Retirement Answer Man

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 CDT

Category: -- posted at: 3:47pm CDT

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 CDT

Too many people are being too reasonable when setting their retirement goals. STOP! When you start your planning for retirement it is critical that you think big. There's time enough later to be reasonable. Right now, focus on what your ideal life would look like....what would your life be if you could "have it all"? 

I know, thinking big about your future, is much harder than it seems, especially when it comes to retirement. That okay, I'll help you snap out of it.

Dream Up Your Ideal Retirement

In this first step of planning with Bill and Sally, I personally challenge you to suspend our reasonableness. Sit down with your spouse and a glass of your favorite beverage (for these talks, this is mine) and dream big.

Your Action Items for This Week:

(For those of you that signed up to plan along)

  1. Listen to this episode. You'll learn what their ideal retirement looks like and some issues they face.
  2. Review Bill & Sally's Ideal Retirement Summary (If your not signed to receive it go here).
  3. Watch the short video. In it I give quick tips on how to think BIG about your retirement.
  4. Complete your own IDEAL retirement worksheet. Start off with your needs, dream a little and jot down some wants and then dream a lot more and add your wishes. DON'T BE REASONABLE, just put down needs, wants and wishes that would truly be meaningful to you.
  5. Ask questions. Having trouble dreaming big about your retirement?  Shoot me an e-mail. I’ll do my best to answer your question. Send me an e-mail or go here.

 Challenging Questions of the Week

  1. How should Bill and Sally address their personality differences?
  2. How have you dealt with a similar issue?
  3. What other potential issues do you see in their ideal retirement?

Send me an e-mail or go here to give my your answers.

It's Not Too Late to Get All the Free Resources to Plan Too 

Just Click Here

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_55.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 7:54pm CDT

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 CDT

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 CDT

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 CDT

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 CDT

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 CDT

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 CDT

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 CDT

Category: -- posted at: 11:17pm CDT

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 CDT

Category: -- posted at: 10:59am CDT

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 CDT

It's New Year's Eve and I've got two important items to help you create a great year in 2015. So let's get to it.

 

Item 1 Get Your Retirement On Track

Starting January 7th, I'll be creating a retirement plan for a listener, "Carl", of the Retirement Answer Man Podcast ON THE SHOW. 

The best part is, you can plan along with Carl and I!!! Click here to find out all the details.

Item 2 Start Making Your Dream a Reality (with Lady J)

Tonight a special lady, Jevonnah Ellison, is hosting her book launching party. On January 19th, her book, You Have What It Takes: How to Finally Start Making Your Dreams a Reality, hits book stores. Lady J 3D-Book-A1

If you're feeling stuck and want to jumpstart your 2015, please listen to our talk and consider buying her book. She has an amazing message and spirit that just might start you on your journey.

You can visit her blog and get a free worksheet to help you discover your purpose here.

THANK YOU

A big thank you, for all your e-mails, phone calls and messages. You're encouragement and content suggestions are great. I've got a lot of cool stuff planned for 2015 to help you find that balance between living well today and securing a great tomorrow.

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_46.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:36pm CDT

Category: -- posted at: 10:51am CDT

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 CDT

Category: -- posted at: 8:48pm CDT

"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 CDT

Seriously, does watching the market and comparing your investment performance to some benchmark help you create a great life??? Of course it doesn't. So stop. Stop worrying about "keeping up with the market" and get down to the important work of creating a great life.

INVEST WISELY Segment

If you are investing without trying to achieve some greater goal, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

Comparative investing is a losers game. It can:

  • create a never good enough mindset
  • cause you to over trade and chase investments
  • make you susceptible to product sales pitches
  • cause you to take too much investment risk (for no reason)
  • increase your stress
  • cause you to become disillusioned with investing

Last week, I asked a recently retired couple what they wanted. Did they want to keep up with the market or have confidence that they could maintain their lifestyle? You guessed it, they didn't care about the market, they cared about their life. Smart ones, they are.

 

PLAN WELL Segment


During working years a lot of our purpose comes from our job, but once we stop working nothing will automatically replace them. Unless we are intentional and planful, retirement can feel like a big let down.

John Knowlton, CFP just launched beerandpeanuts.net to help you avoid this big letdown. He's created resources  in 3 areas that research has shown are critical to a healthy retirement:

  • Purpose (a reason to get out of bed)
  • Meaning (what if leisure isn't enough?)
  • Social contact (people to connect with)

Listen to our great conversation for key insights into how to create your own fulfilling retirement.

Want to Learn to Retire with Confidence?

Get ready for a special never before seen event coming in January.  Get Ready for Retirement Plan LIVE.

Sign up at rogerwhitney.com for free updates on this special month long event. 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_43.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 9:34pm CDT

Category: -- posted at: 9:44am CDT

Yeah, there are lots of articles this time of year talking about year-end tasks to complete, but mine are Super Simple ones.  Okay...maybe it's just my way of trying to sound different. Still, these ARE 7 relatively simple  tasks that could make a big difference in your financial life (so indulge me).

Invest Wisely   When Should I Rebalance My Portfolio?

Today I read an article on market watch titled "The Hidden Truth About Rebalancing Your Portfolio" on marketwatch.  The article discussed a recent study that argues that rebalance can actually increase the risk in your portfolio. In this episode, I discuss my observations on their conclusions and my "best practices" for rebalancing a portfolio during retirement.

Plan Well   7 Super Simple Tasks to Complete Before You Rock in the New Year

  1. Pay your real estate tax bill, before year-end if you want to deduct it on your 2014 taxes.
  2. Get your RMD done. If you are over 70 1/2 or have inherited an IRA you need to do this before year-end to avoid a huge IRS penalty. Click here to learn more.
  3. Identify opportunities to harvest tax losses. If you have realized gains for the year, look for current positions with losses that you can use to offset your gains. I discuss a few strategies for doing this.
  4. Conduct an annual beneficiary review.  Even if you know the primary beneficiary is correct, you still need to make sure you have contingent beneficiaries. There is a worksheet to do this in the Retirement Toolbox
  5. Consider year-end giving. You can give $14,000 to any individual without tax consequence. If you have charitable intent, consider making charitable gifts before yearend.
  6. Change your important passwords. Changing your passwords is like locking your door at night. It's just common senseThis is so important and almost no one does it. The holidays are a perfect time to do this. I use a password manager (1Password) to create and track complex passwords. 
  7. Consider diversifying your tax liabilities. The pressure to save on taxes each year can cause you to save too much in tax-deferred accounts. It's important that you have assets in taxable, tax-deferred and tax-free account. When you retire, you'll have more flexibility to manage your cash flow and tax bracket. If all you do is save in tax-deferred account (like most people), you could end up staying in a high tax bracket during retirement

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_42.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 8:34pm CDT

Category: -- posted at: 8:35am CDT

You'd think that with all the great information and tools available today that making smart money choices would be easy. The fact is, it's harder than ever before. We live in a world designed to get us to "buy now" or "avoid that". These messages are designed by savvy marketers to get us to take action. Take action, when most of the time, doing nothing is the best course to take. 

Recently I fell pray to one of these "buy now" messages and made a really poor money choice. Two weeks ago, I was in Charlotte working on a project when a e-mail arrived announcing the closing of registration for a $2,000 training program. It was a program I really wanted to take (I'm a sucker for learning) but I'd already determined I didn't have the time or the budget this year. The e-mail offer included extra valuable resources if I registered before the deadline. I fell for it. In the middle of my meeting, while focused on the task at hand, I clicked on the link and bought it. What a sucker. 

Later that night, as I was driving home from the airport literally pulled over on the freeway and requested a refund. 

In this episode, I outline 3 habits that will help you (and me!!!) make smarter money choices. They are simple and organized around the acronym R.A.W. Think R.A.W.

Plan Well Segment

“We no longer live life. We consume it.” Vicki Robin

The next time you feel the pull of a marketing message remember R.A.W.

  • Remember to review your 1 year financial priorities every week. this will keep your "why" top of mind.
  • Avoid marketing messages. Don't browse in stores or online, unsubscribe from sales e-mails. 
  • Work your plan. Have a plan for how you make money decisions and stick to it. It can save you.

Invest Wisely Segment

Economist Paul Samuelson reminds us, “investing should be more like watching paint dry or grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas” or Wall Street."

The next time you feel the urge to react to market news remember, R.A.W.

  • Remember why you are investing. Your purpose for investing should drive your decisions.
  • Avoid market messages. Financial media does not help you invest wisely. Avoid it.
  • Work your investment plan.  Have an investment plan based on facts and stick to it. It can save you

Want Free Checklists to Help You Make Smarter Money Choices?

