Changing Retirement Expectations

Over the past several years, many Americans have begun to question their ability to prepare for a financially secure retirement.  This awareness now begs the question, how will pre-retirees adjust their retirement expectations to match their economic realities?

The Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) is the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind in the United States.  It gauges the views, experiences, and attitudes of Americans regarding retirement preparation and related issues.  Results of a recent survey shed some light on how workers expect to adjust their retirement plans and expectations. (more…)

Reframing the Social Security Claiming Decision for Married Couples

By Jeffrey Levine, CPA/PFS, CFP®️, AIF®️, CWS®️

For many, correctly answering the question, “When should I begin to take my Social Security benefits?” is a critical step toward making sure their retirement income and savings last at least as long as they do. For others, who perhaps are lucky enough to have accumulated a more substantial nest-egg, the decision may have less of an impact on their ultimate chances of a “successful” retirement (as they may have enough income and/or other assets to overcome a poor choice). But let’s face it … nobody wants to leave Social Security dollars on the table because of a less-than-ideal claiming decision. (more…)

Holistic Planning for Later Life

We often equate preparing for old age with achieving the financial security needed to sustain us throughout life.  However, a truly successful and fulfilling aging experience requires planning and preparation in all areas of life.

Financial planning is indeed important, but money alone cannot “buy” happiness, good health, meaningful relationships, and purposeful activities.  In The Late-Start Investor, John Wasik wrote:

“Instead of absorbing an obsolete view of retirement, you should consider what I call your New Prosperity. This includes a flexible life plan that provides for your financial, vocational, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.  Unless you look at your future holistically, merely saving up a pile of money will be a meaningless act.” (more…)

Using Your Imagination Is the Key to Saving More for Retirement

By Tim Maurer, CFP® 

I have a proposition for you: I’d like to give you one of two gift certificates to your favorite restaurant. But first, please picture that inviting atmosphere, the thoughtful waitstaff, the right musical backdrop, and the perfect meal in front of you and your ideal dinner companion. Now, choose between a $100 gift certificate you would receive today or a $200 gift certificate you would receive 10 years from now. (more…)

Why Dismissing Social Security in Your Retirement Plan Is a Mistake

By Jarrett Simpson

When the subject of Social Security comes up during retirement planning conversations, both younger and older investors often greet it with a healthy dose of cynicism. Such discussions tend to include comments like, “Oh yeah, sure. If there’s even anything left for me” or “Isn’t Social Security going bankrupt?” Sometimes I hear a more draconian stance, like, “I just plan on it not being around when I’m retired.” This last viewpoint actually is quite common. According to a study by AARP, 65% of adults are not confident about Social Security’s future. (more…)

Why Dismissing Social Security in Your Retirement Plan Is a Mistake

By: Jarret Simpson

When the subject of Social Security comes up during retirement planning conversations, both younger and older investors often greet it with a healthy dose of cynicism. Such discussions tend to include comments like, “Oh yeah, sure. If there’s even anything left for me” or “Isn’t Social Security going bankrupt?” Sometimes I hear a more draconian stance, like, “I just plan on it not being around when I’m retired.” This last viewpoint actually is quite common. According to a study by AARP, 65% of adults are not confident about Social Security’s future. (more…)