Retirement Answer Man (Investing)

Should I rollover my 401(k) to an IRA? Most advisors say yes, but It’s not always the best idea. In this episode we share what you should consider to make the choice that’s right for you.

Listen to the Audio

 

 

Happy Lab 

Over the last few weeks we’ve been reviewing the top 5 regrets people have at the end of their life.

Here's the list so far;


#5: I wish I had allowed myself to be happier

#4: I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

And this week, #3: I wish I had shared my feelings more.

S.M.A.R.T. Sprint 

Stay connected with people you care about. In the next 7 days, call a friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile.

What’s That Mean?? 

Style Drift.

Why do you buy an investment strategy? The obvious question is to make us money. But one investment strategy is typically part of an overall portfolio is designed to work together. Each piece of the portfolio (or asset allocation) has a role to play. Much like each contractor used to build a house does. The plumber, put in the plumbing. The landscaper, puts in the landscape. And so forth.  As long as they execute their roles, you can get a great house (or portfolio). If, however, the plumber starts to putting flowers in your pipes you may not notice right away, but you’ll have a problem. Likewise, if that small cap strategy starts buying large caps, you won’t notice at first but eventually you’ll have a different experience than you bargained for. That’s style drift.

It’s the same with your portfolio. Each investment strategy has a role to play. 

Hot Topic This Week

Last week major world oil producers met in Qatar to discuss a production free. News of the upcoming discussions helped stabilize oil markets in recent weeks. Unfortunately, as expected, they were  unable to come to an agreement.  We'll discuss the possible implications it could have global equity markets.

Practical Planning

On this week's show we answer listener questions including:

•Does it matter when I rollover my 401(k) to an IRA? What should I consider when making this decisions?

•When designing a balanced portfolio, should I count my company pension plan (which gives me $100,000 a year) as part of my bond portfolio?

•In retirement, is retail income considered earned income? Would rental income factor into whether my Social Security would be taxed?

Have a retirement question you’d like answered? Ask it here!

Direct download: RAM_4.19.16.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 4:18pm CST

One hundred minus your age in equities. This is is the rule of thumb for asset allocation we've all heard. Recent research, however, has questioned the logic of whether during retirement you should become more conservative in your investment allocation. 

This best practice may not be best after all.

Michael Kitces, the chief nerd at the Nerd's Eye View, discuss:

  • The difference between achieving life goals vs. wealth maximization.
  • Why it may make sense to get more aggressive in your allocation as you age.
  • How the return sequence of your portfolio is more important than your average return during retirement.
  • The equity glide path.
  • The danger years for every retiree.

You can get links to the sources mentioned in the show at rogerwhitney.com

Direct download: RAM_Podcast_98.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 9:16am CST

I've been hacked!!!! To prove that talking retirement planning doesn't have to be dull, Joe Saul-Sehy from the Stacking Benjamins Show hacked into this week's show.

We were all set for another super serious retirement planning show when Joe from Stacking Benjamins hacked in and took over. Evidently Joe thought I was getting a bit too serious and wanted to lighten up the show a bit. Although he made every attempt to suck the wisdom from the show, I was able to sneak in some great retirement planning lessons as he told stories, ranted and joked about personal finance.

If you listen closely, you'll there's some great lessons about:

  • Financial Pornography: The dangers of listening to financial news.
  • How everyone is marketing something
  • Everyone presents themselves as financially savvy
  • Why not to believe your friends investing stories.
  • Don't count on your advisor to predict the future.
  • The true role of an excellent financial advisor.
  • Why humility is key to making good financial decisions.
  • Joe's admits his worst financial decision.
  • How to judge the competency of your financial advisor.

As light hearted as Joe is, he really knows his stuff. If you're looking for an entertaining personal finance show, check his out here.

Tell Me What You Think

Joe thinks I'm too serious in my show. Joe's a good friend and I respect him. You're a friend to so I'd love to get your feedback.

  • What do you like most about the show?
  • What would you change?
  • Is my show too serious?
  • Would you like to hear more about current events and the markets?
  • Is it too long (or too short)?

TELL ME HERE

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_78_8.4.15.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 3:16pm CST

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

Do you remember your high school sweetheart?  I remember.....all of them. Young "love" is exciting how often does it turn into true love, that lasts into retirement?  I found my true love, Shauna, in college. This year, we'll celebrate our 25th anniversary. When did you meet your true love?

In this week's journey to retirement story, we hear from true high school sweethearts, John and Patti.

Lessons Learned

  • Your story matters. It’s great to hear couples have conversations based on the stories you share on this podcast.
  • Retirement is more about having flexibility in what you do than simply not working.
  • Fixing things yourself can save a lot of money and keep you engaged.
  • Not knowing when retirement is possible and what it could look like is a central issues people struggle with.
  • You and your retirement goals will evolve over time. It's important you have a nimble process to help you make good retirement decisions along the way.

John and Patti

  • Patti age early 50’s and has worked for the same company of 28 years
  • John works in the technical field
  • They've dated since age 17 (how sweet is that??)
  • Two grown Daughters
  • Gearing up for retirement

What Does Retirement mean to you?

  • Patti:  Retirement means doing a lot more things, doing the things I want to do. I don’t think I could not do something. It’s flexibility at an age when you can still enjoy it.
  • John:  I’m kind of a do it your selfer. There’s really a lot of money to be saved by fixing things yourself. Retirement for me is going to be doing the things I want to do, on my terms. That in a nutshell is what I’m hoping for. I’ve got a laundry list of things I want to do.

What are you most excited about?

  • John:  Right now I commute an hour each way. I’ll have 2 hours my day back just like that. There are some things I’ll probably be doing in my 70’s that I could never think I would do.
  • Patti:  Moving to a warmer climate in the winter. Maybe downsizing our main home.

What are you most worried about?

John: Do I have enough money. Am I going to run out of money. That kind of thing.  I have a lot of things I’m planning on doing. Am I going to be able to do them?  Is my health going to be okay?

Patti: The worry for me would be managing the money properly so we have enough. We always worry about the health care costs. I think that will be a major cost that’s hard to predict.

How do you think your doing?

Based on the calculators we’ve run, I guess, we’re not panicking. We’re doing the best we can. If it means working longer that’s what we’ll do. If it means retiring earlier, that’s what we’ll do.

Do You Use a Financial Planner?

  • We do a lot ourself.
  • What I’m looking for is someone to help me with a plan to move forward, give us recommendation and Patti and I execute them.
  • A lot of the places say we need to transfer all our money to this financial institution in order for them to manage it.

What is the worst financial decision you’ve ever made?

