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Old 03-18-2017, 09:08 PM   #1
bigdog
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Default Money matters ?

I know this Forum isn't the place to ask for investment advice, as one should always seek advice from a professional advisor, preferably one who acts as a fiduciary.

Would be interested in where folks are investing their money these days....

Bonds have taken a dive, with interest rates rising, stock market is over-priced and just a matter of time before in heads downward, and I'm not a fan of Annuities for a variety of reasons, and forget about Money Market accounts…..

Again, everyone should seek professional financial advice.

Appreciate your comments.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:25 PM   #2
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Default Interested in hearing intelligent responses

I pulled everything and converted to cash, probably not very wise, but the earnings are so slim, I would rather have no risk losing to inflation than nothing at all lost to the markets. I put some in real estate, but that isn't really liquid, when needed. I don't know if there is a sure fire answer to this.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:37 PM   #3
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Default Money matters ?

Big Dog: This is my occupation and I *do not* want to try to sell you on anything! Just to say that you should collect at least 3 or 4 general opinions about your own situation from licensed professionals. They should be asking you a lot of questions! (If you were buying a car and the salesman wanted to know if your kids played sports, and which ones? Or played a musical instrument, and which one? Because hockey differs from track, and harp or tuba differs from piccolo; just that a good advisor will ask you questions that you think have little to nothing to do with your plans but s/he has a reason.) Then consider access, and did you "click" with this individual, and would you be happy with the (predictable) ups and downs that may occur... If you trust the person, you will be satisfied. Most financial professionals want to do the right thing for their clients, otherwise they aren't in the business long. Some bad apples? Yes, but they are the minority. Trust your gut. Talk to people. Best of luck.
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
I know this Forum isn't the place to ask for investment advice, as one should always seek advice from a professional advisor, preferably one who acts as a fiduciary. Would be interested in where folks are investing their money these days....Bonds have taken a dive, with interest rates rising, stock market is over-priced and just a matter of time before in heads downward, and I'm not a fan of Annuities for a variety of reasons, and forget about Money Market accounts…..Again, everyone should seek professional financial advice. Appreciate your comments.
Just hours before you posted, my NY-based CPA told me that "holding cash" depends upon your age.

As one ages, one should hold as much as 50% in cash.

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Old 03-19-2017, 07:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Just hours before you posted, my NY-based CPA told me that "holding cash" depends upon your age.



As one ages, one should hold as much as 50% in cash.



.


I'm am a NY based CPA also and I agree. Simple philosophy is the older you become the more conservative your portfolio and more cash you hold.



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Old 03-19-2017, 09:10 AM   #6
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I still think it depends on each individual circumstance . How big is your estate, what are your other income needs, are you responsible for others. I certainly will not keep 50% in cash but thats because i have a financial plan. The best advise is to get advise. I do remember in the early nineties saying the market was overpriced and did leave a lot in cash and missed a hugh rally
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:31 AM   #7
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There is no one model, no matter how successful, that will work for all because each individual has a unique expectation of what "success" looks like. Each individual has a level of risk tolerance, balancing expected gains against possible losses. Some people get very upset if their earnings are not matching market averages. Some get very nervous if they lose some of their principle.

One thing for sure, if you are in the market, you WILL lose money at one point or another. People that find that intolerable put their assets in CDs and make almost nothing at the moment. I have a view that if the market is earning 7% on average and I am in cash at 1/2% I am LOSING 6 1/2% by being in the wrong investment. I also understand that seeking that rate of return exposes me to more risk and possible losses. Personally, it's worth it.

My investment group has a philosophy of minimizing draw down losses because you then recover any losses much faster. For example, in a very bad year the market might drop 25% but I might lose only 8%. When the market recovers I am in a better position and recover faster than the general market. The trade off to that is less up side gain. A hot market might be making 25% but I might only get 14%.

Further, the group uses a mathematical model to guide their decisions. When the model says "Go to cash", they do. When it says "Buy", they do.

