rokettube

 

Retirement Your Way
Last October I wrote about "Important Conversations" with adult children, concerning money, and concerning other issues. Since then, I've been learning about something that ties in, called The Conversation Project, which focuses on the talks we should have about end of life issues. In an ideal world, we all end our days without pain, able to talk lucidly with our lov... Read More
Retirement Your Way
It’s hard to find a discussion of retirement these days that doesn’t start out marveling at how retirement has changed. People living longer and healthier, not content to just sit in a rocker or play golf every day. True, but also not true. First of all, not everyone is living longer and healthier. By definition, half of all people die before their life... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Here's something I've noticed over the years: people often make important decisions based on taxes or other regulatory factors, rather than on what's truly beneficial for themselves or their families. Of course, we all want to avoid unnecessary taxes, and the government deliberately uses the tax code to provide incentives and disincentives. So it's natural, and prope... Read More
Retirement Your Way
My case is probably a little different from yours. A company has indicated a possible interest in purchasing my retirement software company. A few years ago I might have sent them packing – I tend to have a lot of faith (not always well placed) in the future of things I do myself . But having turned 60 this past summer, and finding myself thinking about when and how I... Read More
Retirement Your Way
A professional acquaintance of mine, Ruth Nemzoff, who teaches at Brandeis, recently sent me a copy of her new book, Don't Roll Your Eyes - Making In-Laws into Family. Though her topic is broader than just the retirement years, there is a lot of overlap, because most of the book deals with relationships between the generations - with the parents-in-law often being of ... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Not long ago, I started advising a woman in her 60s who had not done any serious financial analysis of her situation for a long time, maybe not ever.  But she was thinking she might not be working full-time much longer, and she had some other ideas of things she wanted to do (hoping to get paid for some of it, but uncertain of the prospects).  She was willin... Read More
Retirement Your Way
OK, I admit it, "The Golden Girls" was a very good TV comedy that I almost never watched. Nothing against it, just never had time to get into it, along with most other good television shows. But... The Golden Girls do have a lesson for us Baby Boomers looking ahead to retirement (and for many of us already there). Four friends maybe can't live together as cheaply a... Read More
Retirement Your Way
The recent news that GM and Ford employees – at least the non-union ones – have been offered a buyout of their pensions (instead of getting income for life, they can take a lump sum right now, and do what they want with it) has put me to work. I won't describe the work, which would be tedious, but the concept applies to a lot of us who are retired or thinking ab... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Many years ago, my sister and I were talking about our lives, and I remember telling her that one thing I wanted to do when I retired, because I didn't have time for it before then, was some personal volunteering.  I had in mind something regular and face-to-face, like working in a soup kitchen. Not long after that, in an unrelated conversation with my wife Lind... Read More
Retirement Your Way
To marketers, especially to marketers of financial products and services (not least of all those dealing with retirement), most of us are "middle market" consumers.  We're not poor, and most of us are not wealthy or even really "affluent" -- except for those with maybe a million dollars in financial assets, or annual incomes of perhaps $200,000 a year or mor... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Lots of things have me thinking about widows. Am I more surrounded by widows and widowers than I used to be, or am I just more aware of it as I get older? Some of both, I suspect. I just got back a few days ago from a trip to Oregon to check out long-term care facilities for my mother-in-law, the last living grandparent of my children, and thus a widow. My uncle i... Read More
Retirement Your Way
In a post last summer, I discussed a column from the San Francisco Chronicle that listed their personal finance columnist’s nominees for the “Eight Toughest Retirement Decisions.” One of the eight is “How to Budget.” In principle, it isn’t all that hard, and not all that different from managing your expenses before you retire. You just have to know what you can aff... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Just the other day a relative mentioned to me a couple he knew who exemplified the classic retirement failure – not a financial failure, but a failure of imagination, or desire, or maybe self-knowledge. You know this story. Married couple, husband retires, wife adjusts pretty well and has an active and interesting life. Husband does a lot of goofing off, plays golf w... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Of course, it really depend on who you are and what your situation is. But in general terms: If you are still working, and especially if you're young, do save, but think twice about putting all your savings into a tax advantaged retirement plan. You probably are not making big money yet, so the immediate tax advantage is relatively small. Interest rates are low an... Read More
Retirement Your Way
