I spend a lot of time reading articles, books, and whitepapers about all things retirement-related. Basically, anything that can benefit a client at or nearing retirement. I was recently asked by a couple of readers where I find all the articles I share on various social channels. The answer is “all over the place.” I subscribe to a ton of newsletters, avidly use google alerts and read articles/books recommended by industry colleagues and clients.
Given the breadth of great resources out there, I thought it might be valuable to share the ones that I find particularly useful that may help in your own retirement planning.
As you’ll see below, I’ve provided a few thoughts on each article so that you may decide if it is of enough interest for you to spend your time reading it. The articles will cover a range of topics over time. Anything from financial articles to health and wellness to lifestyle and more. My goal is simply to send you the “best of” what I’ve recently read. I do not have a time frame for how often I anticipate sending this “Retirement Digest” such as weekly/monthly or anything like that; I just plan to send an email as I compile enough links that I believe are worthy of sharing.
I hope you find this to be helpful!
The Pro-Rata Formula and Inherited IRAs (irahelp.com): This article from Ed Slott is a great reminder of how the pro-rata rule works for IRAs and Inherited IRAs. What this means in general terms is how much of your IRA distribution may be taxable. It is important to stay on top of this in your own IRA planning to ensure you do not pay unnecessary taxes.
8 Myths About Annuities in Retirement (USNews.com): This article is not designed to advocate for the use of annuities within your retirement plan (or to discourage it), but to dispell some of the very common myths I hear on a regular basis. Annuities may or may not be a good fit for your financial situation; it is entirely dependent on your personal needs and desires. My hope in sending this article is simply to clear the air about a lot of misconceptions regarding the annuity world. There are hundreds (if not thousands?) of annuities with extreme variability in terms of benefits and drawbacks. So, they certainly are not all created equal.
How to Shockproof Your Retirement Healthcare Costs (reuters.com): Dedicating a budgetary line item for health care costs in retirement is a start to planning for the inevitable medical costs that may accompany you in retirement. Most people have a very vague idea of what Medicare is going to cost them, much less planning for the unexpected that may come along with it. Planning, as usual, is the key to handling this issue.
Not Prepared for Retirement? Here’s a Solution: Don’t Retire (bloomberg.com): While this is rarely what people closing in on retirement want to hear, delaying retirement by even a year or two can potentially add additional comfort to your overall retirement. It allows for a further deferral of Social Security, additional (potential) compounding growth to your portfolio, and more time to establish retirement expense estimates. Even continuing to work part-time could add significant flexibility. This is certainly not necessary for everyone, but it can be a helpful place to start for those that have gotten behind the eight-ball a little bit.
Answering the Most Important Retirement Planning Question (forbes.com): It is very common for retirees to plan for their retirement to last to their individual life expectancy. This may sound good on the surface, but given that the average joint life expectancy for a married couple retiring at 65 is 92 years old, many retirees are underestimating this all-important variable. If you are underestimating your life expectancy, then as a result, you may also be under-estimating the long-term impact of inflation and over-estimating the amount you can sustainably withdraw from your portfolio. It’s a delicate balance, but this is a discussion that needs to happen.
Long Term Care Insurance: A Reader Responds (theretirementmanifesto.com): A really great read with some thoughts/considerations on Long Term Care. This is another area rife with misconceptions.
When We Eat, or Don’t Eat, May Be Critical for Health (nytimes.com): This is one that I came across last week that reinforces what I’ve been experimenting with over the past couple months. It isn’t so much a “diet” recommendation as much as it is encouraging you to eat ONLY within a certain time window each day and explains the health benefits associated with “time-restricted eating”. Personally, I find it much easier to just not eat than it is for me to eat healthy all the time. As a result of my personal experiment using the time-restricted philosophy, I’ve lost about 10 pounds without changing the actual foods I eat and feel much better in virtually every way all at the same time. I must say for full disclosure that I am not exactly a health nut and don’t pretend to know a lot about ideal diets, but I was turned on to this idea by my brother who I would definitely classify as a very fit health nut. Might be worth looking into is all I can say.
Walmart drug program cheaper for many Medicare patients (nbcnews.com): “The discount retailer’s $4 generic prescriptions beat Medicare’s co-pays 21 percent of the time, a study found.” There are some cases where Walmart is providing a better deal than Medicare. This is definitely a worthwhile read at the very least from a strategic cost-saving perspective.
The Retirement Problem: What Will You Do With All That Time? (wharton.upenn.edu): Without question, one of the biggest stresses facing retirees is what to do with their time. This article sheds some light on this underappreciated important topic. For example, as a general rule when meeting with a prospective client for the first time, I can tell a significant difference between the retirees that have maintained an active lifestyle (volunteering, exercising, socializing with others, etc…) and the retirees that have spent their golden years sitting in front of the TV. All I say is please do not let that be you (the one sitting in front of the TV). After all, planning for your time in retirement is at least as important as what you do with your money.
If You Watch “THE NEWS”… I Have Some Bad News For Your Success & Happiness (medium.com): While I must admit that I don’t care for the title of this article at all, the message is spot on. If I was going to encourage you to read just one single article out of this linkfest, this would be the one.
Don’t call it retirement. Call it ‘transitioning to a new chapter’ (cnbc.com): Sometimes changing the language of the discussion is all it takes to gain additional perspective. As I say regularly, retirement is not the finish line, it is the starting line of an entirely new race. Everything in your life changes except our desire to make a difference in the lives of the people around us. This could be volunteering or just spending time with the people closest to us.
From Retirement Field Guide:
My most recent post: IRA Mistakes Retirees Make
Also pretty cool – my article for grandparents was recently featured on MarketWatch.
That’s all for this edition of the “Retirement Digest”. If you come across an article that you think others should consider reading, please pass it along to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading as always!
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