Click Here

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_41.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 8:34am CDT

Working towards retirement can feel like rafting a river full of dangerous rapids. As you flow down the river of your life, your constantly having to navigate events that threaten to turn your life upside down. Unemployment, death, divorce, college costs, healthcare, recessions, corrections, inflation and countless others can put you on the rocks. This week, I discuss how to "self rescue" if the rapids of life put you into the water.

INVEST WISELY  The Folklore of Finance: Beliefs That Contribute to Investors’ Failure

Last week I read article in the New York Times discussing the release of a study by the State Street Center for Applied Research. It's titled:

The Folklore of Finance: Beliefs That Contribute to Investors’ Failure

The 2 year study tried to answer the question: "What does true investment success look like?"

Interestingly, according to the article, instead,  they found "that the way individual and professional investors made investment decisions was so skewed that achieving both high returns and long-term objectives was nearly impossible."

  • In the Podcast I discuss some of their findings, including
  • Overconfident in abilities
  • Unable to stay focused on long term objectives
  • Short term noise
  • Investors want to invest with a long time horizon yet react to short-term swings that derail the strategy
  • Come to distrust their advisors
  • Focus on the noise
  • Focus on short term results
  • A Culture of “beating the markets”

The study found that financial services firms spent 60 percent of their capital expenditures on resources to help generate short-term high performance. 60 Percent!! As a veteran of a major financial firm, I can attest that the value proposition of most major firs is that they can predict markets and guide you through them. I've always found this funny...having a value proposition based on predicting the future.

Better, I think, to accept the uncertainties of the world, have a prudent process and focus having lots of little conversations so you can adjust as life unfolds.

PLAN WELL   How to Ride the Rapids Towards Retirement

If you've every been on  a rafting trip you're probably familiar with the term "self rescue". How to self rescue is a talk given by your rafting guide before you venture onto the river. The Guide makes it very clear. If you get thrown into the what, do NOT wait to be rescued. It is YOUR responsibility to rescue yourself.

Self rescue involve 4 steps that you can use to rescue your financial future:

Get to the Surface

  • Stabilize your cash flow
  • Self assess your financial health (skills, assets, debts)
  • Clearly define your 1 year objective

Take a deep breath (you may be pulled down again)

  • Build some cash reserves
  • create margin in your cash flow (increase income/cut expenses)

Float down river

  • Take a little time to reflect.
  • Set clear 1, 3, and 5 years objectives
  • Identify initial action steps

Start to Swim

  • Learn from others
    • Seek out fellow travelers that you can emulate
    • Learn from online resources and books
  • Find a guide to help you navigate the rapids

Being thrown into the rapids by life can be scary. It's okay. You can self rescue. I know you can.

What Rapid Are You Most Afraid of?

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_40.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:29pm CDT

Working towards retirement can feel like rafting a river full of dangerous rapids. As you flow down the river of your life, your constantly having to navigate events that threaten to turn your life upside down. Unemployment, death, divorce, college costs, healthcare, recessions, corrections, inflation and countless others can put you on the rocks. This week, I discuss how to "self rescue" if the rapids of life put you into the water.

INVEST WISELY  The Folklore of Finance: Beliefs That Contribute to Investors’ Failure

Last week I read article in the New York Times discussing the release of a study by the State Street Center for Applied Research. It's titled:

The Folklore of Finance: Beliefs That Contribute to Investors’ Failure

The 2 year study tried to answer the question: "What does true investment success look like?"

Interestingly, according to the article, instead,  they found "that the way individual and professional investors made investment decisions was so skewed that achieving both high returns and long-term objectives was nearly impossible."

  • In the Podcast I discuss some of their findings, including
  • Overconfident in abilities
  • Unable to stay focused on long term objectives
  • Short term noise
  • Investors want to invest with a long time horizon yet react to short-term swings that derail the strategy
  • Come to distrust their advisors
  • Focus on the noise
  • Focus on short term results
  • A Culture of “beating the markets”

The study found that financial services firms spent 60 percent of their capital expenditures on resources to help generate short-term high performance. 60 Percent!! As a veteran of a major financial firm, I can attest that the value proposition of most major firs is that they can predict markets and guide you through them. I've always found this funny...having a value proposition based on predicting the future.

Better, I think, to accept the uncertainties of the world, have a prudent process and focus having lots of little conversations so you can adjust as life unfolds.

PLAN WELL   How to Ride the Rapids Towards Retirement

If you've every been on  a rafting trip you're probably familiar with the term "self rescue". How to self rescue is a talk given by your rafting guide before you venture onto the river. The Guide makes it very clear. If you get thrown into the what, do NOT wait to be rescued. It is YOUR responsibility to rescue yourself.

Self rescue involve 4 steps that you can use to rescue your financial future:

Get to the Surface

  • Stabilize your cash flow
  • Self assess your financial health (skills, assets, debts)
  • Clearly define your 1 year objective

Take a deep breath (you may be pulled down again)

  • Build some cash reserves
  • create margin in your cash flow (increase income/cut expenses)

Float down river

  • Take a little time to reflect.
  • Set clear 1, 3, and 5 years objectives
  • Identify initial action steps

Start to Swim

  • Learn from others
    • Seek out fellow travelers that you can emulate
    • Learn from online resources and books
  • Find a guide to help you navigate the rapids

Being thrown into the rapids by life can be scary. It's okay. You can self rescue. I know you can.

What Rapid Are You Most Afraid of?

Category:general -- posted at: 7:26pm CDT

If you're working towards retirement you know that investing wisely is a key part of reaching your goals. The problem is, investing means putting your money at risk. That's stressful. As a result, many of us tell ourselves lies or believe "trues" that can be dangerous to our financial future. In this episode, I'll discuss 7 lies we tell ourselves about investing and how to avoid them.

INVEST WISELY

The 7 Lies We Tell Ourselves About Investing

  1. There is too much uncertainty right now to invest
  2. I'm not wrong, the market is
  3. Thinking the current trend will continue
  4. I just need to hold a losing investment until I get back to even
  5. Past performance can predict future results
  6. I just need to find an investment guru
  7. Investing alone will make me wealthy

How to Avoid Them

  1. Come to peace with the fact that the future is unknowable
  2. Educate yourself about how investment markets work
  3. Use a sound process for investing
  4. Diligently monitor and adjust your plan as your life unfolds

PLAN WELL

Last month I conducted my 1st annual listener survey. A big thank you to all that participated.

Here are some interesting facts about you:

  • 100% of you are male (do ladies not take surveys!!!)
  • 73% of you are over 50 (makes sense)
  • 73% of you have been married over 20 years (great job!!)
  • On average you have 3 children
  • 42% of you say you never plan on retiring (I'm with you on this)
  • Top retirement concerns include
    • Investing and the economy
    • Healthcare costs
    • Running out of money
  • Top retirement goals include
    • Spending time with spouse
    • Spending time with family
    • Travel

Some of your top questions you need answered are:

  • What's the best way to invest for income?
  • When is a will sufficient (without a trust)?
  • When should I start social security?
  • How do I create passive income?
  • What is the right portfolio mix during the different stages of retirement?
  • Will the popularity of index investing cause more investment bubbles?

In future episodes, I'll work to answer each one of these questions. 

What is the #1 Thing You Struggle with As You Work Towards Retirement?

Tell me in the form below and I'll try to help.

Direct download: 39_Retirement_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:27pm CDT

Category: -- posted at: 8:54am CDT

I'm convinced that the most stressful part of planning for and living in retirement is that we don't know how to balance living well today, while not sacrificing tomorrow. As a result, most of us live out of balance.  Some of us are so worried about tomorrow that they sacrifice their current life in order to be "prudent". Others "live for the day", assuming without a thought for their future.  both are wrong. In this episode, I talk about my #1 retirement planning tool to help other find this delicate balance.

Invest Wisely--Investing Potholes in November and December

If you're planning on making large investments in your taxable accounts be careful. 

In December, most pooled investments, like mutual funds, distribute to shareholders the capital gains and dividends they've accumulated throughout the year. If you buy one of these products in a taxable account before this distribution, you could have a tax liability for capital gains that were realized before you even owned the fund. 

In this episode, I discuss how this works and some things you can do to avoid a potential nasty tax surprise.

Plan Well--My #1 Retirement Planning Tool to Help People Find Balance

  • Can I afford to retire a year earlier?
  • Do I need to change my spending plan after this market correction?
  • Can I save less now and still retire comfortably?
  • Do I need to take so much investment risk?

These are some of the frustrating questions that people struggle with every day as they plan for retirement. About 16 years ago, I discovered a tool to help me help people answer these questions and confidently live a more balanced life.It's called Monte Carlo engine. 

Today, I've integrated it into my Plan Well process to help other make smarter financial decisions and find some balance between living well today without sacrificing their tomorrow.

Like most tools, some are better than others and much of it's usefulness is dependent upon the skill of the user.

