Retirement Answer Man

On this last episode in the counting the costs series of the Retirement Answer Man Show, the Rock Retirement Club steps in to provide some tips on how to make the best of all this work. Counting the costs of retirement can be intimidating. It can cause stress and worry. In this episode, those that have counted the costs of retirement and thrived step up to provide tips on how to handle this stressful part of retirement planning. Listening to the experience of others who have not only walked the walk but done so successfully can ease some of the worries that come with crunching the numbers while planning for retirement. Listen to this episode to hear tips from members of the Rock Retirement Club.

Don’t let the stress of retirement planning overwhelm you

There are so many unknowns to retirement, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. But worry, stress, and fear can become debilitating. Allowing yourself to become overwhelmed by the enormity of the financial side of retirement planning can lead to poor decision-making. Stress can further impact your financial planning by influencing how you make decisions. You may think that it is easier to stick your head in a hole and ignore the counting the costs step. Or you may try and patch together an easy financial solution together rather than implement a well-thought-out retirement plan. Don’t let worry overwhelm you. Planning your retirement costs will pay off in the end.

What can you do to combat the stress of retirement planning?

  1. Regain perspective - Change the conversation in your head. It’s easy to dwell on the enormity of planning for retirement. It’s easy to lose your mental game. Coach yourself to make it to the next step rather than concentrate on the big picture. This helps you feel as though you have made progress.
  2. Realize there are many adjustments to make in retirement, but you don’t have to make them all today.
  3. Everything you worry about you create yourself. Your big worry might not be a big deal if you are intentional.
  4. Surround yourself with the right people. Having a supportive crowd surrounding you can help you celebrate the small wins along the way. It helps to talk with people that are on the retirement journey. There is something to learn from those ahead of you in the process as well as those that are behind you.

Some tips from the Rock Retirement Club

Rock Retirement Club members have an Intentional spirit and are community-oriented. The club motto is “Walk with the wise and become wise.” We have had many productive and active conversations. Here are some tips from others that are on the same journey as you:

  • Estimate your expenses in Excel. Look for variances year to year.
  • One RRC member helps the elderly plan their budgets. This volunteer has created a win-win situation. Budgeting with the elderly helps her learn from others while teaching them. Not only does it help her get a handle on her own financial situation. She can also learn what the costs are from others that are further down the road.
  • One member has realized that spending can increase from before retirement. More free time equals more opportunities to spend on entertainment, shopping, gas, and eating out. How will you spend your time once you retire?
  • Another member is trying to live on his proposed retirement budget before he retires to get a feel for what that would be like.
  • Jon created multiple spending scenarios through a flexible retirement planner

Listen to this episode to hear all the tips from our Rock Retirement Club members and discover which ones can help you on your own journey in counting the costs of retirement.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

  • [3:53] Don’t let the stress of retirement planning overwhelm you
  • [8:35] What can you do to combat the stress of retirement planning?

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [16:20] Advice from Rock Retirement club members

THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT

  • [27:15] Thanks to Nichole

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [28:30] Listen to the tips and figure out which one fits your life

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Flexible Retirement Planner

Good Budget App

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

Direct download: RAM258.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

Over the past few episodes we have been counting the costs of your wants and wishes in retirement and on this episode, we get down to basics. What are your needs? You may think that defining your needs is the easy part: food, water, shelter, clothing, and healthcare, right? Well, it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. As a matter of fact, defining your needs can be much more complicated than coming up with your wants and wishes. Everyone has different needs in their life. What one may consider a need, someone else may scoff at. Listen to this episode of Retirement Answer Man to help you count the costs of your true needs in retirement.

How do you decide what your needs are?

Defining your needs is not as easy as it seems. To define your needs you have to consider what the deal breakers are. What can you really not live without? Everyone has different needs. For example, consider a golf club. Many would consider a golf club membership a want or wish, but for others, this is their primary social outlet. For these people, a golf club membership is a need. On one hand you need to be practical and consider what you truly need, but on the other hand, you don’t want to build a cage around yourself. Complicating your needs can actually lead to a very sad life so think carefully about what is important for you to live a happy life.

