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Increasing Your Odds of Retirement Success

Increasing Your Odds of Retirement Success

Recently, I was asked a great question: “What is the #1 thing I can do to increase my odds of retirement success?” Most people are inclined to focus on the portfolio since it gets all the love and attention in retirement planning – how can you optimize your portfolio, pay less in taxes or squeeze out more return?? But when it comes to retirement planning, often the easiest way to increase your chance at retirement success is to concentrate on…

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How to Invest For a 30+ Year Retirement

How to Invest For a 30+ Year Retirement

A couple of weeks back, I had the pleasure of chatting with Taylor Schulte, CFP® on his retirement podcast, “Stay Wealthy.” Taylor is a highly respected retirement expert, so naturally, I was excited to have a public chat about a topic we are both passionate about. On the podcast, we discuss my post, A Portfolio Strategy for 30-Year Retirements, to include the following topics: Why living longer should be a goal to strive for and why you’ll probably live much…

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The Market Went ___ On ___.

The Market Went ___ On ___.

Lunacy. I’ve been watching various headlines for the direct purpose of pointing out the sheer craziness of headline investing. Here are five headlines from the past couple of weeks. “Stocks finish lower. Global growth worries return. Here’s what happened in markets today.” “The Dow Loses 33 Points Because the Market Is Getting Pulled in Different Directions” “Stock market gains after Fed removes ‘patient’ from policy statement.” “The Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit a new high, it’s time to talk…

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A Letter to Do-It-Yourselfers

A Letter to Do-It-Yourselfers

Have you ever had a moment in your life where you felt overwhelming fear? Overwhelming in the sense that you were practically paralyzed from taking any action whatsoever? I’ll come back to this… If you’re a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIYer), before you get upset with me, let me be clear – this is not a call to hire an advisor in the traditional sense. I’m not an advisor who believes there is anything wrong with being a DIYer. I do believe managing…

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A Retirement Trial Run

A Retirement Trial Run

I’m on vacation in the Outer Banks this week and I was planning to skip a week of writing the blog, but I couldn’t help myself. Something surprised me prior to leaving for our trip. Before we started the long drive, my wife informed me that I haven’t taken a full week off since my youngest son was born – he is almost three. Before I get emails about needing more work/life balance, anyone who knows me well knows it’s…

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Why Are We Still Listening?

Why Are We Still Listening?

A great graphic made it’s way around the internet via the Wall Street Journal. The graphic shows the predictions from 50 economists on the direction of interest rates. How did they do? NOT A SINGLE ECONOMIST WAS EVEN IN THE BALLPARK! Every single day, pundits go on TV saying what they believe will happen with complete confidence that their prediction is going to be correct. Apparently, accuracy is hard to come by, guesses are not. I honestly understand why these…

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Why I Prefer Dividend Income Over Total Return in Retirement

Why I Prefer Dividend Income Over Total Return in Retirement

The one constructive response I received on the article, A Portfolio Strategy for 30-Year Retirements, was the preference for total return versus dividend income. If you haven’t read it, I’d encourage you to do so now as what follows will make much more sense. Before we dive in, let’s first define total return investing. Total return investing is the idea that there is no preference for investment gains, whether via dividends or growth of underlying capital. The thought process here…

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The Personal Part of Personal Finance

The Personal Part of Personal Finance

This week on Twitter, there has been a lot of talk about whether it’s smart to pay off your home or to invest those funds. It evolved into a discussion about whether to use a total return or income-based strategy for retirement planning. The answer is neither and both are right and wrong. You read that correctly. When it comes to retirement planning and financial planning in general, we all have a rational brain and an emotional brain. The rational…

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Selling the Sizzle: Risk-Adjusted Returns

Selling the Sizzle: Risk-Adjusted Returns

Jerry Seinfeld is one of my two favorite comedians. (Mitch Hedberg is the other in case you’re wondering.) He has a great bit about dry cleaning where he says, The whole problem with dry cleaning is that we all believe that this is actually possible. They’re cleaning our clothes, but they’re not getting anything wet. It’s all dry. I know there’s got to be some liquids back there, some fluids that they’re using. There’s no such thing as “dry” cleaning….

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A Portfolio Strategy For 30-Year Retirements

A Portfolio Strategy For 30-Year Retirements

PLEASE NOTE: This is a long post, but I passionately believe that if retirees have any chance of getting things right, they must properly understand all the underlying assumptions they are making in their retirement planning decision process. And because I view the subject(s) of this particular article to be so important, I wanted all the thoughts in one place instead of being spread amongst three or four individual posts – especially since these issues are inseparable in nature. If…

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