Hello, and welcome to the Retirement Reboot-cast. That’s what I’m calling this special podcast series on my new book - Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track. The book was just published in January , so I invited some of my favorite experts on retirement to join me on the show to talk about some of its key ideas.
I wrote Retirement Reboot with a very particular group of readers in mind: people getting close to retirement who are not financially prepared. In other words, people who have not been able to save much -or anything - for retirement. They’re headed toward a retirement living only on Social Security, which typically replaces about 40% of their working income. Meanwhile, the rule of thumb is that most of us will need to replace at least 70% of our wage income when we retire.
The book offers a series of strategies for improving on that math. The key chapters discuss the importance of making a plan, timing your retirement and how to get the most from Social Security and Medicare.
But on this episode, let’s talk about investing for retirement - even if you’re getting a late start. The chapter of Retirement Reboot that addresses this topic walks through a simple approach to saving for retirement, focused on very-low-cost passive index funds. And, it illustrates that it’s possible to accumulate a meaningful nest egg even if you’re playing catch-up. That’s because the goal line is not the day you retire - your investing and returns from it continue well into retirement. My guest is Christine Benz, director of personal finance at Morningstar, one of the premier companies for analysis and research on investing.
I chatted with Christine about investing basics like the importance of diversification and balance and keeping fees low. We also get into a few of the more advanced topics, such as asset location and safe withdrawal strategies.
Click on the player icon at the top of the newsletter to listen to the podcast. You can also find the program on Apple Podcasts or Spotify (search for “Retirement Revised”).
Listen to the Rebootcast series
Next week, I’ll be airing the last episode in this limited-edition series about my new book, Retirement Reboot. I hope you’ve enjoyed all of these conversations with experts on key retirement topics, but in case you missed any of them, here are links to earlier episodes.
Introduction: An overview of the book featuring a conversation with Chris Farrell, senior economics contributor for Marketplace, the public radio program. Chris wrote the foreward to Retirement Reboot.
Let’s Make a Plan. Far too many people don’t take the time to make an actual financial plan for retirement – and that’s a real misstep. If you don’t have a plan, it’s impossible to know whether you are on track to meet your goals. My guests are Steve Chen, the founder of New Retirement, and Steve Vernon, the well-known retirement educator and author.
Optimizing Social Security. For most of us, Social Security will be the most important retirement benefit – full stop. Decisions about when to claim can make a big difference in your lifetime income. For this episode, I invited two of the most knowledgeable people I know on the topic of Social Security claiming. Mary Beth Franklin is a contributing editor at Investment News magazine, specializing in Social Security, Medicare and Retirement income. Bill Reichenstein is a professor of investment management at Baylor University, a co-founder of Social Security Solutions – a company that has developed a terrific set of online software tools that help individuals and financial professionals sort through claiming decisions. He is the co-author of a book titled Social Security Strategies: How to Optimize Retirement Benefits.
Navigating Medicare. Along with Social Security, there’s nothing that will have a more important impact on your retirement security than making smart choices about navigating Medicare. Joining me are two top Medicare experts: Tricia Neuman, executive director of the Medicare program at the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Fred Riccardi, president of the Medicare Rights Center.
Retirement Reboot in the news
I was a guest on the terrific Friends Talk Money podcast, which is hosted by Rich Eisenberg, Terry Savage and Pam Krueger. The video is below, or listen here. Rich also interviewed me about my six core ideas for improving your retirement outcome for his MarketWatch column.
I also joined Chuck Jaffe on his Money Life radio show to talk about the book. Here’s the episode, our conversation starts around the 17-minute mark. Or listen to it below:
Checked your Social Security statement lately?
If you have not yet claimed Social Security, and haven’t downloaded your Social Security statement lately, this would be a good time to do it. The statements have been updated to reflect the historic 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment, so your projected benefit just got significantly larger. The new number should be plugged into whatever retirement planning software you (or your financial planner) are using.
If you are 62 or older, your future benefit is adjusted to reflect the annual COLA.
If you haven’t set up your free online account with the Social Security Administration, go ahead and do that. This is where you can access your statement, claim benefits and transact other business with the SSA.
What I’m reading
The art of asset location . . . Senior housing that seniors actually like . . . An alternative, optimistic take on population decline . . .Politicians want to keep money out of ESG funds, but it might backfire . . . Did your health plan rip off Medicare?