John: Before we got married…I read a book on penny stocks and I proved that book wrong.

What are some of the things you have to deal with personally when your managing your finances?

John: I think the biggest thing is…it’s (financial planning) not exciting. You can see it’s important but it’s not urgent so it doesn’t get the attention it desereves.

Patti: The budget part. John wants to stick to it more than I do. He wants it all documented whereas I know more of what I spent and what I didn’t.

What is the one resource that has had the most impact on your lives?

Patti: My parents. I think being brought up in a modest home and working at a young age…has made me into a conscientious spending adult.

How do you want to be remembered?

Patti: I’d like to be remembered for helping others and being a core part of the family.

John: For the positive experiences we’ve had together.

Have a question or want to share your story? Click Here.

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_72.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 2:20pm CST

IS ANYONE THERE???  I ask because, no one wants to talk about dying or end of life costs. Seriously, when does one bring this subject up?  At a family dinner?? Maybe on your Saturday date night???  Most likely the subject is broached when you bear witness to the devastating effects it has on someone you know.

The Emotional and Financial Costs of End of Life Care

I've learned a lot about the devastating costs of end of life care lately. Over the last year, there's been a lot of death in my family. Last year my sister, Barbara passed away at age 51 and my aunt Nicola passed too. Now, at age 96, my grandmother is tiring out and is in hospice.

When someone you love is dying, it takes a toll on everyone close to them. If you're not careful the emotional and financial toll can be devastating.

In this episode,

We'll discuss:

  • How to manage the emotional cost of end of life
  • The role of family in end of life
  • The average cost of end of life care
  • The uncertainty of the end of life process
  • Ways to plan for end of life costs
  • The importance of good estate planning documents
  • How to write a family love letter

Listener Question

After listening to episode #69 I have had a question I have needed answered for a while.. .

Quick background Im 33yrs old have no retirement working on life/work balance.

Married 3 kids

Built my own business for last 8 years best profits have come last 2 years and current year.

I have no debt personally besides my mortgage.

I have some business debt im paying off over next 2 years.

 

 

My question is how much should I start investing in retirement vs reinvesting into my company to help it grow. Up until age 30 I have had the mindset that ill invest in my retirement later and building the company

Great question!  I struggled with this question as well and work with many owners that have the some issue. We business owners tend to be very confident in our abilities and company. Most business owners have the majority of their assets tied to their business. Makes sense, since typically the best return on investment is investing in themselves.

If we're not careful, though, we can become addicted to fueling our business and fail to diversify our assets outside our business.
We'll discuss:

  • The difference between a cash flow business and enterprise.
  • How to decide when to start diversifying your assets outside your business.
  • The difference between wealth creation and wealth preservation and growth.
  • The importance of not getting "addicted to the deal."
  • How to separate your business and personal finances.
  • The importance of "don't go broke" money.

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_71.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 5:28pm CST

You may die tomorrow. You may get sick. There's no way to predict it and there's nothing you can do about it. Yeah, It sucks, I know. I've got the same deal. As important as planning for retirement is, its just as important...no, more important....you make the most of the only life you have. The one that's happening right now!

The frailty of life is so easy to forget. We're so busy planning, worrying and doing we can miss enjoying the here and now. Lately, I've had lots of reminders of how important enjoying today is. Last year, my sister passed and aunt passed away, my grandmother (age 96) is in hospice and a old neighbor was just diagnosed with MS. I think of events like these as taps on the shoulder. God reminding me, that I was created to live NOW.

Don't just plan a great retirement. Not at the expense of living today. To create a great life, you need to find that balance between living well today AND planning for tomorrow. I know, it's a hard balance to achieve. It might be impossible. You still need to try though. And don't wait, as many do, for a health issue to force your hand. Start today to:

Dream up, plan out and begin living an amazing life.

In this week's episode, we here Amy's journey to retirement and how health issues helped bring into focus the need to find better balance between living today and planning for retirement?

Lessons Learned From Amy's Story

  • Don’t postpone living. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Health issues can hit at any time.
  • Resist the urge to inflate your lifestyle as your income rises. Society has trained us to be consumers and it can rob us of our financial security.
  • Even after financial ruin, you can have a great life.

Who is Amy?

  • 46 married 15 years
  • Two children, 19 and 20
  • Owned our own business, CPA
  • Teaches part time at a local university
  • Shares the same financial philosophy as her spouse
  • Very debt adverse

What Does Retirement Means to You?  

“I enjoy working. I consider being a professor being retired from being a CPA.”

“I don’t see us every not doing anything.”

“We envision traveling and work camping to help pay expenses.”

“I am disabled and my mobility has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older.”

What Are You Most Excited About Retirement?

“Not having to worry about the money”

“Being able to travel”

“Retirement means being able to go do what I want to do.”

What Are You Most Worried About Retirement?

“My health.”

“It (health issues) kinda opens your eyes that you’re not promised tomorrow.”

How Do You Think You’re Doing?

“My grandparents were always a good role model.”

“Being a CPA and seeing a lot of people struggle. I didn’t want to structure.”

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

“One thing we both regret, as the careers were lifting off…you always think you’re supposed to have that next big thing. The Cars the boats, the house…So we traded in this really nice house for this big mammoth..house. We got into it thinking that is what we were supposed to have.”

What has been the Hardest Thing to Deal with Personally in Managing Your Finances?

“I think telling myself that we have enough….because we had nothing and I never we want to go back there.”

“For the past 40 years we’ve been accumulating and accumulating. It’s hard now to decompress and flip that switch.”

What Resources Have Had the Most Impact in Your Life?

 

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

“Just a good mother, wife and someone that gave back.”

“I just want to be happy and for my family to be happy. That’s how I want to be remembered.”

I Need Your Help

Many of you have asked questions about Social Security benefits.  Smart move. Your Social Security benefit may be the most important retirement assets you have. I'm in the process of creating educational materials on how to maximize your Social Security benefits. 

What are the 3 things you'd like to learn about taking your Social Security benefit?

Click here and let me know.

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_70.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 5:17pm CST

If you're working to build a great retirement, stop listening to weekend investment talk radio. The economics of these local shows encourage the sale of investment product rather than offering sound investment advice. 

 

In this week's episode, I answer listener questions and talk about the difference between investment and investment product and why too much worry will rob you of your life. 

Brenda asks: 

"What do you think about those weekend radio shows where they talk about "no risk investing" and how their clients "never lose money"? Are they legit?"

In my answer I discuss:

  • The economics of weekend investment talk radio.
  • Why you should be careful in responding to messages playing off your fear or greed.
  • The differences between investments and investment products.
  • How to make smarter investment decisions.

