What’s  New


Free Retirement information includes: Free Retirement Planning Programs, Free Retirement Programs, Free Retirement Budgeting Program, Free Retirement Investments Articles, Free Financial Articles, Free Investment Allocations Program, Free Emergency Reserve Articles, Free  Insurance Articles , Free Taxes Articles, Free Returns articles.


6/23/17.  Delay Collecting Social Security and Your Finances Will Win Big.  It’s a Better Bet than Real Estate.



6/8/17.  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.]


5/9/17.  Truly Taxing



4/24/17.  A Financial Quiz I Gave My Children and Grandchildren



3/28/17.  The Unlucky 13: Bad Investments for Your Retirement



3/10/17.  A baker’s dozen tax optimization strategies for retirement planning



2/20/17.  Heath care costs may pose overwhelming burdens on low savers.



2-8-17. A mini book packed with money-making information:

 Simple Financial Tools promise better retirement


12/12/16.  Good news and bad news: You may end up living a lot longer than you expect



12-2-16.  6 reasons why young people must save much more



11-25-16.  What to do if Social Security is going to be your major source of retirement income



Getting asset allocation right for retirement

11-1-16.  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/getting-asset-allocation-right-for-retirement-2016-11-01


10-24-16.  8 keys to a successful financial retirement10/6/16. 



 What do debtors have in common with a cartoon?



9-20-16.  Five ways financial firms display optimistic performance



9-7-16.  Howgotta have it now’ can wreck your retirement



9/6/16.  The Simple Rules That Have Guided My Retirement Investing



8/19/16. Why you should be wary of retirement projections



8/8/16.  Why I’ve Changed My Strategy on Tax Withholdings



8/4/16.  3 ways to more than double your retirement savings



7/28/16.  Want to invest in real estate? Beware!



7/21/16.  Time, inflation beaters and planning for retirement success



7/15/16.  Two things that can destroy your retirement plans



7/8/16.  A grandfather’s financial advice to his grandchildren



7/5/16.  My Approach to Portfolio Rebalancing 



5/10/16. The Financial Lessons of a Depression-Era Baby



5/4/16.  Looking for an alternative to long-term-care insurance?



4/27/16.  How much do I really need in my emergency fund?



4/8/16.  Why you should comparison shop when planning your retirement



3/31/16.  Forget these retirement essentials at your peril



3/29/16.  How low-saving boomers can still get a significant retirement income boost



3/22/16.  Retirement planning made easy and inexpensive



3/21/16.  Why So Many People Still Fail to Maximize Social Security Benefits



3/11/16.  Financial  success requires a change in focus as we get older



3/2/16.  Don’t let shiny things reroute your retirement



2/24/16.  Don’t let hidden costs destroy your retirement savings



2/3/16.  Four big reasons to worry about our financial future



1/19/16.  The best retirement investment for any market condition



1/7/16.  Costs hurt more than you think in down market



1/4/16.  Should I use a certified financial planner?



12/21/15.  All older people should keep a death book



11/25/15.  Dealing with the uncertainties of retirement investing



10/10/15.  Pencil & Paper Retirement Planning  is meant for people who would prefer to use a hand calculator and do planning the old-fashioned way--with pencil and paper.  The difference is that the form used here actually is more comprehensive than most internet planning programs and, unlike them, has notes which help the user input the kind of values that lead to meaningful results.  Also, unlike the computer programs, when you update the plan  next year, you can see on a side-by-side basis what your planning values were in previous years.  This can be very enlightening.


11/2/15.  Calculate the best age to start Social Security with pencil and paper.

This easy-to-use calculation lets you compare retirement income if you start

Social Security at different ages considering your current savings.


11/2/15.  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.


10/13/15.  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.


10/22/15.  My Biggest Investing Mistakes–and the Lessons Learned



10/16/15.  THE LIST will be important to your retirement plan



9/28/15.  Key decisions for survivor's benefits



8/26/15. Don’t let unforeseen costs destroy your retirement!



8/4/15.  Seven problems that deserve investors’ attention—politicians too!