Also, the investments are based on MY risk tolerance, which is moderate. I am willing to risk some loss balanced against seeking a little better rate of return. The balance of stocks, bonds, and other instruments is matched to that risk level.

My risk tolerance is moderate because I am not dependant on the income. We have enough earnings, pensions, and Social Security to cover all bills and then some. The investment income is for the perks. An average year will allow a very nice vacation, an upgraded TV, new clothes, some nice gifts, a little extra for church, etc. A great year might allow a new car, redoing the kitchen, buying a new living room set or putting a little aside to offset a bad year. A bad year means you forgo most of the extras. My overall philosophy is that I spend the investment earnings and preserve the principle.

My financial management is matched to my circumstances and personality. There is an infinite number of such combinations of personality and circumstances. The "best" investment strategy is the one that meets YOUR needs and gives you peace of mind.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:44 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone who has responded. I do agree with all comments !

Investing choices really depend upon your: Risk tolerance, Age, Investment choices...

I lost a lot of money in the Market crashes back in the 80's, then again in 2001-2001, and tried to ride out the storm, but never recaptured. During those times, I and invested in moderate risk level Mutual Funds. Lessons learned !

I'm at retirement age, have been collecting Social Security for two years now,
however, still working, as my Corporate employer, has those golden handcuffs
on me, and it's difficult to walk away. I have however, decided to hang the job at the end of the year.

I should have enough money, between Social Security(wife & me), Pension, Cash, and most likely a part-time no stress job, without tapping into my IRA/401k money.

Thanks again, for your comments !
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:09 AM   #9
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Just a little note to married couples--make sure to look at what the situations will be if one of the parties passes away. My mom passed away a couple years ago and, though Dad is doing well, I'm not sure it would have been as good the other way. Just a thought. Cheers!

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Old 03-19-2017, 11:06 AM   #10
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One further point: I've been in the business for 35 years and retired for 16 and can tell you categorically, YOU CANNOT TIME THE MARKET. Anyone who tells you otherwise is deluded. Whatever money you invest in stocks must be for a very long period-at least 10 years. If you plan on using it before this period expires maintain in cash. Stock investments best made through index funds such as vanguard or dfa. Not that tough really.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:01 PM   #11
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One other point, how many sweat investing and don't seem to have much concern over how much debt they are carrying? There is no such thing as good debt, some are admittedly worse than others... but I submit carrying debt into retirement is a bad idea.

Agreed on the market timing aspect of investing and that includes investing in mutual funds that are ACTIVELY managed. Over the long term usually these tend to do no better than passively managed index\growth funds after fees and taxes. I tend to spread things around a bit and annually review where I'm at. The only moves I tend to make is to re-balance more so than to chase "hot trends" that more times than not are a bad idea. I also stay away from individual stocks, I don't have the time or knowledge to play that game.

Although it has not been mentioned here, I am not a big fan of precious metals, the market is to difficult to read and it seems like it is driven or more accurately put manipulated based solely on speculation. Further that by the hit you take acquiring and divesting... there is a pretty decent amount of return that is required just to break even.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:42 PM   #12
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As a no longer practicing CFP (I'm happily retired, currently on the island of Bonaire) and have been involved in financial planning for well over 30 years, do yourself a favor and educate yourself instead of relying on other's advice. You can start with picking up a copy of John Bogle's "Common Sense On Mutual Funds." I have always preferred simplicity in my investment portfolio and it has worked out well. Stay away from things you do not understand.

And rest assured there's not another person on this planet that cares more about your money than you do.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:25 PM   #13
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"Agreed on the market timing aspect of investing and that includes investing in mutual funds that are ACTIVELY managed. Over the long term usually these tend to do no better than passively managed index\growth funds after fees and taxes."

