Retirement Answer Man

Is your soul on fire? Too many of us live in a prison within our mind. We are trapped by our past choices, not realizing that today, right now, we can start a new journey.  If you feel stuck, you can create a new life. You can ignite your soul and live your own hero's journey.

Invest Wisely  You'll Never Get the Average

One of the biggest roadblocks to setting good expectations about investing is focusing on average returns. We financial planners are the biggest abusers of this. No one get's average returns. By focusing on them, we set unrealistic expectations on what the experience will actually be.

Look at the returns of the S&P 500 stock index over the last 15 years. How often did it hit it's average return?



15 Year S&P 500 Returns.001In this episode I discuss this and how to develop a better understanding of what to expect (and not expect) from your investment assets.

Plan Well     How to Live an Intentional Life with Kary Oberbrunner

Kary Oberbrunner is like you or I. He went to school, got a job, got married and lived a normal life, until something happened inside him. His soul ignited. Today, he is living a more intentional life and is on a mission to help you ignite your soul and do the same.

Kary's message really resonates with me. Much of my life, I was blind to the choices I had. I felt imprisoned by my past decisions. I think many of us feel this way. We're not. Our prison is in our mind. If we break free from our past self, we can create the life we desire.

Kary and I discuss:

  • The roadmap from Day Job to Dream Job
  • How to get unstuck from your past stuck self
  • How day jobs are killing people
  • Why it's so hard to leave a day job
  • How to go from prison, to plan, to payoff
  • How to design your story
  • Why it's important to go through your own hero's journey
  • How to change your life in a half hour a day
  • Dream Job Boot Camp


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Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm CDT

You don't like to lose money. Nobody does. That's one reason it is so hard to stick to a long-term investment plan when we feel like we're getting punched in the face by the markets. Just like a boxer, it's natural to want step back and protect ourselves. This natural reaction, however, has caused most investors to underperform the very assets they invest in.  In this episode, I discuss 7 steps to help you fight through a normal market correction.

Invest Wisely: 7 Steps to Fighting Through a Market Correction

A 2014 Dalbar Study  once again showed that average investors drastically underperform the very assets they invest in. Over the last 10 years the average investors, investing in a mix of stocks and bonds, had an average annual return of 2.6%. Over that same period, the S&P 500 had an average return of 7.4% and fixed income averaged 4.6%.

One of the biggest contributors to this is our natural reaction to run from pain.  It's a strong instinct that I struggle with during every market downturn.

In this episode, I introduce 7 steps you can take to help fight through a market correction so you can invest wisely for retirement.

  1. STOP listening to financial media and market "experts." They only magnify your fear
  2. Learn the nature of the markets you invest in. Develop a clear understanding of how they work
  3. Determine your appetite and need for market risk. How much volatility can you stomach? How much market risk do you need to achieve your goals?
  4. Set a portfolio allocation that fits your needs.
  5. Rebalance it religiously to manage your risk and potential return goals
  6. Maintain enough cash reserves. This will help your long-term assets be focused on long-term objectives
  7. Revisit steps 1 thru 7 religiously to adjust as your life unfold.

Not sure how?  Find someone to help.

Investing wisely is easy to understand.  The hard part is sticking to a well thought out plan when you get punched in the face by a market correction.


Plan Well: Budgets That Work With Jim Munchbach

Recently I had the pleasure of talking with Jim Munchbach from imakeyourmoneycount.comMunchach about how to find a budget that works for you. Jim is a Certified Financial Planner, State Farm agent and instructor of Introduction to Personal Finance at the University of Houston.

Here are some of the topics we cover:

  • Why it's important to track your spending
  • Finding the truth about your financial behavior
  • A budget that works, if you hate to budget
  • How a budget helps you create free cash flow in order to save
  • The value in learning to track your spending
  • It's not the tool that is important, its the goal
  • How to manager your cash flow like a business
  • The law of spending and saving

Retirement Toolbox:  Retirement Planning Worksheet

This worksheet may help you determine if your current retirement savings effort is on course or if you need to chart a new direction to help reach the retirement destination that you desire. To help you, I’ve added a new worksheet to the Retirement Toolbox titled Retirement Planning Worksheet.

Click Here to Access


Direct download: 36_Retiremen_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 7:58am CDT

It's natural to fear a market correction. Losing money (even if on paper) sucks. News reports, act as if market corrections are bad.  That's not true. The economy and the markets don't function well without corrections.   Just as there are benefits to a forest fire, a market correction is an essential element of a strong economy and market. 