7/18/15.  Retirement Resources for an Uncertain Future


7-8-15.  Financial success requires sacrifice



6/25/15.  When a reduction in consumption is a good thing



6/8/15.  Tax rates are far higher than we realize



5/26/15.  Life is short, but retirement can last for years



5/14/15.  There’s more to retirement planning than saving money



5/1/15.  4 rules for retirement investing in turbulent times



4/22/15. Retiring? Why you might need more money than you think



4/20/15.  The short-term focus is destroying our retirement.



4/10/15.  RECENT PROGRAM CHANGES.  We added notes to the Free Retirement Planner and the Pre and Post Retirement Planner to show how to compensate for the Social Security reductions for those government pensions which reduce Social Security by an amount known as the Government Pension Offset.  Also, we made significant changes to the Estate and Investment Management program to incorporate information that would be important to a survivor and/or the executor of a will after a death.


4/1/15.  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.



3/26/15. After extensive conversations with two estate attorneys and updating of my own financial information, I have updated the Investment Manager with a number of new tabs appropriate for someone who will be an executor for an estate--or, importantly, those who want to make it a lot easier on their executor after their death.  It can still be used for managing and tracking investments, but the added features are a real plus.  It has also been retitled to reflect the new information. 

Estate and Investment Manager


3/12/15.  5 disastrous trends impacting future retirees--and one solution



2/16/15.  Why fixed-income is not ‘fixed’



2/3/15.  How retirement plans vastly underestimate inflation



1/22/15.  A Game Plan for Seeking Work Later in Life



1/16/15.  100 years of inflation history.  This includes inflation for each year as well as longer periods for a convenient data source.


1-13-15.  There’s a better way to plan retirement withdrawals



12/22/14.  How retirees learn from the costly mistakes of youth



12/16/14.  The best time to buy an immediate annuity



12/5/14.  Find your retirement passion before you retire.



12-3-14.  Why older adults should beware of social media



12-3-14.  What those nearing retirement don’t know about financial planning



12/1/14.  How unplanned events can rock retirement probability models



12/1/14.  Six steps to calculate your retirement budget



11/25/14.  New version of the popular Pre and Post Retirement Planner posted.  It now works well for a Mac as well as a PC.  Previously, arrow controls were difficult to see on some Excel for Macs versions.  Those with PCs do not need to update.  Includes a table of contents linked to the tabs.  See the Computer Programs page for the link.


11/13/14. Buy savings bonds for disaster protection and child's education



11/11/14.  Retirement Investment Optimizer

This program helps determine the best mix of stocks, bonds or other fixed-income investments both before and after retirement as well as the risk. It can be a big help in deciding whether it would be better to invest part of savings in a pension or annuity that has guaranteed fixed payments (some have inflation adjustments) instead of everything in a more risky mix of stocks and bonds. Further, it helps to optimize survivor benefits, something that can be very difficult after many years of varied returns and compounded inflation.


11/5/14.  8 solutions for retirement savings that are too low.



10/23/14.  If you love your spouse, you’ll wait to claim Social Security



10/6/14.  Learn how bartering or investing in an extra skill can help your retirement.



9/22/14.  How to survive 4 major retirement hazards



9/8/14.  Social Security’s hidden Medicare penalty



8/30/14.  The Strategic Social Security Planner has been updated to eliminate errors with some age combinations and has improved graphics.


8/25/14.  How to earn 4% to 15%.  Stay out of debt!



8/13/14.  How should the government change social security—to preserve its viability?



8/7/14.  How to profit from Social Security’s quirks.



7/28/14.  6 ways low-savers can save their retirement



7/2/14. On-line retirement calculators don’t calculate this.



6/19/14.  25 questions to ask potential financial adviser.



5/30/14.  Clarified the instructions to be able to see the tabs at the bottom of the screens as well as how to see more of the input screens for both the Free Retirement Planner and the Pre and Post Retirement Planner.


5/20/14.  Retirement shortfall strains parents and kids.



5/15/14.  Free Retirement Planner.  Changed the size of the graphs so that they can be seen more easily on wide screen displays.


5/15/14.  Pre and Post Retirement Planner.  Changed the size of the graphs so that they can be seen more easily on wide screen displays.


4/24/14. Annual & Compound Returns Program

This program extends the analysis in the Free Return Calculator to cover multiple years so that you can have a record of both annual and cumulative returns from compounding all of the previous annual returns.  It provides very good perspective of your investment performance.


