  And by extension, once in retirement, it can be stressful to spend the money they’ve spent their entire working lives accumulating.  I attribute much of the financial angst retirement to one primary issue. Many investors have never taken the time to write down how much they anticipate spending or what their guaranteed incomes will look like in retirement.  Once you’ve taken the time to…

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Emotions & Retirement Planning

Emotions & Retirement Planning

Last week, I had a conversation with a recently retired reader that I thought might be applicable to what many retirees are likely to experience at some point in retirement and wanted to share some insights with regard to how you might approach the issue. Important points from the conversation: Earlier this year during the market pullback, the investor sold his entire equity position and invested the proceeds into bonds which he acknowledged was a “knee-jerk reaction” to the market volatility….

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