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10 Tips for More Accurate Retirement Calculations

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Retirement calculators are not all created equal. And the differences between them are more than just an academic issue. Why? Because you’ll be using these tools to make one of the most important decisions of your life. If you’re approaching retirement, or want to someday, either you or an advisor will likely use a retirement calculator to answer the critical question: Do you have enough to retire in safety and comfort?

Unfortunately, even the best retirement calculators compute answers that can vary by 100% or more for the same retirement scenario. These are calculators developed and tested by leading financial experts and engineers. If they have difficulty achieving precision, what should the rest of us expect?

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The Best Retirement Calculators

Black calculator

What's so important about retirement calculators? Why are these tools of more than just technical interest? Well, they're important because either you, or a financial planner, will use the results from a retirement calculator to make one of the most … [Continue reading]

Should You Be a Dividend Stock Investor?

Dollars domino

Dividend stock picking is the most compelling investment strategy that I've never tried. I've been tempted several times over the years, including recently when we had some new money to invest. The arguments for holding more dividend-paying … [Continue reading]

Should You Work One More Year?

Strand hill

I'm "retired," but I took this past summer off anyway. I wrote less on the blog. I postponed some personal projects. And, I worked on my bucket list -- doing the things I couldn't do while working full time, while raising a son, while living back … [Continue reading]

Annuity Shopping: Time to Buy a Deferred Income Annuity?

Dollars through hourglass

I want to buy an annuity. As I've written before, they make sense to me, in theory. In practice, I'm having a hard time pulling the trigger…. We received a modest inheritance. It doesn't change our financial picture substantially, but it does … [Continue reading]

The Good News About Retirement

Lake peak

There is no shortage of bad news about retirement: The population is aging. Workers haven't saved enough. Market returns will be lower going forward. Inflation is bound to return. Health care is expensive…. Many of you, even those who are … [Continue reading]

Money News, Calculator Reviews and What You Might Have Missed…

Card file

It's been a good year at CanIRetireYet.com. There are tens of thousands of visitors here every month. This blog is mentioned often in major media, and I frequently turn down opportunities for more publicity. My primary purpose is still to … [Continue reading]

Our Retirement Expenses: Where Does the Money Go?

Dollar bills flying away

What will it cost you to live in retirement? You may be asking this question as you plan your future. You could try to answer it by looking at national statistics on living expenses. The Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor … [Continue reading]

Y2K and Black Swans: Investing for the Next Crisis

Black Swan

It was late 1998 and I had traveled across the country to present at a software conference. In the lobby of the hotel was a group handing out literature on the impending "crisis" that would become known as "Y2K" (Year 2000). I hadn't heard of it, so … [Continue reading]

What Will You Do When You’re Retired?

Looking up RSB

"If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work." --Shakespeare Mention "retirement" at the office. Most people will be conjuring visions of sun-drenched beaches, lush golf courses, soaring mountains, or shimmering … [Continue reading]

Review: The Pralana Retirement Calculator

PRC scenario

The reviews of free retirement calculators here have been some of the most popular posts on the site. There are certainly some useful free calculators available. And since no one calculator has a corner on predicting the future, it's nice to have the … [Continue reading]

Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning

Mountain biker silhouette at sunset

Benjamin Franklin famously noted that "in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Death and taxes. Two of our least favorite topics -- also two of the most inevitable. In keeping with the generally upbeat mood … [Continue reading]

My Income Taxes: 2014

Velociraptor

Are taxes going to be your single biggest financial concern in retirement? A ravenous velociraptor stalking your financial security? Many pundits say so. Or, are taxes just another expense, and by no means your largest one? Despite their … [Continue reading]

Shopping Obamacare: Good Deal for Retirees?

Stethoscope over dollars

Open enrollment under the new health care law closed for 2014 at the end of March. There won't be another opportunity to apply for coverage until late in the year. There is nothing like a deadline to move someone to action. So, even though we are … [Continue reading]

Frugal Home Renovation: Kitchens, Bathrooms and More…

Building tools

Home expenses might be your single most important decision variable on the road to financial freedom. Buying and maintaining a home that's bigger or more luxurious than you need, is one of the most common detours along that road. The amount … [Continue reading]

Asset Classes for Early Retirement

Multicolor toy blocks

Asset allocation is the most important variable in your portfolio. The way you allocate your money to different asset classes will dictate the risk you take on. And it will likely prescribe the long-term returns you achieve. That's conventional … [Continue reading]

My Investment Portfolio: 2014

Stock certificates - 2

How do you actually manage your investment portfolio in a real-world retirement? Nearly every prospective or current retiree has this question. And there are lots of answers out there.... The article I wrote at the end of 2012 disclosing my … [Continue reading]

Having Kids vs. Retiring Earlier

Learning to ride

How does raising children impact the journey to financial independence? If you choose to have a family, does that mean you'll be working forever? Does electing to have no kids, or fewer kids, supercharge your way to wealth? And, should the desire for … [Continue reading]

My Retirement Fears

Lighthouse in storm

Reading my story on this blog, you might think I've got it made. Thanks to a high-paying job and relatively frugal lifestyle, I managed to save a large sum by the time I was 50, and retire early. Since then I've pursued new interests, … [Continue reading]

Retirement Withdrawal Strategies

Automated teller machine

You've worked and saved for years, most of a career. Maybe you're looking at a traditional retirement in your 60's, or you're one of the fortunate few who are able to consider earlier retirement. Either way, you've amassed a sizable nest egg. Your … [Continue reading]

Moving West – Part 2

Southwestern sunset

We've arrived. We've left our empty nest, downsized, and relocated from the southeast to the southwest. For the first time in five months, we, our vehicles, and our possessions, are all in one place. It's been a dramatic change in venue, and we're … [Continue reading]