4/15/14.  Don’t you deserve more than 20% of your returns?


This Wall Street Journal article shows how you can more than double your savings by paying attention to the fees and costs that are taken by investment firms.


3/24/14.  What rationing and rabbits teach about saving



3-10-14.  Great financial advice from my father!



2/26/14.  Find your retirement passion!



2/11/14. 4 ways to avoid a retirement disaster



2/4/14. The most common retirement rules deliver dire results!



1/23/14. 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.



1/15/14.  Retirement planning with just pencil and paper.  It's easy.  Give this a try.  Simply print the attachment and get out that pencil.


1/15/14.  Key Strategies for managing Social Security.  This brief article shows how people can get a lot more out of their Social Security.



1/2/14.  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.



12/28/13.  There is a new version of the Pre and Post Retirement Planner.  The only change is to make it easier for Mac users who before had to type in values rather than using the slider bars.


12/19/13.  Four valuable holiday gifts for retirees on a budget:



12/9/13.  A WSJ reported asked me What’s the biggest lie we tell ourselves about retirement?  I suggested three things:



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



12-7-13.  What makes retirees happy?  Comments from the Wall Street Journal.


12/3/13. Vanguard asks Bud a number of retirement questions in one of its publications:



The Vanguard reporter was one of about 3,000 that attended an online presentation I made in the recent Retirement Revolution seminar.  Here was the presentation, but be forewarned, it was 40 minutes long:


The first 3/4 of this presentation is about the problems retirees face financially and the last quarter about preparing to minimize the effects that problems may have on your future.


11-27-13. Do-it-yourself planners often need help: 



The Wall Street Journal published an educational article about Savings I Bonds that's especially good for people who have not yet retired, but also could help retired folks as well.



10/28/13.  A Wall Street Journalist asked how the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) will affect retirees.



10/28/13.  Here are some of the most devastating planning mistakes often made by both working and retired people from the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch:



10/14/13.  Market Watch published an article that offers solutions to a problem that almost everybody faces in retirement:  When Relatives Ask for Money.



10/2/13.  Avoidable retirement problems--well not always!  This MarketWatch.com article describes common retirement problems, many of which could have been avoided by earlier actions. 



Coming on October 19, 2013 at 7:30 PM ET, Retirement Revolution’s presentation on Devastating Retirement Planning Mistakeshttp://www.retirementrevolution2013.com/hebeler/  The presentation is free, but you'll have to register before in the green box on the link above.  There are a number of other retirement presentations before and after mine.


9/10/13.  Front page of the on-line Wall Street Journal:  The Best Way to See the U.S. on a Retirement Trip.



9/9/13.  Front page on the on-line Wall Street Journal:  Retirement planning mistakes that couples make.



9/3/13.  This MarketWatch.com article explores what it takes to get significant retirement savings and the corresponding retirement benefits.



9/3/13.  How Will You Fare if You Have to Retire Earlier Than You Had Planned?  Jonathan Pond explains the benefits of having two retirement plans.



8/16/13.  Why it pays to delay Social Security.  Scaling up the article’s example to the full-retirement-age benefit of many people shows that they can get over $20,000 inflation-adjusted additional annual income for life.  It’s counterintuitive and very unpopular though for people who are unable to delay gratification for a longer term benefit.  This is the same logic that leads to too little saving for retirement.



8/15/13.  What will surprise people the most when they retire? Here is my response to a Wall Street Journal editor who asked the question:



8/8/13  Inflation Fallacy:  We all worry about the stock and bond markets, but how about something even more important to our financial lives?  That may well be inflation where the effect of a few high inflation years is underweighted in retirement planning and purposefully understated for the elderly.



8/1/13 Back-of-the-envelope Retirement Planning from The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch describes a simple way to either check results from another plan or to make your own plan without a computer program.



7/24/13. 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.


7/23/13. Retirees experience numerous things which were unforeseen.  This brief article from The Wall Street Journal addresses the need for emergency funds.



