Retirement Strategy : A Personal Account

coinTreeA friend recently told me he’s planning to retire but is worried about his financial ability to do so. When he described his situation, I told him it seemed to me he didn’t have anything to worry about. But, still he’s worried. As luck would have it, I heard a finance professor lecture on retirement income planning the following day. He suggested a strategy that might just help put my friend’s mind at ease. I then also read an article in the Harvard Business Review by Nobel laureate economist Robert Merton touting the same idea. It’s not a cure-all, a panacea or magical solution. As a financial whiz-kid once reminded me, “No financial product has a ‘secret sauce’.”

The concept: use annuities as a key element in your retirement income strategy. Read more

Protect Your Retirement From The Government’s Whims

coinTree

I’m worried that government policies will undermine the value of my retirement savings. I’ve worked hard for this money and I’m counting on it to keep me comfortable during retirement. What can I do to avoid being robbed by Washington? — Joyce A.

“Robbed” is perhaps a little strong, but I understand your trepidation. For better or worse, government policies in any number of areas can clearly affect the value of your nest egg, not to mention your retirement prospects overall. Read more

Have You Crash-Tested Your Retirement Plan?

coinTreeAt this point it’s anyone’s guess whether the recent turmoil in the market is just another a speed bump on the road to further gains or the start of a serious setback. But either way, now is an ideal time to ask: Would your retirement plans survive a crash?

The three-step crash-test below can give you a sense of how your retirement plans might fare during a major market downturn, and help you take steps to avert disaster. I recommend you do this stress-test now, while you can still make meaningful adjustments, rather than waiting until a crisis actually hits—and wishing you’d taken action beforehand. Read more

The 5 Best Places to Retire on the Beach in 2016

coinTreeThese overseas retirement spots have water views and an affordable cost of living.

A beach retirement costs much less if you are willing to move overseas.

Perhaps the most common retire-overseas daydream is a new life at the beach. Mountain lifestyles and city living can be great options, but the promise of a beachfront retirement draws many people abroad. If you, like so many others, dream of a coastal retirement, here are five of your best choices.
Read more

Watch Out for These Retirement Gotchas

coinTree
Find out how to protect your retirement plan and savings against these hidden costs, important deadlines, and financial traps.

From high fees buried in hundreds of pages of fine print to important tax deadlines that sneak up on you, retirement planning is full of surprises for people who are unprepared. Make sure you’re aware of the potholes along the road to retirement so that you can navigate the process with fewer headaches. Here are some of the retirement planning traps to look out for and how to avoid them.
Read more

2016’s Best and Worst States To Retire

coinTreeBrought to you by Wallethub.com

Based on affordability, health factors, such as hospital rankings, number of physicians and quality of life.

Retirement might be the end of the line, but it doesn’t have to be the end of financial security or life satisfaction. For many of us, our primary concern with retirement is timing, which often coincides with the age at which we become eligible to receive Social Security or pension benefits. Hopefully the choice will be ours and not dictated by our circumstances — the unfortunate case for nearly a third of nonretirees who haven’t put away a single penny for retirement, though not necessarily through any fault of their own. Read more

How much do you really need for retirement?

coinTreeIt’s the age-old question: How much should I save for retirement?
For years, financial advisors recommended people save at least $1 million to enjoy a comfortable retirement. But given longer lifespans and concerns about the financial status of Social Security, is that target enough to fund a potentially decades-long retirement?

Maybe not. Read more

5 Ways to Tell if You’re Really Ready To Retire

coinTreeThink it’s about time to call it a career? Great. But before you say “Hasta la vista, baby!” to your job, I suggest you go over the five items in my Are You Really Ready To Retire? checklist.

Just to be clear: I’m not talking about “ready to retire” in the sense that you’ll flip out if you have to deal with your egomaniac of a boss one more day. I mean you’re ready in the sense of being financially, socially and emotionally prepared to make the transition to your post-career life. That’s important to know because if you exit before you’re truly prepared, you may find yourself repeating another famous Schwarzenegger line: “I’ll be back.” Read more

5 “BS” Retirement Investing Pitches You Should Ignore

coinTreeYou’re probably already wise to many schemes designed to separate you from your money—emails from Nigerian princes, phishing scams, etc. But does your BS detector go off when confronted with slick come-ones for perfectly legal-but-dubious investments? To see, check out these five pitches that are often targeted to people investing for retirement. Read more

5 Costs to Include in Your Retirement Budget

coinTreeDon’t retire without a plan to pay for these expenses.  Don’t forget to budget for the travel and hobbies you will finally have time for in retirement.  Most people accept that retirement won’t be cheap.  But just how expensive will it be?

Visions of the ideal retirement range from the extravagant pursuit of everything we have dreamed of to frugal plans calculated to stretch the buying power of our hard earned savings. Whatever course we set, we need to accurately estimate and budget for our future. While the final tab will vary depending on your lifestyle, some expenses are shared across the board and need to be budgeted for. Read more