Janie Asks:

Question: My husband and I are both self-employed. (I am 35, he is 40). I am paralyzed with stress about retirement. We save about $20,000 per year, max out Roth, remainder in mutual funds. In addition. we also save for college funds (3 kids) and paying $350/month extra towards 30yr fixed mortgage. (Really have only been able to save like this for past 5 years--prior to that paying off student loans, building business etc.)

We have no credit card debt and no car payments.

What stresses me out, is that I don't have a traditional 401K so I don't know what is "normal" amount saved. 

I guess my question is. . . . . is 20% the right amount? Is it  WAY low?  Way high?

Frankly, I want to be safe. I had a very uncertain, unstable childhood. I've built a great life for myself but I find myself not being able to enjoy my efforts because I'm constantly worried about the what ifs. (Are you a financial planner and a shrink. . lol).

In my answer I discuss:

  • Why Janie needs to STOP worrying and start living more (I say it with love).
  • Why Janie and her husband should be PROUD of their progress.
  • The dangers of constant financial worry.
  • How a having sound plan can help lessen financial worries.
  • How a good financial planner might bring needed perspective and structure to their financial life.

Want to Make Smarter Financial Decisions?

Get free access to resources to help you:

  • Create a net worth statement
  • Manage cash flow if you hate to budget
  • Understand the basics of Social Security

Click here and get access to these and over 30 other retirement resources.

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_69.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 8:40am CST

We all screw up along the way to retirement. We blow all our earnings. We accumulate a pile of debt. We dig a hole so deep, we wonder if we can every get out and prosper financially.

In my 20's I bought a nice BMW and my wife and I built a fancy custom home. Both of us were earning good money and our prospects for future increases were great.  I thought this adult career thing was easy. Projecting "normal" wage increases on our income, meant that we would be on easy street. I mean my income could never go down could it?

Lets just say I spent my 30's learning hard lessons and cleaning up the mess I made in our 20's.

Jen's Journey to Retirement

In this week's journey to retirement story, we here from a smart lady that screwed up with debt, dug herself out of her hole and is now prospering.

If you're feeling like you're in a financial hole, listen to her story. She dug out and so can you.

About Jen

  • Native Californian
  • Divorced
  • Mid-40’s (aka 29)
  • No children
  • Works in middle management

What Does Retirement Mean to You?

“I do believe that as we’re exposed to new ideas…our values shift”

“I didn’t realize how much debt could be shackles to your future”

“Retirement is freedom for me. Freedom in terms of my determining where I want to spend my time”

“Maybe for me it’s not really retirement, it’s financial freedom and independence”

What Are You Most Excited About Retirement?

“That ability to make spur of the moment decisions”

How Would You Have Changed Your 20’s?

“I would not have lived what I thought a typical american lifestyle was. I would not have lived beyond my means.”

What Are You Most Worried About Retirement?

“That I’m not going to make it and if I do my health won’t be there.”

“What am I missing now since I’m deferring so much for this date in the future.”

“The fact that maybe it’s too late. That I won’t be able to make that catch up date.”

“Retirement is the language I grew up hearing. We all work until we’re 65 and then we collect Social Security”.

“I don’t want to be that person that I have to augment my retirement.”

“You can’t bank on the fact that you have good health in retirement and that you’ll be able to work”

How Do You Think You’re Doing?

“I would love it if someone could look into their crystal ball and say I’m okay.”

Do You Use a Financial Planner?

“I’m afraid I’m going to choose someone that is inexperienced or has dealt with a situation similar to mine”

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

“Oh there are SO many”

The decision to be a self employed individual and I was ill prepared with what that meant”.

“I got into something like $40,000 of credit card debt”.

"“I understand depression. When you wake up and there’s nothing and there is nothing I can do to get out of this mess.”

What Has been the Hardest Thing to Deal With Personally in Managing Your Finances?

“There’s a fear that any moment now my good fortune could disappear.”

What Resources Have Had the Most Impact on Your Life?

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

“I’m hoping who ever I meet…that I impact them positively.”

Direct download: Retirment_Answer_Man_65.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 8:30am CST

Despite what the media and some financial advisors tell us, preparing for retirement isn't about fancy strategies or the best investment. This week listener "Rick" shares his story of how he became a 401(k) millionaire by using a simple but powerful strategy.

"Rick" was the first listener to share his story. Rick isn't his real name and in order to present you a better image of who he is, I asked him what his financial "spirit animal" was. After an awkward pause he replied tortoise and after hearing his story, I thought it was perfect!

As you listen to Rick's story, you may feel like I did...a little jealous.  Rick grew up with a sound financial basis from his parents. As you heard last week, I didn't. In fact, I think most of us didn't. If you're like me, don't worry. Regardless of where you are, you can begin a journey towards financial independence.

About "Rick"

  • Age 59
  • Has worked for the same company for 30 years
  • Married 30 years
  • Same House 30 years
  • 3 grown kids
  • Shares hobbies with spouse

What Does Retirement Means to You?  

“I found it a little bit frightening"

“I love my work…though I;m caught between the parts I like and the parts I don’t like”

“I’ve always had a big lazy streak…work has so much structure and so many demands that it keeps me going”.

What Are You Most Excited About Retirement?

“The lack of stress!"

"That I’ll have time to do the things I like to do”.

What Are You Most Worried About Retirement?

“I think it would be health issues”.

“I’ve seen a lot of healthy people get hit with significant deseases out of the blue.”

“Nobody lives for every but I’d love to have 20-30 years of health left in my life.”

How Do You Think Your Doing?

“We probably have saved 20% of more of my pay since day 1.”

“Even in the early years when my income wasn’t anything special we saved.”

“We’re 401k millionaire now.”

“Money doesn’t come into our lives just so we can get as many toys as possible, it’s there to help people.”

“If you don’t save it, it doesn’t matter what your rate of return is, you’ll never have much.”

What Has Been Your Worst Financial Decision?

“I didn’t make many money mistakes because my parents were kinda Dave Ramsey people, long before Dave  was born.”

"When we first got enough money to afford cars, we bought new cars”.

What has been the Hardest Thing to Deal with Personally in Managing Your Finances?

“I really don’t know an answer to this one.”

What Resources Have Had the Most Impact in Your Life?

What Do You Want to Be Remembered By?

“I think really all I really want is my kids to remember me a certain the way, like I remember my parents.”

“Someone that is honest, generous and was a loving father.”

Want to Share Your Story?

Tell me below. I'll send you the questions and details on how it will work.

As a thank you for contributing to the community, you'll receive a free 30 minute consultation to address any financial planning issue you want.