6/27/13.  There is a greatly improved Pre and Post Retirement Planner now available.  The main additions are (1) a new Comparisons tab that allows users to make direct comparisons between two cases, and (2) a Manual tab so that those who would like more instruction can get it and print if desired. In addition to these changes, the graphics are much improved including bright red markers to show where Case 2 is different from Case 1.  And a couple of small errors were corrected.

Download Pre and Post Retirement Planner Program

Download Pre and Post Retirement Planner PDF User Manual


6/24/13.  Skills key for new grad or soon-to-be retiree.   This article of mine in The Wall Street Journal's Market Watch shows that there is a great benefit to be qualified for more than one occupation.  That's been the experience for me, my family and readers who have confirmed their experiences.



5-30-13.  Will Social Security be there when I need it?  This Hebeler article appeared in the MarketWatch section of the on-line edition of the Wall Street Journal.  It examines useful but politically difficult funding solutions, stealth solutions, and concludes with those things that almost certainly will happen as the Social Security funding shortfall worsens while the population ages.



5/21/13.  This brief article published in The Wall Street Journal shows my views on what I believe is the biggest mistake retirees can make



5/20/13.  Retiree Regrets:  A Wall Street Journal editor asked me what I thought was the major regret that retirees had late in their life.  I offered several things people have told me, not just one.  The editor published my answer which you can find in the following link



4-23-13.   Investment for retirement is easy although current low interest rates make fixed-income investments a little harder.   Here is the link to The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch.com article.



3-22-13. Should the Social Security Trust invest in stocks?  My views with link to rebuttal from The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch.com.



3-11-13.  Stock Market Is Up!  What should you do?  My view from The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch.com.



3/1/13.  Gotta Have it Now!  The financial differences between buying things on the spur of the moment with credit vs. saving before purchasing are enormous. With the former, we PAY interest. With the latter we EARN interest. Even if not on credit, if we have to stretch to buy something, it may not be long before we must buy things on credit.


2/26/13.  Your Death Book. The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch published one of my articles that deals with providing major help to your survivors. Middle aged people and the elderly should be mindful of the things involved.


2/16/13.  One very observant user who had a spouse with a pension discovered an error in the Base Case (not Optional Case) of the Free Retirement Planner. If your spouse had a significant pension, the older program would produce results that likely would be too conservative. See Computer Programs to download the 2-16-13 update.

2/6/13.  Replacement Savings Make Real Money. This Wall Street Journal article suggests some ways to avoid having to use credit to buy expensive things which fail during use. There is a simple, easy to use table, that illustrates about how much a worker should save to replace an automobile or other things as well as how much a retiree should set aside and not include in a computer retirement analysis that calculates the amount that can be spent each year until death.


1/30/13.  Replacement Budgeting:  This program is a great benefit for both workers and retirees because it can save a lot of money that might otherwise be borrowed. This new program improves the accuracy of the previous one and clarifies how it is to be used.

1/22/13.  Save Like a Squirrel from The Wall Street Journal's Market Watch. Here are some easy ways to make a rough calculation how much you should be saving for retirement or able to spend in retirement. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/save-like-a-squirrel-2013-01-24

1/22/13.  Emergency Preparedness:  Both workers and retirees need savings, supplies and training for emergencies which are an inevitable part of living. It would be impossible to quantify these, but this series of articles alerts us to things that we can do to be better prepared. The articles were written for a monthly church newsletter and selected by Starlene Ward, the editor.

1/14/13.  Baby boomers and those that follow are going to be hurt as much by the lack of savings as the national debt.  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/baby-boomers-beware-2013-01-14?link=mw_home_kiosk

12/27/12.  Get inflation protection from a fixed income: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/inflation-protection-for-a-fixed-income-2012-12-27

12/17/27.  If you are using a planning program that uses statistics from the past, beware: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/back-testing-and-your-retirement-future-2012-12-17

12/16/12.  Should we be saving municipal bonds now?

12/15/12.  Ask Bud.  See some timely new answers to questions relative to buying bonds, using special provisions of Social Security, and finding inexpensive professional help.

12/15/12.  Will we benefit from special provisions of Social Security?

12/14/12.  How can I find inexpensive professional advice and appropriate questions to ask?

12/6/12.  Good health means more retirement money:  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/good-health-means-more-retirement-money-2012-12-06.