In this episode, I use a planning example to demonstrate how I use it and some of it's advantages and drawback. 

Note: Normally just read these show notes, it's best to listen to this one. Just click on the audio play at the bottom of this post.

Here is the Fact Set for John Smith

  • Age 55
  • Retirement goal 60
  • Investment assets $2,000,000
  • Retirement lifestyle goal, $100,000 annual 
  • Retirement lifestyle goal #2, $70,000 RV at age 60
  • Life expectancy, age 90
  • Target Portfolio, balanced II

To see the full report that I discuss, click here.

How Not to Use It

  • It's not a one time evaluation tool (you can't set it and forget it)
  • It does not determine or predict results
  • It can't overcome bad inputs or assumptions

How to Use It

  • As a important part of your annual financial review
  • As a tool to help you prioritize competing goals
  • As a tool to help you evaluate tradeoffs between competing priorities
    • Spending/Saving
    • Working/Retiring
    • Risk/Reward
    • College/Retirement
    • Giving/Investing
  • As compass to help evaluate and correct course as your life unfolds
  • As a guide an warning system to help you know when your plan may be unsustainable
  • To provide more color on the long-term impact of today's financial choices

There is no tool that will solve for all the uncertainty in your life or the world. 

The best we can do is acknowledge what we don't know (can't know) and use a sound compass to help guide our life's journey.

 

"He who is enslaved to his compass, will enjoy the freedom of the seas"

Ken Davis

Are You Confident in Your Compass?

Direct download: 38_Retirement_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18pm CDT

Is your soul on fire? Too many of us live in a prison within our mind. We are trapped by our past choices, not realizing that today, right now, we can start a new journey.  If you feel stuck, you can create a new life. You can ignite your soul and live your own hero's journey.

Invest Wisely  You'll Never Get the Average

One of the biggest roadblocks to setting good expectations about investing is focusing on average returns. We financial planners are the biggest abusers of this. No one get's average returns. By focusing on them, we set unrealistic expectations on what the experience will actually be.

Look at the returns of the S&P 500 stock index over the last 15 years. How often did it hit it's average return?

 

 

15 Year S&P 500 Returns.001In this episode I discuss this and how to develop a better understanding of what to expect (and not expect) from your investment assets.

Plan Well     How to Live an Intentional Life with Kary Oberbrunner

Kary Oberbrunner is like you or I. He went to school, got a job, got married and lived a normal life, until something happened inside him. His soul ignited. Today, he is living a more intentional life and is on a mission to help you ignite your soul and do the same.

Kary's message really resonates with me. Much of my life, I was blind to the choices I had. I felt imprisoned by my past decisions. I think many of us feel this way. We're not. Our prison is in our mind. If we break free from our past self, we can create the life we desire.

Kary and I discuss:

  • The roadmap from Day Job to Dream Job
  • How to get unstuck from your past stuck self
  • How day jobs are killing people
  • Why it's so hard to leave a day job
  • How to go from prison, to plan, to payoff
  • How to design your story
  • Why it's important to go through your own hero's journey
  • How to change your life in a half hour a day
  • Dream Job Boot Camp

 

Take the assessment and let's compare results on twitter 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm CDT

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 CDT

It's natural to fear a market correction. Losing money (even if on paper) sucks. News reports, act as if market corrections are bad.  That's not true. The economy and the markets don't function well without corrections.   Just as there are benefits to a forest fire, a market correction is an essential element of a strong economy and market. 

Invest Wisely  4 Benefits of a Forest Fire and Market Correction

Are we headed for a market correction? Last week the S&P 500 was down 3.4%. It's been over 34 months since we've had a correction in the S&P 500 of over 10%. Normally we experience one every 18 months. 

I've always likened market corrections to forest fires. Both cause some short term pain but are essential to the long-term health of the forest (or market).  I've used this analogy for years. Sure enough, if you read the Benefits of Fire from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the 4 benefits of forest fires parallel to the benefits of a market correction.

In this podcast I explore these 4 benefits of forest fires and market corrections:

  • Cleans the Forest Floor

    "Fire clears the weaker trees and debris and returns health to the forest"

  • Provides for More Habitat

    "When fire removes a thick stand of shrubs, the water supply is increased. With fewer plants absorbing water, streams are fuller, benefiting other types of plants and animals."

  • Kills Disease

    "Fire kills diseases and insects that prey on trees and provides valuable nutrients that enrich the soil. 

    Fire kills pests and keeps the forest healthy."

  • Provide Room for New Generations 

    "Without fire, these trees and plants would eventually succumb to old age with no new generations to carry on their legacy."

Plan Well   Kim Blanton From the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Recently I had the pleasure of talking about the retirement landscape with Kim Blanton. Kim works with the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and writes their Squared Away Blog. Her Blog is about financial fehavior as it relates to working, saving and retiring. 

Kim and I discuss the changing landscape of retirement and how we can plan for it.

  • How retirement is changing
  • The impacts of being responsible for your own retirement savings
  • More than half of Americans are on track to have their standard of living decrease during retirement
  • The benefits of working longer
  • The benefits of taking Social Security later
  • Retirement: a Good State of Mind
  • The danger of consumerism during retirement
  • Stark Differences in U.S. Cost of Living
  • How to better plan for retirement

Retirement Toolbox: Retiring to a Different State

If your family is considering retiring to a different state, there are some important planning items to consider. To help you, I’ve added a new worksheet to the Retirement Toolbox titled Retiring to a Different State.  www.rogerwhitney.com

 

Direct download: 35_Retirement_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01pm CDT

Medicare eligibility starts at at 65. If you're blessed to be able leave your career earlier, you'll need to evaluate your healthcare options until then. This week I talk with health insurance guru, Misty Kimbrough about your healthcare options before age 65.

Invest Wisely     3 things you can do to ignore the voices in your head

I'm starting to hear voices in my head. Maybe you are too. They're asking "Should I move to the sidelines? Should I wait to invest?"  Certainly we've heard these voices on our beloved financial media outlets. Over the last 3 weeks or so, equity markets have had some big down days and it's making people nervous.

Don't base your investment strategy off of intuition, regardless of how well reasoned you think it is. The fact is professional investors struggle with timing markets. Even those that have great "market calls" can't do it consistently enough to be of much use to you or I.

  1. Stop chasing rainbows. Turn off all financial that peddles predictions, forecasts, etc. Don't fall for the siren sound of predicting the future. It's hard to tune out. We all want certainty. We crave it. It's uncomfortable to sit with not knowing. You must though if you are going to focus on the things you can control
  2. Revisit your cash reserves. Having enough cash so your long-term investments can be long-term. Selling at the wrong time because you need the money can be a disastrous to your portfolio.. Initially target 3 months lifestyle expenses and increase it if your income is less certain. For retirees, we target 18 months of expected lifestyle expenses.
  3. Rebalance your portfolio. If you haven't rebalanced your portfolio to your target risk/return profile, do it. Part of investing wisely is consistently rebalancing to your targeted risk/return profile.

Plan Well     Health Insurance Options Before Age 65

This week I talk again with Misty Kimbrough from Red Apple Insurance. She and I discuss the insurance landscape if you've been blessed to retire early. We discuss:

  • How COBRA coverage works
  • Insurance options before you're eligible for Medicare
  • Individual insurance plans (Bronze, Silver & Gold)
  • How to structure your individual policy
  • Should you go on your spouse's plan
  • Insurance add on options.

Retirement Answers     How Do I Choose Long Term Care Insurance

This week I added a 2 page fact sheet to give you the basics on long term care insurance. You can access it for free by clicking the cool button below

 

Direct download: 34_Retirement_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46pm CDT

If you're planning on living a long life, make investing in your health a priority. USA Today recently reported that the top retirement concern for people over age 50 is healthcare costs. Growing older and being unhealthy can be financially disastrous. It just makes sense, to take a proactive approach to investing in your health. 

INVEST WISELY: 5 Steps to a Healthier Life with Corbin Links

Corbin Links not only talks the talk, he has walked the walk. His 12 year journey to living a healthy lifestyle 
included tons of research on nutrition, slowly creating healthier habits that helped him lose over 80 lbs. Today, his is a walking encyclopedia of health and nutrition.

In this episode we explore his 5 steps to living a healthier life. We discuss:

  • How to approach your journey to living healthier
  • Why it's important to get out in front of your health issues
  • How to simply evaluate your current health condition (beyond physical fitness)
  • The value of making small incremental changes
  • His 5 steps to living healthier today (and the science behind it)
    • Mineralized water
    • Green juice
    • Sleep
    • Probiatics
    • Magnesium

How to learn more:

PLAN WELL:   How does working affect Social Security Survivor Benefits?

Last week I a listener e-mailed me this question. 

