February 2019 Best of the Web

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February has come and nearly gone. It’s time to share the best articles we’ve found around the web from the past month.

We have a little something for everyone this month. We start with two heavy hitters in the retirement planning space questioning conventional wisdom around creating retirement income.

Our articles emphasize the importance of understanding the math of retirement planning, but then using it to play to your strengths and serve your personal wants and needs.

We close with a fascinating interview with an early retiree struggling to find contentment after achieving his professional and financial goals early in life.

Retirement Income and Spending

Sequence of returns risk is frequently discussed in retirement planning literature as a reason to be conservative with spending. In The Extraordinary Upside Potential of Sequence of Return Risk in Retirement, Michael Kitces points out that we need to have flexible spending rules to address the risk of spending too little in retirement.

Larry Swedroe asks Does the “Bucket Approach” Destroy Wealth? He then provides a compelling argument that it does.

Retirement Planning Simplified

Mike Piper writes A Rough, General-Purpose Retirement Plan, combining a lot of the best available thinking about retirement planning into a brief, general purpose framework.

Richard Quinn writes 10 retirement lessons from a retired retirement pro.

Personal Finance is Personal…

Personal finance is personal. Thus the “right” answer is the one that works for you.

Brent Sutherland has a different, but thought provoking, take on investing than what we usually write about on this site. He writes 5 Reasons Why Investing For Income Beats Investing For Growth.

Grant Sabatier shares my unpopular opinion among personal finance “experts.” He hates budgets. He writes I’m a Millennial Millionaire. This Is Why Budgets Don’t Work.

But Math Is Math

You can be creative and flexible with how you apply personal finance strategies to your situation. But the rules of math are inviolable. Thus, it is important that you understand them.

Big Ern writes The Yield Illusion: How Can a High Dividend Portfolio Exacerbate Sequence Risk?

Mike Piper writes Why Delaying Social Security Doesn’t Provide an 8% Return.

Allan Roth gives a fair analysis of the benefits, costs and risks of annuities with An Annuity Hater Revisits SPIAs.

Thought Provoking Interview

Stephen Dubner interviewed Domonique Foxworth, former NFL defensive back and president of the NFL player’s union, on the Freakonomics podcast. After retiring from football, Foxworth went on to obtain an MBA from Harvard and became C.O.O. of the NBA players’ union, only to quit shortly thereafter.

The first hour of the interview provides a fascinating look behind the scenes at the business of sports, but if you’re not a sports fan skip to the last half hour of the 90 minute conversation. It focuses on Foxworth’s struggles to balance ambition and contentment while trying to find happiness after having achieved financial and personal goals early in life.

Dubner’s expert interviewing skills combined with Foxworth’s willingness to be honest and candid creates a fascinating conversation that many early retirees will relate to. At least I did.

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