Retirement Savings and Investments News, Information and Guidance

year end tax advice for retirement

Don’t Forget RMDs and 7 More Year End Tax Tips for Retirees

Below are key end of year tax strategies to help you keep more money. YEAR END TAX ADVICE #1: Over 72? Don’t Overlook Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)! This is perhaps the easiest piece of year end tax advice for retirees: Don’t forget to take your RMDs! However, Fidelity Investments reports that the majority — 61%…

lockbox strategy

The Lockbox Strategy and 10 Other Retirement Income Tips from Nobel Laureate, William Sharpe

William Sharpe is a Nobel Prize winning economist and the professor of finance, emeritus, at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. His Nobel was awarded for developing the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). He is also well known for the Sharpe Ratio, a number designed to summarize the desirability of an overall investment strategy. However,…

money personality type

What is Your Money Personality Type? How Will It Impact Your Retirement?

Your money personality type can impact your retirement security. However, knowing your money personality type can help you avoid pitfalls and use your strengths to your advantage as you approach retirement. What is a Money Personality Type? How Do You Get It? Your money personality type is comprised of your attitudes and habits around money….

how to save more money

How to Save More Money for Retirement: 22 Smart and Easy Ways to Boost Savings Big!

You’ve probably heard a lot of advice about how to save more money for retirement. Everyone tells you that you really need to do it. And if you’re like a lot of people, you probably think that it’s a great idea — you are just not exactly sure where to find the cash. Learn how…

Podcast: Brian Bollinger — Simply Safe Dividends

Episode 29 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Brian Bollinger, an entrepreneur and founder of Simply Safe Dividends — a company dedicated to dividend investing and generating passive income. Brian is a former equity research analyst and registered CPA who quit his investment job to start his own company at 26. Listen Now:…

You Might Have Less in Your Retirement Account than You Think You Have!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you might have less in your retirement account than you think you have! At least the worth to you might be less than you imagine. Really! Your 401k or IRA account balance is not telling the whole story of your wealth — especially if your income…

SECURE Act

The SECURE Act: Will Retirement Get Easier?

The House of Representatives’ Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act and a similar bill in the Senate, the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA) are bills backed by both Republicans and Democrats (gasp!) that aspire to improve retirement and retirement planning for Americans. The Secure Act was approved by the House of…

retirement investing

Retirement Investments for Dummies: Get the Answers You Need to Rest Easy

Sorry. You probably are not a dummy about everything. But, research suggests that almost 80 percent of all Americans have a very low financial IQ (What’s yours? Take the quiz now.) So, the chances are high that you are a personal finance and investment dummy! And, good for you for doing something about it. (Maybe…

best retirement investments

The Best Retirement Investments to Achieve Your Retirement Goals

The best retirement investments depend entirely on you and your goals. Don’t dive into anything or let anyone tell you how to invest unless they understand how much money you have and what your goals are for that money. When will you need or want it? What will you spend it on? You have so…

impact investing

Impact Investing: Benefits Beyond Returns (Do Well by Doing Good)

Impact investing! The name sounds exciting. Who wouldn’t want to make an impact with an investment? But, what is it exactly? And, is it right for you and your retirement? Impact investing, related to socially responsible or ethical investing, conscious capitalism, and sustainable investing, is defined by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) as investments…

self directed ira

Self Directed Retirement Accounts: IRAs and 401ks

Self directed retirement accounts — whether it is an IRA or a 401k — are tax advantaged savings vehicles that offer you the ability to invest in a wide range of opportunities. When you have an IRA or 401k, your investment options are limited to whatever is available from your plan’s sponsor. And, those opportunities…

retirement bucket strategy

Is a Retirement Bucket Strategy Right for You and Your Money?

