Securing Your Retirement Income

Retirement Planning for Baby Boomers

The Complexity of Working with Medicare, Social Security and Health Savings Accounts

I called the national Social Security phone line last week to discuss survivor benefits. (More on that later.) Of course, the person I spoke with could not actually process my claim.  Instead, he had to schedule a future telephone appointment to do that, with my local Social Security office. The first available appointment time was in August. Keep that in mind if you need to apply for a benefit that cannot be processed online. Before I called to file a claim, I did a lot of research on what I was about to do. Given my circumstances, determining the optimum filing strategy was quite complicated.

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Building My Retirement Spending Plan

I finally got busy this week doing a lot of work on my retirement spending plan. This has been a work in progress for several years as I have acquired TIPS and I-Bonds as part of my Failsafe Retirement Plan grand strategy. But interesting things are happening (including getting older) and the time has come for me to get more specific with a plan for how I am going to use my retirement assets to provide spending money. I’ll try to explain my logic without giving too much away or boring you.

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Don’t Let a Retirement Age Select You

I have advocated for a retirement plan in which the prospective retiree selects – in advance – an age at which he or she will retire. Some would call this retirement goal setting.  I think this makes sense because without a definite target in mind, the date or age of your retirement may select you. Generally, that would not be a good thing. Let me explain what I mean by this.

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Investing for Retirement

The Sequence of Returns Retirement Risk

I hope that most baby boomers who are close to retirement have developed a fundamental understanding of the “sequence of returns” risk as it applies to their retirement security. In a nutshell, the sequence of returns risk tells us that the annual returns on our retirement investments do not by themselves determine whether our retirement nest egg will support us until we die. Rather, we must also carefully consider when those returns occur. For example, a significant market downturn at the commencement of our retirement – say at age 65 – is much more dangerous than if the same downturn occurs ten years later, at age 75. Let’s think more about this for a minute.

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Predictable Retirement Income from Target Date Bond Funds

This past fall and winter I added some new investments to my retirement portfolio. The investments are known as target date bond exchange traded funds. Sometimes they are referred to as “target maturity” bond funds.  This type of investment is new.  The target date bond ETF category shows great promise for providing bond-like retirement income with little or no interest rate risk.

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First Quarter Net Worth Analysis

Although I have been slow posting in recent months (now being remedied), I have continued to track my net worth as I move ever closer to retirement. (I say “ever closer” despite not having selected a retirement target date.) I have also made some recent changes in my investments with others planned in the coming weeks. The objectives for these changes are to a (a) increase certainty of income in future years and (b) simplify.  I will write more about these changes next week.

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Info for Baby Boomers

Looking into My Future Health

We are in Houston this weekend visiting Susan’s Mom and sister.  We are staying with Susan’s Mom. She lives in a beautiful senior independent living facility. It is quite interesting and a wake-up call to be around so many folks who are 15-25 years older than I. Susan and I discussed this at breakfast and I thought I would write about it.

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Celebrating a Milestone Birthday of a Senior Family Member

Susan and I are  back in Nashville after a weekend in The Villages.  The Villages is the world’s largest community for 55+ adults. There are over 100,000 retirees living there. My father is one of them. He turned 90 this past week and his family gathered to celebrate this milestone birthday. We had a great time in two short days. I think my Dad really enjoyed the experience.

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