The Complete Retirement Planner Blog

It Started Off So Well….

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

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

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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The Unique Impact Of Health Care Costs On Your Retirement Savings

The Unique Impact Of Health Care Costs On Your Retirement Savings

While you're still working, your employer generally helps cover at least part of your health care insurance/costs (hopefully!). But the moment that you stop working, you'll be responsible for the entire cost. If you retire before age 65, you will pay full market rates in your area for all insurance and related costs. The total cost of this coverage could be a far greater than you expect, and you would be wise to research those costs before making the decision of when to retire.  Once you are age 65, you will be eligible for Medicare, which will help with some...

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General Retirement Savings Guidelines, And Claiming Social Security Benefits

General Retirement Savings Guidelines, And Claiming Social Security Benefits

Although this blog is about properly planning for retirement (not taking shortcuts), there will always be those who want some instant gratification. This post is for you! But please remember, the following information is very general, and each persons unique situation may require significant changes. There is no substitute for a well thought out retirement plan.That said, here are some general guidelines for how much you should have saved using age milestones:Age 35 - 2x your annual income Age 40 - 3x your annual incomeAge 45 - 4x your annual incomeAge 55 - 7x your annual incomeAge 60 - 8x...

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