Retirement Planning Advice


B

BRH

I've always done my own investing and retirement projections using
various software products. However, as I'm now within about 3 years of
retirement, I've been looking to have my projections "sanity-checked".
All of the financial planners I've looked into either want to control my
finances by pushing their own products or their fees have been higher
than what I'm comfortable with.

Yesterday, I came across this website: http://www.retirement-4-u.com/

Has anyone here had any experience with their services? I'm considering
using their "Retirement Validation Plan" service.

Thanks!
 
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J

John A. Weeks III

BRH <no-spam>"@comcast.net> said:
I've always done my own investing and retirement projections using
various software products. However, as I'm now within about 3 years of
retirement, I've been looking to have my projections "sanity-checked".
All of the financial planners I've looked into either want to control my
finances by pushing their own products or their fees have been higher
than what I'm comfortable with.
Why don't you take control of your own finances? Nobody cares as
much about your money as you do.
Has anyone here had any experience with their services? I'm considering
using their "Retirement Validation Plan" service.
So, lets say you find out that you are doing everything possible
wrong. How much can you fix with only 3 years left? Personally,
I'd save the money on the plan and buy a few books, and learn to
do it myself. Even the Suze Orman books are better than paying
hundreds or thousands on a plan, when the plan is most likely just
a sales tool to try to suck you into their next level of the program.

-john-
 
B

BRH

John A. Weeks III said:
Why don't you take control of your own finances? Nobody cares as
much about your money as you do.
I agree. That's why I've been doing my own investing and projecting.
So, lets say you find out that you are doing everything possible
wrong. How much can you fix with only 3 years left? Personally,
I'd save the money on the plan and buy a few books, and learn to
do it myself. Even the Suze Orman books are better than paying
hundreds or thousands on a plan, when the plan is most likely just
a sales tool to try to suck you into their next level of the program.
First, I don't expect that I've _everything_ wrong, but perhaps a few things.
(Hopefully not.) I just want to retire in 3 years and be sure that I haven't
overlooked anything in my planning. Believe me, I've read LOTS of books about
retirement -- both financial and non-financial. Unfortunately, not all are
consistent with one another. (One that comes to mind that cast some doubt on
me was "The Retirement Savings Time Bomb" by Ed Slott).

Thanks for your thoughts.
 
R

Robert J. Romano, CPA

BRH @comcast.net> said:
I've always done my own investing and retirement projections using
various software products. However, as I'm now within about 3 years of
retirement, I've been looking to have my projections "sanity-checked".
All of the financial planners I've looked into either want to control my
finances by pushing their own products or their fees have been higher
than what I'm comfortable with.
You need to do things like estimate what your net worth is, what kind of
investments you want to be in, how many years you plan on being retired, and
what you expect your expenses will be. Without that information it's hard
for anyone here to give you a "sanity check."
 
S

Starvin

BRH @comcast.net> said:
I've always done my own investing and retirement projections using
various software products. However, as I'm now within about 3 years of
retirement, I've been looking to have my projections "sanity-checked".
All of the financial planners I've looked into either want to control my
finances by pushing their own products or their fees have been higher
than what I'm comfortable with.

Yesterday, I came across this website: http://www.retirement-4-u.com/

Has anyone here had any experience with their services? I'm considering
using their "Retirement Validation Plan" service.

Thanks!
I do suggest you see a tax agent and a accountant. Tax planning is crucial
in retirement. And with 3 years to go now is the time to make sure
everything is in place.
Just remember you will have a lot of good years left to enjoy retirement.
So keep doing what you are doing and in three years you will have plenty of
extra hours in the day to help you with your planning and investing.
I would really love to say to see a financial planner (like you did) because
they are supposed to be the expert in working this sort of problem out.
Although I like you have never met one that I did not think was biased to
plans that gave him the most commission.
Never change to products they are pushing. After pull out fees and
commissions and ongoing fees and joining fees, it is not worth the trouble
and expense. For example one product a financial planner tried to get me to
use. He suggested I pull out of the one I'm in now, as his one returned more
the previous year. I worked out all the fees and it was going to take me
over 2 years to break even. And over the last couple of years my product has
out performed his suggestion by a minimum of 6% a year.
I will suggest you start to take a low risk view of your investment and not
have more than 10-20% of your retirement money in high risk areas. And try
to get more income producing investments With a good yield.
If you believe you have enough for retirement which will give you a income
for the next 25 years or so. And taken the following into account, I don't
think you have anything to worry about. For eg if you want to live on
$20,000 a year do you have enough to give you this return a year?
Have you thought about inflation? because in 20 years you will need $36,000
a year.
Eg year 1 $400,000 x 5% return = $20,000 Living expenses
Each year with expenses getting you will need more money to live, so
$400,000 will not be enough and you will start cutting into your capital. So
you will need to also be reinvesting some money so you may need at least
another $30,000.
If however your plan to draw on you capital have example draw $10,000 off
your capital and use $10,000 investment income or pension. have you taken
into account each year you will have to take more off the capital and you
will receive less income every year.

So you will need to make and reinvest at least
have taken
 
B

BRH

Thanks to all for your comments. I dug a little farther into the website, and
have come to the same conclusion as most of you have -- at least according to
the sample report, it appears to not be very detailed. -- At least no more
detailed than what I've already come up on my own.

As for the suggestion to provide more information about my own situation here,
I appreciate the offer for help, but asking for advice here on my detailed
financial situation is a bit too much to ask. (I have $$$ in many different
places, all of which would need to be considered in arriving at an overall
assessment of my situation.) So, I'll try to narrow down my main questions to
some critical specifics and will eventually post them in separate threads.

Thanks to all for your thoughts on this.
 
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P

Paul Michael Brown

I have $$$ in many different places, all of which would need to
be considered in arriving at an overall assessment of my situation.
It's been my experience that there are quite a few people approaching
retirement who have been good about SAVING money, but clueless about
INVESTING it. So over the years, they put money into all kinds of
different products without ever stepping back and looking at the big
picture. It amazes me how many people have a seven-figure net worth, but
who don't know even the basics of their asset allocation.

I suppose these people are better off than those who spend 125 percent of
what they earn and borrow the difference. But when retirment approaches,
these "clueless career savers" are susceptible to the blandishments of all
manner of con artists who are just trying to make a buck off them. I
STRONGLY urge the original poster to put together a spread sheet showing
all of his liquid assets and to calculate his asset allocation. He should
also figure out his non-liquid assets, such as life insurance, equity in
real estate and defined-benefit plan payments. Unless he collects all this
information, he won't be able to ask intelligent questions and he will be
easy prey for less than scrupulous people in the financial services
industry.
 

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