Among the financial tasks I never seem to get to dealing with is a fun one: spending gift cards that I’ve thoughtfully been given. I heard on the news the other day that half of Americans have unspent gift cards at home – averaging $116. I’m part of that group, although I would guess I have more $$$ tied up than the average. Many of … Continue reading Gift Card Procrastination
Right on schedule – an amazing 32 years after starting at MegaCorp – pension and retiree health insurance information have arrived just before my 55th birthday. It’s like a golden piggy bank that was hidden away years ago has made a triumphant return. Related: Ringing Up MegaCorp I still have to dig into the health insurance information a bit, but the immediate surprise was that … Continue reading MegaCorp Pension Arrives
The writers at Kiplinger’s sometimes talk about retirement in three phases: the ‘go-go’ years, the ‘slow-go’ years, and the ‘no-go’ years. The phases relate to how capable people are to travel, take on new hobbies, and lead an active lifestyle. They break out the ages like this: ⁃ Go-Go Years: Ages 65-75 ⁃ Slow-Go Years: Ages 76-85 ⁃ No-Go Years: 86-100 It makes sense when … Continue reading When Does ‘Go-Go’ Become ‘Slow-Go’?
If you’re not familiar with the name Bill Bengen, you probably are familiar with his work. Back in 1994, he published his Trinity Study suggesting that a 4% withdrawal rate of retirement savings would be ‘safe’ for most retirees, based on historical financial returns. Bengen – now long retired himself – has been in the news updating his thoughts on the ‘4% Rule’, as he … Continue reading Optimistic Update To The 4% Rule
I read through a good online discussion of retirement spending/investment probabilities this weekend. Someone was asking early retirees in a forum if they felt a 90% probability of out-living your retirement nest egg was enough, based on a online calculator like FIREcalc. I’ve written about FIREcalc probabilities before and using Monte Carlo analysis to help pressure test your FIRE plan. It is a great tool. … Continue reading Is 90% ‘Good Enough’ Odds?
Inflation is one of the assumptions that our FIRE financial model is the most sensitive to. Even a half percent change in inflation over a 40 year retirement plan is hugely significant. We use an assumption that our spending inflation will be between 2.5-3.0% a year, which is slightly higher than what the official US Consumer Price Index (CPI) has averaged. I’ve read articles in … Continue reading How Fast Are Prices Really Rising?
Our son is just out of college and about 4 weeks into his career in software & web design. He signed up for all of his work benefits right away, including his health insurance and retirement 401K plan. He’s very thoughtful with his financial approach, but I saw an online chat about ‘Financial Advice For People In Their Twenties’ from the fatFIRE Facebook Group that … Continue reading Financial Advice For Your Twenties
My brother and I were talking about some estate work that we each had done recently and the subject came up of safe-keeping documents. We’ve steadily upgraded our approach over the years from using a file cabinet, to putting our wills in the freezer drawer, to buying a fire-box, to investing in a full-on home safe. We now keep our important papers in a large … Continue reading Safety First For Documents
A survey in a recent online group asked early retirees if they work with a professional financial advisor. I was surprised to see that the great majority (about two-thirds) of folks did not. While I always tell people you need to be knowledgeable enough to be your own primary financial advisor, it’s nice to have a professional financial advisor as a secondary resource. That is, … Continue reading Do You Have A Financial Advisor?
I used to think that I was pretty organized. My wife and I both value keeping our house neat and our files and records are no exception. January is the time of year that we generally deep-dive into making sure that everything is properly updated. Related: Annual Round-Up Day This year has shaken me from that confidence. After having my heart attack the day after … Continue reading Getting Much More Organized