Retirement Saver’s Intent

Financial advisor and blogger Carl Richards has a book called The One Page Financial Plan. The one page plan reads as follows; Time with the family doing things we love 1) Fully fund all retirement accounts every year 2) Fund kids’ education account every year 3) Save for house This week I am in Phoenix taking the O-305 All Hazard IMT which is about the structure of how emergencies are managed. Part of the process includes the creation of the Leader’s Intent which is a brief list of simple objectives at the 30,000 foot level. The above from Richard seems like a financial plan intent that I think can be altered slightly into a retirement saver’s intent. Fully fund all retirement accounts every year (no change there) Save like Social Security won’t be there for you (it probably will be there but you never know) Figure out what is really important to you and what isn’t which will help with the next one Live below your means Be ready to adapt to the unexpected The pictures are from the Diamondback game Tuesday night.  ...

NASDAQ 5000! Will It Stick This Time?

This week’s Market Update is posted and includes the following; Through Friday, Bespoke Investment Group noted that approximately 400 companies have reported earnings with 66.5% beating estimates for earnings compared to 52.3% beating revenue estimates. Last week we noted a similar number beating on earnings but revenue beats were only 42%. Please click through to read the entire...

Social Security & Portfolio Withdrawals; It’s Complicated

My latest for Alpha Baskets looks at the complications of how and when to take Social Security and the complexities of portfolio withdrawals. From the post; One of the reader comments made a very compelling point in favor of taking it early which was that portfolio growth is likely to exceed the COLA growth of Social Security. So by taking Social Security early you are presumably taking less from your portfolio thus giving more of the portfolio the opportunity to grow. Please click through to read the entire post. In addition to the blog post linked above, Bloomberg had an article about three ways to boost retirement savings. The reason to mention it is for the reference made to replacing a percentage of  income which continues to be the wrong way to look at it. People need to understand what their actual expenses will be as well as trying to assess how expenses might change later in retirement (maybe less on travel and more on health expenses for example). There might be a correlation or connection to expenses while working but there certainly doesn’t have to be and based on low savings numbers in aggregate there may not be able to be a correlation. However pulling together Social Security, portfolio withdrawal strategies, expenses (current and future), lifestyle and whether to work a little all does need to have a cohesion much like a NASCAR pit crew and finding that cohesion may take some...

A Bloomberg Outage Caused The Market To Fall? Really?

This week’s Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; …our friends at Bespoke Investment Group report that of the roughly 100 companies that have reported so far, 63.7% have beaten earnings expectations while only 42.1% have exceeded revenue estimates which is on pace to be the weakest top line performance since the heart of the financial crisis. Please click through to read the entire update. The picture is Williamson Valley (a neighboring department) Engine 94 at the annual Wildfire Expo we have in Prescott every...

Figuring It Out: Self Sufficiency

The show Game of Thrones may have slipped in something of a political editorial in the first episode of the new season. Jon Snow told Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, that he was making a mistake not kneeling before Stannis Baratheon to which Rayder said “the freedom to make my own mistakes is all I’ve ever wanted.” The point of this post is doing for yourself or pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. In the past this sort of conversation draws disagreement or people may think this is about political ideology but that is not the intent. There is tremendous satisfaction and enhanced quality of life by virtue of boosted esteem in solving your own problems, paying your own bills and being at least a little bit handy fixing things around your home. Over a 10 year period starting in 2003 disability claims increased by 29% and as of January of this year there were 46 million people on food stamps and although the January number was a drop of 200,000 people that is still 15% of the population. In 2005 that number was 25 million. While there are many variables that have contributed to this trend, an increase in self-sufficiency isn’t one of those variables. This is not about being wealthy, it is about being resourceful in all aspects of life. If you’ve been reading this site for a little while you may know my interest in Tiny Houses which in part is about living below your means. Surviving And Thriving On A Low Budget is a recent article about someone who concludes $28,000 is the...