Practicing for Retirement Makes Perfect

[Editor’s Note: The following post is from Susan – yes, the very same Susan who is the new woman in my life. Although she is a baby boomer, she is new to the world of baby boomer blogging so please welcome her (and be nice!). For future posts you will know that Susan is the author because her name will appear in the author byline.  Thanks and enjoy]

Hi everybody! I’m very pleased to be a new contributor to this site. Thanks to Mark for inviting my perspectives on this journey!

Retirement!?! Really?! Mark has been contemplating this journey far longer than I. Although an avid saver, I only recently allowed myself to consider what life in retirement might look like. [Read more…]

Playing the Retirement Longevity Game

All retirees and pre-retirees need to think about their life expectancy a/k/a longevity. There are at least two important reasons for this. First, one goal of your retirement plan is to limit the risk that you will outlive your money. Second, anticipated longevity is a key factor in deciding the age at which you want to claim Social Security retirement benefits.

[Read more…]

Second Quarter Net Worth and Retirement Income Plan Review

July has been and will be a busy month for me. I just returned from a two week stay at Lake Barkley in Kentucky. This stay included the ninth in a series of extended family gatherings at the lake. (More about this awesome event later this week.) Towards the end of the month I am traveling to Ithaca, NY for my 45th high school reunion. Finally, I have been busy with an updated assessment of my retirement plan and net worth performance as of the end of the second quarter.

[Read more…]

Personal Debt: Have We Forgotten 2008?

A recent Federal Reserve report contains some disturbing news about personal debt trends in the U.S.  First, total consumer debt is at its highest level since 2011. ($11.5 trillion if you like to read large numbers!) Even worse, the level of consumer debt (mortgages, car loans, student loans and credit card debt) increased by 2.1% during the last quarter of 2013.  That’s the fastest rate of increase since the third quarter of 2007. Do you remember what happened  shortly after that? I sure do, which is why I am so reluctant to trust the equity markets with my retirement money.

[Read more…]

Baby Boomers are Reluctant to Retire

The Gallup organization has been polling baby boomers on a number of different topics and periodically releasing the results and drawing conclusions. A recent conclusion is this: When it comes to our retirement age, baby boomers are acting in accordance with our “live to work” reputation. I think that is kind of sad, don’t you?

[Read more…]

Secrets of Successful Retirement Savers

Millions of baby boomers are like me – still in the accumulation phase of retirement planning. Being in the accumulation phase doesn’t necessarily mean you are actually “accumulating.” That requires being a “saver.” A saver has opportunities to save and sufficient discipline to exploit those opportunities. So what separates the successful savers from the not-so-successful retirement savers?

[Read more…]

Will Your Retirement State Tax Your Social Security?

It doesn’t seem right that anyone should have to pay income tax on Social Security retirement benefits, at least until the benefits paid exceed the amount of money that the recipient paid into the system over the years. But, this ship has sailed and many of us will be taxed on Social Security income. The question for today is whether you might get hit with a double tax whammy – taxed at both the federal and state levels.

[Read more…]