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Retirement Planning Blog

on 08 June, 2016

3 Retirement Pitfalls You Should Avoid

You’ve worked hard for many years. Upon retirement, most people would like to live on their own terms. Maintaining a comfortable lifestyle requires you to take the proper steps to secure it. That includes avoiding common errors which could put your retirement finances at jeopardy.

With precautions in order, retirees will be more prepared to enjoy a secure – and hopefully financially confident – future. Having said that, let’s cover a few pitfalls which could do a number on your financial security.

Common Retirement Pitfalls to Avoid

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on 22 June, 2016

Financial Planning Steps with Your Partner

In the past, we’ve discussed ways to create a meaningful retirement. After many years of hard work, people want to enjoy their retirement years. It’s important for this period to be enrichening, but taking steps to ensure a secure future is also paramount.

Many baby boomers are couples. Oftentimes household duties and responsibilities are divvied up among partners. One handles the finances, and the other may hold responsibility for other areas of planning. Daily chores such as cooking or cleaning the kitchen are likely to be split duties.

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on 01 June, 2016

5 Retirement Mistakes You Cant Afford to Make

According to a survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, just 21% of American workers are "very confident" they'll have enough money for retirement. After many years of hard work, most people would like a comfortable retirement lifestyle. But this doesn't just come together by itself.

Financial independence in retirement takes diligence, and it begins with creating a suitable retirement income plan. Then once you have this "retirement roadmap," it's a matter of sticking to it. Of course that involves taking action when you need to, like filing for Social Security at the right time or signing up for Medicare on deadline.

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on 27 January, 2016

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In the past, we’ve looked at retirement planning strategies for specific populations, like self-employed Americans or women. But what if someone is part of the segment of Americans who aren’t that well-prepared for retirement?

According to a survey conducted by BankRate.com, 36% of surveyed adults say they didn’t have a penny saved for retirement. Around 25% of the people aged 50-64 in the survey reported they had yet to start their retirement savings. These findings are consistent with data found in previous surveys. In fact, previous data shows there’s a wide gap between Americans’ retirement expectations and what they’re actually prepared for.

A big part of it is because many American households live paycheck to paycheck. So what steps can you implement to catch up on retirement savings? Read on for some helpful tips.

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on 25 May, 2016

The Growing Impact of Retirement Healthcare Costs

Last week we discussed the concept of “risk capacity” and its role in retirement financial security. Aside from retirement asset allocation, another part of income planning is accounting for expenses. Living expenses, long-term care costs, and healthcare expenses are three primary retirement cost drivers. It’s important to plan ahead and to have a strategic combination of volatile and conservative financial vehicles to meet these needs.

Just healthcare needs alone can impose a significant cost burden on your retirement lifestyle. In fact, research firm HealthView Services reports they’re one of the fastest-growing segments of retirement spending. Ensuring they aren’t neglected is a critical step. Otherwise they can be financially draining and greatly impact your standard of living in retirement.

What’s Going on with Healthcare?

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on 20 January, 2016

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In the past, we’ve talked about the importance of being prepared for retirement. Of course preparation is different for everyone. For one, women will have different retirement needs and goals than men.

It also depends on what employment capacity you’re in. If you’re employed by a large company, for instance, you may have a retirement pension plan via your employer (though these sorts of perks from employers are disappearing). But what about planning for retirement if you’re self-employed?

According to various data sources, there are roughly 10 million self-employed Americans – from business owners and independent contributors to freelancing professionals. In a recent TD Ameritrade survey, around 55% reported they’re behind on retirement savings. On the whole, baby boomers have an average windfall of being $335,000 down from their retirement savings objective.

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on 18 May, 2016

Whats Your Risk Capacity Why It Matters

Last week we discussed the value of having a guaranteed retirement income source. Annuities offer some strong advantages with their contractual guarantees. But they are only one part of the financial picture.

Overall, a portfolio could have many holdings: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, CDs, or even other financial instruments.

This brings up the question of portfolio allocation. Is there a paradigm which you should follow?

Ultimately, we would say it varies among individuals. Your portfolio strategy should be a good fit for your current situation, needs, goals, risk tolerance, and risk capacity.

Of course there are some well-known general rules of thumb for starting discussion, like the Rule of 100 for portfolio diversification

As you get closer to the life stage of distribution -- or where you are living off your retirement savings -- risk tolerance and risk capacity become even more important. But just what are these risk-related metrics?

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on 09 December, 2015

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In the past, we’ve covered some of the financial challenges seniors are likely to face in retirement. In turn, these hassles have played a role in shaping Americans’ retirement expectations. One of the growing trends is post-retirement employment.


At present, many people have a shortfall in retirement funds. For instance, the Boston College Center for Retirement Research found many Americans were greatly underprepared. According to the center’s data, as of 2013 half of American households didn’t have enough money to sustain their current standard of living in retirement.

Despite this challenge, many Americans believe working longer will help cover the shortfall. This belief is increasingly giving way to a new expectation: that post-retirement employment in itself is enough to make up for not having a retirement plan. But the truth is many factors can unbalance this approach and lead to unnecessary financial hardship.

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on 10 March, 2016

Average American Household Savings Near Retirement

Proactive planning is a critical step for a secure retirement. But just how prepared are American households for their retirement years? Of course it’s important to recognize all households will have different retirement needs. People vary in their life circumstances and objectives, and as a result, their financial circumstances and requirements will also vary.

Some couples may require a seven-figure nest egg to feel secure. Others are confident their Social Security benefits will be suitable for their future needs. Given how Americans have such a wide-ranging outlook on finances in retirement, how people interpret statistics such as average American household retirement savings will vary. What may be the start of a looming crisis for some may be a minor challenge for others.

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on 25 November, 2015

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The holidays are around the corner. It’s getting closer to cherished times with family and friends. But for many Americans, this memorable period comes with its own stresses. Apart from the “typical” hustle-and-bustle, the holiday season itself presents many financial pressures. 


As we’ve covered before, seniors already face a number of challenges in retirement. Say your family is living out-of-state. If finances are already tight, travel could be costly and difficult. Like seniors, working Americans have their own difficulties, too. Many households struggle with just having enough retirement funds as current household expenditures take priority. For instance, in a 2014 study by BankRate.com, over 33.3% of American workers didn’t have any retirement savings.

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