10/14/12.  Maximizing Social Security Benefits.  This article explores a number of ways to get far more out of your Social Security benefits.  It shows results from (1) simply filing at an older age, (2) suspending payments after having already started, (3) filing at 66 and then suspending, and (4) filing a restricted application.

10/1/12.  The Benefits of Social Security Alternatives.  This may be the most important article that pre-retirees can read.  It gives new perspective to the alternatives of retirement ages, starting ages for Social Security, ages to die, and the alternatives of Normal, File & Suspend, or just plain Suspend.  Also covers both fixed and COLA pensions.

10/1/12.  Free Strategic Social Security Planner.  We now have a new Social Security planner that does things few other planners do. It allows you to compare the normal alternatives for taking Social Security with the little known File and Suspend and Suspend (only) alternatives. It also includes an accounting for pensions so that you can see both Social Security and pension income and survivor payments for each. It compares the additional savings you need to delay the start of Social Security as well as the other two alternatives. There is a direct comparison of the savings differences with the lifetime incomes from each alternative you might choose for a cost/benefit comparison. You may be able to increase Social Security payments and survivor benefits by as much as 76%.

9/1/12. Fixed income investing. This is more than a primer on major types of fixed-income investing. It covers inflation and depression effects as well as the large taxation differences.

8/21/12.  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.

8/19/12.  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.

8/15/12.  The Free Retirement Planner offers perspective to planning like no other program. It begins with a basic program that accounts for taxable, tax deferred and tax-exempt investments, pensions of various kinds, Social Security alternatives, etc. It also shows what happens AFTER you exhaust your money, something practically no other retirement programs do. This basic program was rated by Consumer Reports in the top three of Web programs and best for those with pensions. In the new version, we have added other tabs important to planning such as for pre-retirement and post-retirement budgeting. There is an optional tab that shows you what would have happened if you retired in the best and worst year of the past using actual inflation and returns each year for your selection of a mix of stocks, bonds and money markets.

8/4/12.  Allocation Control.  This free, easy-to-use program automatically tells you how much of your stock (or stock funds) you should exchange for fixed income investments like bonds or CDs.  The program incorporates an age related formula that has proved successful over 40 years of investing by the author.

7/25/12. I learned a lot from my parents about finances.  Here are some of the lessons they taught that helped through most of my life.

7/22/12.   Should I suspend and Restart my Social Security Payments?  It’s currently popular now to promote stopping Social Security payments and restarting as late as age 70 to reap the benefits of an 8% increase each year of delay.  This article investigates when that is, and when it is not, a wise strategy.

7/9/12.  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.

6/26/12.  How are my stock picks doing—or my advisor?  This is an easy test that you can make to see if you have done better or worse that the market last year.  Few people do, but it's really easy to beat most stock pickers and professional fund advisers.

6/23/12.  Your Taxes Rates Are Higher Than You Think shows that the income taxes on your real growth is much higher than the stated tax rates for investment returns. In effect, the government is taxing inflation while inflation is simultaneously reducing your real returns.

6/23/12.  Squirrel Savings uses the analogy of a squirrel saving nuts for the winter to produce a simple estimate of how much a person should save before retirement or can spend in retirement.

6/15/12.  Real Value of Pensions and Annuities.  The article shows how the real values of inflation destroy fixed income investments but how we can still make them useful in a high inflation environment.

6/10/12.  The Future Economy Can Destroy Fixed Income Investments.  This article shows the conflict between what the feds like and what older investors need.  It also gives some thought about ways to protect your fixed income investments.

6/1/12.  Health Care Costs--A 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.

5/26/12.  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.

5/13/12.  Immediate Annuities--What you MUST know.  The title of the link says it all. There are things you won't hear from a sales person.

5/10/12.  Long-term-care insurance vs. alternatives.  Here we cover the uncertainty factors and alternative solutions.

4/18/12.  What planning tools does Bud use personally?  I explain the reasons for my choices to numerous readers who have asked this question.

3/22/12.  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.

3/12/12.  Make life easier for your survivors.  Those who have had to handle the paperwork as a caregiver or survivor know how difficult it is. It’s much easier to provide this information when you or your parents are alive and know where everything is.