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_64.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 3:41pm CST

There are plenty of people around today that will offer their services as a “life coach” or “business coach.” Few have the demonstrated history of success as businessman, family man and friend to man as Aaron Walker. 

Register for May 26th's Webinar: How to Manage Cash Flow in Retirement

Click Here to Register

In this episode, Aaron shares his Journey Towards Retirement. Below are some notable quotes from our talk. 

Aaron Walker's Journey to Retirement

What Does Retirement Means to You?  

“I won’t ever retire. I may slow down but I love building…”   

“Retirement means, I just want to be safe because I may not be able to work”

“I don’t want to quit, but I do believe we should have common sense”

What Are You Most Excited About Retirement?

“I’m excited I’m able to help ordinary men become extraordinary….pouring knowledge and whatever little bit of wisdom I have into others” 

What Are You Most Worried About Retirement?

“What creeps up sometimes is the fear of not being healthy”

“Recently I started paying attention to my health…I’ve lost 40 lbs since November 1st

How Do You Think You're Doing?

“I’m a big real estate guy, 75% of my retirement is in real estate”

“I wish I’d saved a little more cash”

“I worry sometimes if I’m balanced properly”

Who Do You Use in Your Life to Help Make Smart Financial Decisions? 

“For the most part, I’ve done it for myself, that’s the reason I’m not as balanced as I should be”

What Has Been Your Worst Financial Decision?

“I’ve never blown money, I work to hard to make it”

“Its simultaneous with one of my biggest successes. It was when I was 27 years old and I sold my business”

“Looking back now, I think I probably could have parlayed that into something larger”.

“I didn’t know I was going to get bored as fast as I did”

“I came from a very poor family…when to opportunity came along, it was the most money I could ever imagine”

What has been the Hardest Thing to Deal with Personally in Managing Your Finances?

“In managing my finances, I’m self reliant and I probably should have been looking outward more and seeking more expert advice”

What Resources Have Had the Most Impact in Your Life?

What Do You Want to Be Remembered for?

“I want to be remembered as the guy that helped other achieve their goals and dreams”

‘I want to be remembered as the guy that stops waiting to talk and fully engages”

Free Resources From Aaron Walker to Help you Find Meaning

Click Here to Get Aaron's Free Resources

  • A Personal Assessment
  • What Do I Want?
  • Steps to a Productive Day

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_63.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 8:20pm CST

Most of the personal finance blogs you read focus on how to be more frugal. How to cut costs so you can safe and invest for retirement. it's important to be frugal but frugal only goes so far.

I've invited Paula Pant from Afford Anything to chat about frugality and what might be a better place to focus your time if you're saving for retirement.

Paula, is a thirtysomething that has chosen a unique path for her life. She's rejected the "normal" work path baby boomers learned and has embraced the opportunities of the growing freelance economy. Us "old folks" can learn from this sharp lady.

Show Topics Include:

  • The diminishing returns of frugality
  • The opportunities to earn income
  • A different way to approach retirement
  • Understanding the new freelance economy
  • What side hustle is
  • How to find income opportunities
  • Her article Flex Your Hustle Muscle

PLUS Listener Questions & Webinar Feedback

  • What are the actual mechanics of drawing money from my accounts during retirement?
  • Can you explain return sequence risk?
  • Is iCloud storage save for my In Case of Emergency plan?
  • How do distributions work from an inherited IRA
Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_59.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 10:00pm CST

Yeah, you read that right.  Bill and Sally cannot achieve their ideal retirement. That really sucks....or does it???

Remember in episode 55, when I outlined Bill and Sally's ideal retirement? I said "too many people are being too reasonable when setting their retirement goals" and challenged you to think BIG about yours. Well, that's what Bill and Sally did. The fact that they can't achieve their ideal demonstrates that they did it right. They thought BIG about what their life could be. 

Now that they realize that "ideal" isn't reasonable, they can begin the work of prioritizing what matters most to them. That's an awesome accomplishment. Only by thinking BIG first were they able to identify everything they might want. Now they can choose the most important things.

In this episode, I review their ideal retirement goals, financial resources and the results of their ideal retirement analysis. 

Here Are Your Action Items for the Week:

  1. Listen to the episode and think creatively about how we can build a plan for their retirement
  2. Review the ideal retirement analysis, are we missing anything?
  3. Answer the challenging questions.  This is important because YOUR input will be used in our live webinar on March 26th. 

Help Create Their Retirement Plan

  1. What possible changes can they can make?
  2. What changes would have the most impact?
  3. What are some "outside-the-box solutions you've seen?
  4. If they are unwilling to take more investment risk, what is the impact on their life goals?

Go Here and submit your answers and I'll work to incorporate them into next week's webinar.

 

Bill & Sally Want to Retire Webinar, March 26th at 7:00 CST

If you're not already signed up to plan along side Bill and Sally

sign up for the webinar here.

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_57.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 3:50pm CST

If you asked me what was the most important item you should do to track your financial health I would tell you to track your net worth. A net worth statement is the most powerful tool you can use to track your financial progress over time. This simple one page document represents the sum of all your financial decisions over time.  There's no hiding with good intentions on a net worth statement. Ultimately, I think, it reflects what you value most.

Organizing Your Financial Resources

Now that Bill and Sally have dreamed big and identified their needs, wants and wishes for retirement, it's time to see what resources they have to work with.

This week, we review their cash flow (income sources and expenses) and create a net worth statement to see their assets and debts.

If you've signed up to plan alongside Bill and Sally, here are your action items for the week. (Haven't signed up yet? see the bottom of this post)

Here’s Your Action Items for This Week:

  1. Make sure to listen to the episode. I review your comments and walk through Bill and Sally's financial situation.
  2. Review Bill and Sally’s cash flow summary and net worth statement. This will give you a snapshot of what the end result can look like.
  3. Watch the short video. I walk you each step of  identifying your income sources and creating your net worth statement.
  4. Complete these worksheets. It might take a little homework to get the estimated value of your social security, pension, assets and liabilities. It’s worth the effort. Your net worth statement will be the key document you use to track your financial life.
    • Estimate future retirement income sources
    • Build your net worth statement
    • Manage your current lifestyle and cash flow

Challenging Questions of the Week

  1. Should they pay off their car loans? Why or why not?
  2. Should they contribute to ROTH IRAs? Why or why not?
  3. Are they saving enough? Why or why not?

Respond with your answers here.

It's Not Too Late

Get All the Free Resources and Access to the Webinar on March 26th

Click Here to Sign Up

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_56.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 7:09am CST

Want to retire a year earlier? Maybe have a bigger lifestyle budget for travel? You might be able to if you change your relationship with your car.

