The Complete Retirement Planner Blog

Too Many Ignore The Need For A Comprehensive Financial Plan

Are you one of the 82% of households (per a Fidelity study) that doesn't have a written financial plan? Maybe you think that you don't need one, maybe you have a DIY spreadsheet/back-of-the-napkin plan that you think is sufficient, or maybe you trust generic advice and benchmarks to guide you. If that's the case, with respect, I propose that you are mistaken and you are doing yourself a disservice. Regardless of your net worth or stage of life, having a comprehensive financial plan is a crucial step in assessing your current and future financial health and it acts as a...

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The 10 Biggest Risks In Retirement Planning

We all know that life is full of risks and we typically do our best to mitigate those risks - we wear seat belts when driving, we have insurance for our homes, and we try to eat healthy food and exercise regularly to protect our health. But what are you doing to actively mitigate your financial risk as you age and prepare for retirement? The following are ten of the biggest risks to account for when planning for retirement:1. Longevity It's impossible to know how long you, or your spouse, may live. This makes it even more important to plan...

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The Possible Pitfalls Of A Roth IRA Conversion

The advantages of having a Roth IRA are clear: • Since contributions to a Roth IRA come from after-tax dollars, those savings grow tax free.• Contributions and earnings can be withdrawn tax free after age 59 1/2. • Contributions can be withdrawn tax free at any age.   Earnings withdrawn before age 59 1/2 will incur taxes and a 10% penalty.• A first-time home purchase ($10,000 maximum), college expenses, and birth or adoption expenses qualify as  exceptions to the rule concerning withdrawals before age 59 1/2.• Required Minimum Distributions (RMD's) are not required.With these advantages, however, come some limitations. A...

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Using Monte Carlo Simulations For Retirement Planning - Fool's Gold?

If you’ve ever spoken with a financial adviser about retirement, they probably suggested running a Monte Carlo simulation program to help determine how financially prepared you are. These programs randomly combine historical outcomes (annual market returns for the most part) with personal financial data to arrive at a probability of success (i.e. that you won’t run out of money in retirement). Telling clients that they have run thousands of scenarios to arrive at this information sounds like they have really worked hard to earn their money. But there are a few problems. To begin with, not all of these programs...

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3 Of The Most Common Half-Truths In Retirement Planning

There are countless articles written every day offering insights and advice about financial/retirement planning. With so much information available you would think that anyone interested in reading those articles could easily become an expert (near expert?) on the subject. The problem - and I'm sorry to say this - is that many of the people writing those articles are hardly well informed on the subject. Many have no financial credentials and are just cobbling together random quotes from their sources and presenting generalizations and half-truths as "rules" and best practices to follow. This makes it difficult to distinguish between what...

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