Why do we break things down this way?

You may be thinking, why do I need to define my needs, wants, and wishes? You may think that moving through these exercises is a waste of time. But defining these categories is a way to help when you come to a crossroads. When it is time to dial things down as you take away income sources, or maybe when the markets are performing well and you have a bit extra you can examine these categories and decide how to negotiate with yourself. Having everything broken down into categories allows you to consider more choices. Defining your needs, wants, and wishes is an important first step to rock retirement.

What is your baseline?

To consider what your needs are you have to think about your baseline. There are 2 ways to determine your baseline. You can look at it from a top-down perspective. To do this, take your income and subtract your savings. This equals your consumption. You can also come at it from a bottom-up point of view. With the bottom-up way determine what your costs will be for healthcare, housing, taxes, utilities, food, transportation, and basic fun. You can either jot these costs down on paper or make a spreadsheet. Having an idea of what your baseline costs will be can really help you gain perspective on how you will rock retirement.

What are the average costs of basic needs in retirement?

The costs of basic needs change quite a bit from state to state and from lifestyle to lifestyle. The costs of taxes also vary greatly between the states. Some states are trying to become more baby-boomer friendly to attract retirees. These states have low taxes on things like pensions and property. Here’s the breakdown of average costs in other categories:

Housing: $1322/month

Transportation: $550/month

Healthcare: $500/month

Food: $500/month

Entertainment $200/month

Whether you use a top-down approach or a bottom-up method, begin to calculate the costs of what your basic needs will be in retirement. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, costs will change over time. Counting the costs is an important step in learning how to rock retirement.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

  • [4:28] How do you decide what your needs are?

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [12:25] Never take a risk that will jeopardize your baseline
  • [14:24] What are the basic needs?
  • [22:34] What are the average costs of needs in retirement?

THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT

  • [25:20] Get your body moving to make you happy

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [27:09] Go dance!

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Healthcare Before Medicare Series: Episode 211, Episode 212, Episode 213, Episode 214

BOOK - Good to Great by Jim Collins

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

Direct download: RAM257.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:31pm CST

How are we supposed to dream big when we are so unsure of how to provide for ourselves in the future? The future seems so unsure after the terrible month of December. Some may be tempted to give up and just put all their money into a safe money market account or cd. You know for certain that you will get 2.5%-4% returns and life wouldn’t seem so scary. On today’s episode, you’ll learn why you want to have an agile retirement plan in place to help you through the rough patches so that you can rock retirement and get back to dreaming of those retirement wants and wishes.

Finally, we get to the wishes

On the previous episodes this month we discussed how to budget for your needs and wants in retirement and on this episode we finally tackle the wishes. Wishes can seem extravagant whether you are overfunded or underfunded in your retirement. Those that are overfunded may find it hard to dream big after years of being good stewards of their money. Those that are underfunded may balk at the idea of having so much leftover that they should shoot for the stars. Whichever category you fall into you should still go through this exercise as an expression of your values and to really shoot for the stars. Whether it's leaving an inheritance, gifting your grandkids with a college education, planning an epic trip, buying a home for your whole family to enjoy, or setting up a charitable foundation, dreaming big can be a wonderful way to start rocking your retirement.

Inheritance planning

There are many ways that you can leave money at the end for family members that you care about. A trust can be formed that will help protect the money after you pass. For instance, if you leave someone $500,000 it could be misspent, lost in a divorce, or lost by a spouse that overspends. By setting up a trust the money is protected in these cases. Another way to leave a legacy to those you love is by gifting it now. You can gift $15,000 each year without any tax consequences and your spouse can gift the same amount. You can even gift your child’s spouse an additional $15,000 without tax consequences as well which brings the total to $60,000 per year of tax-free gifting. Another way to give to those you love is by setting up a 529 savings plan for your grandchildren. These plans are highly flexible and you can even switch the beneficiaries or split it between multiple grandchildren. Have you thought of the legacy that you want to leave your loved ones?