 "According to Edmunds.com, the average monthly payment on a new vehicle is $479. Considering your existing car is trouble-free, saving that $479 per month means an annual savings of $5,748 by postponing the purchase of a new vehicle" (bankrate.com).

In this episode I talk with James Kinson from Cash Car Convert. James is on a mission to change how people think about and buy cars. 

  • What to look for when you're buying a used car.
  • The value of buying used
  • The dangers of long car loans
  • How to buy a used car
  • The value of buying a used car from a new car dealer
  • How long a car can last (and still look great)
  • Why you should do all the schedule maintenance

In the Market for a Car?

Connect with James and learn how to do it right

Bill and Sally Want to Retire

Based on your feedback from January's Can Carl Retire series, I've created a case study for us to work through in the month of March.

Meet Bill and Sally :BillSally Profile Pic
  • Bill is 58 years old. Sally is 59
  • They've been married for 13 years (their 2nd marriage)
  • Both work outside the home
  • Each has an adult child from a previous marriage
  • Neither has a pension
  • Both started saving later in life (early 40's)
  • Bill is very worried about the markets and world economy

Sign up and plan alongside Bill and Sally and get access to an exclusive retirement planning webinar

rogerwhitney.com/billsally

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_54.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 10:28pm CST

Okay, you're planning for retirement, but what exactly are you planning for? I don't think most of us think about this. We work and save and work and save, but spend little time figuring out what we'll actually do when we retire. 

In this episode, I interview Tom Schwab of Goodbye Crutches and Inbound for eCommerce.  Tom is a great example of someone that overcame a potentially devastating business set back to build a build a business that he can enjoy well into retirement. There are a lot of great lessons we can learn from his story. Such as:

  • How your lifestyle choices can set the tone for your entire life
  • Why we're created to serve
  • The importance of focusing on people and experience rather than things
  • How to organize your life to stay engaged well into "retirement"
  • How to think intentionally about your career
Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_53.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 6:55pm CST

I'm still amazed at the level of engagement and transparency "Carl" has had throughout the process of creating his retirement plan on the show. I'm just as amazed at how much the series has resonated with you, the listener. Your questions, comments, suggestions and thank you's made the series better.

In this episode, you'll get to hear directly from Carl and Jane as we discuss the Can Carl series, retirement, planning, investing and where they go from here. Recently, while on a business trip, I had the privilege of spending an evening with Carl and Jane at their home. After a great dinner (thank you Jane), we sat together and I recorded our conversation. Lots of pearls of wisdom here, so it's worth a listen.

A Personal Reflection on “Can Carl Retire”…. 

On September 5th, 2014 a listener to The Retirement Answer Man wrote the following email to Roger:

Roger, 

New to you, impressed. Spent 30 mins in your library today - well done. Wondered if you'd be interested in doing a "deep profile" as a blog? I could share all my detail, you could use as a case study for a blog (keeping me anonymous, preferably?). I'm 51, manage my own $, have ~ $1.8 M net worth and pension, looking to sell house to downsize to cabin (2nd home at the moment),  have a detailed tracking of actually spending by month. Question: Out by 54, 55, or 56?  How much "cushion" is worth the extra time being a corporate rat vs pursuing our dream of RV'ing and working seasonal jobs in National Parks. I could share any level of detail you'd ask for to build an interesting case study. Interested?

That listener was me, who you all now know as Carl.

Three nights ago I had the wonderful experience of sharing dinner in my home with Roger and my wife (who you know as Jane), and found it to be a perfect celebration of success. Success via an innovative podcast series which grew from that seed of an idea first planted in that email 5 months ago.  It’s personally very rewarding to have conceived of an original idea and participated as the idea grew to a beneficial fruition, and I’d challenge all of you to seek similar opportunities. So…..

……What worked?

  1. Beneficial:  To me (free retirement review), The Retirement Answer Man (interesting podcast fodder) and The Listener (education and free resources).  Find something that brings value to folks beyond yourself.
  1. Mentally Stimulating: The podcast recording sessions with Roger were a blast.  I’ve been 100% “Self Studied” until now, having the opportunity to banter with a pro was stimulating.  Find something that stimulates your mind.
  1. Assuring:  Having a professional review of this critical question (Can You Retire?) goes a long way in steading nerves as you approach perhaps the most important decision in your working career. Find something that answers that “nagging question” in your life.
  1. Relationships:  They’re important, and a new relationship was built between Carl and Roger that I am confident will continue for years to come.  Find ways to build relationships.

To close:  Carl didn’t do anything extraordinary.  He came up with an idea (case study), identified the right platform (podcast), then approached the right person for the concept (The Retirement Answer Man).  Any of you can do the same, and I hope this series encourages you to try.

 

Your Feedback

[feature_box style="2" only_advanced="There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style" alignment="center"]

From Dave 

"After living through the dot com downturn in 2000-2001, I never really recovered in my ability to deal with the market volatility and staying the course in downturns.  As a result, I have generally stayed out of the market for many years. I know that inflation risk is an issue so I am slowly getting back into the markets.  I would like to see you cover a case study or set of recommendations / strategies that would address these issues."

From Kevin

"I’ve been enjoying your blog & podcast for the last three months, your content is interesting especially for finance geeks like me.  I would be interested in either another real world example or case study of a plan you've previously worked on that does not include a large pension."

From Ken

"I really enjoyed the podcast series with Carl.......I would like for you to do another with someone that isn't perhaps as well off financially and much closer to retirement... I think this would prove beneficial to all age groups."

 

 You Get to Help Me Answer: Can Bill and Sally Retire?

 

Starting March 4th, I'll start a new series with a fact set based on your feedback. And the best part is, this time, YOU GET TO HELP. 

Just like last time, you'll have the chance to sign up to plan along side Bill and Sally and attend a live webinar at the end of the month.

Unlike last time, this will be a pure case study (no live subject) and you'll get to help build the plan for Bill and Sally. Each week, as we walk through each step of process, I'll ask you to brainstorm solutions to help Bill and Sally get close to their IDEAL retirement. 

I'm still working out some of the details but here are the basic facts:

  • Bill is 56, Sally is 57
  • Married 13 years (2nd marriage)
  • Both work and their household income is $180k
  • 2 children, age's 20 and 25 (one his, one hers)
  • No pension 
  • Started saving late (late 30's)
  • Worried about the markets and economy

More Details Soon (I think this is going to be great!)

