Helpful Articles

Planning, Pre Retirement

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


6 reasons why young people must save much more


What to do if Social Security is going to be your major source of retirement income


Why you should comparison shop when planning your retirement


A pre-retirement financial plan without a computer.  This is a quick way to determine how much you should be saving to achieve your retirement goals considering your current savings and alternative investment allocations.


How taxes and debt upend the 4% retirement rule.   This article will be very helpful to those who are considering the amount of savings they will need for retirement.


Find your retirement passion before you retire.


6 ways low-savers can save their retirement


Great financial advice from my father!


Retirement planning with just pencil and paper.It's easy.Give this a try.


Key Strategies for managing Social Security.This brief article shows how people can get a lot more out of their Social Security.


Do-it-yourself planners often need help:


This article explores what it takes to get significant retirement savings and the corresponding retirement benefits.


How Will You Fare if You Have to Retire Earlier Than You Had Planned?Jonathan Pond explains the benefits of having two retirement plans.


Emergencies Drain Savings.Emergencies can do more damage to savings than a severe drop in the stock market. It's important to put aside some savings to buffer the effect of major emergencies. The article suggests situations you may want to consider and offers some ideas on where and how much such savings should be.


Teaching Financial Preparedness, I learned a lot from my parents about finances.Here are some of the lessons they taught that helped through most of my life.


THE Trade: Work longer or live on less.This article gives some ideas for baby boomers who have not saved enough money in order to retire in the manner they had hoped.


Health Care CostsóA scary story.Financial planners and Web based retirement programs usually mislead people by ignoring the real cost of retirement health care. This article shows both the possible magnitude as well as the uncertainty it causes with any projection of the future.


Retirement Mistakes People Make.Here I list the many mistakes acknowledged by my readers and made by my friends and myself over 23 years of retirement. There are lots of valuable lessons here.


Is your job secure?Here are some very useful tips if you think you might lose your job or already have--or for anyone whose job may be affected by a significant health change


Saving is a Virtue. Most of us are saving far too little. This article considers some of the history behind savings rates and the reasons why we must now save more.


Pre Retirement PlanningóAt Various Stages.This article suggests very important things to do when 15, 10 and 5 years from retirement. It's got somewhat different points than similar articles on this subject and should be a must-read for Boomers. It's good advice to send to those you know in one of these stages.


Working in Retirement:How much can you spend from your working wages?This article presents some practical considerations


Are you prepared to retireóhealth wise?Hereís some good advice that will save you lots of money in retirement and greatly enhance your retirement lifestyle.


Advice to My Grandchildren.  This paper describes financial and social attributes that I've learned are important for a successful life.  You might consider something similar for your children or grandchildren.


Don't forget the ladies.  Most people preparing for retirement wait too long to think about survivor's benefits.  There are many women well into their eighties or nineties who can testify that their lifestyle changed abruptly after their husband's death because of financial difficulties that might have been avoided or abated.


Are your retirement savings on track?  Here is a simple calculation where you multiply one number on a chart times your current wage to get rough estimate if you have saved enough to date for retirement--as well as see what you might do to improve your prospects!


Baby Boomer's One-Page Planner.  Many people don't want to use a computer or download a program to do retirement planning.  This step-by-step planner will give you better answers than most of the retirement planners on the Web.  All you need is a pencil and the one-page planner plus your current saving balance, last Social Security forecast and a few financial pieces of information if applicable.  Try it out.


Ten Steps To A Better Financial Future.Make a financial plan, use automatic payroll deductions to save, stick with a sound allocation plan, pay attention to financial costs, learn from your own and otherís mistakes, keep emergency reserves, consider downsizing home, get some financial education, get professional help when needed, and prepare your family for your death.


How Much Income Will I Need in Retirement?This article exposes the fallacy of developing a retirement plan based on using 70% to 80% of your working income. If you are over 40 years old and not yet retired, you can get a much better estimate of your retirement needs.


Selecting a Program for Retirement Planning(PDF File)*.Watch out for Monte Carlo programs. Many commercial planning programs ignore costs to help sell their products. Security history may not repeat itself. Select program that helps you make good decisions and compare alternatives.


Financial Dynamics Improves Lifelong Planning(PDF File)*.This technical article describes the background used for a presentation to the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors in the October 24, 2003 regional conference in Philadelphia . It is also the theoretical basis for the Dynamic Financial Planning program available on the Dynamic Planning page of this web site.


Provident Living.This article points toward the urgency to do some financial planning to avoid a destitute and dreary retirement. It's aimed at the baby boomers' problems but other generations will be affected as well.


Mad as H,E, doubleQ! (PDF File) *.Readerís Digest, as well as financial sources that should know better, advocate planning methods that knowingly give optimistic retirement projections thereby misleading people into thinking their savings are sufficient. The article explains some of the main fallacies.


Saving for Retirement(PDF File)*.Here is a simple method for a person to estimate how much to save for retirement. Itís only a rough estimate, but it has more realism than many of the commercial programs touted by the financial industry. Itís not a good idea to spend very little time in planning for retirement which could well be about one-third of your life, but if you are so inclined take a look at this.


Do-It-Yourself Retirement Spreadsheets  (PDF File).Almost everyone who knows how to make a spreadsheet tries to do self-planning for retirement. If you are one of these, the article will help you do a better job and give you better perspective with some common-sense.


Retirement Planning: Morticians vs. Obstetricians.This article will help give you some perspective thatís between the view of pessimists (Morticians) and optimists (Obstetricians).


The Biggest Retirement Planning Myth.Almost all planning methods include some very unrealistic and hidden assumptions. This article shows the huge effect that these things have on retirement forecasts. Unlike most articles on this site, this article is for professionals or those who understand financial planning equations.