2/21/12.  If forecasting is inaccurate, why do it?  This article explains reasons that go beyond simply trying to determine how much to save for retirement or how much a retiree can afford to spend. It describes the importance of comparing alternatives such as when to start Social Security, whether to by an immediate annuity, long-term-care insurance, etc.

2/19/12.  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.

2/19/12.  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!

1/19/12.  What are we thinking?  Our country is in deep financial trouble--and the corrective actions from the Administration, Congress and political candidates are all too anemic to help. You may want to join me with some investments that will increase with inflation and a Roth to reduce the future tax burden.

1/11/12. Is your financial adviser any good?  Too often in this low return environment, financial firms are making more from your investments than you are. It's easy to see if this is true in your case. This article explains how. You may need to fire your investment adviser and get another one. This can make a very large increase in your future retirement portfolio and your future spending.

12/27/11.  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.

12/23/11.  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.

12/17/11.  Pre Retirement Planning—At 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.

12/3/11.  Free Retirement Planner.  This update adds a budgeting program to the planner which neatly ties the planner and budget programs together into a truly integrated program. The program works both for those still working as well as those who have retired. It has two computer programs running simultaneously to make it easy to compare alternatives of many kinds as well to see what happened had you retired in years past with actual historical inflation and returns corresponding to your savings allocations. Consumer Reports ranked this program as one of the three best free retirement planners on the Web--and now it's even better.

11/30/11.  Stretching Investments to the End. This article describes the most important actions I have taken so that my investments will last for well over 40 years of retirement while generally providing annual spending growth to compensate for inflation.

11/11/11.  Safe Withdrawal Rates.   In an attempt to keep retirement planning simple, analysts and journalists oversimplify retirement planning--most often producing results that exhaust investments prematurely. This article explains the problem and what to do about it.

11/1/11.  How often should I rebalance my investments and recalculate my retirement budget?  We are facing a future that will require a more conservative approach than in the past, so these questions need more conservative responses than many pundits would offer in the past.

10/27/11.  Budgeting for Uncertain Events.  These charts provide important planning information that is almost always neglected in financial analysis and retirement planning in particular.  See for yourself what a huge difference this may make in your future life.

9/18/11.  An Avalanche of Gold Watches is coming.  We need quick and large corrections to our current economic conditions. See how bad it can get.

9/17/11.  The Best Present.  Here is a reference for the kind of things you should have ready if you become incapacitated or die. Your spouse, children, caretaker and executor will be forever grateful!

8/31/11.  King for a Day.  Have some fun trying to find a way to solve our national debt problem. You've fired the Chairman of the Fed, got rid of the Secretary of the Treasury and bullied Congress into doing whatever you want. So you can control taxes, government spending and interest rates on the national debt. Simply click on the arrows in the program, and the future economy is in your control.

8/30/11.  King for a Day article.  This article illustrates the dramatic steps you must take to save the country from economic disaster for our children and their children now that you are King and fired many of the previous people that got us into this trouble.

8/24/11.  Where is this country heading?  I’ve extended the work in my previous article, Looking Ahead, in order to try and find some solutions to our nation’s debt problems.  It’s tough, but see what is required in this article.

8/18/11.  Looking Ahead.  This is a narrative that explains the economic difficulties coming from the growth of government spending beyond its means, the need to be able to support the interest on our debts, the aging of our population, and the cumulative effects of previous over-consumption. It also describes what individuals can do to protect themselves.

8/15/11.  Want your teeth in retirement?   Dental costs are very high and hard on retirees. This article suggests ways that people can help protect themselves from catastrophic dental costs or dentures.

8/1/11.  Dilbert’s Food Storage Commentary.  Scott Adams offers some good tips about emergency preparedness in his July 7, 2011 strip.  Dilbert’s Food Storage commentary takes it one step further.

6/1/11.  Free Social Security Planner.  This is probably the most powerful planner available to make important decisions about Social Security whether you are single or married.

5/28/11.  Free Retirement Planner.  This version makes it easy to explore different ages to start Social Security.  It runs two computer programs simultaneously to make it easy to compare alternatives of many kinds as well to see what happened had you retired in years past with actual historical inflation and returns corresponding to your savings allocations.  Consumer Reports ranked this program as one of the three best retirement planners on the Web and best for pension clarity because employers sometimes have misleading projections.

