Most of us would like to help our children and grandchildren prepare for the changing retirement landscape. Pension plans are under siege and passing away. Although many current retirees receive generous pensions, our children and grandchildren are not likely to share that good fortune.
Their retirements will likely depend on Social Security and whatever income they can piece together from retirement investments and encore careers. To help, we can to point out reasonable investment goals. Today we’ll see how Social Security influences investment goals. Continue reading
On Monday, Karen Damato wrote a lead piece in the Wall Street Journal, “A New Era for Do-It-Yourself Investing,” reporting that investors are taking charge of their investments, yet they are not going it alone. (Readers may meet a pay-wall with the link.) Many investors are using a hybrid approach.They are moving away from having a person or firm control their accounts, yet they are still seeking a-la-carte advice and using on-line tools to guide and validate their own investment decisions. Continue reading
Should you move after retirement? If you do, you will want to make a home. And if you stay in place, you will want to deepen and secure your home. Here are five steps that will help: Continue reading
“Gee,” I yelled in the wind, and Hickory, my lead sled dog, guided the team to the right across the lake and northward toward the mountains. We entered the forest and began the ascent, steep switchbacks, dogs pulling hard. “Easy, Easy,” I said as we approached a left turn with a steep drop at the right side of the trail. We were hundreds of miles into the snow and silence of Alaska. Continue reading
Lake Champlain region offers memorable sunsets
Everyone says that travel is educational, so Barbara and I began to think about what we learned on our winter trip to Vermont. As it turns out, we think we learned things that can help other retirees.
Here’s what we learned: Continue reading
Dogwoods in Georgia
After spending three months in Vermont, it is good to be back home in Georgia. When we drove into our place, forsythias were blooming, redbuds and dogwoods were opening, and our azalea’s looked ready to pop. Continue reading
Ice, forest, fog
I have not posted recently because I’ve been skiing and taking pictures. I return from skiing exhausted and can barely function. If I sit at the computer, I fall asleep. I take some ibuprofen, eat, and do whatever is absolutely necessary before getting into bed where I sleep like a rock. Then I go skiing again. I’m 68 years old and haven’t skied through a winter in 42 years. Besides being older, I’m 80 pounds heavier.
If not skiing, I go out looking for aspects of Vermont to photograph. Continue reading
In December of last year I wrote that “You Don’t Need Someone In Charge of Your Money,” then last week I wrote about using annuities as a tool to help retirees manage money. Is last week’s post an admission that you do need professional money management? Continue reading
Marriage often creates something larger than the two individuals. It can be that way with retirement income and security.
The last post discussed two ways to gain income from retirement savings: annuities and percentage withdrawal rules. This post describes marrying the two approaches. We learn that retirees can, in a manner of speaking, eat their cake yet still have it. Continue reading
Retirement Nest Egg
That simple title question suggests a simple answer, yet today’s retirees live out a large variety of answers. Life is unpredictable and it is not easy to save for retirement. Further, people get along on what they have and what they receive from others. In short, if a fellow will settle for a short, brutish retirement, he need save nothing.
Still, looking ahead and envisioning realistic retirement goals, then balancing current spending with saving are very useful activities. They put people in charge of their lives and give them a sense of responsibility, both of which induce maturity, discipline and work. Continue reading
Last weekend TV viewers watched the beginning of the third season of BBC’s Downton Abbey, a story about an aristocratic family in England in the 1920s. Sir Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, with his family and staff, live on investments in a splendid castle.
Last July readers of this blog met Alice, a model retiree, who also lives on investments and manages her portfolio of four different index mutual funds. Moreover, Alice has Social Security and a pension, both of which postdate Lord Grantham. Continue reading
Here are a few photographs of the Christmas season. Hope they help you remember what a wonderful season it is.
Can you imagine a world where people who followed a few simple guidelines about diet and exercise but never visited doctors had health outcomes as good as those who do see doctors? Can you imagine a world in which wonderful music might come from people who played instruments but had little musical knowledge, training or experience?
A transformation is occurring in American life—middle-class Americans are taking more active responsibility for their financial futures. The change is good and probably profound, yet it appears induced by worry over a weak economy.
Old age comes gradually, yet its arrival is often punctuated by unwanted events, like a visit to a dentist. So it was for Daniel Klein, author of, “Travels with Epicurus—A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life.” Mr. Klein’s dentist recommended he spend thousands of dollars to buy implants, which would require nearly a year of painful appointments with an oral surgeon and several weeks of living on the equivalent of baby food. Continue reading
We’re all sliding toward the grave, and older people naturally think about it more. Maybe that is one of the reasons many old people sink into despair. I say, “To hell with despair.” We all know where we’re going, so let’s have some fun along the way. Humor surely gives as much help for despair as a shrink, and it’s free.
- A lawyer called his client overseas to tell him his mother-in-law passed away. “Should we order burial, embalming or cremation,” asked the lawyer. The fellow replied, “Take no chances—do all three.” (unknown author) Continue reading
The Maine photos of last week offered a respite from election turmoil. Life is heading toward normal now. The political advertisements relented suddenly, and election forecasting and handicapping stopped. Yet important policy issues, some involving seniors, remain unresolved, therefore a peculiar, almost restful anxiety appears to be growing in the country. Continue reading
My wife, Barbara, and I traveled to New York City on October 22, and we left a few days before Sandy hit. We were on a “retirement vacation,” which is a vacation from retirement, and we visited a friend who lives in New York.
Some images of New Yorkers follow. The photos show people doing ordinary things, and they offer a contrast to the images now on television. Ordinary things offer a goal toward which New Yorkers now work.
In America we can always find things for sale that we do not need, and for most people longevity insurance may well fall into that category. A retiree who can manage investments and control spending should be able to provide his own longevity insurance. Continue reading