Here are the facts about Social Security Survivor Benefits that we discuss in this episode

  • The Social Security Administration's resource on the topic
  • If you are under Full Retirement Age (FRA) and receive a survivor benefit it can be reduced based on the income you earn. Here is the current table
  • Once you reach FRA, your survivor benefit will not be reduced
  • A spouse survivor can receive 100% of the worker's benefit at Full Retirement Age (FRA)
  • If you are 60 or over but under FRA, you'll receive between 77-99% of the benefit
  • A surviving spouse of any age with children 16 or under can receive 75% of the worker's benefit

Question: What steps are you taking to invest in your health?

Direct download: 33_Retirement_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:08pm CDT

Are you in a career that matches your God given talents? Most of us are in careers that we were trained to do. Not careers that centered on our talents.  After college, we start work and our careers generally progress on their own, without much intentional direction from us. If you're in your 50's and this fits you, it's not too late to begin to pivot you're career towards something you have natural talents for. In this episode, Career Pivot's Marc Miller, outlines how to start your pivot.

INVEST WISELY: Things to Consider Before You Buy Alibaba

Interesting. Over the last few days I've heard more people talking about the blockbuster Alibaba IPO than the new iPhone 6. As a result, I've gotten more than a few inquiries asking whether Alibaba is worth buying. Now, I would not dare to recommend the purchase of any investment on this blog. That would be silly. I know nothing about you or your situation. In fact, please RUN from any site that makes such recommendations.

  • If you are considering buying Alibaba stock, ask (and answer) yourself these questions:
  • Are you gambling or investings?
  • If you're gambling, treat it as such and make sure you are only using excess funds that you can afford and are willing to lose.
  • If you say you are investing, then do your homework and evaluate for yourself:
    • Is Alibaba a well run company?
    • Is it profitable?
    • What is the competitive environment?
    • What is the regulatory environment?
    • Does Alibaba have a solid balance sheet (that can survive growing pains)?
    • Are you paying a discount, premium or fair value for the projected growth?
    • What is your exit strategy?
    • How does this help you Retire Well?

 PLAN WELL:   Doing What You Love: A Conversation with Marc Miller from careerpivot.com

Marc and I discuss:

  • The origins of the “retirement” concept and why it’s outdated
  • How Baby Boomer’s view of themselves is changing the concept of retirement
  • The importance of having a purpose during retirement
  • How the social contract has changed between employers and employees
  • How to pivot your career even in if you’re in your 50’s
  • The difference between skills and talents
  • How to make the transition from doing what you’re trained for to doing what you love
  • The importance of relationships in your career pivot
  • The value of simplifying your life as you pivot

You can connect with Marc at careerpivot.com

Question: If you're in your 50's, do you plan to work during retirement? Let me know on Twitter

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_32.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:15pm CDT

Wouldn't it be great to learn about retirement from those that have retired successfully? Here's your chance.  Today at FinCon, the national conference for money media, moneytips.com is releasing the book, The Retiree Next Door. The best part is you can get it for free.

Over the last year, the folks at moneytips.com conducted a survey of over 500 successful retirees. Their objective: to identify clear traits and strategies they used to do so. 

Recently, I spoke with Moneytips.com's Michael Dubrow about the project and some of the lessons learn for those working towards retirement.

Take a listen and learn:

  • Where you can get your free book
  • How to use the research to plan well for your retirement
  • How the research was conducted
  • What the biggest surprises were
  • How you have more control over your retirement then you may think
  • The wisdom learned from those surveyed 

These projects are great because they help us learn from those that have walked before us. No theory here, just practical incites into the Retiree Next Door.

 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_31.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:54pm CDT

Have you ever felt distant from your wife? I sure have. In my 23 years of marriage, there were times my wife and I drifted apart. It's easy to do. Work, kids, hobbies, etc. can cause a man and wife to drift apart. We eventually learned we needed to be intentional about nurturing our marriage. 

Plan Well:  Invest in Your Marriage

In this week's episode Jackie and I discuss how married men can become the leaders they want to be.

Jackie helps husbands and fathers learn how to lead and love their families so they can have lasting, fulfilling marriages and meaningful influence on their kids.

  • How to be the leader you want to be
  • Husband as a servant leader
  • The G.E.T. strategy: Give, Encourage, Teach
  • How to control your inner voice
  • The importance of having a date night with your wife
  • The top ten dates to improve communication
  • How to have date nights that fit your time and budget
  • Lessons he learned from his parents 50 year marriage
  • Why you need to know the  7 Rings of Marriage

Want to be a better husband and father? Check out Jackie's great resources:

Invest Wisely: Should I Worry About Big Bad Events?

The recent anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack reminds us that big bad events can happen in the world. There always seems to be some catastrophic event "just around the corner":

  • Russian and the Ukraine
  • ISIS
  • Syria
  • Terrorist threats
  • China

Should you worry about these as you invest for your future? It sure seems so. This week, I take a look at how markets have acted after some of the biggest "big bad events" over the last 75 years. 

It's easy to act emotionally with investing.  Our emotions drive most decisions. If you are going to Invest Wisely for your future, it's important you focus on facts and process. This will help you make smarter financial decisions

Here's a table to give you some perspective:

 

Direct download: RAM_Podcast_30.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:51pm CDT

Taxes suck. They erode away your income, savings and investments. One strategy to maximize your retirement savings is to convert your IRA to a ROTH IRA. ROTH IRAs are a powerful tool to help you do this but there are lots tax and planning issues to consider first.

That's why I turned to Ed Slott, America's IRA expert. He is a nationally recognized IRA-distribution expert, a professional speaker, and the creator of several public television specials, including the most recent, Ed Slott’s Retirement Rescue!

Investing Corner--The Importance of Dividends

When most people thing of making money in equities, they think of buying low and selling high. That's a great strategy, but it's only part of the story. This week I explore the importance dividends can have in any investment portfolio.

I discuss these 5 reasons dividend can be a benefit to any portfolio:

 

  1. How dividends have comprised over 50% of the total return of the S&P 500 index
  2. The favorable tax treatment dividends can receive
  3. How dividends can be a good hedge against inflation
  4. Why dividends can help you control risk in your portfolio
  5. What are the attributes of most companies that pay dividends

Retirement Tip of the Week

During my conversation with Ed Slott, we cover:

  1. Best places to save for retirement
  2. The benefit of contributing to a ROTH IRA
  3. Ed's "Forever Tax to Never Tax" strategy using a ROTH IRA
  4. The importance of understanding the ROTH IRA conversion rules
  5. When it doesn't make sense to use a ROTH IRA
  6. How to use ROTH IRAs as an estate planning vehicle
  7. The types of people that should consider converting to a ROTH IRA
  8. The order to draw from your taxable, IRA & ROTH IRA accounts during retirement
  9. The benefits of drawing from your IRA in order to delay Social Security during retirement
  10. Biggest mistakes people make with IRAs

Have you considered converting to a ROTH IRA?  

If you have a question, ask me at rogerwhitney.com

Direct download: 29_Retirement_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 4:41pm CDT

Stressed about planning for retirement??? Your not alone, most of use (including me) freak out when we look at what it could take to provide for our family in retirement. Don't believe all the statistics, you can take control.

Investing Corner

Listener Question Wayne Asks

My question is are there hidden risks doing my diversifying on top of diversity that I do not realize, other than my time for managing, and the loss of opportunity of my conservative and explore portfolio $s?

Wayne has multiple portfolios, each with it's own allocation

  • Large aggressive portfolio
  • Small moderately conservative portfolio
  • Explore portfolio (where he invests based on his economic views)

Hidden risks might include:

  • You are 55, and close to the danger zone. A time 5 years before and after retirement when big investing mistakes can have the most impact on your retirement. The retirement danger zone is a time to focus on consistent investment returns.
  • Not having a consistent risk profile of your investments based on what you are trying to accomplish
  • Not having a process for evaluating the value, performance of each bucket. (no bonus points for complicated investments)
  • Chasing returns or safety at the cost of focusing on your lifestyle goals for retirement

Retirment Planning Stress: How to take control

No Wonder We're Stressed:

  • 60% of all works have less than 25k saving for retirement (USA Today)
  • Only 22% of workers have over 100k saved for retirement
  • Only 28% of current retirees have over 100k in savings and investments

4 Strategies for Beating Retirement Planning Stress:

  1. Forgive yourself--We've all made financial mistakes. Stop with the coulda/woulda/shoulda's and own where you are now and focus on the future.
  2. Don’t stick your head in the sand--Don't get discouraged by the statistics about retirement. Regardless of your financial situation, you CAN make progress.
  3. Take control of your financial decisions
  4. Think creatively about your future

rogerwhitney.com

Direct download: 28_Retirement_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53pm CDT

Setting retirement goals can be a big waste of time.