Could a retirement bucket strategy make it easier to manage savings after you retire? If you think that managing retirement investments is difficult when you are working, we have some bad news: it gets much harder when you actually retire. Once retired, your investments need to not only grow but also fund your lifestyle, keep…

economic indicator

Economic Indicators: Be Aware, But Why You Don’t Necessarily Need to Care

An economic indicator is information that can suggest what is going on in the economy — is the economy healthy, growing or headed for trouble? Sounds useful, right? Well… maybe… Let’s explore the pros and cons of following economic indicators. Be Aware: The Upsides of Knowing About and Following Economic Indicators Being aware of what is happening…

catch up contributions

A Powerful Retirement Saving Secret: Use Tax Advantaged Catch Up Contributions When Over 50

Most of us are pretty stressed by the need to give our savings a big boost as we approach retirement.  Guess what? There is actually a relatively little known retirement savings strategy that can really help: Catch up contributions. Catch up contributions are the IRS’s way of making it easier for savers age 50 and…

8 Ways to Invest in Real Estate for Retirement

Let’s get real about investing in real estate for retirement. Investing of any kind can be complicated at any point in your life. However, investing in or near retirement can be especially arduous. At retirement you need your assets to be relatively free of risk while keeping pace with inflation. In many cases, you need your…

Empty Nest

Empty Nest? Why It’s Still Not So Easy to Fill Up Your Retirement Nest Egg!

So, what type of empty nest parent are you?  Are you: Super proud that they are setting out on their own? Still supporting them financially? Relieved and happy to have more time on your own? Sad and lonely that your children have flown the coop? Guessing that they’ll be back shortly? Shrewdly calculating how much…

Thank You John C. Bogle for the Bogglingly Significant Legacy to Retirement Planning

John Bogle died on Wednesday. He was the founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund group. However, his real legacy is not in how he built a $4.9 trillion investment company but rather how he led a new way of thinking about retirement investing. Want to be a successful investor?Just buy the haystack (and thank John…

Podcast: White Coat Investor Dr. Jim Dahle – Top Retirement Lessons

Episode 21 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Dr. Jim Dahle — a hockey playing emergency room doctor based in Salt Lake City Utah who runs White Coat Investor in his spare time. We dive into personal finance and retirement issues like how do you know if you’ve saved enough, what’s a safe…

stock market correction

How Much Should You Worry About a Stock Market Correction? Numbers and Tips for Weathering a Financial Storm

The past month has seen some wild dips in the stock markets. Nothing yet too terribly miserable for most, but enough to make us jittery. Should we be worried about a stock market correction? The easy answer is yes. After all, investing in the stock market is inherently risky and today’s world feels more unpredictable…

fund college education

How to Fund College Education When You Are Trying to Retire

College costs can feel overwhelming — especially if you are trying to retire sometime soon (or even just save for a future retirement). How to fund college education is a critical question and families need to explore all of their options. You are not alone if you are worried about paying for both big expenses…

Drip or Draw: What to Do with Stock Dividends in Retirement?

Stocks that pay dividends can be enormously appealing to retirees.  But what to do with those dividends can be confusing.  Should you participate in a Dividend Reinvestment Program (DRIP)?  Or should you just cash the check? Before answering that question, let’s learn a little more about dividends. What is a Stock Dividend? Different companies offer…

Podcast: Michael Batnick on Big Mistakes and Finding Your Calling

Episode 16 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Michael Batnick — Director of Research at Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC and author of Big Mistakes. We discuss what we can learn from the biggest mistakes of legendary investors, his long and winding path to his calling and what he’s learned along the way building…

financial anxiety

Financial Anxiety Skyrockets: Why You Are Worried Even if You Have Saved More than the $14,500 Median

Is the retirement crisis real?  Whether or not you yourself are suffering, financial anxiety is acutely felt by many Americans. Research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (ERBI) finds that the median retirement account balance for households led by someone between the ages of 55 and 64 is a mere $14,500. If you have more…

protect your retirement from inflation

How to Protect Your Retirement from Inflation (It May Be Rearing Its Ugly Head)

Inflation is a dirty word when it comes to retirement finances. We have been lucky for a while. Over the last four decades the United States has enjoyed record low inflation rates.  That might be changing and you may want to consider ways to protect your retirement from inflation — rising inflation. Is Inflation Coming?…

Roth Conversion 2018

Why a Roth Conversion or Backdoor Roth IRA is a Good Idea in 2018

Doing a Roth conversion — also known as a “backdoor Roth IRA” — is perhaps even more appealing in 2018 than ever before. Why? Low 2018 tax rates. What is a Roth Conversion? Backdoor IRA? A Roth Conversion is when you convert money that you have in a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. This…

Can You Recover if the Stock Market Crashes?

