Helpful Articles

 Planning, Post Retirement


These are articles that were written to help develop ideas for journalists that work for The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Kiplinger’s, Smart Money, AARP, newspapers, financial web sites, etc. They’ve been used as a source of quotes for these publications.


An Interview with Retirement Planning Expert Henry Hebeler

[This interview from a couple of months ago was heavily edited by Annuity Digest, and makes it sound like I’m more in love with annuities than I am.  I favor some for part of an investment portfolio in certain situations, but not as broadly as the journalist interpreted my remarks during this phone interview.]


Two things that can destroy your retirement plans


A post retirement plan using pencil & paper.  This paper analysis

gives you a spending budget that will last your retirement lifetime considering

your savings, Social Security and pension.


Retiring? Why you might need more money than you think


Why fixed-income is not ‘fixed’


There’s a better way to plan retirement withdrawals those nearing retirement don’t know about financial planning


8 solutions for retirement savings that are too low


Find your retirement passion!


4 ways to avoid a retirement disaster

The most common retirement rules deliver dire results!

This Wall Street Journal article can help stretch a retiree's savings a full lifetime while enjoying the benefits of good market conditions when they prevail.

There are some very large omissions in most retirement planning programs.  Sometimes it's simply over simplification, but sometimes it may be to make the results more palatable to low savers.  This Wall Street Journal article describes the problem areas and solutions.  Our Pre and Post Retirement Planner doesn't make these mistakes and covers each of them.

A WSJ reporter asks for suggestions to “test drive” retirement before leaving work:


A WSJ reported asked me What’s the biggest lie we tell ourselves about retirement?  I suggested three things:


Here's an article that will be of immense help to retirees and soon-to-retire people trying to budget for next year.   It's about a marriage of the popular 4% rule and the IRS's required minimum distribution method that saves the good points of each and eliminates their bad points.  Marriage of two simple planning methods gets happy results.


End Game.  Financial planning programs can be terribly misleading for older people. They know that they must be prepared for living longer than they thought years before. This article offers some help--and a word to the wise for younger people who may overspend thinking they will live to only their current life expectancy.


Withdrawal Strategies in Difficult Times.  We may be facing the most difficult financial times within our memory for retirees. Withdrawing too much from our savings too early in retirement may prove disastrous. Here we compare some alternative strategies.


Income to last a lifetime.  There's lots of bum information in the press and internet about how to invest and control your spending so that you don't run out of investments before you die. Get the truth here!


When can only a penny extra income cost you over $1,800 tax? Those over 65, or soon to be so, can easily fall into this common trap. Knowing about it gives you reason to plan to avoid it.


Simple Investment Rules Pay Handsomely.  This “mid-term” report shows how well I’ve done by following simple rules for investment selection, allocation and withdrawals.  It shows the rules and results after 22 years of retirement.  I want our money to last another 26 years so good results are important.


Pay off our mortgage at retirement?  There are many things to consider in this decision.  This article may help you reach a more objective decision.


The Simplest Retirement Plan for Retirees.  Some people are computer challenged and/or don't have Microsoft Excel which is the engine for the computer programs on this site. Here is a simple planning method that requires only a few steps with a hand calculator to help retirees know how much they can afford to spend from retirement income consisting of Social Security, a pension, taxable (or tax-exempt) investments, deferred-tax investments such as an IRA, and a house. (It also considers debts.) This affordable spending amount generally will increase each year to help compensate for inflation and ensure that investments last a lifetime.


An Appeal for Better Planning.  Most modern planning methods, including those using Monte Carlo analysis, are overly optimistic. As a consequence, those who will live to be in their eighties and above are almost certainly going to have drawn too much from their investments in their early years of retirement.


Retirement Risk.  Financial analysts focus on the risk of security returns when, in fact, retirees often face things with much greater risk that demand more attention than they get in conventional plans, even plans developed by professionals in the field.


Are You Planning on Living to 100?  This article discusses some of the ways to have a better physical and financial life during retirement. It stresses the importance of physical and financial planning and the fact that you are likely to underestimate how long you will live.


Retirees Need Conservative Planning (PDF File)*.  Most planning forecasts ignore the costs of owning securities, the need for reserves, possibilities of longevity, and ignore "reverse" dollar-cost-averaging for retirees. Most people know about the benefits of dollar-cost-averaging that comes from making regular savings deposits. This article helps quantify the reverse-dollar-cost-averaging which comes from regular withdrawals.


Financial Planners Have a Lot of Crow to Eat (PDF File) *. Caught up in the euphoria of irrational exuberance, planners started recommending retirement portfolios approaching 100% stocks. Articles were written by supposedly knowledgeable financial experts advocating up to 7.5% annual draws increased by inflation every year. Believers have suffered mightily.


For Retirees Only.  The article explores different methods used by retirees to determine how much they can spend. These include: spend just dividends and interest, withdraw the same percentage from funds every year, buy an immediate annuity, use some simple tailored formulas, use financial payment equations like a professional, use J.K. Lasser’s Your Winning Retirement Plan, or try a comprehensive computer plan.


Bad Assumptions  (PDF File)* .  This article shows what would have happened if a person retired in 1965 and had used the advice of several of today’s current planning professionals. They should know better.


Put Your Retirement Planning on Autopilot! (PDF File) *.  The financial industry is completely oblivious of modern control theory that can be an immense help in retirement planning. It is analogous to an airplane autopilot that helps guide the airplane to a smoother flight through gusty air, only in retirement we’re trying to guide the retiree through gusty market conditions. The article shows the benefits of the simplest kind of autopilot.