In my 23 years of advising individuals and families, I've rarely found someone that had clear retirement goals.  Guess what?  They were still able to live a great life and retire comfortably.

In this episode I'll explore the problems with setting retirement goals and offer a better way to plan.

Retirement Tip of the Week

How to Prepare for the Unthinkable: a House Fire

Recently someone close to me went out for a movie and returned to find their home burnt to the ground. They lost everything, including their dog.  In a few short hours they had no home, no clothes, no furniture, no family photos, no records, no nothing.

This is the type of thing that can never happen to us, right? It's the type of thing that happens to "other" people. Think again.

Here are some simple tips to help you prepare for this unthinkable crisis.

Complete a Video Inventory

  • Work room to room
  • Narrate, describing items (brands, models, amounts)
  • Specifically document valuables (jewelry and artwork)
  • Don't forget the garage
  • Keep copy of video outside the home
  • Update annually

Back Up Important Documents

  • Tax returns
  • Photos
  • Contracts
  • Estate plan
  • Financial information
  • Keep back up offsite (loved one's safe or safe deposit box)
  • Update Annually

Understand Your Home Fire Coverage

  • Full replacement cost coverage
  • Market value coverage
  • Personal property coverage
  • Valuables rider for expensive items such as Jewelry, etc.

After the Fire

  • contact insurance agent immediately
  • Ask for advance on your claim to cover short-term costs
  • Secure your property
  • File claim right away
  • Keep track of all living expenses (with receipts)
  • Don't stop paying your homeowners insurance premium
  • Don't close your claim out too fast
  • Get grief counseling

Feature Presentation: Screw Retirement Goals, Here's a Better Way

Retirement Goals. In my experience, few people set them and even fewer stick to them over the long-term. Retirement goals are something we are told we need to have so we can plan for them. Traditional planning forces them upon you and then shows you all the saving and sacrificing you'll have to do to achieve them.   No wonder nobody plans.

Recently a mentor of mine, Michael Hyatt, wrote a great blog about the problem with the traditional concept of retirement (Why Retirement is a Dirty Word). I agree with him.

If retirement and retirement goals are outdated concepts than how do you plan for the future?

In this episode, I'll explore some of the problems with setting retirement goals and show you a more productive way to plan for the the future.

I discuss:

  • The problem with traditional retirement goal setting
  • Why we don't stick with retirement goals
  • How you might be limiting your future
  • How you might be limiting your current life
  • The importance of priorities
  • How to turn your financial priorities into actions
  • How to negotiate with yourself
  • How to live a more balanced life

QUESTION:  Do you have retirement goals?

  • If so, are they meaningful?

  • If not, Why?

Let me know via Twitter 

Direct download: The_Retirement_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 8:57pm CDT

If you chose to invest in real estate as part of your retirement plan, you better understand what you're signing up for. 

Most "educational" classes, workshops etc. focus on all the benefits of real estate and gloss over the realities of doing it. Buying, owning and operating rental properties is hard work.  This week, I talk with Philip Wetzel about the real work that goes into investing directly in real estate.

Retirement Tip of the Week

3 lessons from Jim Collins' books Good to Great and Great By Choice that you can use to make smarter financial decisions. 

Two of my favorite business books are Great By Choice and Good to Great. Last week, I had the pleasure of hearing the lead author of each, Jim Collins, speak. It was awesome.  The lessons learned from his research on what made companies great can easily be applied in managing your financial life. Here are 3 that you should start using today...

  • First who, than what
  • Confront the brutal facts (yet never lose faith)
  • Fire bullets, then cannonballs

Feature Presentation: What You Should Know Before Investing in Real Estate

Investing in real estate can be a good thing-as long it fits your situation, you truly understand the risks and work involved and stay diversified.

There are plenty of workshops, classes, seminars, infomercials systems, etc. out there to "teach" you how you should do it. Unfortunately, they are typically strong on the benefits and light on all the work needed to position yourself for success.  In this episode, I start to give you the rest of the story.

Some of the topics we cover are:

  • Why you need to run it like a business
  • How to do your homework before you buy your first home
  • Why passive real estate investing is not really passive
  • The difference between flipping house and real estate investing
  • The importance of having cash reserves
  • The advantages of being a handyman
  • The advantages and dangers of using leverage
  • Why you need to put 20% down when you buy a property
  • The importance of finding quality tenants
  • How management companies work

 

Direct download: Plan_Well_8.18.14.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 9:45pm CDT

My financial records are a mess. Are yours?

In this episode, I'll outline the framework I'm going to use to get my recording keeping in order. 

Could you find that important docuement if you needed to?

If not, listen and we can get organized together.


In the Retirement Tip of the Week, I'll give you a framework for lending money to friends or family so you can help out without ruining the relationship.

Direct download: Plan_Well_8.10.14.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 7:26pm CDT

Is the stock market correction here?  In the last week of July the S&P 500 index lost 2.7%. The worst weekly loss in over two years. It didn't take long for the sensationalist headlines to pop up. Here are two of my favorites.

Warning: That plunge in stocks is just the beginning

MarketWatch.com

3 market warning signs predict 20% stock tumble

Insight: When these indicators flash together, it’s time to sell

MarketWatch.com

 

Strategies to Help You Handle Market Corrections

I'm all about investing wisely for retirement. If you are a trader, market timer, trend follower, etc. you might want to click away. For the rest of you, here are my suggestions to help you invest wisely and sleep better at night.

1. Have a Plan

Sounds simple but most people don't. They invest based on intuition, emotion and trust rather than facts, process and purpose.  Your plan doesn't have to be elaborate it just needs to be clear and actionable. It should include:

  • Goal for investment assets
  • Investment timeframe
  • Risk/reward target
  • Target investment allocation
  • Rebalancing policy
  • Communication and evaluation schedule

2. Have adequate cash reserves

More than anything, this may the most practical strategy to weather market corrections. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is  to sell an investment at the wrong time because you need the money.

With interest rates on savings accounts near 0%, it is tempting to put all your money "to work". Don't. Cash reserves give you the flexibility to weather uncertain times in your life as well as the markets. (in episode #17 I discuss cash reserves). Here are the basics of cash reserves

Emergency fund (3 months to 2 years living expenses) + Expected expenses within the next 12 months=Less emotional decisions

3. Have at Least a 3 Year Investment Timeframe

Anything under a three year time frame is speculating not investing. Investing wisely requires time.

4. Be Well Diversified

Every time I say this I feel like the teacher in the Peanuts cartoons...Blah, Blah, Blah. Diversification and asset allocation help you avoid the trap of trying to pick winners and losers. They position you to participate in the economic growth of the world. That is the point of investing.  The more you try to game the system, the more likely you'll miss out (Here is a recent episode on investing mistakes).

One thing you can do right now is make sure your allocation is rebalanced back to the target you should have set in the beginning. Over the last 4 years, the stock markets have done quite well. If you haven't rebalanced to your target you probably have a lot more equities than you originally intended. This could mean you have more volatility than you bargained for. Studies have shown that rebalancing your portfolio regularly helps you achieve better results. Rebalancing Feels bad, but works good.

5. Understand Market Corrections are Healthy for the Markets and Your Portfolio

You've heard it said that investing is like gambling. In a sense that's true. If you invest based on intuition, emotions and the advice of the financial press, you're just one of the suckers walking into the casino. If, however, you invest based on history, research, process and prudence you are more likely to have the odds of the casino over the long-term. That is investing wisely.

Retirement Tip of the Week

Try it Before You Buy it


You need to be very careful when you are in the Retirement Nesting stage of life. Retirement Nesting occurs during the 3 years prior to retirement and the 2 years after you retire. This is the time of retirement lifestyle dreams. AND a time when you are susceptible to marketers selling the retirement dream.

The Retirement Nesting stage is a danger zone for poor financial decisions. Don't fall for the emotional urges to buy an R.V., vacation lot, condo or big toy. They can be great but you need to be certain, very certain, that it is something you will truly use. Just recently, I had to help a gentleman unload a beach condo he purchased on a whim 5 years ago. He lost over $100k on the deal (and only used once). Don't be that guy.

Here are some tips to avoid the same mistake:

  • Do LOTS of research over  a 12 month period before you buy
  • Always pay cash.
  • Rent the object of your desire for the first 2 years to see how much you actually use it. It is easy to rent anything anywhere nowadays.
  • Test drive vacation homes, R.V.s and resorts over the first 5 years of you retirement. It can be great fun and save  you from making a costly mistake.

Resources Discussed

Direct download: PLAN_WELL_8.4.14.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 9:53am CDT

The cost of a financial misstep in retirement can be devastating. During retirement it is hard to "earn" your way out of poor decisions. Poor planning or a big loss during retirement can ruin your financial security. In this episode I discuss the most common retirement "screw ups" I've seen and how you work to avoid them.