3 Protips on dreaming big

  1. There is a fine line between helping someone that is doing well continue on their path and enabling someone that is not heading in the right direction. They need to learn to own their own problems. Think about whether you are supporting or enabling before you give. Make sure you are giving your loved one fuel to go the right direction.
  2. It doesn’t have to be fair. You don’t have to be consistent with your giving. One child may be heading in the right direction and the other one may be making poor choices. Trust planning could help make your giving more equitable or it can be a smart choice to have an intermediary. You don’t have to give 15 k a year. Don’t lead them to expect. These things could gain momentum as you age.
  3. Giving unexpected gifts can be fun. Don’t lead your heirs to believe they will be getting yearly gifts if that is something that you can’t provide.

Gifting to charity

Just like there are many ways to give to your heirs, there are several ways that you can give to charity. One way is to create a donor-advised fund. This is a fund that you can create where you can help manage the investments and annually you can decide what you want to give and to which organizations. You can even use it as a foundation and plan the distributions as a family. With the new tax rules consider lumping your gifts into specific years to get the maximum tax write-offs. There are so many ways that you can leave a legacy behind. It all depends on your values and the kind of legacy you want to leave. So how will you dream big?

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

  • [2:23] How can we dream big when we are so unsure of how to provide for ourselves in the future?
  • [9:52] How do you count the costs of the things you want and need?
  • [11:19] Evaluating performance can be tricky if you don’t have the right perspective

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [20:56] Finally we get to dream big and focus on wishes
  • [22:34] Inheritance planning
  • [28:55] How can you help grandkids plan their college education?
  • [31:23] How can you create experiences with those you love?
  • [33:05] 3 Pro tips
  • [37:02] Gifting to charity
  • [39:42] Other considerations

THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT

  • [42:25] What are some things that can make you happy that don’t cost any money?

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [45:15] Start to brainstorm what the spice of your life would be

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

 

Direct download: RAM256.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

What are your wants and wishes in retirement? This generation is redefining retirement. In the past retirement meant sitting on the park bench of life and taking it easy in the golden years. Today’s retirees are active and involved. They are living longer than ever and usually doing so without the safety net of the pension plans that were common in past generations. Since today’s retirees enjoy a longer period of health, retirement is an excellent time to live it up. How will you rock retirement? Discover ideas on how to pursue and fund your retirement dreams on this episode of Retirement Answer Man.

Think big when planning your wants and wishes

Whether your retirement fund is tight or grandiose, don’t be afraid to dream big. Living big shouldn’t be confused with spending big. Think about what you do for enjoyment now. How would you like to spend your time when you have more of it? Do you want to travel, learn to play an instrument, take cooking classes, or go back to school? The options are limitless and they don’t have to be costly, there are usually many different price points to having fun with your hobbies. How will you dream big to rock retirement?

You don’t have to be trapped in your current life

Our lives are arranged a certain way due to the limiting factors of our lives. But now those limitations may no longer be there. Upon retirement, you can rearrange your life the way you want. Think about what you want to be doing on a daily basis in retirement. Who will you be spending time with? Perhaps you want to be near grandkids, family, or maybe you want to move to a place with a certain type of people. What is your ideal climate? What is the size of your ideal town? Is it rural, urban, or suburban? You don’t have to be trapped by what is. Do you dream of a change of scenery with your retirement?

How do you define what is important to you?

You have been toiling in the fields of the workplace during your entire life, but retirement is your harvesting time. This is your time to define what is really important to you. To really rock retirement you need to give some thought on how to make the most of it. Travel is a goal for many retirees, but travel itself is too broad. You need to define it further, how exactly will you travel? Internationally, throughout the U.S., or locally? Once you start narrowing down what is really important to you-you can plan to rock retirement. So what do you envision for yourself in your retirement?

