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Financial Planning

I believe effective life cycle estate and financial planning is anchored in the Quadrant of Facts, Forecasts, Life Stages, and Unexpected Events. Over the past several weeks, ten posts covered a lot of territory about Facts and Forecasts. This is a pivot point at which we begin exploring planning issues in the first of several Life [...]

Our previous post explored a model of the cost of the promise you make to yourself to fund your retirement, but that model omitted a very important real-world risk: volatile equity markets. Most recently, the 2008 stock market crash changed many retirement plans for the worse. A 2009 study by the Urban Institute, "What the 2008 Stock [...]

Pause and reflect on what a pension is: income for life after you retire, intended to replace part of all of your employment income. For retirees in the “Greatest Generation,” pensions were common. For a host of reasons (presented well by Jacob Hacker in his 2006 book The Great Risk Shift) structural changes in the American [...]

Most people know (at least in the abstract) that choices have consequences. Choices you make to manage your behavioral tendencies (or not) and about your investment costs may have tremendous consequences for when you can retire. I built a model to explore the tradeoffs between retirement age, investment costs, and behavioral tendencies. Like any model, [...]

Successful investing presents practical and emotional difficulties. Reducing those difficulties as much as possible turns on your answers to two questions: Do you believe markets are efficient? Can you manage your behavioral tendencies? After you have thoughtful answers to those two questions, it’s easier to make good decisions for you about choosing an investment style [...]