10 Scary Money Moves for Near-Retirees

Our next online retirement planning class, 10 Scary Money Moves for Near-Retirees, will be on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. 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 10 biggest mistakes that retirees are prone to making. About the Class We’ll be covering: • How investing the same old way can haunt

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Sensible Money Ranked One of Best Phoenix Financial Advisors

In 2020, for the fourth year in a row, Sensible Money was ranked by an independent rating firm, AdvisoryHQ, as one of the top ten financial advisory firms in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. This reward does not require firms 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, “Firms do not pay

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How to Election-Proof Your Retirement

The impact of election results on our country’s future weighs heavily on everyone’s minds. The stakes have rarely felt higher. But to what degree should you let politics affect your financial decisions? Should you adjust your retirement date? Rearrange your investment portfolio? Based on what you think will happen? Or just to be cautious? The answer, of course, depends on your investment objectives and time frame. The problem is that most people set personal goals, and then, as human nature is so inclined to do, find themselves caught up by current events. The result? They lose focus on their long-term aims. Here are

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After the Death of a Loved One

Experiencing the pain of losing a loved one is difficult. And when you have responsibilities for settling their estate, it can be hard to balance out the emotions you’re feeling along with the analytical process required to deal with the paperwork and financial decision-making. While learning to live with the loss can be a life-long process, the majority of the legal and financial tasks required will happen in the initial weeks and months that follow your loss. Overall, it may take a year or two to complete all estate settlement responsibilities. Larger estates can take even longer to settle. To get prepared,

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Don’t Cheat Your Retirement With the 4% Withdrawal Rule

Follow 5 new rules instead Many retirees rely on a common rule of thumb for retirement withdrawals known as the 4% rule. According to this rule, if you withdraw 4% of your portfolio each year and increase your withdrawals with the rate of inflation, you should have enough income to last your lifetime. So what’s the problem? While the rule can provide a rough estimate for planning purposes early on, its embedded assumptions can actually work against you once you retire. Here’s a brief look at some of the factors the 4% rule doesn’t account for, plus steps you can take to be

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IRA and Roth IRA Basics: Rules and Contributions Limits

An Individual Retirement Account, most often called an IRA, is a type of retirement savings account that offers special tax treatment when you contribute funds to save for your retirement. Can anyone contribute to an IRA? Not exactly. A set of IRS rules determine if you can make an IRA contribution, the type of IRA you can contribute to, and how much you can contribute. Knowing the regulations can help you save thousands in taxes while growing your nest egg. Can I Make an IRA Contribution? The Earned Income and Age Rules The first qualification for being eligibility to contribute to an IRA of

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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. From there, you drill down into additional details 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, perhaps once a year. In a 401(k) plan, rebalancing frequency is often accomplished automatically by checking a box that says something like “rebalance my portfolio every x months to this allocation.” In general, while you are saving, rebalancing can

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An Introduction to Medicare Part B Premiums

Everyone knows (or should know) they can sign up for Medicare at age 65. In fact, given the uncertainties regarding health insurance over the past few years or so, many are chomping at the bit to get there faster. What many don’t know, though, is that there are several parts to Medicare. Part A is the more commonly known feature of Medicare. That’s the part most people are thinking about when they refer to Medicare. What is the difference between Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B? For the vast majority, there are no premiums for Medicare Part A. There are premiums for

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7 Basic Things You Should Know About Your 401k Plan

I recently spoke with a good friend from college who had the misfortune to lose his job. Did you have a 401(k)?” I asked him. “I think so,” he responded. “I see money coming out of my check going somewhere.” I continued to inquire. “Do you know how it’s invested? What about a company matching contribution?” My friend paused a moment before answering, “No idea. I think the company does contribute something, but I don’t know how it works. We had some guy come and talk to us and show us the investments. I picked one he said was good.” “Are you going to rollover

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How Much Should I Withhold for Taxes in Retirement?

Many upcoming retirees aren’t quite sure how to estimate taxes in retirement. It’s similar to the way you calculate taxes while working. What is different is the way you withhold and pay those taxes. You need to have an estimate of the amount of taxes you are required to pay so you know what amount to have withheld from pensions, Social Security, or other types of income. In this article, we’ll look at a series of sample calculations so you can see how to calculate your tax withholding in retirement. We look at scenarios using the 2020 tax rates and rules. The

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