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Medicare Premiums & Deductibles Increasing in 2020

Medicare Premiums & Deductibles Increasing in 2020

In 2020, Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles will be increasing. Most enrollees will see their premiums increase by ~7%, from $135.50 to $144.60 per month. This is a $109.20 annual increase. The annual deductible for Part B coverage will also increase by ~7%, going from $185 in 2019 to $198 in 2020. These increases are roughly in line with the Medicare Trustees Report for 2019 that estimated that the 2020 standard monthly premium would be $144.30 and the annual…

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Retirement Income in Bull Markets, Bear Markets & Flat Markets

Retirement Income in Bull Markets, Bear Markets & Flat Markets

I live in a bedroom community of Pittsburgh and there are two primary routes to get to the grocery store. Back roads and the highway. During perfect conditions, the backroads take about twelve minutes and the highway takes about nine or ten minutes. I always take the backroads and my wife would choose the highway most of the time. My logic is that in virtually all conditions, the backroads take 12 minutes. The highway, while faster during optimal times, could…

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“At what cost?”

“At what cost?”

Everything we do in life comes with a cost – whether it is actual money, opportunity cost, relationship cost or otherwise. Make no mistake about it, there is a cost. In the article I wrote a couple of weeks back about designing your days in retirement, I mentioned that I could easily be fooled into thinking that I need to have a huge business in order to view myself as successful. Or maybe more accurately, in order to believe that…

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When It’s Smart to Pay Capital Gains Taxes

When It’s Smart to Pay Capital Gains Taxes

Imagine for a moment that you are the coach of a Major League Baseball team and you’ve successfully coached your team to the World Series. You’re about to start the 9th inning of Game 7 and your team is up 3-1. You are just three outs away from being crowned World Champions. A life-changing opportunity for players and coaches alike. But before the 9th inning begins, you visit the opposing team’s dugout and ask their coach if they’d like to…

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Designing Your Days In Retirement

Designing Your Days In Retirement

A couple of weeks ago, I attended an industry conference in Arizona that was filled with the creme de la creme of advisors. Being around a group of high-flyers like that, it wasn’t surprising to learn that most of these advisors have big goals. Many want to build large organizations with lots of advisors and “own their market.” They manage billions of dollars and are actively onboarding as many clients as possible as quickly as possible. Further still, many of…

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My (Ir)Rational Fear

My (Ir)Rational Fear

Over the past few months, I’ve started to worry about dying. This sounds morose but stay with me because this is really a post about life. Irrational as though it may seem for a 36-year-old to worry about dying, I seriously do. Oddly though, I don’t worry about dying in a car accident or anything like that – I worry about having a heart attack. Much of this angst can probably be attributed to the fact that I know or…

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Life’s Curveballs

Life’s Curveballs

Over the weekend, I went for a run as I often do. I time myself for every single run and I generally run the same route each time. Some might consider that boring, but I do it because it gives me a number to shoot for. If I run different routes, I can’t compete with myself to try to beat my best time. If you think that’s silly, I totally respect that. But all I did growing up was play…

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Retiring at Market Highs

Retiring at Market Highs

As we approach new all-time market highs, one fear I routinely hear is a concern over retiring at market highs. It makes sense given that sequence of returns risk is so prevalent early in retirement. If you experience a market meltdown during your first few years in retirement, that’s obviously not a good thing and most certainly not enjoyable. It’s the primary reason I advocate for pairing dividend growth investing with a bucket allocation strategy in an effort to stem…

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Weekend Reading 03 – 11 Steps to a Better Retirement

Weekend Reading 03 – 11 Steps to a Better Retirement

Here are this week’s articles that I enjoyed and hope you will too! 11 Steps to a Better Retirement (humbledollar.com) “When it comes to retirement planning, many Americans focus primarily on their portfolio’s size. That’s understandable. But there are other issues you should also think about, so you get your retirement on the right track and keep it there. Here are 11 steps to a better retirement:” What Makes a Home Beautiful (becomingminimalist.com) “The concept of home as an ideal for…

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7 Estate Planning Essentials

7 Estate Planning Essentials

For most people, estate planning looks something like this: “When all is said and done, more was said than done.”  – Lou Holtz Anyone who has helped in the estate resolution process for a loved one knows it can be either an enormous pain or relatively painless (excluding the loss of your loved one, of course). The level of difficulty is almost certainly determined by the planning or lack thereof done by the deceased. The general public has erroneously focused their estate…

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