7 Ways to Screw Up Your Retirement

Having unrealistic return expectations for your investment assets (too high in 1990s, too low in 2007-08)

Crazy as it sounds, in the 1990s people retired thinking they could earn 15%-20% per year and take 10% from their assets for retirement income.

Today, we see the opposite extreme. After 2008-07, people aren't so optimistic about retirement. In fact, they are down right pessimistic.

Not sticking to a spending plan and reviewing it annually

When you  retire it is essential that you become more intentional about your spending. In retirement your earnings power diminishes. You'll have less opportunities to earn your way out of poor spending choices.

Set a spending plan and review it annually. This will allow out adjust as your situation changes.

Falling in love with an investment or investment strategy

Real estate; Gold; Rental houses; Tech stocks; Dividend stocks. I've seen it all over the last 23 years. Just because you've had great success with a particular investment or strategy doesn't mean it is the be all end all.  Managing assets during your retirement years is more about consistency and protection than stellar returns. The past is littered with "sure thing" investment that have gone bust. Just look at the list above.

Financially supporting/enabling adult children

I'm not sure where the line is between occasionally helping a child out and enabling them. We've seen retired parents destroy their financial security by bailing out their children from there poor choices. A good litmus test is to ask yourself: Are you preparing your children for the path, or the path for the child?

Starting or investing in a small business

Starting a business or investing in a new venture is exciting. Be careful. They all sound exciting at the start but most small businesses fail. Retirement is not the time to invest a lot of money in an entrepreneurial dream.

Buying expensive lifestyle toys (vacation home, R.V. or land)

Go ahead and dream big but be careful about spending big money on your retirement toy. It's very common to see older retirees saddled with debt on an expensive R.V. or vacation lot that isn't used and worth a fraction of the loan amount.

Sticking your head in the sand when it comes to your financial life

Not being aware and willing to address the financial realities of your retirement is a sure way to screw it up.

Retirement Tip of the Week

Complete your estate plan. Yeah it's boring and can cause some uncomfortable conversations, but get it done. Please

Tips to getting the estate planning questionnaire done:

  • Don't try to do it at home
  • Set an appointment with your spouse outside of the house to complete
  • Have your advisor or a trusted friend interview to complete it

Tips for Keeping it up to date:

  • Review it once a year with your spouse and trusted advisor
  • Review the same time each year (like a holiday or annual family gathering)

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Direct download: PWIW_7.27.13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:17pm CDT

This week I speak with Burt White, Chief Investment Officer of LPL Financial. Burt and I discuss LPL's mid-year outlook Titled: The Investor's Almanac. 

Burt and his team do a great job simply communicating the economic and investing environment.  Their Investor's Almanac is a great tool to help us invest wisely.  No bold predictions or market calls here, just easy to understand insights you can use to make better informed investing decisions. If you'd like a free copy of their Investor's Almanac you can access it in the Retirement Answer Library

In this episode we discuss:

  • how to use investment outlooks to Invest Wisely
  • where the U.S. is in the economic cycle
  • where they see potential risks and opportunities
  • how international markets are not in sync with U.S. markets
  • why you should consider harvesting high quality bonds
  • possible alternatives to traditional fixed income
  • places to find income
  • super themes that should provide a benefit the U.S. economy
  • the importance of turning off the worry factory of financial media

Retirement Tip of the Week:  Designating a Trust as a Beneficiary of an IRA

Last week a client called requesting the beneficiary of his Individual Retirement Account (IRA) be changed to a trust. This planning strategy has become more popular over the last few years. This strategy for IRAs can has some benefits if the ultimate beneficiary is:

  • a minor child
  • someone with special needs
  • a spouse from a second marriage
  • a spendthrift with poor financial skills

The trust can help protect the inherited assets and better control how those funds are used by the beneficiary of the trust.

Be careful using this strategy though. Done incorrectly, the strategy could conflict with IRS rules and possibly create big tax problems. It is important the attorney drafting the trust be familiar with certain aspects unique to inherited IRAs.  

Some things to consider are:

  • Make sure the beneficiaries of the trust are people. They cannot be non-persons (like a charity)
  • Consider adding language specifically prohibiting distributions to non-persons
  • Make sure it is a Conduit Trust. It should include language that requires the distribution from the trust to the beneficiaries of the Required Minimum Distributions coming from the inherited IRA.
  • If there is more than one beneficiary, consider having a separate trust for each. This will also each trust beneficiary to use their own age for required minimum distributions
Direct download: PWIW_7.2014.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:35pm CDT

In this episode, I'll show you how to come to terms with your worry and the uncertainty about retirement.

"I worry"

I talk to a lot of people about retirement. Not only clients but most everyone I meet over age 50.  I'll always ask them what their #1 thought is on retirement. I've learned a lot from this exercise. The most important thing I've learned is that people worry about retirement....alot!.

They worry about:

  • all the uncertainty
  • living without a paycheck
  • inflation
  • running out of money
  • maintaining my standard of living
  • my health and healthcare costs
  • being a burden to my children
  • long-term care costs
  • losing money in the markets
  • the economy
  • my country

In this episode, I'll show you how to come to terms with your worry and the uncertainty about retirement. Once you've done that, you'll be free to build a system to manage through the uncertainty in your life. I discuss:

  • Market uncertainty
  • Economic uncertainty
  • Uncertainty in your life

How to begin to manage it by:

  • Scheduling "little conversations"
  • Using checklists
  • Making lots of little adjustments as your life unfolds during retirement

Building this structure is really what this blog, the Retirement Answer Library and podcast is all about. 

Retirement Tip of the Week

The importance of tax diversity on your balance sheet as you near retirement. If you're within 5 years from retirement, why it may make sense to significantly lower the amount you save in your 401(k) retirement plan. 

Resources Discussed

Enjoy the Podcast?

A big THANK YOU to Dean for sending me your kind note, thanking me for the podcast and Retirement Answer Library. So glad it's been helpful to you. It really means the world to me.

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Direct download: PWIW_7.14.14.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 7:15am CDT

“How do I understand Social Security and Medicare?”  This is a question I hear most often from people planning for retirement. It's understandable. Social Security and Medicare benefits will play a big part in your retirement. 

In this episode we begin to unwrap both and begin to build a framework for you make decisions about your Social Security and Medicare benefits. I say we “begin” intentionally. These are BIG subjects. In future episodes, we’ll continue to improve your understanding of your Social Security and Medicare.

Announcements

  • If you enjoy the podcast, I would consider it a great favor if you subscribed in iTunes and leave a review. This helps others discover the show. 
  • Last week I announced my Retirement 2.0 project. This is an initiative to redesign the retirement planning process to serve you better.  To help, go here and share your thoughts on retirement.

Retirement Tip of the Week

I suggest you visit and explore our government's Social Security website. It is an easy to navigate, useful resource to help you manage your Social Security benefits. YES, I just said “useful” and “government” in the same sentence. They did a great job designing the site.

 You can easily:

 

  • Apply for benefits,
  • Check the status of an application
  • Set up direct deposit
  • Estimate your Social Security
  • Estimate your spouse’s benefit
  • Sign up for your Social Security benefit
  • Set up direct deposit
  • Access their Retirement Toolkit (a great PDF document that outlines key dates for Social Security and Medicare)

 

Unwrapping Medicare: The Basics

This week I talk with Misty Kimbrough, a local insurance expert about the basics of Medicare. She outlines the basic parts of Medicare and the 3 most common missteps people make when planning medicare benefits for retirement.

Part A “major medical” coverage covering health care costs at hospitals 

Part B Covers the costs of health care outside of a hospital. Doctor visits, outpatient procedures, x-lab test and related services

Medicare Supplements (Medigap)

Part C Medicare Advantage Plan

Part D Prescription Drug Plan

3 Common Medicare Missteps 

Resources Discussed

Direct download: PWIW_7.7.14.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 7:06pm CDT

I Hate Keeping a Monthly Budget.

Yes, I know that keeping a monthly budget is personal finance 101.  Over the years I've tried, repeatedly, to track every expense in a monthly budget. Each time I failed after a few months. It's just too much work. I have better things to do than be a part-time bookkeeper. 

Do You Hate to Keep a Monthly Budget?

Tracking all your expenses is easier than ever. Programs like Quicken and Mint have powerful accounting tools in simple to use packages. Still...most of us don't track monthly expenses or keep monthly budget for one simple reason; We have better things to do than being a part-time bookkeeper. 

In this episode, I walk you through my budget system which gets you 80% of the benefits of detailed budgeting, without all the work. In just four easy steps you can take control of your spending and capture the excess income as savings. 

I Call It the Cash Flow Bucket System.

