Radical Retirement for the Kids

Retire early and fly away

Last time we saw Christy Shen and her husband, Bryce, living one version of a radical retirement: they retired in 2014 (Christy was 31 years old) after only a few years of work. Each year while working they saved more than half of their earnings. Can anyone do that, or were they just lucky to invest when returns were high? Continue reading

Money as Omen and Memory

At the Ranger School, our public phone was more modern, but this one reminds me of 1963.

Old phone reminds me of the phone we had at the Ranger School in 1963, though ours had coin receptacles and a rotary dial.

Last winter, my younger brother, Bill, showed me a notebook I left at home over 50 years ago. It had two pages of expense entries from the summer of 1962, after graduating from high school, and from 1963, when I attended the New York State Ranger School, a forestry technician school in the western Adirondack Mountains of New York. Money spent: I wanted to see what the entries might tell. Continue reading

Make Money by Managing Investment Risks in Retirement

Managing your trip in a risky environment

Managing your trip in a risky environment

Risk is sometimes the elephant in the investing room, especially for retirees. People understand stocks as ownership and bonds as debt, but risk is hard to grasp and instinctively dangerous.

Later Living has recently published four posts on risk. Risk and high returns go together, so retirees who want high returns must deal with risk. Here are the four earlier posts knit together into one risk story: Continue reading

Killer Moves Can Help Wrestle Lumpy Retirement Spending

Afternoon at a long-term care facility

Afternoon at a long-term care facility

Retirement might be easier if spending needs stayed nearly constant from year-to-year, but they don’t. Long-term care, motor homes, family members in need, and other special plans require lumps of cash at particular times. Continue reading

Retirees Can Wrestle Investment Risk and Win

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Investment risk is good in that it accompanies greater long-term wealth but it is bad if investors sell during a downdraft. Stocks are riskier (more volatile) than bonds yet offer more long-term gain.

Should retirees dial back their risk exposure to, say, 30% stocks, as is sometimes recommended, or can they carry much more risk, perhaps up to 70% stocks? The answer follows their goals and plans. Continue reading

Images of Investment Risk

Risky? These women compete in a roller derby where they skate, block and score on a concrete floor. There is risk—in the sense of loss or injury.

Risky? These women compete in a roller derby where they skate, block and score on a concrete floor. There is risk—in the sense of loss or injury. “No pain, no gain,” analogizes the SEC, which is almost a sports metaphor: play hard, risk injury and you may win.

There are standard narratives about investing that lead people to particular strategies. Risk, we’re told, infects all investments, and it is often viewed as potential injury or loss. Continue reading

Options Near the End of Life

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Last week Mr. Donald Keene asked about a couple who can’t afford good institutional care but doesn’t want to force either one into the role of caretaker for a long terminal illness. What are the options for a peaceful end of life experience for both?

Continue reading

How to Help Your Kids Plan for Retirement

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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 point out reasonable investment goals. Today we’ll see how Social Security influences investment goals. Continue reading

Join the Crowd: Manage Your Own Investments

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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