The Trump tax reform plan has gotten a lot of attention (both positive and negative) of late. One aspect of the plan that has not gotten much notice, however, is a provision that the author of today’s article notes “would mark a landmark shift in the way that the government handles a key issue” – and this shift could ultimately have significant implications for future retirees in the form of reduced benefits. To read more, CLICK HERE.
Budgeting may be the cornerstone of financial success but two-thirds of Americans don’t have a budget (and the one-third that do undoubtedly don’t enjoy managing it). Given this, the author of today’s article outlines an alternative to monthly budget tracking: the First Step Cash Management System, “a cash flow system [that] almost runs itself.” For how this bucket-based system works, how much of your income the author recommends allocating to each bucket, and how you can set up your bank accounts to work with this system, CLICK HERE.
When it comes to calculating your “magic number” for retirement (how much you need to save in order to retire comfortably), various formulas have been suggested (Fidelity, for example, recommends that you save the equivalent of 10 times your final salary). The author of today’s article, however, sees this approach as “fatally flawed” and recommends using a “magic dividend number” for retirement instead. What are the flaws the author sees with the traditional magic number approach? What is the “magic dividend number” – and where can retirees find the yields necessary to achieve it? CLICK HERE.
Retirement is a time for “Steady-Eddie” dividend-paying stocks and not a time for growth stocks (and the volatility that is inextricably linked to them). Such is the common wisdom. However, the authors of today’s article believe that not all growth stocks should be painted with the same retirement-incompatible brush – and they proceed to highlight two growth stocks (which also pay dividends) that may work well as investments for retirees. To read more, CLICK HERE.
Whether you are still young and have high risk tolerance, are middle-aged with moderate risk tolerance, or are at retirement and need reliable income, today’s article seeks to answer the following question: “How can you buy ETFs to build a comprehensive, long-term retirement portfolio?” For each of the aforementioned life stages, the author outlines the types of core – and supplemental – exchange-traded funds to consider for your portfolio – and identifies some specific funds that may be the best picks in fulfilling these strategies. To read more, CLICK HERE.
If you even have a retirement plan at all you are undoubtedly ahead of most Americans. Still, even if you have taken this important step, the question needs to be asked: is the retirement plan you have drafted viable? The author of today’s article outlines how pre-retirees can go about assessing the adequacy of their savings rate – and how retirees can gauge the sustainability of their spending rate. For the steps involved in these tasks – and some online tools for completing them – CLICK HERE.
The author of today’s article used to joke that he had “the most depressing job in America”: writing about issues surrounding retirement. In fact, he argues that no progress has been made over the last two decades in improving the retirement picture for Americans, despite a variety of new laws and financial products introduced over this period that sought to do just that. Why has this been the case – and what six lessons does the author impart when it comes to giving yourself the best shot at a secure retirement? CLICK HERE.
The market’s sequence of returns matters – having weaker returns come early in one’s life cycle (when the amount invested is smaller) and stronger returns come later in one’s life cycle (when the amount invested is much larger) puts one in a much better position going into retirement than the reverse scenario. Unfortunately, while the sequence of returns matters a great deal, it is something investors have no control over. However, while there is no way to control the sequence of returns, the author of today’s article outlines some ways in which its risk can be managed. CLICK HERE for more.
Dipping into your 401(k), taking out a loan, or turning to high-interest credit card debt when life throws one of its unpleasant (and expensive) little surprises your way has its cost. As the author of today’s article notes, “any of these steps will set you back in growing your net worth and hinder your ability to reach your goals.” Thus the need for an emergency fund as part of one’s financial plan. But how much cash should an emergency fund contain? How do you go about building up an emergency fund from scratch? And where does the author state is the best place to keep an emergency fund – and why? CLICK HERE.
There are many actions (and inactions) that can wreck retirement plans. As such, while the author of today’s article acknowledges that the $1 million figure frequently cited as how much one needs to amass for a comfortable retirement may be arbitrary, he stresses that “what is not arbitrary is it takes discipline and it requires avoiding mistakes and pitfalls to have a happy retirement.” He proceeds to identify 14 specific mistakes that retirement savers should be on guard against making – including failing to understand how Social Security works. For more, CLICK HERE.