5/23/11.  A problem without a solution.  The bleak future we face.

5/23/11.  The aging problem.  Political and economic problems coming.

4/27/11.  Simple Investment Rules Pay Handsomely

4/10/11.  Working in Retirement:  How much can you spend from your working wages?

2/17/11.  Are you prepared to retire—health wise?

1/5/11.  Can we recover from excessive consumption?

1/5/11.  Spread sheet with source material for Can we recover from excessive consumption?

12/2/10.  Advice to My Grandchildren.  Pre Retirement

12/2/10.  On Being Conservative.  Economics

10/24/10.  Common Sense Economics.  Economics

9/12/10.  Don't forget the ladies.  Planning, Pre Retirement

9/5/10.  Frugality is an important part of preparedness!  Budgeting

9/5/10.  Multiple skills provide resilience.  Planning, General

8/20/10.  No Economist will tell you this!  Economics

6/25/10.  Searching for Yield.  Investments

6/15/10.  There must be a pony in here!  Investments

6/9/10.  Watch your planner's planning!  Planning, General

4/25/10.  Personal Thoughts on Immediate Annuities.  Annuities

3/19/10.  Is Debt Friend or Foe?  Planning, General

3/2/10.  Free Retirement Planner.  (Previously named Free Pre Retirement Planner +.)   Now useful for retirees as well and helpful for those exploring Social Security alternatives Free Programs

2/28/10.  The Gold Watch.  Economics

12/15/09  Should I convert my IRA to a RothFree Programs

11/25/09  Investing for the Future.  Investments

8/22/09   When Will Prosperity Come Again?  Budgeting

8/12/09   On Being ConservativePlanning, General

7/20/09   Saving Money and Pain with Health Insurance.  Health Insurance

5/19/09   Growing Savings, Income and Investments Now.  Planning, General

5/14/09   Baby Boomer's One-Page Planner.  Planning, Pre Retirement

4/08/09    You can be the Joneses of the future.  Budgeting

3/19/09   A National Recovery That Will WorkTaxes

2/26/09    My own investment choices now.  Investments

2/23/09    It's time to cry "Uncle!"  Taxes

1/27/09    Why won't the government, finance industry and financial media tell the truth?  Economics

1/23/09    Planning and Investing in Difficult Times.  Planning, General

12/23/08  Doesn't Anyone Get It?  Economics

12/15/08, R 2/23/12  Learn when to start Social Security to get the most in retirement.  Social Security

12/10/08  An 84 year old lady teaches us a financial lesson.  Budgeting

12/9/08  Can you afford the bailout costs?  Taxes

10/8/08 The sky will fall on many people, but there is hope for some.  Investments

9/16/08 Investment actions in turbulent times.  Investments

9/04/08 Heirs may get little, feds lots.  Taxes

8/22/08 Solving the nation's debt problem with I.O.U.S.A.  Economics

8/19/08 Hidden Government Costs Hit Your Wallet.  Taxes

8/11/08 Algae for Energy.  Energy

8/7/08 Solutions to the Energy Problem.  Energy

7/15/08 Can we afford such generous government pensions?  Taxes

7/10/08 Using Historical Financial Data.  Planning, General

7/4/08 Pay off our mortgage at retirement?  Planning, Post Retirement

6/25/08 Is there a way out of this economic mess?  Planning, General

6/16/08 Planning with unrealized gains.  Taxes

6/13/08 Should retirees sell now if taxes will be greater next year?   Taxes

6/5/08 Another Misleading Article on Our Wealth Growth,  Taxes

6/4/08 Inflation can destroy retirement.  Economics 

5/8/08 Retirees get blasted by inflation.  Economics 

4/28/08 A Different Perspective.  Economics 

2/29/08 Our nation is headed for trouble.  Are you?  Economics 

5/10/07 Evaluating an Immediate Annuity in Retirement.  Annuities

3/29/07 Deferred Social Security likely to be better than an annuity.  Social Security

1/1/07 Count on Energy Problems.  Energy

8/14/06 The Best Investment—for someone approaching age 62.  Investments 

7/4/06 When to start social security. Social Security

3/17/06 Doing Better Than Your Peers.  Planning, General

12/19/05 Prosperity Depends of the Most Dismal Part of the Dismal Science.  Economics 

