Retirement Answer Man

Confessions of a Terrible Husband BIt's easier than ever to become a terrible husband. Our connected world has caused the outside world of news, work and friends to compete for the limited attention we have when we're at home.  If you're not careful e-mails, status updates and the internet can rob your wife of her rightful place as the center of your life.

This year my wife and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I'm happy to say our relationship has never been stronger. This wasn't always so. For much of our marriage, I was a terrible husband. I allowed the pressures of work and the outside world to dominate my attention at the expense of my wife. Luckily, I woke up, got my priorities straight and can now say we have an awesome marriage.

I want this for you too.

In this week's episode, Nick Pavlidis shares his journey from terrible husband to husbandly awesomeness (He wouldn't say this, but I will).  We discuss:

  • Signs you could be a terrible husband.
  • The importance of taking inventory of your actions and priorities.
  • How to apply workplace leadership skills at home.
  • Ways to make your wife your top priority.
  • Why it all starts with you.
  • How to walk your talk.
  • The benefits of investing in your marriage.
  • The magic of continually asking yourself,  "What is the next right thing?"

Join Nick in Becoming a Better Husband

Nick is, admittedly, a work in progress. If you'd like to join him on his journey towards being more intentional in marriage here's how:

Question

What is your nest advice for improving your relationship with your spouse?

Tell me here

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_77.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 3:26pm CST

What do you think the midyear outlook for the market is? Greece, is all over the news (what is it with Greece, anyway?), markets in China are crazy and here in the U.S. everyone is freaked out about when interest rates will rise. What is an investor to do?

In this episode, we'll discuss the midyear outlook for the markets as well as the importance of managing your assets in a consistent well thought out way.

Your Investment Assets Should Be Aligned with Your Financial Priorities. 

All to often, we collect investments over time just like we collect "stuff" in our closet. As we walk through life, we see an interesting investment, buy it and repeat again and again. Over time, many end up with an investment portfolio that looks more like a storage closet than a well structured portfolio laser focused on helping achieve goals. 

Over the years, I've seen some horrendously constructed portfolio (by Advisors as well as individuals).  I recall one IRA that had over 45 different managed portfolios! All actively managed by an advisor.  Geez!!!

Collected portfolios pose some serious risks to your long-term investment experience. Such portfolios make it very difficult to evaluate:

  • the individual and aggregate risk you're taking.
  • whether each manager is performing adequately.
  • the appropriateness of the fees you're paying.
  • Whether you're portfolio allocation is aligned with your family's priorities.

Much better, in my opinion, to have your portfolio, and your balance sheet, laser focused on helping you achieve things you know you care about. In short know:

  • what you own.
  • why you own it.
  • how to evaluate it.
  • how it helps position you to achieve your family's priorities.

It is Essential That You Stick with ONE Well Thought Out Investment Process.

This is such an important point I need to do an entire show on it. If you switch from process to process you really don't have any process at all. This can be DISASTROUS to your long-term performance.

Decide on a well thought out strategy and stick to it. Stick to it even when it feels uncomfortable; especially when it feels uncomfortable. 

Stay tuned for a future show focused on investment process. 

Highlight's From LPL Financial's Midyear Outlook

In this week's episode, I speak with LPL Financial's Anthony Valeri, C.F.A. about LPL's midyear outlook for the world economies and markets. Anthony and the entire LPL team are sharp cookies. More importantly though, because LPL does no investment banking or selling of proprietary products, they're investment opinions are not tainted by the normal conflicts of interest you see at major firms. 

Anthony is a Senior Vice President, Investment Strategies and sits on LPL's tactical allocation committee. 

Get LPL's Midyear Outlook for Investing

 

  • The economy has helped deliver six consecutive calendar years of positive returns for stocks since the end of the 2008 – 2009 Great Recession, as measured by the S&P 500 Index; however, constructing a strategy for the remainder of the economic expansion will require a tricky assembly. Divergent monetary policies reveal an uneven global recovery that has triggered an uptick in stock market volatility. A few important pieces requiring assembly for the remainder of 2015 include: „
  • How the U.S. economy pieces together the components needed to bounce back from a lackluster start of the year. The U.S. economy hit an unexpected soft patch to start the year due to a severe winter freeze, the West Coast port strikes, ongoing effects of lower oil prices, and the surging U.S. dollar. Returning to a more normalized 3% growth level will be crucial to build further upon the market’s first half gains. „
  • After successfully delivering the U.S. economy out of the recessionary “warehouse,” how does the Federal Reserve (Fed) assemble an exit strategy from its six-year policy of zero interest rates? With unprecedented levels of accommodative monetary policy rendering any traditional instruction manual pointless, the Fed will have to use its entire toolbox to construct a delicate increase in interest rates without disrupting the fragile economic growth and the wavering confidence of businesses, consumers, and investors.
  • Corporate earnings growth continues to search for that spark to ignite equity advances. In the U.S., lackluster profits aligned with weak first quarter 2015 economic growth to produce the lowest level of year-over-year corporate earnings growth in 11 quarters. Overseas markets are looking for a power boost from the very accommodative monetary policies of global central banks across Europe and Asia, in an attempt to spur sustainable growth, improve earnings, and avoid deflationary forces.

