When to Start Social Security for Singles, Marrieds, and Survivors

When to Start Social Security for Singles, Marrieds, and Survivors

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Published: August 31, 2018

What would you guess your Social Security benefits are worth; a few hundred thousand, maybe? Would it surprise you to know the average single person living twenty-five years could receive $500,000 or more in total Social Security benefits? Many married couples will receive over a million dollars. According to the Social Security office, in 2018 the average monthly Social Security retirement benefit was $1,413. That’s $16,956 a year. If you were a high-wage earner, the maximum monthly benefit for someone who had reached Full Retirement Age (determined by your date of birth) was $2,788 –  or $33,456 per year. And, you can get

The Scoop on Fee-only Financial Advisors

The Scoop on Fee-only Financial Advisors

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Published: August 24, 2018

Do you know how your financial advisor is compensated? A lot of people don’t. And maybe you don’t care. But you should. It can impact your wealth and the quality of advice you receive. I heard about this first hand from a friend recently. She shared with me that her MBA-degreed 60 year-old-brother, Michael, admitted he didn’t know how his financial advisor Meg, affiliated with one of the country’s top brokerage firms, made her money. Michael, with $3,000,000 in investments, is a pretty savvy fellow. How could he not know how Meg earns her keep? Is she a fee-only advisor that

How to ‘De-risk’ Your Retirement Portfolio So it Doesn’t Take a Big Plunge

How to ‘De-risk’ Your Retirement Portfolio So it Doesn’t Take a Big Plunge

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Published: August 22, 2018

Anybody who has lived in a cold climate knows what de-icing a car is like. If you’ve ever deiced a car you’ll get a chuckle out of this story and see how you can apply it to de-risking your retirement money. When I lived in Colorado I was in a hurry one morning and scraped only a small peephole in the ice on my windshield. I made it about a mile down the road when an officer pulled me over. He poked his head in my car and with an exaggerated slow twist at the neck he made an attempt to

Best Retirement Investments for a Steady Stream of Income

Best Retirement Investments for a Steady Stream of Income

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Published: August 16, 2018

As you near your 60’s, your prime earning and saving years will transition into a period of time where you get to enjoy the “fruits of your labor,” a.k.a retirement. We call this segueing from accumulation to decumulation, the period when you will be drawing from your accumulated nest egg. You need to find the best retirement investments so that you can generate regular income, without having to go back to work. Here’s an overview of the most popular income-producing retirement investments. 1) Immediate Annuities Immediate annuities provide guaranteed income immediately (hence the name). They are a form of insurance rather than

Retire At 55? Maybe. If You’re Up for a Challenge

Retire At 55? Maybe. If You’re Up for a Challenge

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Published: July 25, 2018

It’s you’re 25 years old and contemplating retirement 30 years hence, an age 55 retirement is a possibility – if you start planning now. Put away at least $350 per month and plan on increasing that amount of savings each year. If you’re approaching age 40 (or older) and you’d like to retire by 55, it may be a bit more challenging, although in many cases it is still possible – if you’re willing to commit to the changes needed to make it happen. Of course, there is a third option that doesn’t get considered as often as it should. Find work

How to Build a Retirement Portfolio That Will Stand Up Over Time

How to Build a Retirement Portfolio That Will Stand Up Over Time

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Published: July 5, 2018

When working and saving, the goal of your retirement portfolio is to earn as high a rate of return as you can while not taking so much risk that it will scare you into pulling out of the market during a downturn. Once retired, the goal changes. A different goal means a different portfolio. A retirement portfolio needs to produce reliable cash flows that last the rest of your life regardless of the variety of market conditions that occur over your retirement years. In other words, you need a retirement portfolio that remains standing under all conditions. There are four primary ways you

Sensible Money Ranked One of Best Phoenix Financial Advisors

Sensible Money Ranked One of Best Phoenix Financial Advisors

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Published: June 22, 2018

In 2018, for the second year in a row, Sensible Money was ranked by an independent rating firm, AdvisoryHQ, as one of the top ten financial services companies in the Phoenix area. This reward is special as we were not required to pay a fee or buy an ad in a publication. (Many “top financial advisor lists” solicit expensive ads from the firms they select.) AdvisoryHQ explains their policy as follows, “All of our review and ranking articles are always 100% independently researched and written. Firms do not pay for their ranking or our award emblem. In fact, most firms do not

Our Next Free Online Retirement Planning Class – 10 Scary Money Moves for Near-Retirees

Our Next Free Online Retirement Planning Class – 10 Scary Money Moves for Near-Retirees

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Published: June 14, 2018

Our next online retirement planning class, 10 Scary Money Moves for Near-Retirees,  will be Thursday, October 4th, 2018. About the Class It would be nice to think about retirement with a sense of freedom, a lightness, and a bit of peace. But the truth is the word that describes retirement for most people is SCARY. In October’s free online retirement class, we’re going to take a look at why it’s so scary, and how you can make it less scary by avoiding the ten biggest mistakes that retirees are prone to making. The class will be live and will host a contest to give

When Can I Retire?  Two Calculations (And a Bit of Philosophy) to Find the Answer

When Can I Retire? Two Calculations (And a Bit of Philosophy) to Find the Answer

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Published: June 1, 2018

The question is not “When can I retire?” it’s “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 if we have enough to retire and live the life we want. Happy Retirees Plan Ahead While it makes sense to gauge how much you will need,

What Does a Financial Planner Do?

What Does a Financial Planner Do?

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Published: May 4, 2018

I am a financial planner. I own and run a financial planning firm. Our primary job is to make a projection and a plan that shows you the decisions that you can make that will help you achieve long-term financial success. Should you pay extra on the mortgage or put it in your 401(k) plan? What type of insurance do you need? Should you refinance? Buy that stock or use a mutual fund instead? We have answers to these questions. In a nutshell, financial planners answer questions. How Financial Planners Answer Questions Financial planners gather information and financial statements and put the