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Retirement Income Funding

Preparing for Retirement When You’re Starting Late

By | Retirement Income Funding, Retirement Income Frameworks, Efficient Retirement Income, Safe Savings Rates, Spending Flexibility, Spending Goals, Long-Term Care | No Comments

Everyone knows that you’re supposed to start saving for retirement early, but that doesn’t always happen. In fact, if you look at the numbers, it’s actually pretty rare. Most people are woefully unprepared for retirement, but you can change that. Prepa…

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Review: When to Switch from a Roth IRA to a Traditional 401(k)

By | Retirement Income Funding, Weekly Review | No Comments

Most people don’t really know whether they should use a traditional or Roth IRA or 401(k). It often simply comes down to the path of least resistance (or nothing at all). The standard advice is pretty straightforward – if you think your tax rate will be lower in retirement than it currently is then you should use a traditional IRA or 401(k). If you think your tax rate will go up in retirement, then you should put your money into a Roth account. What retirement accounts essentially do is allow you to choose when you want to pay taxes on your investments, so you want to pick whenever (you think) you will pay the lowest rate. But this article brings up an interesting wrinkle that I hadn’t considered before – for a lot of investors having wide open investment choices is not actually a good thing. When you can choose anything, a lot of people end up choosing nothing because they either get confused or just don’t want to deal with trying to sort everything out. If these types of folks stick with their company’s 401(k) plan (and the vast majority of 401(k) plans don’t offer the option of Roth […]

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Review: 6 Things You Can Do to Retire by 40, According to People Who Did It

By | Retirement Income Funding, Retirement Spending Goals, Weekly Review | No Comments

Retiring early – especially by 40 – may not be easy, but it’s no more complicated than retiring at any other age. It’s still “just” funding your income for the rest of your life. Of course, when you retire at 40, that means you add another 25 years to your retirement, and take away 25 years from the time you have to prepare for retirement. But it’s doable. Just like any financial plan, it’s a question of how much you want to spend, and how much you can save. That first part – how much you want to spend – takes on an even bigger role when you retire early. Figuring out your goals is incredibly important for any financial plan. Those goals are the foundation the plan is built on. But, for most people, it’s incredibly hard to accurately predict what they want to spend in retirement. You’ll pick up a new hobby, or realize you forgot to account for something, or your priorities change through time. And this is just for a typical thirty-year retirement. It gets even harder when you double the length of your retirement – especially since you’ll be young and active for so much […]

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Review: Your Confidence About Your Retirement Planning Is Probably Misplaced

By | Retirement Income Funding, Weekly Review, Social Security | No Comments

Most people don’t really understand how to prepare for a successful retirement. There are a lot of moving parts, and a lot of what you should be doing is not very obvious. For most people, the best they can do is throw money at the problem and hope that everything turns out okay (and a lot of people don’t even get here.) There are all sorts of reasons we have a retirement savings crisis, but one of the big reasons is that most people are just not financially literate. The article I linked above mentions a survey done by Financial Engines in which only 8 percent of respondents got six out of ten questions about financial topics right. I don’t know how tough those questions were, but any way you slice it, an 8 percent pass rate is not so hot. If you’re curious how you stack up, you can take our twenty-question retirement literacy test and find out. One of the areas they specifically called out was understanding Social Security. Only about a third of respondents knew that they could delay taking their benefits until they turned seventy. Deciding when to take your Social Security benefits is one of the […]

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Review: How to know whether you have ‘enough’ to retire early

By | Retirement Income Funding, Reliable Income, Retirement Insights, Weekly Review | No Comments

Deciding when to retire can be a nerve-wracking decision. You’ve spent the last few decades working toward, and preparing for, retirement. How do you know when to call it a career? If you don’t have a retirement income plan in place, then really, you’re just guessing and hoping for the best. It’s possible everything will work out, but you’re taking a shot in the dark – with the rest of your life. You can be a lot more confident if you do have a retirement income plan in place – and you’ve been working on that plan. Pulling the trigger and starting your retirement will still be stressful (I still get nervous and triple check the dates whenever I buy plane tickets), but you’ll know you have given yourself the best chance possible to reach the retirement you have always wanted. The first, and most often overlooked, step is to decide what your retirement will look like. What do you want to do? What will make you feel fulfilled over the long term? Remember, you’re potentially looking at thirty-plus years of retirement. That’s a lot of Law & Order reruns and rounds of golf. Once you know what you want […]

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