 

 

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_52.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 5:57am CST

WOW, your response to the Can Carl Retire? series in January and last Friday's results webinar were off the charts. I received so many kind comment and sharp questions from you. In today's episode, I'll answer a portion of your questions and will work to get to the rest of them in next week's episode. Please keep them coming. If you're wondering, no doubt thousands of others are too.

Want to Watch the Webinar Replay?

The webinar replay will remain available until Sunday, February 8th (11:59 pm). You can watch it by clicking below.

rogerwhitney.com/webinar

Listener Questions Answered in This Episode

  1. From Ken "I didn't see you mention an emergency fund, why is that?"
  2. From Ken "What provision is made to pay for taxes on his 401(k) plan when required minimum distributions are required since most of his wealth is in tax-deferred plans?"
  3. From Randy "Quicken sells software, called "WillMaker Plus", to create "a Will, Health Care Directive, Durable Power of Attorney for Finances and other essential documents".  Do you have an opinion on the value of such software?"
  4. From Joe. "I appreciate the webinar yesterday; helps me in thinking thru retirement planning.  The question came up around pensions and taking a lump sum vs. taking annuity payments.  You said something to the effect of "99% of the time it's better to take the annuity." That's one of my central planning questions, as I have a company pension that I will eventually be drawing from.
  5. From Ken. (Ken was getting into this) "I just listened to the replay and thought it was very informative and provided a nice example of the process. As you mentioned during the webinar, given Carl is lucky enough to have a healthy pension which is rare these days, it would be interesting to know what the equivalent lump sum in current investable assets would need to be to get him to the same answer if he did not have the pension."
  6. From Dave. Good podcast and interesting information about Carl's situation.  I am wondering whether your estimated returns for Carl were too aggressive.  Where the estimated returns (8+%) that you were showing after tax returns?  It just seems, while the portfolio would be a nice blend, that the return estimates were higher than I have been estimating in my personal returns.  Regards, Dave

Question for You: What do you want next?

The Can Carl Retire? series really resonated with most of you. It's been exciting to see you participating and asking question.

What would you like me to focus on next:

  • Another real world example?
  • Case studies of plans I've worked through (good and bad)
  • What to do if you're behind on savings?
  • More webinars?  If so, on what? Social Security Maximization, goal planning or understanding market returns are some topics that come to mind

Click here and let me know

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_51.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 8:50am CST

WOW, your response to the Can Carl Retire? series in January and last Friday's results webinar were off the charts. I received so many kind comment and sharp questions from you. In today's episode, I'll answer a portion of your questions and will work to get to the rest of them in next week's episode. Please keep them coming. If you're wondering, no doubt thousands of others are too.

Want to Watch the Webinar Replay?

The webinar replay will remain available until Sunday, February 8th (11:59 pm). You can watch it by clicking below.

rogerwhitney.com/webinar

Listener Questions Answered in This Episode

  1. From Ken "I didn't see you mention an emergency fund, why is that?"
  2. From Ken "What provision is made to pay for taxes on his 401(k) plan when required minimum distributions are required since most of his wealth is in tax-deferred plans?"
  3. From Randy "Quicken sells software, called "WillMaker Plus", to create "a Will, Health Care Directive, Durable Power of Attorney for Finances and other essential documents".  Do you have an opinion on the value of such software?"
  4. From Joe. "I appreciate the webinar yesterday; helps me in thinking thru retirement planning.  The question came up around pensions and taking a lump sum vs. taking annuity payments.  You said something to the effect of "99% of the time it's better to take the annuity." That's one of my central planning questions, as I have a company pension that I will eventually be drawing from.
  5. From Ken. (Ken was getting into this) "I just listened to the replay and thought it was very informative and provided a nice example of the process. As you mentioned during the webinar, given Carl is lucky enough to have a healthy pension which is rare these days, it would be interesting to know what the equivalent lump sum in current investable assets would need to be to get him to the same answer if he did not have the pension."
  6. From Dave. Good podcast and interesting information about Carl's situation.  I am wondering whether your estimated returns for Carl were too aggressive.  Where the estimated returns (8+%) that you were showing after tax returns?  It just seems, while the portfolio would be a nice blend, that the return estimates were higher than I have been estimating in my personal returns.  Regards, Dave

Question for You: What do you want next?

The Can Carl Retire? series really resonated with most of you. It's been exciting to see you participating and asking question.

What would you like me to focus on next:

  • Another real world example?
  • Case studies of plans I've worked through (good and bad)
  • What to do if you're behind on savings?
  • More webinars?  If so, on what? Social Security Maximization, goal planning or understanding market returns are some topics that come to mind

 Let me know if the form below

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_51.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 8:50am CST

Don't Skip This Step!

 

Sign Up for Friday's Webniar Here

One of the most heartbreaking things I've seen over 24 years advising families is a surviving spouse or family member dealing with an unorganized estate. Not having your affairs in order, puts a huge burden on your family and compounds the stress of there loss.

According to a recent survey, 61% of people don't have a will. Even those that have a will, have failed to organize their financial information to make it easy for their loved ones to act.  Don't be one of them.

Leaving a big mess of your affairs and estate plan will make life suck for your family when you die. A messy estate can take major financial and emotional tolls on your family.

Take the simple steps outlined this week and give a beautiful gift to those you leave behind.

Here Are Your Action Items for the Week

  • Listen to episode 50.  We discuss, the basics of organizing your estate.
  • Review these worksheets. These 3 worksheets will give you the basics to make things easier for your heirs:
    • 9 Important Estate Planning Steps
    • What Your Survivors Need to Know
    • What to Do When A Loved One Dies
  • Compete these to give your spouse or family the gift of an organized estate.
    • Organizing Your Financial Life
    • Create an I.C.E. Plan
    • Family Love Letter
  1. Ask questions. If you're stuck or unclear about something, shoot me an e-mail. I'll do my best to answer your question. Simply click here and ask your questions.

Don't Miss Friday's Webinar

Don't forget to tune in to the Can Carl Retire? Results Webinar this Friday at 3:00 CST.

You'll watch live as Carl finds out whether he can achieve his ideal retirement.

Plus, you see live as I stress test Carl's plan against the most common worries in retirement:

  • Bad market returns
  • High inflation
  • Long-term care costs
  • Outliving his assets

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_50.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 8:42am CST

Risks can rob you from living a great life. Focus too much on them and you can miss out on a full life. Ignore risks and you can destroy your family's financial security. If you've started planning for retirement, you're probably overwhelmed with all the things you should worry about. This week, we'll address, head on, some of the biggest risks during retirement and help you assess  how to handle them.

