Why Dollar-Cost Averaging Is A Lousy Retirement Investing Strategy

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By Walter Updegrave, RealDealRetirement, @RealDealRetire

Let’s say you’ve got a large sum of cash you want to invest for retirement—a windfall, an inheritance, a pension payout, whatever—but you’re worried the market might tank just after you pull the trigger. What do you do? Chances are you’ll go with the strategy countless financial advisers (not to mention many of my colleagues in the financial press) recommend in such instances: You’ll dollar-cost average, or move your money into investments a little at a time. But a new study by Vanguard shows the smarter play is to take the plunge and invest all at once. More»

How Should I Invest If I Can’t Handle Another Downturn In The Market?

By Walter Updegrave, RealDealRetirement @RealDealRetire

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Ask Real Deal Retirement

I’ve always invested in stocks, but now that I’m nearing the end of my career I find the stock market way too nerve-wracking, and I just don’t feel I can handle another drop in stock prices. How I should invest?

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Don’t Let “Trump-O-Mania” Divert You From Your Retirement Strategy

By Walter Updegrave, RealDealRetirement @RealDealRetire

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Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump. Trump. Everywhere you turn these days people are hypothesizing about ways a Trump administration might affect your retirement prospects. But while this unrelenting focus may be understandable (and even possibly helpful), it can also be a bothersome distraction perhaps even enticing you to make moves you may later regret. Here’s how to put “Trump-o-mania” in perspective and keep your focus on preparing sensibly for retirement. More»

Is A 15% Savings Rate Adequate For A Secure Retirement?

By Walter Updegrave, RealDealRetirement @RealDealRetire

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Ask Real Deal Retirement

I’ve heard that I should save 15% of salary a year, if not more, for retirement. Is that figure correct and does it include any matching contributions my employer makes to my retirement account? More»

5 Ways You May Be Fooling Yourself About Your Retirement Planning

By Walter Updegrave, RealDealRetirement @RealDealRetire

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According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s latest Retirement Confidence Survey, 63% of workers claimed they were very or somewhat confident of having enough money for a comfortable post-career life. But when you look at how little many people have stashed away for retirement—the average 401(k) balance is less than $100,000—you have to wonder how accurate their self-assessment is. So how can you tell whether you’re being realistic about your retirement planning efforts or deluding yourself? Here are five ways. More»

Should An Annuity Be Part Of Your Retirement Income Plan?

By Walter Updegrave, RealDealRetirement @RealDealRetire

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Ask Real Deal Retirement

My husband and I have nearly $1.5 million in savings and are nearing retirement, although he has some health issues that may force him to retire sooner than we’d hoped. We like the plan our adviser has put together for us, but we’re unsure of the markets and are considering using some of our savings to buy an annuity for guaranteed income. Our financial adviser says we’re fine without an annuity, but we’re still unsure since neither of us will receive a pension. What do you think? More»

Can A Roth Conversion Help You Pass On More Wealth To Your Heirs?

By Walter Updegrave, RealDealRetirement @RealDealRetire

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Most people think of a Roth conversion as a way to generate tax-free income for their retirement. But a recent Vanguard study shows that converting savings in a traditional IRA or 401(k) to a Roth IRA may also be able to help you leave a bigger legacy to your heirs. The rub: Determining the extent to which your beneficiaries will benefit from a conversion—or for that matter whether they’ll be better off at all—may be trickier than you think.

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