The Complete Retirement Planner Blog

Retirement Planning, And The 2018 Tax Laws

Whatever you may think about the new tax laws, there may be a couple of advantages for retirement planners to take note of. Some of the changes are slated to end after 8 years, but until that actually happens (maybe it will, maybe it won't?), this is what I have noticed:       • As you know, if you itemize a tax deduction for mortgage interest, the deduction becomes less and less each year as you pay off the mortgage. However, the new, and larger, Standard Deduction may help to offset that loss in deductions in the later stages of the mortgage...

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Use A Retirement Planner To Help With Current, And Future, Finances

Most people think of a retirement planner as a tool that will only help them to plan for their future, but a good planner will also help you with current issues as soon as you start using it. To help figure out what your needs will be many years from now, you need to start with what your current needs are, and that means itemizing your current expenses. All of them. You don't need to go down to a granular level and list what you spend on paper towels every month, but you do need to list out as many...

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It Started Off So Well….

I've commented on the serious lack of reliable retirement planning tools many times, so I was thrilled when my point was validated by a Professor of Finance (Emeritas) at Wharton in a Huffington Post article ("Planning For Retirement: The Missing Piece"). He wrote, "There is one important factor that discourages retirement planning that is remediable: that is the lack of effective retirement planning tools...". Great to see this problem finally acknowledged in the media!Oops, not so fast. Unfortunately, he then went on to offer a retirement calculator that he helped to create, that was completely lacking in features and considerations...

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Evaluating Your Savings Strategy

I tried another free retirement calculator on a major financial site that was designed to tell you if you were saving enough for retirement. I won't bother naming the source, because the truth is that it had the same flaws that every other calculator like it has. This falls under the heading of FREE RETIREMENT CALCULATORS ARE WORTHLESS! (my favorite subject). That's not to say that every retirement planning tool that you pay for is picture perfect either (although more effort is probably put into getting it right), but why do financial sites continue to publish these calculators that have...

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Withdrawal Rate For Retirement Savings

I've come across several articles recently, and web site calculators (ugh, more calculators that mislead you, and don't work!), that offer guidance on an appropriate withdrawal rate for retirement savings. To keep this simple, let's only consider savings currently in a 401K plan, or traditional IRA. The basic question is, "How much should you withdraw from these savings, annually, during retirement?". Let's consider two main scenarios:1) If you know that you have more than enough money to sustain you (lucky you, but you better be sure!), then the real question is, how much money would you like to leave to...

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