Maxum, statistically, active managed funds under perform index funds. Tons of literature on this.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Although it has not been mentioned here, I am not a big fan of precious metals, the market is to difficult to read and it seems like it is driven or more accurately put manipulated based solely on speculation. Further that by the hit you take acquiring and divesting... there is a pretty decent amount of return that is required just to break even.
Well let me first say that I agree in the sense that metals are not an "investment" nor should they be thought of as such. They should be thought of and looked at as a hedge against inflation which they have quite proven themselves to be over the years. Gold, silver, platinum, whatever, is something you buy in the physical property sense, (forget about futures) hide, then use or cash in when the time is right... Those that understand this concept have done VERY well with keeping their assets when the market tanks. Gold etc, is driven by the value of the US dollar. It is actually a fairly simple concept to follow and understand as long as you realize the long term indicators which affect its value...

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Old 03-19-2017, 03:40 PM   #15
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Default Index funds

I'd recommend using the tools on the Vanguard website, then investing in a mixed portfolio of index funds. Very low costs, excellent performance over time.
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:44 PM   #16
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Default What to buy?

Similar problem when an unavoidable capital gain forced me into buying when I thought the market was too high. 2000 points later, I'm glad I dove in. I don't like cash and I don't like bonds. I avoid mutual funds because of the fees. Due to other activities I have frequent meetings with other financial experts (I was one once) and we share a lot of information.
So, what did I buy?
Utilities and consumer staples for defense and dividends.
Index ETF's for growth and some dividends with no fees. Quick exit for $7.95 if necessary. QQQ, DIA, IVW, HDV. There's an ETF out there for almost any sector you want.

I subscribe to Morningstar "Dividend Investor". As long as I'm getting solid dividends, I don't worry so much about daily fluctuations. I'm at what Morningstar refers to as the "Harvest" stage in my investment cycle.
Lots of good info easily available on Yahoo Finance. Look at individual stocks and there is a ton of info available, easier (for me) to find than other sites.
Reluctantly, I have a few mutual funds to get some international exposure. Good growth over time, but I don't add to them.

I agree with the folks who suggest professional advice, but the quality of the advice and the types of services vary widely. I changed advisors on one portfolio last year. Proposals from a dozen folks and face to face interviews with 3-4 before making a choice. BTW, management fees can be negotiated beyond the tiers for certain size accounts.

If you don't have a NH Trust, look into it as NH Trusts are generally not subject to NH Interest and Dividends tax.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:18 PM   #17
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Oil/fossil fuels.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:15 PM   #18
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Actually glad I started this thread, as it has churned up a lot of good conversation !

Again, I'm still working at the current time but will be retiring at EOY, then have to roll-over my 401k.

Currently I have three investment resources in my portfolio:
401k - Employer suite of mutual funds
T Rowe Price
TIAA-CREF

The latter I like best (TIAA-CREF), low fees, and good conservative track record.
Even though they're primary goal is to sell Funds, they seem to act more like a Fiduciary.

What do folks think about multiple Mutual Fund companies in your portfolio ?
If you pick a giant company like Vanguard, TRP, Fidelity, you can purchase just about every market share and narrow the field down to one !

Thanks again for everyone's feedback.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:23 PM   #19
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Go to the interactive charts on Yahoo Finance and see how your chosen mutual funds do compared to various index funds or ETFs. Then calculate where the fund fees take you.

I expect you will find winners as
1. ETF
2. Index Funds
3. Actively managed mutual funds
In spite o that, if correct, the diversification in an actively managed fund, may be right for many investors. I'd rather be invested in a low performing fund than in cash or CD's.
I haven't done this, as have not most investors, because we all want to think we're smart and we're proud of our successes. ETFs, well chosen, may be the winners.
Let us know.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:39 AM   #20
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I am and have always been 100 % invested in stocks along with three pieces of real estate.
I know nothing about investing and probably most professionals don't know much either. This I will tell everyone, market timers always lose. In order to win one must be invested at the highs and market timers are always late, usually investing at or near the lows. I have always been told I needed to be invested in bonds, not for me. Contrary to what I've been told it is quite plausible to lose money investing in bonds.
My insurance man told me that his company gave people the option to go cash or stay invested back during the recession. Bottom line was the investors clearly made more than those who went mostly cash.
I did have CD's when they were paying anywhere from 10% to 17%. That was good.

