Blueprint: Can I Retire?

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The CanIRetireYet blueprints are easy one-page diagrams that capture the essence of important personal finance decisions. They intentionally simplify complex details to provide you with an overview, guideline, or refresher for the most common cases. Keep in mind that your situation could be different. For more detail and explanation, see the related articles below.…

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Can I Retire Blueprint


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  1. Barry Gray says

    Hi Darrow,

    Interesting flowchart! Where I get stuck is on the last decision: Have a trusted advisor or retirement fuel gauge? I think the fuel gauge is easy (maybe I'm mistaken) but the advisor sends chills up my spine. I'm met with "advisors" before and for the most part found them to be well-meaning but not particularly competent. I sure wish I could just turn the keys over to someone else, but no.

    A week ago my wife and I met with a CPA to discuss setting up another small business venture for my wife. The CPA suggested that we go see/find an "advisor." Finding them is easy. You could create another decision tree:

    * Fee-only? Check
    * Qualifications and certifications? Check
    * Good references? Check
    * Some years in the biz? Check
    * Recommend a 4% withdrawal rate? NO! Start over!

    I know it's not quite that simple. But an idea that comes from this (easy for me to give you work to do, hope you don't mind): create a posting for each of your decision boxes in your flowchart. Buuuuttt, start with mine. (!)



  2. Darrow Kirkpatrick says

    Thanks Barry. Note I said advisor OR fuel gauge!

    My experience with advisors is the same as you. Generally nice (they're in sales); competence all over the map. I feel anybody with a minimum of interest and number sense is best off managing their own money if at all possible.

    Thanks for the suggestion on another "blueprint" (choosing an advisor). I have a bunch of diagrams in the pipeline for the coming weeks, and that's a good one to add to my list.