The Complete Retirement Planner Blog

Instant Gratification vs. A Sound Financial Plan

Although this blog concentrates on properly planning for retirement (not taking shortcuts), there will always be those who want some instant gratification when determining how much they should be saving. While there is no substitute for a well thought out financial plan, the following is a general guideline for how much you might want to save 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 your annual incomeAge 67 - 10x your annual incomeNow that I have acquiesced,...

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Health Savings Accounts (HSA's) - A Unique List Of Essential, And Incomparable, Benefits

Health Savings Accounts (HSA's) are becoming more widely used as people discover all of the benefits that they have to offer. No doubt, the continually rising cost of health care is also helping to push people to research the best options for paying for it all, both for pre-retirement, and, especially, for post-retirement. While health care expenses will vary greatly from person to person, and even from year to year, these accounts can be used at any age and actually offer the greatest advantages when you think long term (more on this below). However, before we get into the many...

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Businesses Use KPI's To Measure Financial Success. So Should You.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) as, "a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of an organization in meeting objectives for performance". Every business uses KPI's as a way to measure their present state of performance, to identify areas that need improvement, and to establish realistic performance targets. In short, KPI's help them to evaluate their success in achieving their objectives. This can involve the short-term achievement of strategic goals, or long-term progress toward increased profitability. The fact that all businesses use KPI's, in one form or another, is telling. They are concerned about their success...

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The Financial Impact Of The Early Death Of A Spouse

A financial retirement plan covers a lot of ground and the more variables you include the more reliable the plan will be. But you can't forget that what you are ultimately doing is trying to forecast the future, which we all know is an exercise in frustration. That doesn't mean that it isn't worthwhile - it's important to to be as prepared as possible so that you can take steps to protect yourself - you just need to keep in mind that things will likely not turn out as you expect. As the saying goes, "Hope for the best, but...

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If You Can Make Catch-Up 401k/IRA Contributions, Should You?

For 401k and IRA accounts, there are annual contribution limits of $19,500 and $6,000 respectively. However, if you are 50 years old or older, you have the option to make "catch-up" contributions of an additional $6,500 to a 401k (for a total of $26,000), and an additional $1,000 to an IRA (for a total of $7,000). Many people will be fortunate just to save the initial contribution amounts, but the question is, if you have the financial ability to also make the catch-up contributions, should you? Or is there a better use of that money? The advantage of contributing as...

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