Although many packages are still in transit as we approach the midpoint of 2015, the biggest challenge for the market is putting the necessary pieces together to construct the backdrop for solid global economic growth, stable prices and currencies, and expanding corporate profits. The task is complicated by the Fed’s expected first interest rate increase in nine years later this year. The assembly will not be an easy one, but the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2015: Some Assembly Required provides the investment instruction manual, tools, and tactics to construct portfolio strategies that may flourish in a market that remains in transition.

If you're an auditory learner, here's a link to their midyear outlook video.

Enjoy the Podcast?  Please Help Others Find it in iTunes By Leaving a Review 

Click HEREo leave a review.

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_Midyear_Outlook.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 9:06pm CST

Many say the American dream is dead. That getting married, starting a family and building for the future is no longer possible. Unfortunately, many others believe it when they hear it. All the while though, there are people with "normal" jobs building the American Dream step by step.

One such person (or couple) is Molly and her husband. He works as a teacher. She works part time. They have a home and young daughter but still safe 15% of their gross income. From our conversation, they don't seem to do anything magical. They simply work at being intentional with how they spend money.

Lessons I Learned From Molly's Story

  1. The word retirement is changing. It's becoming more about working on your own terms than leaving the workforce. This is significant, and if you share this vision you can use it to plan more intelligently of your future.
  2. It's important to be careful about what you spend on your education. According to Career Builder, over half of college grads are in jobs that don't require a degree. Education is important, but it may lead you to work you hadn't considered.
  3. It is possible to start a family, build a life and save for the future in "normal" paying careers. It takes being very intentional about your spending and working together.
  4. It's important to learn about the time value of money and investing early. Although parents and schools, generally, do poorly at this, there are lots of great resources for those that want to learn. In fact, today I had a perfect example. A 19 year old called me to discuss how to start saving for the future. This young man is working, going to school and has extra money he wants to start saving and investing with. Where'd he learn this attitude?  Books and podcasts!
  5. It's so easy to buy things that we forget about the great free resources available to us. Whether it's on the internet or at the local library, there are free resources to help you learn about nearly anything. Molly gives a great example of this in her quest to learn Spanish. Rather than buy a expensive (highly marketed) language program, she found free resources at the local library.

Molly

  • Early 33’s
  • Married 5 years
  • A toddler daughter (20 months)
  • Registered nurse

What Does Retirement Mean to You?

“In my 20’s it was this nebulous way in the future concept  that happens to other people, but would never happen to me because I’m never going to grow old."

"Retirement to me would be a continuation, where I’m able to work just the amount that I want to. Maybe some of that is paid. Maybe some of that is volunteered. "

"I think of retirement as the point that we hit financial independence, so that I’m not just working because I have to. I’m working because I want to."

What Are You Most Excited About Retirement?

“The flexibility to do whatever I want to do with my time.”

"I would love to live close to my children, when they have children.”

What Worries You Most Worried About?

“Unexpected future expenses (home remodeling, more kids) could push back the date of our financial independence.”

“I spend most of my time focusing on what I can control.”

How Do You Think You're Doing on Your Journey Towards Retirement?

“If you’re looking at the average American in their mid-30’s I think we’e ahead of the curve.”

“We’re saving about 15% of our gross income towards retirement.”

Do You Use a Financial Planner?

“I took a Retirement Planning Today class at a local community college.  They offered a free consultation. It was very sales oriented.”

What is the Worst Financial Decision You’ve Ever Made?

“I got an undergraduate degree that I’m not using. I got a teaching credential that I’m not using. I even went back to school to start to get a masters in nursing (and then dropped out). So, I’ve spent a lot of money on education that I’m not using.”

“I didn’t pay more attention and try to learn about investing in my 20’s.”

What Do You Struggle With When Making Financial Decisions?

“I would probably say, I’ve gotten borderline obsessed with learning about personal finance.”

What is Your Number One Resource?