The stock market is enjoying a crazy long record setting expansion.  By some measures, this is the longest bull market in the history of the United States. If this fact makes you nervous, you are not alone.  No one wants their retirement savings at risk. So, Will the Stock Market Crash? Ha.  Thought you’d get…

Podcast: Legendary Investor Jim O’Shaughnessy on Active vs. Passive Investing

Episode 14 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Jim O’Shaughnessy – founder of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management. We discuss the investing lessons he’s learned from 30 years of investing – partially summarized in this tweet storm and why human behavior is the most predictable (and exploitable) element of the stock market. Listen Now: Don’t…

red dart on the center of a black and white target

Why an Investment Policy Statement is the Secret Weapon Your Retirement Plan Needs

An Investment Policy Statement (IPS) is a document that is usually drafted by a financial advisor for their client. An IPS is meant to define: Investment goals Strategies for achieving those objectives A framework for making intelligent changes to your plan Options for what to do if things don’t go as expected Keep your retirement…

cognitive bias

How to Outsmart Your Own Brain for a Better Retirement (Overcome Damaging Cognitive Biases)

Your brain is not necessarily set up in a way that makes it easy to plan a secure retirement. You have cognitive biases — faulty ways of thinking that are unfortunately hardwired into your brain — that work against you. Wikipedia lists 185 different kinds of cognitive biases. While they are all probably somewhat damaging…

How to Use the I.R.S. to Figure Out Safe Withdrawal Rates in Retirement

The Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) is not usually thought of as an institution that adds a lot of value to our lives — to the contrary in fact. However, a few years ago, the researchers at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College came up with a simple and relatively safe retirement withdrawals strategy…

Podcast: Nobel Prize Winner Robert Merton on Fixing Retirement

Episode 11 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Nobel Prize winner Robert Merton. Professor Robert Merton is a globally recognized economist and expert on life cycle and retirement finance (among other things). We discuss what’s wrong with the current focus on just building assets and why we should focus on retirement income instead….

The Biggest Retirement Planning Mistakes Boomers Made and How to Fix Them

Data from the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) suggests that Baby Boomers are pretty busted and busted up about their retirement prospects.  Boomers have made some big retirement planning mistakes — even beyond giving away their record collections.  (You didn’t really do that, did you?) The results of the IRI survey reveal that many Boomers have…

Podcast: Financial Advice from Allan Roth – You Get What You DON’T Pay For

Episode 7 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Allan Roth — a highly in demand, by-the-hour financial advisor with over 25 years of experience in the field. He also runs Wealth Logic. Allan and Steve discuss how (and why) most people can do much better financially by keeping investments simple and managing expenses….

RMD

No Laughing Matter: 6 Strategies to Manage Required Minimum Distributions (RMD)

When we reach the age of 70 ½ we must — in order to avoid tax penalties — take Required Minimum Distributions from IRAs, 401ks and other types of tax advantaged accounts — all  retirement accounts funded with pre-tax contributions. Here are some strategies to manage Required Minimum Distributions ( (RMD s). So what exactly is…

13 Retirement Investing Tips from Today’s Financial Geniuses

Were you the kid in kindergarten that secretly ate paste in the corner? Or were you the one solving all the math equations from the end of the book on your first day in class? (I knew those kids. Both of them were in my class – and I’m not yet admitting to being one…

NewRetirement Podcast: Investing Legend Bill Bernstein on the 5 Hurdles Between You and a Secure Retirement

Episode 5 is an interview with personal finance and investing legend Bill Bernstein. Steve and Bill discuss the hurdles between you and a secure retirement and how to overcome them. Hosted by Steve Chen, founder of NewRetirement, the NewRetirement Podcast offers interviews about the wise use of both money and time in retirement. We explore…

best retirement investments

Ten Retirement Investments that Don’t Involve Stocks, Bonds or Any Other Financial Product

Investing in ourselves doesn’t need to involve money. In fact, many of the best retirement investments do not involve greenbacks at all. Instead, they are investments that use our time to the fullest, allow us to spend precious moments with the people we love, enable us to focus on those things that make us happy….

Retirement Income Planning: 12 Strategies for Lifetime Wealth and Peace of Mind

We’ve spent our whole lives working, spending the money we earn and hopefully saving a little too.  When we retire, everything we have ever experienced about managing our own finances gets turned upside down. We no longer earn as much or any money from work.  We have to figure out how to make do with and…

What is an Exchange Traded Fund?