8/21/05 The Best Gift for Your Spouse-- or Executor.  Estate 

7/30/05 The Simplest Retirement Plan for Retirees.  Planning, Post Retirement

6/9/05 Keeping up with the Jones.  Budgeting 

5/23/05 Head in the Sand Planning.  Planning, General

4/30/05 Do You Need Long Term Care Insurance?  Investments 

4/14/05 Immediate Annuities' Four Whammies.  Annuities 

3/8/05 An Appeal for Better Planning.  Planning. Post Retirement

3/2/05 Investments That Can Equal Social Security Benefits.  Investments 

3/2/05 Are Personal Retirement Accounts for You?  Social Security

2/2/05 Cost-of-Living-Adjusted (COLA) Annuities (PDF File).  Annuities 

12/15/04 Private Accounts for Social Security.  Social Security

12/8/04 Retirement Risk.  Planning.  Post Retirement

12/6/04 Survivor Benefits.  Estate 

10/29/04 Replacement Cost Budgeting.  Reserves

10/27/04  Laddering CDs and Bonds.  Investments

9/1/04 Plan on Less Social Security and More Tax.  Social Security

8/3/04 Inflation and Debt in Retirement Planning.  Planning, General

8/1/04 What Goes Around Comes Around.  Investments 

8/1/04 The Biggest Retirement Planning Myth.  Planning, Pre Retirement

6/24/04 Financial Dynamics Improves Lifelong Planning  (PDF File).  Planning, Pre Retirement

6/14/04 Government's Retirement Double-Talk.  Economics 

5/16/04 Self Reliance.  Budgeting 

4/22/04 Brutal Facts of Retirement Budgeting.  Budgeting 

4/22/04 How Much Income Will I Need in Retirement?  Planning, Pre Retirement

12/23/03 Do-It-Yourself Retirement Spreadsheets  (PDF File).  Planning, Pre Retirement

11/23/03 Are You Planning on Living to 100?  Planning, Post Retirement

7/10/03 Provident Living.  Planning, Pre Retirement

5/25/03 Will Reduced Tax Rates Help Your Retirement? (PDF File).  Economics 

2/8/03 Can You Trust a Trust or Its Trustee?  Estate 

10/14/02 Selecting a Program for Retirement Planning  (PDF File).  Planning, Pre Retirement

9/24/02 Ten Steps To A Better Financial Future.  Planning, Pre Retirement

8/27/02 Reserves (PDF File).  Reserves

7/17/02 The Future Is Likely To Be Tough (PDF File).  Economics 

5/13/02 Start Social Security at 62, 66, or 70? (PDF File).  Social Security

1/31/02 A National Tragedy (PDF File).  Economics 

11/3/01 Retirees Need Conservative Planning (PDF File).  Planning, Post Retirement

10/4/01 Smart Actions In Turbulent Markets (PDF File).  Investments 

9/18/01 Mad as H,E, double Q! (PDF File).  Planning, Pre Retirement

8/18/01 Financial Planners Have a Lot of Crow to Eat (PDF File). Planning, Post Retirement

8/18/01 Social Security and Inflation (PDF File).  Social Security

7/22/01 Saving for Retirement  (PDF File).  Planning, Pre Retirement

4/3/01 Pattern for Disaster (PDF File).  Economics 

3/22/01 Bad Assumptions  (PDF File).  Planning, Post Retirement

3/12/01 For Retirees Only.  Planning, Post Retirement

1/2/01 Reverse Dollar Cost Averaging  (PDF File).  Investments 

10/2/00 Spending Costs Savings.  Budgeting 

10/2/00 Are You Prepared to Retire?  Budgeting 

10/2/00 Retirement Asset Allocation.  Investments 

10/2/00 What? Retirement Funds from Your Home?  Planning, General

10/2/00 Retirement Planning: Morticians vs. Obstetricians.  Planning, Pre Retirement

10/2/00 The OSIFs of Retirement Planning.  Reserves

10/2/00 Social Security at Age 62?  Social Security

9/12/99 Put Your Retirement Planning on Autopilot! (PDF File).  Planning, Post Retirement