The advantages of the Cash Flow Bucket System:

1. You don’t waste time tracking every transaction.

2. You have less stress deciding how to spend money each month.

3. You don’t spend money just because it’s there.

4. You easily capture (save) excess income as savings.

5. You can make smarter decisions on allocating savings.

6. You maintain flexibility for unexpected expenses.

Try It and Stop Feeling Guilty About Not Keeping a Monthly Budget

I've added a worksheet to the Retirement Answer Library to walk you through the process. It's free, just sign up here.

The Retirement Tip of the Week

I give you Sammy's 5 secrets to living a happier retirement. These are worth listening to!

Direct download: PWIW_6.30.14.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 8:49am CDT

Deal with Death By Celebrating Life

Last week, I wrote about my sister's passing and her wish that her family have a "Celebration of Life" picnic (you can read it here).

In this podcast, I share my thoughts on my sister's choice and how you can do the same.

How to Overcome New Car Fever

New car fever is a difficult bug to beat. Everyday, driving, you window shop as you drive, imagining yourself in the car models you see whizz by. Once you're bitten, the fever typically ends in you in a shiny new car.

  1. Remember your priorities
  2. Detail your car at least every other month
  3. Pay for a complete car wash once per week
  4. Buy a some key accessories to refresh your cars look

A Useful App to Help You Identify Spending Habits

Once every two months you should track your spending habits with an app like Expensify to:

  1. Create an opportunity to discuss spending habits
  2. Reconcile your spending habits with your stated financial priorities
  3. Identify wasteful spending habits
  4. Keep you and your partner accountable to each other 

Resources Discuss

Direct download: PWIW_6.23.14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43pm CDT

This week we discuss:

  • Why you should ask your advisor about their succession plan
  • How to manage cash flow during retirement

 

Less Than 10% of Advisors Have a Succession Plan

 

This is a scary number considering that if your advisor is unable to serve you due to injury or death, the retirement plan you’ve put in place could be in jeopardy. 

  • Who will service you?
  • Who will advise you?
  • What communication will you receive?
  • Who will manage your assets?

These are just some of the important questions that need to be asked by you to assure your retirement plan is not disrupted.

 

I discuss:

  • the importance of asking your advisor about their written succession plan
  • what items to look for
  • the communication plan that should be in place
  • how to protect your retirement plan in the event your advisor is suddenly unavailable.

 

This month, I’ll post a checklist in the Retirement Library of items you should look for in your advisors succession plan to assure some continuity of service.

 

Listener Question:  Lynn asks, “How do I manage my cash flow during retirement?

 

How to manage cash flow during retirement is one of the questions I’m asked most. Not receiving a monthly paycheck during retirement can be unnerving. In retirement, it is important to have a system to create a paycheck to pay your monthly retirement expenses. 

 

I outline the Cash Flow Reserve system we use to help clients cover their retirement expenses. 

 

The Benefits of the System

  1. It can help you feel safer about meeting your needs
  2. It provides a margin of safety during turbulent markets
  3. It positions you to make smarter financial decisions
  4. It gives you more flexibility to adjust as conditions change
  5. It helps you sleep at night


How It Works

  1. Checking Account—To pay your lifestyle expenses
  2. Cash Reserve Account—maintain 2 year’s expected living expenses, distributing a monthly “paycheck” to your checking account
  3. Extraordinary fund—Maintain cash reserves for extra expenses you will incur over the next 12 months
  4. Long-term Investment—Long-term investment assets that include bonds maturing in 3-5 years
  5. Review and adjust every 6 months

 

This week I’ll post a detailed outline on how to build your Cash Flow Reserve system  in the Retirement Answer Library.

 

Resources Discussed

 

Retirement Answer Library

 

 

Enjoy the Podcast?

 

You can do me a big favor by subscribing in iTunes and leaving your honest review. 

 

This would help bring more listeners and questions so we can all work together to PLAN WELL and INVEST WISELY for retirement.

 

Direct download: PWIW_6.16.14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:03am CDT

Working during retirement could be the best thing you do to find meaning, stay healthy and earn money while doing what you love.

 

In her book, Second-Act Careers: 50 Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement, Nancy Collamer has created a great resource for anyone wanting to take their passion and earn income from it during retirement.

Nancy Collamer is a speaker, career coach, and author who writes a semi-monthly career column for NextAvenue.org (PBS) and Forbes.com. Her home on the internet is mylifestylecareer.com.

In This Podcast We Discuss:

  • Why second-act careers are a second chance to do what you love
  • How Baby Boomers will change the concept of retirement
  • Why it is important to fill your days with meaning
  • How to blend your passion and work to live more fully during retirement
  • How part-time income during retirement can allow you to retire earlier
  • How to take things you love (like travel) and make money doing it during retirement
  • How to test drive retirement work options before committing
  • Examples of others that are doing what they love during retirement and earning an income
  • Common mistakes retirees make with second-act careers

Also, 4 Reasons You Should Completely Ignore Extreme Market Predictions

Want access to the free Retirement Answer Library?

Last week, I  introduced a great resource to help you find the answer to your retirement questions.

The Library includes worksheets and checklists to help you plan for and live in retirement. Each month new resources are added based on client and reader questions. Together we can build a library to Plan Well and Invest Wisely for retirement.

Gain Access Here

Resources Discussed

Direct download: PWIW_6.8.14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm CDT

Jeff Goins doesn't want to miss his life. And he doesn't want you to either.

His latest book, "The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing" serves as a reminder to himself, and everyone that most of our lives are spent "in-between" the big things. It is in these moments we can find opportunities to live more fully.

In  This Podcast We Discuss:

  • Practicing being present in your life
  • Regrets and how they can lead to positive change
  • Managing the natural tension between living well today and planning for tomorrow
  • Jeff's retirement plan
  • The portfolio of life concept of living
  • The prediction that, by 2030 over half of the population will be working as freelancers
  • Embracing that life is a journey, not a destination

Also, I answer a listener question

When Should I take Social Security?  

Want access to the Retirement Answer Library?

Last week, I  introduced a great resource to help you find the answer to your retirement questions.

The Library includes worksheets and checklists to help you plan for and live in retirement. Each month new resources are added based on client and reader questions. Together we can build a library to Plan Well and Invest Wisely for retirement.

Gain Access Here

Resources Discussed

Direct download: PWIW_6.2.14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:34pm CDT

Want a great gift for a graduating high school or college senior?

Jon Chevreau’s book, Findependence Day, is a great gift that teaches important financial lessons within an interesting fictional story of a young couple walking through life.

We discuss:

  • The definition of financial independence
  • Life energy and the cost of spending
  • The war against consumerism
  • Why it’s harder to save than it used to be
  • The danger of paying too much attention to financial media
  • The call to action of “Freedom Not Stuff
  • The secret costs of moving homes

Are Your Password Safe?

Last week a client of ours had his e-mail hacked. The hacker then requested a wire from the client's account. Our security measures prevented it (Thankfully).  The story should make you seriously consider being more diligent about using strong passwords.  I explain how I manage my passwords.

Want access to the free Retirement Answer Library?  

This week we introduced this great resource to help you find the answer to your retirement questions. 

The Library includes worksheets and checklists to help you plan for and live in retirement. Each month new resources are added based on client and reader questions. Together we can build a library to Plan Well and Invest Wisely for retirement.

Gain Access Here

Resources Discussed

In Honor of Those That Serve

A big thank you this week to Frank Gustafon of One Bold Move for his service and for leaving a review of the podcast in iTunes. Frank is a Marine and has a great podcast for Service Members.

Lead like a Marine is a weekly podcast focused on helping Marines and other Service Members translate their leadership skills and abilities as they transition back into the civilian job market.  We interview those who “have been there and done that”.  Great stories of successful transition into the civilian marketplace.

If you enjoy the podcast and are so moved, I sure would appreciate a honest review in iTunes. It would help us build the Plan Well community which helps everyone make smarter financial decisions

Happy Memorial Day Friends

Direct download: PWIW_5.26.14.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 10:08am CDT

Johns Hopkins University's Center for Innovative Care and Legg Mason recently issued a study titled "Aging and It's Financial Implications: Planning for Housing.

Kathleen Pritchard, Managing Director with Legg Mason, talks with host Roger Whitney about the importance of planning ahead for housing during retirement

There are three typical phases during retirement. The:

  • Go Go Years--when you are healthy and active (60s & 70s)
  • Slow Go Years--when you slow down due to health issues (70s & 80s)
  • No Go Years--the late retirement years (80s & beyond)

By planning ahead for each of these phases, you can make smarter financial decisons and maintain control over your lifestyle choices.

There are five basic housing options for retirees:

  1. Aging in place
  2. 55+ independent living communities
  3. Continued care retirement communities (CCRCs)
  4. Assisted living facilities
  5. Skilled nursing facilities

You can find due diligence worksheets to help you find the option that is right for you at rogerwhitney.com/worksheets

 

Direct download: PWIW_5.19.14.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 9:04pm CDT

"He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever." - Chinese proverb

 

There really are no stupid questions.

