When can I retire? Two simple calculations (and a little bit of philosophy) to get you close to an answer.

The question people are really asking when they ask “When can I retire?” is “When can I retire so I don’t run out of money in my lifetime?” Wouldn’t it be great if there were a simple answer to tell you how much you need to retire without financial worry? Everyone is different, and the right amount for you will be different than the right amount for your neighbor. However, there are calculations each of us can make to determine the optimal time to retire and live the life we want. However, there are calculations you can make to determine if

How Do You Rebalance Accounts in Retirement?

Smart investors follow a plan; specifically an asset allocation plan. An asset allocation plan tells you how much of your total investments should be in stocks versus bonds and then gets into additional detail, such as how much should be in large company U.S. stocks (or index funds) vs. international vs. small cap. You maintain investment ratios by rebalancing on a predetermined basis, such as once a year. In a 401(k) plan, rebalancing is often accomplished automatically by checking a box that says

Hidden Estate Planning Mistakes That Have Horrible Consequences

Imagine your spouse is ill, and you meet with an estate planning attorney to get your family affairs in order. Your attorney drafts a trust document and a will. You and your spouse sign it. You think everything is fine. Your spouse passes, and shortly after that, you find that the accounts are not set up to transfer the way you both intended. Everything is not fine. Can this happen? Yes, and it happens all the time. The situation described above happened to a

Does the New Fiduciary Rule Matter to You?

Not all financial planners or advisors have to consider what is in your best interest when they make investment recommendations. A large number of them make recommendations that they think are appropriate, but they don’t have to have supporting documentation or research to show why this recommendation is in your best interest. In many cases, these advisors are trained sales people and are unaware of other options that may be a better fit for your financial circumstances. However, a new law may begin to change this. A “fiduciary” is someone who legally and ethically must act in their client’s best interest.

3 Ways to Tell if Your Retirement Income Plan Will Work

My stepfather growing up was an aerospace engineer. Just out of college I was married to a materials engineer. My youngest brother is a mechanical engineer. They are all amazing people, and I’ve always found engineering fascinating, particularly when it comes to building something that will last. After all, when you build a skyscraper, you can’t have it fall. The same thing is true for building a retirement income plan – it needs to last. Unfortunately, most financial

Sensible Money Named One of Best Phoenix Financial Advisors

Two organizations have ranked Sensible Money as one of the best financial advisors in Phoenix/Scottsdale. What an honor! ThreeBestRated chose Sensible Money as one of the best three financial services companies in Scottsdale, and AdvisoryHQ ranked us in the top eleven financial services companies in the Phoenix area. This reward is special, as we were not aware we were being evaluated, and we were not required to pay ThreeBestRated or AdvisoryHQ a fee or buy an ad in their publication. (Many “top

The Key to Retirement Success – Our Next Free Online Retirement Planning Class

Our next online retirement planning class, The Key to Retirement Success, will be Thursday, June 15, 2017. About the class In this free online retirement workshop, we’ll discuss the retirement risks that you can’t control such as longevity, market returns, inflation, and the economy – and how these items affect how much money you will need in retirement. Then we’ll look at how you can adjust the items you can control, such as spending, tax management, investment risk, and

My 2017 Market Predictions

As a financial planner, my life is about projecting unknowns. I often tell clients the only thing I can guarantee is once we put the numbers on paper, they’re wrong. Life doesn’t work in a nice linear fashion the way projections do. But by using projections, we can establish a range of possible outcomes, and plan based on that range. As many unknowns as there are, I realize when it comes to the financial markets and human behavior, there are some things that are quite certain. Human beings want to believe someone out there knows the future. Normally, I shy away

Your Pension – Take the Lump Sum or the Annuity?

If your company offers a pension, when you retire, you’ll have to decide how you want to take that pension. There are three big decisions you’ll need to make, although not all company pensions offer all choices. These decisions are: Should you take your pension as a lump sum (you get cash up front that you can rollover to an IRA account) or as an annuity (you get monthly payments for life)? When should you start your pension? Now, or would you get a higher monthly payment if you wait and start at 62, or 65? What type of survivor option should

Retirement Calculators, From Rags to Riches with a Single Click

How would you like to go from running out of money in retirement, to instantly having a surplus that allows you to travel and leave money to heirs? I can show you how… Use an online retirement calculator. Or use a spreadsheet projection with an unrealistic set of assumptions. Or use a financial planner that doesn’t understand how drawing money out impacts the internal rate of return you’ll earn on investments. With one erroneous assumption, you go from the poorhouse to the penthouse. That should scare you. It scares me. And because I am in the business of making retirement calculations