4 pro-tips on planning your wants and wishes

  1. Figure out how to make your hobbies more social. You can increase your social activities and make friends of all ages with similar interests. Think about joining a cycling club, a knitting group, or a book club.
  2. Plan for the seasons of retirement. Many of the activities you may have in mind are best-suited for the go-go years while you are still healthy and active. When financially planning your retirement think about how long you will want to be involved in your hobbies. How long can you realistically travel internationally? Will you need a country club membership for your entire life?
  3. Be creative in how you want to go about attaining your wants and wishes. Instead of buying a second home think about renting for a season instead. If you are considering RV travel rent one for a month and see if you still have the itch afterward. There are many creative ways that you can fulfill your dreams without breaking the bank.
  4. Think about how you can set yourself up to enjoy your wants and wishes before you retire. If you do buy a second home, a motorcycle, RV, or boat do so while you still have the income from your job.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

  • [2:35] This generation is redefining retirement
  • [4:25] When planning your wants and wishes think big

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [10:30] Retirement is your harvesting time
  • [15:34] How to define what is important to you
  • [20:00] Pro tips on planning your wants and wishes

THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT

  • [24:24] Retirement planning can be scary, take a cue from Nichole and laugh more!

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [26:23] Start to define your costs for retirement

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

Direct download: RAM255_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

As the markets worsen and the talk of recession begins are you wondering if you will have enough money in retirement? Are you wondering what you should start doing now to ensure that you can live the life you want? On this episode of Retirement Answer Man, I encourage you to take intentional action so that you can rock retirement. Today you will learn to count the costs so that you can know how much it will cost to live the life you want after you leave full-time work. Listen to this episode to hear how you can start planning now to rock your retirement.

Are you experiencing the not-so thrifty 50’s?

I read a study recently where a group of people in their 80’s and 90’s were surveyed. The age most said they would like to return to is their 50’s. Your 50s can be a time of great abundance. Many of us are earning the highest income we’ve ever had. In addition to that many in their 50’s are left with empty nests as our children transition into adulthood. Is all this extra money going to fuel your retirement fund or are you buying all the toys of adulthood? Have you stopped budgeting now that you know that you’ll have enough money to cover it all? Be wary of creating a financial cage for yourself.

What can you do now to ensure you have enough money in retirement?

I have a few tips for you to act on now to ensure that you’ll have enough money to rock your retirement.

  1. If you’re married make sure both voices are heard. Usually, one spouse takes over the financial management of the household and this is the spouse that leads the retirement planning as well. Oftentimes we think we know what our spouse wants, but what they really want is much different. Ensure that both of you get some of what you want by having open discussions. Give each other space to express yourselves.
  2. Don’t confuse wants with needs
  3. Budget. Many of us have fallen out of the habit of budgeting. It’s time to flex your budgeting muscle.
  4. Look backward first, then forward. Look back at your last 3 months of spending and analyze it. Now you can look forward. After analyzing your prior 3 months of spending make a budget for the year. Understand which payments are fixed, which are, variable, and which are discretionary. Label these accordingly.
  5. Map out your spending with spreadsheets until age 92. Having a guide to help you will ensure that you are more focused and in control of your spending.

Act now!

If you are ready to rock your retirement then now is the time to start. Start out by analyzing your spending so that you can create your budget. Count your costs now and identify your wants and needs. This way you can know how much it will cost to rock your retirement. Your most valuable asset, human capital, is starting to diminish. So it is important to know exactly how much you need to live the life you want. One more thing you can do to help you on your retirement journey is to join the Rock Retirement Club. Enrollment is open until January 3, 2019, so make sure you get in before it closes!

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN

HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

  • [3:08] Are you experiencing the not-so thrifty 50s?

PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

  • [11:35] Make both of your voices heard
  • [14:40] Flex your budgeting muscle
  • [15:35] Map out your spending
  • [18:54] What will we be talking about over the next few episodes?

THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT

  • [20:23] Join the Rock Retirement Club!

TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

  • [22:30] Do a 3-month study on your spending

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page

Direct download: RAM254.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

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