I am a retired workaholic and continuing aquaholic.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:12 AM   #21
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Almost everything you read lately states that lower-cost, index funds are better than actively managed funds. But we've been on an unprecedented, upward ride with stocks for a long time.

Does the advice also hold true historically if you look at bear markets and recessions?
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:09 PM   #22
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The best investment I have ever made is my little slice of heaven on Bear Island, the returns are shall we say priceless and not measured in dollars and cents!
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:57 PM   #23
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I will never confess to being some kind of financial expert but after living through 3 recessions and seeing how long it took to get my money back I timed this last one and made out much better. I didn't get out at the very top and I didn't get back in at the very bottom but I was close enough on both ends that I more than doubled my money over the past 8 years. I'm not saying timing the market is the right thing to do but if you get it right it does work. I will be keeping my eyes wide open for the next down turn and I don't think it's that far off. Right now I'm 33% stocks, 33% bonds, and 33% cash. I'm 63 years old so I'm playing it safe right now.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:31 PM   #24
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I will never confess to being some kind of financial expert but after living through 3 recessions and seeing how long it took to get my money back I timed this last one and made out much better. I didn't get out at the very top and I didn't get back in at the very bottom but I was close enough on both ends that I more than doubled my money over the past 8 years. I'm not saying timing the market is the right thing to do but if you get it right it does work. I will be keeping my eyes wide open for the next down turn and I don't think it's that far off. Right now I'm 33% stocks, 33% bonds, and 33% cash. I'm 63 years old so I'm playing it safe right now.
I'd say the best advice anyone can give you is simple, if you can sleep at night with your current allocation of investment capitol then you got it "just right".
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I will never confess to being some kind of financial expert but after living through 3 recessions and seeing how long it took to get my money back I timed this last one and made out much better. I didn't get out at the very top and I didn't get back in at the very bottom but I was close enough on both ends that I more than doubled my money over the past 8 years. I'm not saying timing the market is the right thing to do but if you get it right it does work. I will be keeping my eyes wide open for the next down turn and I don't think it's that far off. Right now I'm 33% stocks, 33% bonds, and 33% cash. I'm 63 years old so I'm playing it safe right now.
Rates are going up, bonds will probably be taking a beating. The market has been on a huge roll over the past year or so. I pay someone to take care of mine, I sleep very well and he does a good job.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:11 PM   #26
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Rates are going up, bonds will probably be taking a beating. The market has been on a huge roll over the past year or so. I pay someone to take care of mine, I sleep very well and he does a good job.
I have no problem sleeping at night but I would if I was letting someone else handle my money.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:39 PM   #27
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I have no problem sleeping at night but I would if I was letting someone else handle my money.
Yeah, I would be very careful with financial people. My case, 15+ years with this guy, through several crashes and every one of those years has been great. Latest acquisition is energy partnerships, we don't try to time, but things worked out great, big gain, huge increase in dividend payout after tax over the bonds sold/called. I sleep well, worth every penny. Rates going up, not a good time to be caught with a lot of bonds.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:40 AM   #28
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Yeah, I would be very careful with financial people. My case, 15+ years with this guy, through several crashes and every one of those years has been great. Latest acquisition is energy partnerships, we don't try to time, but things worked out great, big gain, huge increase in dividend payout after tax over the bonds sold/called. I sleep well, worth every penny. Rates going up, not a good time to be caught with a lot of bonds.
Thanks for the tip. I'm good!
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:07 PM   #29
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Thanks to everyone for all the great dialogue here !

