15 Tips for a Happy Retirement

After the 2008 financial crisis Steve and Mary made the tough choice to delay their retirement.

Even though their savings was adequate, it just didn’t feel right.

They had a vision of their “happy retirement” – spending time with their grandkids, buying a small lake house, traveling to Greece – and none of that seemed likely with all the doom and gloom that existed.

We even ran several illustrations and stress tests on their financial plan, but that wasn’t good enough.

The decision was made.

Their happy retirement would have to come later.

Did Steve and Mary ever retire? More on them in a bit…..

happy retirement tips

Situations like this occur all the time. But it doesn’t take a financial crisis to cast doubts if someone can actually retire.

Many factors play into that.

If a happy retirement is what you’re seeking, here are 15 tips to make it happen.
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How to Maximize Your Social Security Income (and avoid these 6 costly mistakes)

We’re all about retirement planning, and we often talk about Roth IRAs and other retirement accounts and strategies.

But what about Social Security? It’s an often overlooked, though highly critical, component of your retirement plan.

There are ways to maximize your Social Security income, but the most effective strategies need to be put in place before you actually begin collecting benefits.

maximize social security income

This can be confusing, because there are several different options as to when you can take Social Security. For example, you can take benefits beginning at ages 62, 67, 70, or any age you choose.

However, know that your age at the time of retirement will affect the amount of your benefit, as well as the benefits you’ll receive for the rest of your life.
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What is an “Indirect Rollover”? (and why you should care)

We often hear the term “rollover” in connection with retirement accounts.

People frequently rollover money from one retirement account to another.

One of the biggest types of rollovers occurs when a person leaves a job, and does a rollover of their 401(k) plan to an IRA (here’s how you do a 401k rollover to a Roth IRA).

ira direct transfer

But as casually as the word rollover is used, there are actually two types, direct and indirect. And which one you use will be more important this year – and from this point forward – than it is ever been in the past.
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GF¢043: [Case Study] Can You Retire Early with Only 1 Million Dollars?


I want to retire early with 1 million dollars.

That statement has a nice ring to it, huh?

I don’t think I’ve worked with a client yet that didn’t want to retire early, or wouldn’t be ecstatic if they had a $1 million portfolio.

But as most of us already know, $1 million isn’t what it used to be.

retire 1 million dollars

This article from USA Today makes the bold claim that $1 million isn’t enough to retire nowadays.

Look, $1 million is A LOT of money, but to stretch that out for the rest of your retirement is tough. It’s even tougher with lower interest rates.

The article states, “10 to 12 years ago, when people earned a lot more on their investments, $1 million could generate $70,000 to $80,000 a year in retirement income. But with interest rates as low as they are, that’s not really feasible.”

Sure, there are ways to make the most of out your short-term investments, and there are intriguing options like Peer to Peer Lending that can yield decent returns, but they don’t magically guarantee an early retirement (Learn more about the top peer to peer lending network in our Lending Club Review and my review of Prosper).

So the question remains:  Can you really retire early with 1 million dollars?
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Will the Deferred Income Annuity Save Your 401k?

If you have never heard of a deferred income annuity, get ready, because you’ll probably be hearing a lot about them in the near future. And honestly, you should want to!

Deferred income annuities address a major weakness that is a part of current tax-deferred retirement plans, such as 401(k)s: what to do with your retirement plan when you actually retire.

That’s where deferred income annuities come in. They’re a valuable tool you can use that can preserve your investment capital, and make sure that you have a steady income for the rest of your life – no matter how long you live.

They can even turn your defined contribution 401(k) into something resembling the traditional defined benefit plans of yesteryear. That should interest anyone and everyone who is planning for retirement.

IMG - What is a Deferred Income Annuity
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GF¢ 039: Reader Question: What is The Best Thing to Do With an Old 403(b)?


Well, whether you need PROFESSIONAL professional help is up for debate, but when it comes to your finances, don’t rely on Google.

You need someone who knows what they’re doing.

Confident happy business woman with coworkers in the background


Consider this example:

I am 45 years old with 3 young children.   My biggest concern is that in about 10-12 years, they will be going to college.  I have a good job and currently make $75,000 per year.

I don’t have college savings plans set up for them at the moment.  I’m considering opening a Roth IRA and maxing it out every year so they use it for college.