I recently met a woman who is doing what I would call “extreme volunteering,” and even wrote a book about it (Barbara M. Traynor, Second Career Volunteer, available at www.thetroybookmakers.com). Barbara is a single grandmother who, since she retired, has pursued a series of out-of-state volunteer jobs – including one as far away as Alaska – where she gets room and b... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Two weeks ago I wrote about financial loans and gifts to family, especially children. But there’s a bigger gift than money, and that’s letting your adult child move back in with you. Actually, a grown child moving back in with you might be a favor for him/her, or it might be a favor to you, depending who’s in need. Either way it raises important questions, such as:... Read More
Retirement Your Way
There are lots reasons to be a lender or giver. First, you probably want to help out a child, a parent, or perhaps another relative, if you can. Second, lending is a form of investment (you and, say, a child can both come out ahead if you have savings that earn a low rate of return, and the child has credit card debt at a high rate, so the child borrows from you at a ... Read More
Retirement Your Way
This is not always an easy question to answer. Probably, a majority of people do not need new life insurance as they head into retirement, but some do, and others may benefit from keeping insurance they already have. The most common reason for owning life insurance is to make up for your lost income if you die prematurely, so your family will not be thrown into pove... Read More
Retirement Your Way
I always (well, almost always) post my retirement blog entries on Thursdays, and since this Thursday is Thanksgiving, it’s a good time to talk about the importance of gratitude in retirement. Of course, gratitude is a virtue any day, and in any time of life. It undoubtedly reflects my own bias that I think of it primarily in terms of retirement. But I do think of r... Read More
Retirement Your Way
It might be you, it might be a parent, or it might be someone else you care about or feel responsible for. The time comes when living alone at home just doesn’t work any more. Maybe it was a long time coming, and some incident makes it clear that this is no longer sustainable. Or maybe it’s a stroke, or a fall, or some other health problem that comes out of the blue... Read More
Retirement Your Way
The “Social Portfolio” is a simple but excellent idea concocted by the late Gene Cohen, who was a gerontologist at George Washington University. He was thinking about how people spend their time in their older years, and in particular how, as we get older and older, we often become more isolated and have less and less to do. He attributes this to two typical realiti... Read More
Retirement Your Way
If you are retired, or retiring soon, you may be approached by someone offering you the opportunity to buy an annuity. This might or might not be a good idea for you, but frankly, it’s hard to know for sure. Annuities have some important advantages, and some important disadvantages. First, what is an annuity? In simplest terms, it’s the guarantee of a regular paym... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Traditionally, “legacies” have been financial: a bequest, usually at death, to families, churches, charities, and sometimes others. Most of us are pretty limited in what we can bequeath in this fashion, though. In fact, many of us will have little or nothing financial to leave behind. But even so, we still have a legacy, often an important one. We leave the impres... Read More
Retirement Your Way
And if you’re getting them for free, beware even more. Until about ten years ago, you couldn’t find a serious financial model to show you what might happen to you in your retrirement years. Now there are quite a few of them, but you might have actually been better off in the old days. The question most of these models is trying to answer is: how much money should yo... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Fundamentally, retirement is about two things: bringing to fruition what we’ve learned and done earlier in our lives, and preparing ourselves to wrap up our own story, preferably on a positive note. Relationships – whether intimate relationships, family connections, or friendships – are central to these purposes. We all can name old folks we have known who ended up ... Read More
Retirement Your Way
There is plenty of data, but no reliable data, about what percentage of Baby Boomers are in for retirement on a shoestring. My own rough guess is that about a third are pretty well off, either because they are affluent, or because they are not affluent but live within their means and have some savings and/or a decent pension plan. And that about a third are very bad... Read More
Retirement Your Way
I have to admit that Fred Thompson never appealed to me a lot, either as an actor or a politician. I always had the impression that what he was saying was not necessarily connected to what he was really feeling. Maybe that was just me, though. Still, when I started seeing his pitch for “reverse mortgages” on television commercials recently, I wondered whether his e... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Experts in retirement are all over the map on whether you should work after you retire from your career. Ernie Zelinski, who wrote one of my favorite retirement books (How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, although his take on retirement finances is, to put it mildly, optimistic), says, in effect, that you retire to have a great time and be free of all the unpleasantn... Read More
Retirement Your Way
In surveys, many older people say they are more afraid of ending up needing care for a long period of time than anything else in retirement, including death. The fear applies to both physical and mental infirmity. With physical infirmity, the main worries are loss of ability to do the things one likes or needs to do and, as a result, being dependent on others (especi... Read More