 

Important Note: If you haven't listened to step 1 or 2 of Carl's Plan you'll want to start there:

  • Step 1 Imagine Your Ideal Retirement
  • Step 2 Identify and Organize Your Financial Resources

This week, you'll focus on identifying and managing some of the big risks we all face during retirement.

  • Longevity risk--Will you live to 100? Here's a calculator to estimate our chances
  • Inflation risk--What could the cost of living be 15 years from now? Find out here
  • Market risk
  • Tax risk
  • Health care risk
  • Long-term care risk
Here's Your Action Items for This Week
 
  1. Make sure to listen to the episode. I discuss each one of these retirement risks and provide some insights into how you can plan for them.
  2. Review Carl's health care cost estimates. This will give you some insight into what you can expect.
  3. Review worksheets. Review the Facing the Complexities of Medicare and Choosing Long-Term Care Insurance worksheets. These will give you the basics on how to address each area.
  4. Complete the Will I Live to 100? calculator. The odds might be greater than you think.
  5. Complete the Retirement Health Care Cost Estimator (optional). If you submit it, you'll receive a free personalized estimate of your retirement health care costs to help you plan for the future.
  6. Finally, ask questions. If you're stuck or unclear about something, shoot me an e-mail. I'll do my best to answer your question. Simply click here and ask your questions.
In week 4, we'll discuss how to organize your affairs and set a gifting strategy for those you  love.
 

Want Access to the Free Resources to Plan Along Side Carl?

It's Not Too Late to Create Your Ideal Retirement

Sign up (rogerwhitney.com) and  you'll receive:

  • All the retirement planning resources from week 1 and 2
  • This week's resources
  • Access to next week's webinar to find whether Carl is positioned to achieve his ideal retirement.
Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_49.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 11:05am CST

Well, Were You Able to Dream Up Your Ideal Retirement? It can be hard to think big. Hopefully, you stretched yourself. No worries, if you're not finished. Your life is always a work in progress.

Important Note: Sign up late? If you'd like the resources from week one, replay and let me know.

This week, you'll focus on identifying and organizing your financial resources. In this step you'll create a clear snapshot of your current financial situation. This is a critical step. Don't get bogged down in getting every number right. You can fine tune things later on. Just focus on getting a read on your current financial picture.

For some, this can be hard to look at. If that's you, please relax. We've all walked a similar road (including me!). If you've made mistakes (maybe BIG mistakes), forgive yourself. The fact that you're receiving this e-mail proves, you are working to create the best life you can.

Here's Your Action Items for This Week
(To get assess to these resources sign up at rogerwhitney.com)
  1. Make sure to listen to the episode. There are a number of subtle points made that will help you as you plan. For example, Carl made an important statement early in our talk. He said "Retirement planning should be about running to something, rather than running away from something."
  2. Review Carl's cash flow summary and net worth statement. This will give you a snapshot of what the end result can look like.
  3. Watch the short video. In it I give quick tips on how to think BIG about your retirement.
  4. Complete these worksheets. It might take a little homework to get the estimated value of your social security, pension, assets and liabilities. It's worth the effort. Your net worth statement will be the key document you use to track your financial life.
    • Estimate future retirement income sources
    • Build your net worth statement
    • Manage your current lifestyle and cash flow
  1. Finally, ask questions. If you're stuck or unclear about something, shoot me an e-mail. I'll do my best to answer your question. 
In week 3, we'll discuss some of the financial risks during retirement and ways to decide what to do about them.

It's Not Too Late to Create Your Ideal Retirement

Sign up (rogerwhitney.com) and receive weekly e-mails with all the resources we've covered.

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_48.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 11:10pm CST

Are you ready to dream up your IDEAL retirement? This is week one of the Can Carl Retire? virtual retirement planning event.  If you signed up for the free resources, you should an e-mail with all the items you need to complete this first important step. Haven't signed up yet??? No worries, there's still time. Click here and learn how you can plan along with us.

Dream Up Your Ideal Retirement

In this episode, you'll listen is as I help Carl clearly defines his IDEAL retirement.

This is the week you get to think BIG about your future too. Don't worry about getting it all right. Your goals will change countless times. Focus on identifying what you care about right now. We'll discuss a process later, on how to adjust them as your life unfolds.

Your Action Items for This Week

  1. Make sure to listen to the episode. There are a number of subtle points made that will help you as you plan. For example, Carl made an important statement early in our talk. He said "Retirement planning should be about running to something, rather than running away from something."
  2. Review Carl's Ideal Retirement Summary. This will give you a snapshot of what the end result can look like.
  3. Think BIG. Not thinking big enough could rob you of your dreams. Suspend your reasonable attitude and focus on what "having it all" might look like. There will be time later to see what is actually possible. For now, focus on creating your IDEAL.
  4. Watch the short video. In it I give quick tips on how to think BIG about your retirement.
  5. If you're married, include your spouse. Each of us have our own dreams of the future. You're spouse's may be similar but different. Now is the time to hear each others dreams and to create dreams together. This way, the two of you will be in harmony about the future. This is crucial to a great marriage and a great retirement.
  6. Complete the worksheet. Start off using scratch paper and go crazy with your dreaming. No filters here. Then, identify the goals that truly mean something to you. Don't forget to rate them as described in the worksheet. This will be important later on.
  7. Finally, ask questions. If you're stuck or unclear about something, shoot me an e-mail. I'll do my best to answer your question. Simply hit reply to the e-mail I sent you with the resources.

It's Not to Late to Plan Alongside Carl

 Click here 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_47.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 10:37am CST

One of the most common comments I get from readers is how hard it is to get straight answers to their most important retirement planning questions. "When can I retire?" "What lifestyle can I expect?" "Will I run out of money?" What am I missing???"

Starting January 7th, I'll answer these questions for a fellow reader (Carl). You'll get to listen in as we create his retirement plan each week, culminating in a LIVE webinar where you (and Carl) will hear the results for the first time.

NOTE: check out the bottom of this post for an opportunity to plan alongside Carl

Who is Carl?

  • 51 years old
  • Married 27 years with a 19 year old child
  • 29 year corporate executive

What He Wants From the Plan:

  • When can I get out?
  • Will I run out of money?
  • How do I plan for worst case scenarios?
  • How do I handle healthcare?