We're told this all the time but I don't think most of us truly believe it. As a result, we leave many very important questions unasked.  When your planning for your financial future this can be, at best, an inconvenience, at worst, financially devastating.

The mission of this blog and my podcast, PLAN WELL INVEST WISELY, is to help you make smarter financial decisions and answer those retirement planning questions that keep you up at night.

Have a question? Ask me here

In this week's episode, I answer questions from three listeners. 

  1. Sam Asks “How do you even go about coming up with a plan to pay down debt when the future holds student loan debts for two children in the next few years? Basically, What realistic steps could a family take without completely changing their lifestyle?"

  2. Lisa Asks “I wondered if at some point you might touch upon establishing the necessary documents for elderly parents?”

  3. Kevin asks "What is the best way to consolidate all of the retirement accounts I've accumulated over the years and find good advice to help me plan for retirement?

Resources Discussed

Have a retirement planning question you'd like answered? Ask me here.

Direct download: PWIW_5.12.14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:57am CDT

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 CDT

Walt Disney World is the classic family vacation. 

If you’re planning on visiting Walt Disney World, you’re going to love this week’s  PLAN WELL INVEST WISELY podcast. I speak with Lou Mangello, an internationally recognized expert on the Walt Disney World Resort.

Lou is a former attorney from New Jersey who has made his lifelong passion (Walt Disney World) his full time career. His website wdwradio.com is an amazing resource for all things Disney. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • His book, 102 Ways to Save Money for and at Walt Disney World
  • How to safe money on your Disney World vacation
  • The best and worse times to visit Walt Disney World
  • When Walt Disney World is busiest
  • When it costs less to go to Walt Disney World
  • How to begin planning your Walt Disney vacation
  • How to maximize your time and still have fun
  • Discount ticket sources
  • The advantages of the Disney annual pass
  • How to get discounts on food and lodging
  • Things to consider when buying your ticket package  (to park hop or not?)
  • Whether to stay on or off property
  • Simple strategies to save money on food and drinks at Disney
  • Saving on Souvenirs
  • What to pack to make your day at Disney World comfortable

Resources Discussed

For a TON of resources to help plan your trip to Walt Disney World visit wdwradio.com

 

 

Direct download: PWIW_Mongello_4.22.14.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 6:09pm CDT

How to pay for college is one of the most frequent questions I get from parents.

This week I interviewed Celest Horton from How to Pay For College HQ to learn about the great resources to help parents pay for college.

Celest knows it's possible to pay for college without student loans (she did it). Each week, on her How to Pay for College HQ podcast she interviews industry experts to help listeners learn what is necessary to plan, prepare and pay for college without the assistance of loans.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The need for your teenager to be engaged in the process of selecting a college and applying for aide
  • The importance of your teenager to show a "demonstrated interest" in schools they want to go to so they can improve their chances of receiving merit aide. They can do this by following a school on social media and intreating with the admissions department.
  • How a high school senior could graduate with 1 or 2 years of college credit by taking duel purpose classes in high school to earn college credit.
  • What the FAFSA form is and why its important to complete in January each year.
  • The importance of researching potential college's average SAT scores, tuition and how generous they are with merit aide.

Resources Discussed

  • Scholarshipopportunity.org Online resource for scholarship opportunities to help pay for college
  • College Navigator Online resources to research average tuition, SAT and aide for colleges
  • College Data Online resources to research average tuition, SAT and aide for colleges

Visit How to Pay for College HQ to receive the free report : Top 5 Things Every Parent Should Know To Pay for College Without Loans

Direct download: PWIW9.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 4:54pm CDT

In this Plan Well Invest Wisely podcast, Roger Whitney interviews Lauren Gaggioli, founder of Higher Test Prep Scores. They discuss the importance of the SAT and how to help your child select the right school for them.

Here are some of the topics Lauren and I covered:

  • The importance of taking college preparatory tests such as ACT, SAT, PSAT.
  • Determining which test(s) to take when choosing a college.
  • The advantages of taking both ACT and SAT tests.
  • Motivating students to take responsibility in preparing for college.
  • Why some students should consider taking an intentional "gap" year between high school and college.
  • With their parents' help, students should examine themselves (passions, strengths, personality) to discover which college may be a best fit for them.
  • Various kinds of financial aid, including need-based and merit-based.
  • Why students should diversify their college options.

To learn much more about ACT, PSAT and SAT test prep, listen to Lauren's free podcast called The College Checklist.

Lauren is offering a FREE video on her website at Higher Test Prep Scores.

Direct download: PWIW8.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 9:55am CDT

It's spring and the desire to spend time outside with the family is blooming. Before you allow that budding desire to lead you to buy an RV, boat or other recreational item make sure you closely look at the potential pitfalls of ownership.

In this episode, host Roger Whitney tells his story of how he did everything wrong when he purchased an RV. He also outlines 10 things you should consider before you purchase your RV.

This is the REST of the story not told in the RV brochures and outdoor shows that are springing up this time of year.

Have a retirement or personal finance question? Ask Roger here and he'll answer personally.

Direct download: PWIW7.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 7:31pm CDT

How do you find the right financial advisor for you and your family?

In this special mid-week edition, host Roger Whitney gives you a framework for how to interview a financial advisor candidate and 15 questions you should ask to help choose the right financial advisor for you.

In this episode he covers:

  1. Why it is important to interview multiple financial advisors
  2. What to look for in a financial advisor
  3. Pre-work you can do before you meet the financial advisor
  4. 15 questions to ask to help you find the right financial advisor for you and your family

For a Trusted Advisor worksheet to use in your interview process go to rogerwhitney.com/worksheets

Direct download: PWIW6.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 8:18am CDT

This Week, Roger Whitney introduces a new service YOU ASK I ANSWER, where you can ask your retirement planning questions and receive a response.

Then he begins to answer the question, will I have enough money to maintain my lifestyle during retirement?

The first step to answering this question is to determine what your retirement lifestyle will be. You do this by breaking your retirement lifestyle into three buckets:

  • Retirement Essentials. Those retirement expenses needed to maintain your household (housing, utilities, food, insurance, etc.)
  • Retirement Lifestyle. Those retirement expenses for things that enrich your life (travel, entertainment, home improvements, hobbies, etc.)
  • Retirement Dreams/Legacy. Those special things that you would like to accomplish (major travel, gifting, purchasing a second home, etc.)

Breaking your retirement lifestyle into these three buckets gives you the flexibility to adjust your retirement lifestyle each year based on how your retirement unfolds.

Once you do this, you need to consider how you will spend during retirement. For example inflation. Consider what your personal inflation rate is based on your spending habits.

Also consider closely whether you want to spend more earlier in retirement with the understanding that you will lower spending in later years. In essence, buy yourself more lifestyle now, while you are younger and healthier. 

Once you've completed this step you are well on your way to determining how much money you will need to maintain your lifestyle in retirement. 

In future podcasts, he'll address the next steps in this process.

Direct download: PWIW5.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 1:44pm CDT

This episode is based on Roger Whitney's new report INVEST in Your Health: 72 Tips to Living a Healthier Retirement. You can download the report for free at rogerwhitney.com

Investing in your healh may be the best investment you can make to living well in retirement. The quality of your health has major financial implications to your financial wellbeing in retirement.

In this episode we outline the financial benefits of investing in your health and the six areas of your health that you should invest in. 

  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Spiritual
  • Occupational

 

Direct download: PWIW4.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 8:14pm CDT

Direct download: PWIW_3_Amazon_Prime_Emergency_Fund.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 9:26pm CDT

In episode 2 Roger Whitney talks about the importance tracking your net worth, how you can use it to make smarter financial decisions  and  rethinking your perspective about the purpose of investing.

PLAN WELL Segment

Your net worth statement is an essential tool for making smarter decisions. Your net worth statement:

  • gives you your entire financial picture in one place
  • equals the sum of all of your financial decisions over time
  • allows you to identify risk and opportunities in your financial life
  • is a much better tool to track your financial progress over time than your investment accounts

You should update your new worth statement every six months and use as part of your process for making big financial decisions.


INVEST WISELY Segment

Over the last 25 years investing has been about "creating wealth."This has led to many people investing too aggressively.

Historically, the creation of wealth came from hard work, enterprise, creativity, disciplined spending and savings. The purpose of investing was to preserve and grow the wealth WE created. This perspective is important for you to consider.

It:

  • keeps the focus on the true driver of wealth creation.....YOU
  • may allow you to invest less aggressively
  • positions you better to invest more consistently over time
Direct download: PWIW2.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 12:57pm CDT