Retirement Your Way
You’ve probably heard about (or maybe even experienced) the classic retirement problem that many couples have. A spouse (let’s say the husband) who has been working outside the home retires and is suddenly home all day, while the wife who has had complete charge of the house during workdays and, with the children grown and gone, pretty complete freedom over her own r... Read More
Retirement Your Way
For a lot of us, by the time we retire, our 401(k) or other plan is our biggest asset - or for some people, second only to the equity in their home. But how much do most of us know about what to do with it?  Here are a few basics: While you are still working It’s smart for most people to contribute to such plans, especially if it’s an employer-sponsored p... Read More
Retirement Your Way
In this blog I like to emphasize how, in our retirement years, all our decisions should hang together, because everything naturally interconnects. Financial decisions connect with one another, non-financial decisions connect with one another, and financial decisions connect with non-financial ones. When divorce arises (and especially when it SURPrises), all of this ... Read More
Retirement Your Way
If you have done a lot of investing, or been in the market for a long time (for example, in a 401(k) plan), you have probably had some successes, and periods of time when it seemed like the stock market was a breeze. But if you have been in the market during the past few years, or even in the past few weeks, it’s likely you took a big hit. And while the stock market ... Read More
Retirement Your Way
When you reach the age of retirement, you also reach what we might call the “age of aging.” Of course, we age from the moment we are conceived. But during childhood and on into our twenties, aging is mostly a process in which our capabilities are expanding. Even in our thirties and forties, while we begin to show and feel modest declines in our physical selves, our ... Read More
Retirement Your Way
In last week’s Retirement Your Way blog, “where to live” was listed as #3 in Mark Cussen’s list of eight difficult retirement decisions. Let’s think about that one a bit. For a lot of people, this is not a difficult decision at all – at least it doesn’t appear to be. They like where they live, they might have even chosen it with the intention of living out their li... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Ten days ago, the San Francisco Chronicle printed a column by Mark P. Cussen titled “8 Toughest Retirement Decisions.” His list is a pretty good one and, omitting the explanations he gave for each of them (you can read the full text at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/07/18/investopedia54813.DTL), here it is: When to retire. When to be... Read More
Retirement Your Way
A study that came out last year reported that nearly 50% of everyone eligible to start taking Social Security at age 62 does so. This is sad news since, for most people, this is not the wise decision. Yes, it’s hard to resist. You’ve paid into the system for as long as you can remember, and now you can start collecting a check for the rest of your life just by aski... Read More
Retirement Your Way
A recent chat with Debra Hickok, a certified and highly experienced personal and professional coach here in Harvard, got me thinking about “passion and purpose,” especially for people already in the second half of life. If our lives are well in tune, the goals and passions that energize our lives reflect the deepest parts of our selves: our beliefs, life histories, p... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Let me tell you about two conversations I had in the past year or so with different experts in retirement planning. The earlier one, which took place last year, was with the syndicated columnist Humberto Cruz, whose articles appear in over 100 newspapers across the country, including the Boston Globe. We were talking on the phone, and he said he had gotten a letter ... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Ask yourself, and ask some friends your own age, this question: If you could know when you were going to die, would you want to? Most people answer No to this question. The uncertainty of not knowing, uncomfortable as it is, is more bearable – and perhaps a lot less spooky – than the certainty of knowing that it will all end at a stated time, and that there is nothin... Read More
Retirement Your Way
Two older people, each of whom I know well, take radically different views of what life offers.  One is in her seventies, but suffers from a disease that increasingly disables her.  Her life is already limited enough that most of what she used to enjoy is no longer possible, and she reacts with dread to the idea of having to live more than another year or so... Read More

 

Note: The views expressed by Harvard Press bloggers do not necessarily represent the views of the Harvard Press. The Press is not liable for opinions expressed in the blogs or for the accuracy presented there.
 

Latest Posts
CLICK AN AD!
Bird House Organic Land Care
Harvard Press Classified Ads
Jo Karen
Mike Moran Painting
Lisa Aciukewicz Photography
Jenn Russo, Realtor
Heather Morton
Dinner at Deadline
Harvard Custom Woodworking
Platt Builders
Erin McBee, Attorney
Kitchen Outfitters
Bull Run Restaurant
Apex Painting

CLICK AN AD!

Jo Karen Harvard Press Classified Ads
Mike Moran Painting Bird House Organic Land Care
Dinner at Deadline Jenn Russo, Realtor
Harvard Custom Woodworking Bull Run Restaurant
Erin McBee, Attorney Apex Painting
Heather Morton Platt Builders
Lisa Aciukewicz Photography Kitchen Outfitters