I also have an old 403b just sitting there doing nothing. I’m maxing out my 401k at my current job, which also offers an 8% match.  Would you please advise what I should do for my children and for my retirement?  Also, do you think I should convert my old 403b into a Roth IRA?

Ah yes.

These are the type of questions that a Certified Financial Planner drools over.
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The Ultimate Roth IRA Conversion Guide – Everything You Need to Know

I love the Roth IRA.  

If I could wrap them up and give them away as birthday gifts, I would probably do it.

Scratch that.  I would definitely do it!

As much as I love the Roth IRAs, you would think that I would be all about converting your traditional IRAs and old 401(k)s to them, right?

Well, kinda.

Unfortunately, doing a Roth IRA conversion is not a total black and white decision.  In fact, there are have been several instances where I suggested that clients don’t do a Roth IRA conversion.

To better understand if a Roth IRA conversion is best for you, we have to understand the rules first.  Here’s a look at at the IRA to Roth IRA conversion tax rules.

IMG - Roth IRA Conversion - The Ultimate Guide
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GF¢ 038: The 17 Worst Excuses For Not Saving For Retirement


You know what’s sad?

Despite all the talk about retirement planning, and all the information available on the web, millions of people still aren’t saving for retirement.

You know what’s even worse?

Many of them give lousy excuses!  Well, not on my watch.

Today, I call out 17 of the worst excuses for not saving for retirement.

IMG - The 17 Worst Excuses for Not Saving for Retirement

Do any of these sound familiar?

If so…you’re busted!  On to the list….
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10 Essential Factors of a Retirement Planning Checklist

If there’s one thing that you don’t want to do twice, that would be retiring.

Imagine having to go back to work after you’ve called it quits. Yuck!!

I’ve heard horror stories of this happening and the most common culprit is lack of planning.

Planning your retirement is something you do not want to take lightly.

Retirement Planning Checklist

If you are approaching retirement, do you know if you are ready?

Do you have the funds saved that you will need?

Do you have all the other details in place and ready to go?

While retirement is an exciting time, it is also a time of big changes in your life.

Not only will you not be going to work every day but you will also have adjustments in your personal life and your finances will also be changing.

To make sure you are prepared for all the changes creating a retirement planning checklist is recommended.

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16 Surefire Ways to Not Outlive Your Money

You’re officially retired. 

You don’t have to wake up to that annoying alarm clock anymore.

The sun is shining, and the only thing you have to worry about is when you get to take your afternoon siesta.

Then it hits you…

Can I really afford this lifestyle?

Did I save enough?

Do I have the right investments?

Ways to Not Outlive Your Money

Your calmness quickly vanishes and is replaced by an overwhelming panic.

You can’t get the sickening thought out of your head — “Am I going to outlive my money?

It’s okay.  Take a DEEP breath and exhale.

Seriously. Do that now.

One of the most common concerns about retirement is the possibility of outliving your money.
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GF¢ 033: 15 Reasons Why You Won’t Be Able to Retire Early


Who doesn’t want to retire early?

Unfortunately, many people won’t be able to.

Even worse, many people don’t have a clue that they won’t be able to retire early.

Such was the case with this couple in their mid-30’s that planned on retiring in their 50’s even though they only had $17,000 in savings.

Yes, that’s it and the reason I filmed this financial rant video.

I wish I could say that this couple was the exception and many on our pace to retire early, but if I was I Pinocchio then my nose would be grow to be a mile long.

Are you in this camp?  If you’re guilty of the following 15 items then welcome to the retire at 70+ club.

Here are 15 reasons why you won’t be able to retire early.

15 Reasons Why You Won't Be Able to Retire Early

Some of them have to do with how you handle money, but others focus on your mindset, your expectations, or even factors beyond your control.

My hope is that this list will enable you to avoid the traps that prevent people from retiring early.
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The Top 10 Cities That Your Financial Advisor Approves You To Retire In

You’ve probably seen dozens of lists like this, but let’s admit it – most of them center on locations that are already flooded with retirees for all the usual reasons.

On this list, I’m zeroing in on cities that offer tangible financial advantages to retirees. Sure, they’re great places to retire. But each also offers financial or economic benefits beyond simply being where the living is cheap.

And that’s the way it should be – if you’re moving to another city, you’re moving there to retire and create a new life, not to fold up the tent of your life.

top ten cities

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