The Complete Retirement Planner Blog

Create An Income Plan, Not A Savings Goal

A simplified approach to retirement planning revolves around projecting your expenses, and then multiplying that amount by 20-25 years to come up with a savings goal. The first part is fine, and well advised, but the second part is lacking. Even if you could figure out the optimal amount (isn't predicting the future always the trickiest part?), is running out of money in your 90th year your true objective? Of course you want to be able to pay your bills without worrying, but how will you feel watching your balance get closer and closer to $0 every year, and not...

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Prioritizing The Order Of Funds Used In Retirement

With all of the available advice about saving for retirement, one topic that doesn't get the attention it deserves is just how to prioritize using the different sources of funds that you have worked so hard to accumulate. After decades of saving, careful thought needs to be applied in determining just how to maximize the effectiveness of those funds (towards paying expenses), how to preserve them for as long as possible, and how to minimize the "loss" to taxes. Most people will have a combination of cash/taxable accounts (this includes income from Social Security, pensions or other sources), tax-deferred 401k/IRA...

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Cash In Retirement

As you create a financial plan, major concerns about how much to save, how much you will be able to withdraw from savings each year, how long will your savings last, etc. often take center stage. One facet that doesn't get as much attention is how much money should be kept in cash. Before you retire, a common rule of thumb is to always have at least six months expenses in cash. This is mainly to help protect you if you should lose your job, or incur significant unexpected expenses. But is this enough after you retire?The good news -...

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Be Careful Choosing When To Claim Your Social Security Benefit

Whether you are working on a financial plan, or actually getting close to retiring, one of the biggest decisions you will have to make is when to start claiming Social Security benefits. There are more considerations than you may be aware of, especially if you are married, and choosing the best strategy will require some careful thought. In some cases, it may even be advantageous to use some of your retirement savings (if needed) rather than claiming too soon in order to receive the the largest benefit possible. The following is meant to highlight some of the Social Security rules...

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Inflation Does Not Affect All Expenses Equally

One component that all financial planning tools (even calculators) have in common is that they use an inflation rate as a factor. Some allow you to enter a rate, some assume a rate for you. But how much of a difference does that rate really make in the grand scheme of things? The short answer - it makes a tremendous difference.Financial advisers often suggest using an inflation rate of 3%. I've seen calculators that assume a rate of 4%. The historical rate, over the past 20 years, is approximately 2.16%. So what rate should you use, and how much difference...

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