Can You Be a Millionaire By Retirement?

One out of every six people in America today gets to retire a millionaire! That sounds fairly optimistic since most of us at some point in our lives dream of becoming one of them. One out of every six retired Americans is now retiring as one and that is from a documented report by online investing company United Income which analyzed data from multiple sources including the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The purpose of the study was to find out how retirees are faring now compared to previous generations and compare the results.

Not only is it possible to retire a millionaire, but it's fast becoming a necessity. Here's what you need to do to make that retirement goal.

One way I suppose to become a millionaire is to buy lots of scratch off tickets in your state lottery or to try to get on a quiz show like “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” but let’s be somewhat realistic here. There are other ways, aren’t there?

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Why What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Do you remember that old phrase of years gone by, “ignorance is bliss”? Even if you never have heard that one (although I doubt that), it is something that seems to be true. After all, you aren’t going to worry about that big pothole on the road just a few hundred feet ahead of you when you’re driving to work on this sunny morning—if you are totally unaware of it, right? How can you? You don’t know it’s there. You haven’t heard any problems about it and your mind is drifting along with the latest tunes on the radio as you sip your coffee from your freshly brewed homemade K-cup coffee machine that you made just 10 minutes earlier. Life is good. And then…kaboom! What you don’t know can hurt you.

When it comes to your finances, what you don't know can hurt you. Here are some basics to get you started on your way to learning what you need to know.

Funny thing about that “ignorance is bliss” thing, it has a tendency to sneak up on you and hit you squarely in the eye or even worse, your rear end and lower back like driving over a huge pothole does! That simply proves the premise doesn’t it? What you don’t know can and will hurt you!

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ESPP Exit: What’s Your Financial Advice for Us?

I can’t help but realize that writing this blog each week almost always involves me giving some advice about some money issue. Sometimes it has been very specific on things like saving money at the grocery store or preparing yourself for retirement and at other times it’s been more spiritual like when I refer to things that can motivate you and good money habits to develop that help protect your financial well-being.

My wife and I need to make a decision about what to do with her old ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Plan) shares. What's your financial advice for us?

Sometimes when I look back on what I’ve written, I realize I definitely have had a tendency to pontificate and yes, even ramble. I’m being kind to myself more than a little here. I really think writing a 2,000+ word post can lose even the most diehard readers. Who has the time for that much stuff to read on a regular basis?

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Why is Planning for Retirement So Damned Confusing?

Retirement planning is no easy task. Oh, you may think it is, but it never really is, at least it isn’t for most people. Maybe if you are lucky enough to hit the Powerball jackpot and win a few hundred mil, you may be able to just coast into a retirement and never have to worry, but seriously? I hope you aren’t actually trying to do that. If you are, your retirement plan sucks!

Planning for retirement isn't always easy, but it can be much smoother if you start early and avoid these mistakes. Here's what to do and what not to do.

There are a lot of things that go into your retirement planning. Obviously, factors like salary, debt, and expenses all will affect your ability to save, but also know this: there is no one-size-fits-all solution to planning and realizing the vision of your successful golden years!

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Your IRA RMD – What You Need to Know About Required Minimum Distributions

You may not have given it that much thought while you were socking away your retirement contributions over the years, but in every life, some rain must fall! The rain in your IRA may be that “special” time when you must start withdrawing funds from it. Many retirees taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their traditional IRAs may not know all of the ins and outs of exactly the right way to do it and avoid any penalties along the way if they don’t!

You need to make sure you know all the facts about your IRA RMD (required minimum distribution) so that you avoid penalties. Check out all the details here.

Making IRA RMDs: the What, When, and How

When you reach age 70½—and that’s about 3.5 million Americans right now—you need to know the ins and outs of required minimum distributions (RMDs). If your parents or grandparents are the ones moving into RMD-land, do them a favor and give them some really good advice and information about this subject ASAP.

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2019 Financial Resolutions You Can’t Afford to Blow

You know that you mean well. You always do, don’t you, when it comes to making new year’s resolutions. That diet you were gonna do to lose some weight, the smoking thing that you were definitely going to knock out last year for sure, and oh yeah, the garage that’s full of junk that you have been promising to clean out since 2007, but this is the year, right? You tell yourself every new year things like that and even more.

If your financial resolutions of the past never seem to materialize, perhaps it's time you made some S.M.A.R.T. goals. Here's how to make 2019 successful.

And of course there are those financial resolutions and goals that you seem to always set for yourself to do better with your money, but by the end of March you can’t even recall exactly what your goals were and where you went wrong along the way. Does that sound pretty familiar?

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Series I Savings Bonds: Save Money and Guard Against Inflation

Often flying under the radar these days and almost forgotten about in the 21st century is a really good old friend that I grew up with as a child: the U.S. Savings Bond. Originally developed as encouragement to save (called the “baby bonds”) in 1935 during FDR’s first term during the Great Depression, they eventually evolved into the E bonds that helped finance and pay for World War II back in the 1940’s (War Bonds).

Considering the low interest rates on most savings vehicles, Series I Savings Bonds are a great way to save money while guarding against inflation.

Like many things, it has changed since those days. As a kid in the 1950’s, I recall when I used to buy bond stamps and paste them into my bond folder. Eventually it grew and when held to a maturity date, it was worth $25. I used it then for some huge event in my life, like a new bike or some other big deal!

Years later, the E bonds became the alphabet soup letters of bonds such as F, G, J, K, H, and even HH bonds (which ceased being issued in 2004). Remember those? You would go down to your local bank branch and buy them at “half” face value, hold onto them until they matured, and eventually cashed them in doubling your money. The good old days, right?Continue reading“Series I Savings Bonds: Save Money and Guard Against Inflation”

7 Retirement Investment Pitches You Should Ignore

You’ve probably already heard of the many schemes and pitches designed to separate you from your money—emails from Nigerian princes, phishing scams, etc. But does your bull$h!t detector go off when confronted with a slick come-on for perfectly legal-but-somewhat-questionable retirement investment pitches? There are a ton of them out there and as you inch closer and closer to retirement, you are more likely to hear about them and yes, even get roped into a presentation by a so-called retirement expert!

As you near retirement, you'll hear all sorts of retirement investment pitches, but some of them are just plain BS. Here are 7 pitches you should ignore.

Retirement Investment Pitches You Should Ignore

That’s why I’m posting this today so you can get a heads up about some of these pitches that are often targeted to people just like you and I when planning our golden years in retirement. There are some investments that make sense in certain situations, but here are 7 specific BS pitches you should probably ignore!Continue reading“7 Retirement Investment Pitches You Should Ignore”