Playing with Fire

My wife Joyce remembers a childhood with few restrictions around risky behavior. She played in the river and waterskied all day with friends without any adult supervision, getting sunburned but managing to stay alive. Today she is an adventurous spirit who knows how to have…

Have You Forgotten the Potential Impact of Tax Deferral?

John and Susan, like many people who come in for financial planning, are earnest, hardworking, and sensible people looking forward to retirement.  They have reasonable questions and want a second opinion in case they are missing anything.  They are ready to act if necessary. Their…

Financial Scrabble

Have you ever felt like managing your finances and preparing for a long, enjoyable retirement resembles playing a complex, high-stakes game? If so, it is with good reason. The road to and through a successful retirement is often like a maze, fraught with challenges and…

Uncertainty: The Scourge of Retirement

You have worked long and hard to accumulate enough wealth to retire. It has taken skill, guts, determination, sacrifice, resilience, and maybe even a touch of luck, an inheritance, or some combination thereof. Now you are here on the precipice of retirement, more than ready…

The Fiduciary Standard: What It Means

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor published the final regulation of what is known as the “Fiduciary Rule,” delaying implementation for 60 days from its scheduled start date. The newly expanded definition of fiduciary investment advice is scheduled to go into effect June 9, 2017.1…

The Science Behind Decision Making

In the 1940s, 90 percent of the stock market was owned by individual household investors. Today, with the widespread use of investment banking and mutual fund investing, individuals are responsible for trading only 20 percent of U.S. corporate equity.1 Do we no longer trust ourselves…

The Old-School Stool

The proverbial “three-legged stool” of retirement funding traditionally comprised Social Security, a company pension and personal savings, but that stool has been wobbly for quite some time. In fact, the traditional pension has been replaced largely by employer-sponsored 401(k) plans. This development firmly places the…

Foibles of Retirement Planning

The traditional retirement model was based on a rigid assumption that people worked 40 years until they were 65, and then enjoyed a retirement supported by a company pension plan. That model doesn’t exist anymore, at least not for the average worker. Social Security data…

Helping Make Your Retirement Money Last

For every five years longer a retiree lives, he or she spends about 15 percent less on average. This means that people in their 70s spend about half of what they do in their 50s. Even with the ramp-up in medical expenses that often comes…