During the webinar, you and Carl will watch LIVE as I stress test Carl's plan against the most common retirement worries:

  • Bad market returns
  • High inflation
  • Long-term care costs
  • Outliving his assets

Here's the Schedule

  • January 7th   Defining Carl's ideal retirement
  • January 14th Reviewing Carl's financial resources
  • January 21st  Identiflying risks to Carl's plan
  • January 28th Reviewing Carl's estate and giving wishes
  • January 30th LIVE webinar presentation giving Carl his results

Register now and create your plan alongside Carl

You'll get:
  • Weekly summaries of Carl's plan
  • Free worksheets and checklists to plan alongside Carl
  • Free video tutorials to help you in each step of the process
  • Registration to the LIVE webinar on January 30th

Go to www.rogerwhitney.com/rpl

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_45.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 10:49am CST

"Why won't someone give me a straight answer?" This is the comment I get most from listeners trying to find answers to their most pressing retirement planning questions. In 2015, I'm stepping up my game to help you find the answers to your most pressing retirement planning questions.

Announcing Retirement Plan Live

Want to find the answers to the most common retirement planning questions?

  • Can I retire?
  • What the risk is that I'll run out of money?
  • What lifestyle can I expect during retirement?
  • What risks could blow up my plan?

Starting January 7th, you'll get the chance to listen in as I work with a fellow listener, "Carl" , to answer these very questions as we create his retirement plan.

You'll listen in, as I walk Carl through each stage of the planning process culminating with a LIVE webinar in which I present the results of Carl's plan.

Who is Carl? Carl is a listener to the show. He reached out to me earlier this year with a fantastic idea. He said, "What if, you work with me to create a retirement plan and recorded the whole process so listeners can hear how it works?" "BRILLIANT", I said, "I don't think it's ever been done". So we did it.

Carl and I have never met and have only interacted for this project. Each week, we'll play our meeting for each stage of the planning process. On January 30th, we'll have a LIVE webinar where you can watch and listen as I present the results of Carl's plan. Frankly, I haven't done the analysis yet, so even I don't know the results.

This is your chance to get a demonstration of the retirement planning process and hopefully see how your most important retirement questions can be answered.

Want to Create Your Plan Along with "Carl"?

Sign up for weekly e-mail updates and launch yourself towards a great retirement. Each week during the month of January you'll receive a worksheet along with an instructional video to walk you through each step of the process.

How to Launch Yourself to a Great Retirement with Stacking Benjamins

My favorite financial podcast (besides my own ;-) ) is Joe Saul-Sehy's Stacking Benjamins. It's informative, funStacking Benjamins Logo and often times just goofy.  To quote his site, " In a world of hard-hitting, deep-thought financial stories, SB’s goal is lighter, more relaxed entertainment about money."

In this episode, Joe and I discuss his recent white paper,  "Why You Shouldn’t Follow Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman or the Motley Fool".

Joe doesn't  argue that you shouldn't follow a money guru, just that it's important you follow the right one. The right one depends on what stage you're your at in your money journey.

He says there are three stages of your financial journey and an appropriate guru for each stage.

  • Stage One        (Launch) Getting off the ground
  • Stage Two        (Orbit) Achieving financial freedom
  • Stage Three    (You could die) Build serious wealth. Create an awesome legacy

To get a copy of his free white paper click here.

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_44.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 8:40pm CST

You don't like to lose money. Nobody does. That's one reason it is so hard to stick to a long-term investment plan when we feel like we're getting punched in the face by the markets. Just like a boxer, it's natural to want step back and protect ourselves. This natural reaction, however, has caused most investors to underperform the very assets they invest in.  In this episode, I discuss 7 steps to help you fight through a normal market correction.

Invest Wisely: 7 Steps to Fighting Through a Market Correction

A 2014 Dalbar Study  once again showed that average investors drastically underperform the very assets they invest in. Over the last 10 years the average investors, investing in a mix of stocks and bonds, had an average annual return of 2.6%. Over that same period, the S&P 500 had an average return of 7.4% and fixed income averaged 4.6%.

One of the biggest contributors to this is our natural reaction to run from pain.  It's a strong instinct that I struggle with during every market downturn.

In this episode, I introduce 7 steps you can take to help fight through a market correction so you can invest wisely for retirement.

  1. STOP listening to financial media and market "experts." They only magnify your fear
  2. Learn the nature of the markets you invest in. Develop a clear understanding of how they work
  3. Determine your appetite and need for market risk. How much volatility can you stomach? How much market risk do you need to achieve your goals?
  4. Set a portfolio allocation that fits your needs.
  5. Rebalance it religiously to manage your risk and potential return goals
  6. Maintain enough cash reserves. This will help your long-term assets be focused on long-term objectives
  7. Revisit steps 1 thru 7 religiously to adjust as your life unfold.

Not sure how?  Find someone to help.

Investing wisely is easy to understand.  The hard part is sticking to a well thought out plan when you get punched in the face by a market correction.

 

Plan Well: Budgets That Work With Jim Munchbach

Recently I had the pleasure of talking with Jim Munchbach from imakeyourmoneycount.comMunchach about how to find a budget that works for you. Jim is a Certified Financial Planner, State Farm agent and instructor of Introduction to Personal Finance at the University of Houston.

Here are some of the topics we cover:

  • Why it's important to track your spending
  • Finding the truth about your financial behavior
  • A budget that works, if you hate to budget
  • How a budget helps you create free cash flow in order to save
  • The value in learning to track your spending
  • It's not the tool that is important, its the goal
  • How to manager your cash flow like a business
  • The law of spending and saving

Retirement Toolbox:  Retirement Planning Worksheet

This worksheet may help you determine if your current retirement savings effort is on course or if you need to chart a new direction to help reach the retirement destination that you desire. To help you, I’ve added a new worksheet to the Retirement Toolbox titled Retirement Planning Worksheet.

Click Here to Access

 

Direct download: 36_Retiremen_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 7:58am CST

Over the last 20 years studies show that the average investor greatly under performances the stock and bond markets.  Why do investors underperform virtually every capital market?

Investor Performance Chart 92.11

In this week's episode, I speak with Weston J. Wellington a Vice President with Dimensional Fund Advisors about how you can make smarter investment decisions and possibly improve your investment success. Mr. Wellington is an expert in behavioral finance and investing with over 35 years of experience in the investment industry.

We discuss:

  • How the daily diet of investment news can hurt your investing success
  • Why it's nature to want to know what will happen next in the investment markets
  • The affect our ingrained "fight or flight" response has on our investment decisions during stressful market periods
  • Why your behavior as an investor can be the biggest determinate of your investment returns
  • Why this time is not "different"
  • Like living a healthy lifestyle, investing is not complicated it is just hard to do consistently
  • Why using a competent Financial Advisor can help you make smarter investment decisions
  • How an investor can increase their chance of having a successful investment experience
  • Why you should ignore most market information and news driven investment predictions

Resources Discussed

Direct download: PWIW10.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 6:02pm CST

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