Pulling Your Retirement Levers

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How does your retirement equation work? When you finally retire, does your financial life go on autopilot, subject to precise mathematical rules?

three leversOr, is the retirement equation more a guideline than prescription? So your financial life after retirement is subject to a set of variables, but the end result — exactly how your wealth will grow or decline — is never precisely predictable….

In my experience, talking with many people nearing retirement, and hearing how they are advised by financial professionals, I see a stronger tendency to the first view of retirement than the second.

Financial advisers like to project certainty: They collect all your relevant financial numbers, punch them into the computer, and give you a 50-page printed report complete with graphs and projections. So financial independence and retirement become a “yes” or “no” proposition. Either you have enough, or you don’t.

But that’s not my experience of retirement, or the experience of many other early retirees that I know. Retirement is not a static equation with a simple “yes”/”no” answer. Rather it’s a journey or process.

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November 2019 Best of the Web

This month, we start with articles that reinforce timeless financial principles that are easy to forget. As we rush to meet year end deadlines, prepare for the holidays and start thinking about a new year, several articles explore the … [Continue reading]

Retirement Mindset Shift: Saver to Spender

mental shift of retirement

Tammy LaGorce recently wrote an excellent piece for the New York Times highlighting the difficulty retirees have spending down the retirement assets they worked so hard to accumulate. I hear this sentiment frequently in emails from readers. The … [Continue reading]

Should You Invest At Market Highs?

Market top?

A reader, “Joe,” recently wrote: I’ve been a traditional saver my whole life (55 yr old). Meaning I never informed myself on investing and put my savings directly into the bank. About a year ago I started to feel like leaving my job (I haven’t) … [Continue reading]

Maintaining a Small RV for Retirement Travel

Pleasure-Way Onion Valley

Ten years and almost 90,000 miles. It's been a decade now since we bought our trusty Pleasure-Way Excel TS Class B RV. Though the original purchase was a leap of faith, it's turned out to be one of the best we ever made. Our "van," as we call it, has … [Continue reading]

October 2019 Best of the Web

This month we have an excellent selection of articles and podcasts. For those of you struggling with your finances I hope you'll leave with both new information and inspiration. And for those of you firing on all cylinders financially, I have a … [Continue reading]

Manage Your Portfolio Like a Professional Investor

Money For the Rest Of Us Book

What does a professional portfolio manager have in common with an every day do-it-yourself investor? They should have a lot in common according to David Stein. Stein was a professional portfolio manager who managed billions of dollars for … [Continue reading]

How Does Home Ownership Fit Into An Investment Portfolio and Financial Plan?

Is House Investment

A great framework for developing positions and hypotheses is what Stanford professor Paul Saffo describes as strong opinions, weakly held. Using this approach, my ideas on home ownership have evolved over the years. Like most Americans, I … [Continue reading]

Summer Travels and Travails

Lone Pine

Ever since I started writing about retirement 8 years ago, I've stressed the importance of being active while you can, to minimize regret. Don’t defer your dreams. Case in point: I had hoped to spend this past summer trekking in the western … [Continue reading]

September 2019 Best of the Web

We have a collection of great articles and exciting blog news to share this month. There is a lot of angst about market bubbles and pending recessions, so we kick things off there. We also share some great resources for those grappling with … [Continue reading]

The Stages of Financial Independence

Approaching summit

I started reading this blog about five years ago, when I was literally asking myself the question "Can I Retire Yet?". I desperately wanted to escape a career that dominated my time and left me feeling burnt out. Reading this and other blogs was … [Continue reading]

Making the Transition From Spender to Saver to Achieve Financial Freedom

Today, I have an interview with Rob Berger of Retire Before Mom & Dad. I’ve gotten to know Rob through the blogging world over the past couple years. You may be familiar with Doughroller, the popular blog and podcast he started. He is now also … [Continue reading]

Because You Never Know


I spent the last week in Washington D.C. at FinCon, a conference for those who create digital content in the personal finance space. After long days, late nights, too much noise, and traveling cross country, I planned to take a week off from posting … [Continue reading]

Preparing for the Next Recession

downward arrow

A recession is coming. As long as the economy moves in cycles, a recession will always be coming. Right now there is more talk about a downturn than usual. You can't pick up a newspaper or click on a financial site without finding some discussion of … [Continue reading]

August 2019 Best of the Web

Each month we share the best resources we've found to help you save more, invest better, and retire sooner. Popular topics are building wealth, DIY investing, creating retirement income, managing risk, and limiting your tax burden to enable you … [Continue reading]

Playing Offense in Retirement

In a comment responding to my recent post about making better decisions in the face of uncertainty, a reader wrote: “Life is inherently risky. To try and compensate for every contingency is irrational. We can “what if” ourselves right into a straight … [Continue reading]

Paying It Forward — An Early Retiree Case Study

Mark Trautman

In our April Best of the Web post, I shared an interview with an early retiree who was a long time reader of Can I Retire Yet?. It was the most clicked on selection that month. This showed me the desire of those figuring out their own transition to … [Continue reading]

How Much Umbrella Insurance Do You Need?

penguin holding umbrella

What does umbrella insurance cover, exactly? Do you really need it? And, if so, how much? I recently reviewed our umbrella insurance policy. I've carried it for years, but without really digging into the details of the coverage. It was recommended to … [Continue reading]

July 2019 Best of the Web

Each month we share the best resources we've found to help you save more, invest better, and retire sooner. Popular topics are building wealth, DIY investing, creating retirement income, managing risk, and limiting your tax burden to enable you … [Continue reading]

Going Back to Work

Going Back to Work

Can I Retire Yet? It’s a profound question that many of us struggle with. After saving and planning for years or even decades, there is no easy answer. Many people stay in jobs and careers they are not passionate about and save more money … [Continue reading]

Using Rental Properties to Create Retirement Income

real estate retirement income

A few months ago, I crossed paths with real estate investor G. Brian Davis who asked if he could write a guest post for Can I Retire Yet? Using rental real estate to create retirement income is a topic of interest for many readers, and a topic Darrow … [Continue reading]