“The Library.”

“I am in love with the public library.”

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

Well, I think I want to be remembered by what kind of relationships I had with people in my life.”

Question:  What is the One Thing You Can Do Today to Be More Intentional With Your Money?

For me, it is having better conversations about money with my wife Shauna. Lately, we've gotten a little lazy in our spending. Actually, I've gotten a little lazy with our spending. Not crazy lazy. More like I've become less intentional than I'd like about my spending decisions. Sorta like there's a hole in my pocket that bits of money falls though. I know it's there, I just haven't gotten around to fixing it yet. My wife helps me stay focused and fix these little things.

What About You?  Let me know here.

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_74.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:13pm CST

Many say the American dream is dead. That getting married, starting a family and building for the future is no longer possible. Unfortunately, many others believe it when they hear it. All the while though, there are people with "normal" jobs building the American Dream step by step.

One such person (or couple) is Molly and her husband. He works as a teacher. She works part time. They have a home and young daughter but still safe 15% of their gross income. From our conversation, they don't seem to do anything magical. They simply work at being intentional with how they spend money.

Lessons I Learned From Molly's Story

  1. The word retirement is changing. It's becoming more about working on your own terms than leaving the workforce. This is significant, and if you share this vision you can use it to plan more intelligently of your future.
  2. It's important to be careful about what you spend on your education. According to Career Builder, over half of college grads are in jobs that don't require a degree. Education is important, but it may lead you to work you hadn't considered.
  3. It is possible to start a family, build a life and save for the future in "normal" paying careers. It takes being very intentional about your spending and working together.
  4. It's important to learn about the time value of money and investing early. Although parents and schools, generally, do poorly at this, there are lots of great resources for those that want to learn. In fact, today I had a perfect example. A 19 year old called me to discuss how to start saving for the future. This young man is working, going to school and has extra money he wants to start saving and investing with. Where'd he learn this attitude?  Books and podcasts!
  5. It's so easy to buy things that we forget about the great free resources available to us. Whether it's on the internet or at the local library, there are free resources to help you learn about nearly anything. Molly gives a great example of this in her quest to learn Spanish. Rather than buy a expensive (highly marketed) language program, she found free resources at the local library.

Molly

  • Early 33’s
  • Married 5 years
  • A toddler daughter (20 months)
  • Registered nurse

What Does Retirement Mean to You?

“In my 20’s it was this nebulous way in the future concept  that happens to other people, but would never happen to me because I’m never going to grow old."

"Retirement to me would be a continuation, where I’m able to work just the amount that I want to. Maybe some of that is paid. Maybe some of that is volunteered. "

"I think of retirement as the point that we hit financial independence, so that I’m not just working because I have to. I’m working because I want to."

What Are You Most Excited About Retirement?

“The flexibility to do whatever I want to do with my time.”

"I would love to live close to my children, when they have children.”

What Worries You Most Worried About?

“Unexpected future expenses (home remodeling, more kids) could push back the date of our financial independence.”

“I spend most of my time focusing on what I can control.”

How Do You Think You're Doing on Your Journey Towards Retirement?

“If you’re looking at the average American in their mid-30’s I think we’e ahead of the curve.”

“We’re saving about 15% of our gross income towards retirement.”

Do You Use a Financial Planner?

“I took a Retirement Planning Today class at a local community college.  They offered a free consultation. It was very sales oriented.”

What is the Worst Financial Decision You’ve Ever Made?

“I got an undergraduate degree that I’m not using. I got a teaching credential that I’m not using. I even went back to school to start to get a masters in nursing (and then dropped out). So, I’ve spent a lot of money on education that I’m not using.”

“I didn’t pay more attention and try to learn about investing in my 20’s.”

What Do You Struggle With When Making Financial Decisions?

“I would probably say, I’ve gotten borderline obsessed with learning about personal finance.”

What is Your Number One Resource?

“The Library.”

“I am in love with the public library.”

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

Well, I think I want to be remembered by what kind of relationships I had with people in my life.”

Question:  What is the One Thing You Can Do Today to Be More Intentional With Your Money?

For me, it is having better conversations about money with my wife Shauna. Lately, we've gotten a little lazy in our spending. Actually, I've gotten a little lazy with our spending. Not crazy lazy. More like I've become less intentional than I'd like about my spending decisions. Sorta like there's a hole in my pocket that bits of money falls though. I know it's there, I just haven't gotten around to fixing it yet. My wife helps me stay focused and fix these little things.

What About You?  Let me know here.

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_74.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:13pm CST

Category: -- posted at: 12:08pm CST

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