Investment thoughts....
I'm thinking pork-bellies and frozen concentrated orange juice:
Call me 'Louis Winthorpe III'- from the movie 'Trading places', they made a killing $$$ !

Serious: I agree with MAXUM on a similar point....
The best investment I have ever made is my little slice of heaven in Gilford !
That money spent on the property, has brought me much happiness.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:43 PM   #30
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In 1967, We bought our place on East Bear Island before we purchased our first house. Many family and friends have shared wonderful times on East Bear Island. Best investment ever! It is now in trust for the following generation to enjoy. 🐻
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:30 AM   #31
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Quote:
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Thanks to everyone for all the great dialogue here !

Investment thoughts....
I'm thinking pork-bellies and frozen concentrated orange juice:
Call me 'Louis Winthorpe III'- from the movie 'Trading places', they made a killing $$$ !
Sell Mortimer, sell!!!

I'm 48 and planning on pulling the pin on full time work in about 10 years. Through my current employer's 401k and rollovers from previous companies I'm invested almost exclusively in growth funds - international, small/mid cap, S&P500 index and a target fund. Even though I will leave the full time workforce in 10 years, I'm not planning on touching those tax deferred accounts until I have to.

To help delay that process I'm investing my taxable savings in a couple different ways including a basket of dividend growth stocks. This site has done a ton of the work that helps me filter out companies that have a history of increasing dividends, shows payout ratios, dividend growth rates, etc. Buying these stocks and reinvesting the dividends leads to a nice compounding effect and while the stocks will get hit during a market downturn they tend to hold up better than others.

I've got a goal number for both the tax deferred and taxable accounts. When they are both at that number I will feel comfortable deciding to walk away. To figure out what those numbers were the first thing I had to do was come up with a budget. For me this was the toughest thing. X factors like health insurance, will you travel more, not having a mortgage, eliminating the hidden costs of working like commuting were difficult for me since my wife and I don't have a true budget that we put on paper now.

Once you're comfortable with your budgeted spending you have to figure out if your income streams will cover it. One of the often touted (and sometimes argued about) numbers is that you can withdraw 4% of your retirement nest egg and you will not deplete it for at least 30 years. Obviously there are many factors that impact that calculation - market returns, timing of taking the money out, how the money is invested, etc. If that 3 or 4% withdrawal coupled with other income (SS, pension, etc.) meets your budget needs you're probably further ahead than the majority of Americans so raise a glass and have a toast to yourself!
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Old 03-24-2017, 11:30 AM   #32
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It's always nice to have a plan but somehow life gets in the way and the plan goes off course. It could be for many reasons, the worst being health issues. We never know what lies ahead so try and enjoy life along the way.
I think the best investment I've ever made has been in family. I put all three of my kids through private schools then college with no loans and they all have great lives with great jobs making more money than I ever made. I have 4 wonderful grand children and hopefully more to come. That makes me feel like I've accomplished my goals. There were sacrifices along the way but it was well worth it. I always thought I would retire early but I'm 63 now and I have no regrets. Now I'm just waiting for Medicare to kick in and I'm done. My wife and I have worked hard our whole lives. Now it's our time and the lake house is calling us full time. No regrets!

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Old 03-26-2017, 10:10 AM   #33
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Interesting thread.

I feel I'm about 0 to 3 years from retiring, so I've been doing a lot of research also.

Lately I'm wondering, how much would be needed to retire here in NH.

If there are no debts, what would it cost for health care, electric, heat, food, etc. Of course home taxes vary based on what and where you own.

Lately I've been looking at http://www.firecalc.com as it seems to be a good indicator of what could happen to a portfolio based on history , but who knows as it's just a different type of crystal ball, but at least it isn't trying to sell you something.

It seems to be related to http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/ which has a lot of like minded people.

There is also www.bogleheads.org which is also interesting.

