DR 082: How Much Should You Be Saving for Retirement?

Retirement Nest Egg

Exactly how much should you be saving for retirement? It seems that everybody has an opinion on this deceptively simple question. Actually, it is simple to answer, so long as you understand the implications of your choices. To address this question, we are going to look at the standard rules of thumb on retirement savings. […]

Published or Updated: July 1, 2014

DR 073: Annuities 101–Interview with Tim Holmes of Vanguard

Timothy Holmes of Vanguard

Next to the tax code, differential equations, and why Gilligan and the other castaways could never get off the island, annuities are really difficult to grasp. Frankly, any time you mix insurance products with investing products the result is ugly. Yet annuities can be a smart way to save for retirement and to generate income […]

Published or Updated: June 6, 2014

DR 067: The Lowdown on Health Savings Accounts as Retirement Savings Vehicles

Optimized-LOWDOWN

I‘ve recently received a couple of emails from readers about Health Savings Accounts. One comes from Robert, who writes: I would like you to cover HSAs in the future podcast. We just started using one, and we are getting confused and occasionally tripped up by some of the rules. And a podcast listener named Patrick […]

Published or Updated: May 20, 2014

DR 050: How to Prepare as You Near Retirement [Interview with Author Emily Birken]

5 Years Before You Retire

Are you ready to retire? Have you done all of the things you should have in the few years leading up to retirement? These are the questions our guest today has answered in her comprehensive book on retirement readiness, The Five Years Before You Retire. I had the pleasure of interviewing author Emily Birken to […]

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Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

DR 049: How Much of Your Retirement Nest Egg Should You Invest in Stocks?

Untitled spreadsheet

In the 31-Day Money Challenge, we covered the basics of asset allocation. Today we are going to focus more specifically on how much to invest in stocks and how much in bonds. The stock/bond allocation is the most important piece of asset allocation. The question of stocks vs. bonds is much more important than the […]

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Published or Updated: April 2, 2014

Take Advantage of the IRA Catch-Up Rule

Google spreadsheets future value function

In reading about retirement lately, I’ve been reminded of an important money tip. If you’re 50 or older, remember to take advantage of the $1,000 IRA catch up contribution. When you’re 50+, you can contribute more to an IRA than younger folks can. That extra $1,000 added to the limit can make a big difference. […]

Published or Updated: March 27, 2014

DR 046: 4% Retirement Withdrawal Rule–An Interview with Vanguard’s Maria Bruno and Colleen Jaconetti

Vanguard Investments

What do retirement planning professionals from Vanguard have to say about retirement topics like the 4% rule? In today’s podcast I interview two investment analysts at Vanguard with over 35 years of combined experience – Maria Bruno, CFP and Colleen Jaconetti, CFP. We talk about everything from the 4% rule to portfolio balancing issues to […]

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Published or Updated: March 26, 2014

DR 040: How Best to Use a Backdoor Roth IRA

Retirement Calculator

Even if you exceed the income limits for contribution to a Roth IRA, you may still be able to take advantage of this excellent additional retirement account option. You can work through what’s called a “backdoor Roth,” which basically means that you convert traditional IRA contributions into a Roth IRA. The process gets a little […]

Published or Updated: March 30, 2014

Can you contribute to a 401k and IRA?

how to use an HSA

During the 31-Day Money Challenge, readers sent in a lot of great questions. One question from a reader named David is one I’ve received many times. Here it is: My 401k is maxed out for the year at 17,500 + 5,500. Can I also contribute a total of 6,500 to a conventional IRA with after-tax […]

Published or Updated: April 21, 2014