What is an Exchange Traded Fund? (Psst… It’s a Pretty Simple Way to Invest for Retirement)

If you do not entirely know what is an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)… it may be well worth your while to find out. ETFs have become very popular investment vehicles and they can be a good place for retirement savings. In a nutshell, ETFs can be a low cost way to insure adequate diversification for…

asset allocation strategy

Bond. James… Stocks, Funds, Cash and Bonds: What’s the Best Asset Allocation Strategy for Your Retirement??

Bond, James Bond. The mere mention of the name makes you think of cool confidence and absolute competence. Wouldn’t you like to feel that way about your retirement investments?  You perhaps can, assuming you can figure out the best asset allocation strategy for your retirement. What Exactly is Asset Allocation Anyway? Asset allocation refers to…

The Grapes of… Roth Conversion: A Fruitful Strategy for Retirement Wealth

Tax deferred? Tax free? Tax advantaged? It might sometimes feel a bit taxing to think about the tax implications of a Roth conversion. However, it is probably worth your brain power because a Roth conversion can be tremendously beneficial in the right circumstances. What is a Roth Account? A Roth account is a type of…

what is a bond ladder

Is a Bond Ladder Strategy Right for Your Retirement? Should You Climb on Up?

Bonds can be a core low risk component of retirement portfolios, but they do come with one significant risk factor: if interest rates go up, the bonds you already own will plummet in value.  A bond ladder strategy can be a way to reduce that particular risk. First things first, what is a bond? A…

financial fraud

Over 50? 12 Critical Tips to Protect Yourself from Financial Fraud and Identity Theft

Last week it was broadly reported that the credit reporting agency Equifax suffered a major cybersecurity breach that put us all at a greater risk of financial fraud. Experts estimate that hackers stole the data — Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, credit card information and more — of 143 million people….

index fund investing

Your Guide to Index Fund Investing and Why They Are a Good Idea for Your Retirement

If index fund investing is good enough for the most famously successful American investor, then maybe it should be good enough for your retirement. Warren Buffet, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the richest men and most successful investors in the world, recommends that people buy index funds.  He often touts index funds in his…

personal finance rules

Break These 5 Personal Finance Rules for a Wealthier and More Secure Retirement

There are two kinds of people: those who follow the rules and those who believe rules are made to be broken. If you fall into the first camp, the following list may cause you a bit of anxiety. Personal finance is full of rules. While some are helpful, others can work against you if they…

lost 401k

Find Lost 401k: How to Find Out If You Have Lost or Forgotten Retirement Accounts

Here is a guide for how to find lost money — a lost 401k or other unclaimed retirement benefits. The Big Takeaways… Each year, it’s estimated that more than 900,000 401(k) accounts go unclaimed, in addition to $300M in unclaimed pensions. The simplest ways to find your lost 401(k) is by contacting your previous employer,…

stocks too high 2017

Stocks Are Too High?

“As the major stock indexes have, one-by-one, broken through their previous record highs in recent months, it has been interesting to observe that the dominant reaction among many investors has not been one of celebration but, rather, anxiety.” While the above may sound like current events, it’s actually an excerpt from an April 2013 client letter….

retirement investment plan

6 Competing Priorities that Make a Retirement Investment Plan So Complicated — Especially After You Retire

Saving for retirement is hard.  However, when you are still working, creating a retirement investment plan can be comparatively straightforward.  The goal is to simply grow the money. But watch out! When you retire, your investment goals become multi faceted, layered and — let’s face it — down right complicated. You still want your money…

Shocking Retirement Statistic: Americans Hold 58% of their Investible Assets in Cash

Of all the tactics you can use to achieve a secure retirement, one of the easiest things you can do is to invest your money and earn returns on that investment.  Doing this requires virtually no sacrifice, compromise or a lot of work. However, a new study from BlackRock finds that Americans hold 58% of…

retirement target date fund

Pros and Cons of a Retirement Target Date Fund: Can You Relax and Glide into Retirement?

A retirement target date fund is a kind of mutual fund that is professionally managed and strategically reallocated over time to achieve both growth and security for your assets. The key goal for a target date fund is that your money will be available for withdrawal on a certain future targeted retirement date and beyond. So,…