So how much of a nest egg do you think someone needs in NH to retire at the age of late 50's to 60 years of age and not have to worry about ever working again ? 500Ķ, 1M, 2M, 3M.... more? Less? Or does the amount vary too much depending on the individual?
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:52 AM   #34
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A pretty good rule of thumb used by many planners is that if you are properly invested (savings and cds don't apply here) you should be able to spend 4% of your portfolio annually pretty much forever. So probably a good estimate would be to figure your annual income required, subtract ss and pension income, then divide that amount by 0.04. For instance, let's say you need $50,000 per year cash to live comfortably, you have no pension and you get $1,600 per month SS. So $50,000 - ($1600*12) = $30,800 Divide that amount by 0.04 (4%) $30,800/0.04= $770,000. So $770,000 properly invested should be enough for that particular income. Where it becomes tricky is planning for inflation.

* Disclaimer, my advice and interpretation is worth exactly what you paid for it.
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Old 03-26-2017, 01:16 PM   #35
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What also gets tricky is when one spouse dies. You lose one SS. If you have pensions are they set up to transfer to the surviving spouse? If not, you may all of a sudden have a huge income gap. You may want to carry life insurance on one or the other or both to cover that loss of income. or at least mitigate it. That's an extra expense but provides stability of income at the time of death of one spouse. Sometimes a pension can be adjusted to continue to pay to a spouse at the pensioners death but that reduces the pension paid. The reduction may not be worth it and instead it may be better to carry a life insurance policy and just let the pension lapse at death.

And through it all the only certainty is that things will change in directions you never anticipated.
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Old 03-30-2017, 12:18 PM   #36
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My wife and I just went to a social security seminar last night. They are always trying to sell you their services at these seminars but there was no pressured sales pitch at this one. I did pick up some very good points so it was well worth the $18 and 2-1/2 hours spent. My wife is turning 62 and I'm turning 63 in a few weeks. We are both planning on retiring at 65 when our Medicare kicks in. One tip that I feel works well for us is for me to postpone taking my social security until 70 and use my IRA, my wife's 401K, plus her social security money to support our retirement years from 65 to 70 even if it means drawing down those funds. This way I maximize my social security check and if I pass on before her she still gets my maximum survivors benefit. It also lessons my tax bill as my minimum required distributions will be less after 70 1/2. Obviously you need a substantial retirement account to do this but it will work well for us. As far as investments are concerned, he just recomended that this is a time to take some profits and be conservative.
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Old 03-31-2017, 03:42 PM   #37
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Sorry, I never heard of a social security seminar. Sounds like a way to make some money. Everything ne needs to know is easily found in short time on the computer for free. A visit to the local SS administration office will provide one with the specific information for an individual.
Being a retired healthcare professional I really find disfavor with members of a profession always looking to make money of other members.

I am a retired workaholic and continuing aquaholic.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:31 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody38 View Post
Sorry, I never heard of a social security seminar. Sounds like a way to make some money. Everything ne needs to know is easily found in short time on the computer for free. A visit to the local SS administration office will provide one with the specific information for an individual.
Being a retired healthcare professional I really find disfavor with members of a profession always looking to make money of other members.

I am a retired workaholic and continuing aquaholic.
I've never hired a financial advisor and never will but any tips that I can get from a basically free seminar is always helpful. Yes, everything is free on the social security website but understanding all that's available and putting it to work in the proper order can mean the difference in thousands of dollars being left on the table. What I've found is people that think they know everything usually know nothing.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:40 AM   #39
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Default Annuities.

I did well with a number of DOD stocks, especially LMT. Now that I am retired and would like more income, I rolled the stocks into 6% minimum annuities tied to S&P 500 point to point. The 6% is enough annual income to complement my pension and SS. Just be careful how you roll your money because the IRS is very greedy!
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:29 AM   #40
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It's not a "one size fits all" solution. Everyone has different money situations that require different solutions. That's why, just going on the social security website and, reading what's offered is not the only solution for everyone. There are tax implications that will come into play for some, as in my case, that the social security website can't help you with.
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