Invest Wisely  4 Benefits of a Forest Fire and Market Correction

Are we headed for a market correction? Last week the S&P 500 was down 3.4%. It's been over 34 months since we've had a correction in the S&P 500 of over 10%. Normally we experience one every 18 months. 

I've always likened market corrections to forest fires. Both cause some short term pain but are essential to the long-term health of the forest (or market).  I've used this analogy for years. Sure enough, if you read the Benefits of Fire from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the 4 benefits of forest fires parallel to the benefits of a market correction.

In this podcast I explore these 4 benefits of forest fires and market corrections:

  • Cleans the Forest Floor

    "Fire clears the weaker trees and debris and returns health to the forest"

  • Provides for More Habitat

    "When fire removes a thick stand of shrubs, the water supply is increased. With fewer plants absorbing water, streams are fuller, benefiting other types of plants and animals."

  • Kills Disease

    "Fire kills diseases and insects that prey on trees and provides valuable nutrients that enrich the soil. 

    Fire kills pests and keeps the forest healthy."

  • Provide Room for New Generations 

    "Without fire, these trees and plants would eventually succumb to old age with no new generations to carry on their legacy."

Plan Well   Kim Blanton From the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Recently I had the pleasure of talking about the retirement landscape with Kim Blanton. Kim works with the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and writes their Squared Away Blog. Her Blog is about financial fehavior as it relates to working, saving and retiring. 

Kim and I discuss the changing landscape of retirement and how we can plan for it.

  • How retirement is changing
  • The impacts of being responsible for your own retirement savings
  • More than half of Americans are on track to have their standard of living decrease during retirement
  • The benefits of working longer
  • The benefits of taking Social Security later
  • Retirement: a Good State of Mind
  • The danger of consumerism during retirement
  • Stark Differences in U.S. Cost of Living
  • How to better plan for retirement

Retirement Toolbox: Retiring to a Different State

If your family is considering retiring to a different state, there are some important planning items to consider. To help you, I’ve added a new worksheet to the Retirement Toolbox titled Retiring to a Different State.


Direct download: 35_Retirement_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01pm CDT

Medicare eligibility starts at at 65. If you're blessed to be able leave your career earlier, you'll need to evaluate your healthcare options until then. This week I talk with health insurance guru, Misty Kimbrough about your healthcare options before age 65.

Invest Wisely     3 things you can do to ignore the voices in your head

I'm starting to hear voices in my head. Maybe you are too. They're asking "Should I move to the sidelines? Should I wait to invest?"  Certainly we've heard these voices on our beloved financial media outlets. Over the last 3 weeks or so, equity markets have had some big down days and it's making people nervous.

Don't base your investment strategy off of intuition, regardless of how well reasoned you think it is. The fact is professional investors struggle with timing markets. Even those that have great "market calls" can't do it consistently enough to be of much use to you or I.

  1. Stop chasing rainbows. Turn off all financial that peddles predictions, forecasts, etc. Don't fall for the siren sound of predicting the future. It's hard to tune out. We all want certainty. We crave it. It's uncomfortable to sit with not knowing. You must though if you are going to focus on the things you can control
  2. Revisit your cash reserves. Having enough cash so your long-term investments can be long-term. Selling at the wrong time because you need the money can be a disastrous to your portfolio.. Initially target 3 months lifestyle expenses and increase it if your income is less certain. For retirees, we target 18 months of expected lifestyle expenses.
  3. Rebalance your portfolio. If you haven't rebalanced your portfolio to your target risk/return profile, do it. Part of investing wisely is consistently rebalancing to your targeted risk/return profile.

Plan Well     Health Insurance Options Before Age 65

This week I talk again with Misty Kimbrough from Red Apple Insurance. She and I discuss the insurance landscape if you've been blessed to retire early. We discuss:

  • How COBRA coverage works
  • Insurance options before you're eligible for Medicare
  • Individual insurance plans (Bronze, Silver & Gold)
  • How to structure your individual policy
  • Should you go on your spouse's plan
  • Insurance add on options.

Retirement Answers     How Do I Choose Long Term Care Insurance

This week I added a 2 page fact sheet to give you the basics on long term care insurance. You can access it for free by clicking the cool button below


Direct download: 34_Retirement_Answer_Man.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46pm CDT