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

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It’s been a good year at 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 deliver practical, do-it-yourself commentary on the real issues in a prudent, retired lifestyle. I hope the publicity won’t ever distract me from that. It’s a challenge to keep this blog from becoming a full-time job.

I love the writing, and being creative and productive. But I am retired, after all. And enjoying life is also a top priority at this stage of the game!

With that in mind, I’ll be taking most of the rest of the summer off from posting. Rest assured that I have an endless supply of interesting financial topics to explore, and dozens of article ideas in various stages of development. And I won’t be completely out of touch: I’ll continue to do my best to answer emails from interested readers.

I’m indebted to you all for your continued support, your comments, your questions, and your stories. My efforts wouldn’t mean much without your involvement. So stay in touch, but be sure to enjoy the rest of your summer too!

Meanwhile, before I head up into the mountains again, let me share some money news, calculator reviews, and the first ever subject index for this blog….

Money Magazine

A few months ago I was invited to start writing a regular column for Money Magazine. So I get the opportunity to cover some of the same personal finance terrain as in this blog, but from a different perspective and for a broader audience. (You can continue to read here for my most in-depth and personal writing.)

Money has a crisp new site under the TIME banner, with lots of interesting content. If you haven’t checked it out yet, or haven’t seen my columns there, here they are:

More Retirement Calculator Reviews

The reviews I’ve written of free retirement calculators continue to be the most popular posts on this site. There is clearly a need for in-depth information on the technical merits of these essential tools for financial planning. There are lots and lots of retirement calculators, and they are not all created equal. But, until I wrote my articles, there wasn’t much available in the way of unbiased comparison using real-world retirement scenarios.

Now another authoritative voice has entered the scene.

Stuart Matthews at Pralana Consulting has undertaken an extensive, technical comparison of numerous free and paid calculators. Stuart divides his field of calculators into “High” and “Low Fidelity” offerings — a valuable distinction, in my opinion. Some calculators offer a high degree of precision (assuming that inputs are known and don’t change). But other calculators are only suitable for “quick and dirty” estimations.

The Pralana evaluations feature extensive charts on the features, useability, and accuracy of each calculator. Matthews also performs a comprehensive tax analysis for the different calculators — food for thought on how important tax modeling is to your retirement planning. Finally he provides extensive comments on each calculator, including a Trustworthiness rating.

These evaluations are the most comprehensive available, to my knowledge — required reading if you are concerned about accurate planning for your retirement.

New Subject Index: Don’t Miss Out

I started this blog in the Fall of 2011 and have been writing several articles a month, on average, ever since. There are now more than 100 articles on the site, reflecting years of research, learning, and experience.

Many of you are newer readers who may not know about popular articles or subjects of the past. It’s natural to focus on more recent posts — the latest and greatest. But, in fact, most of the past posts here also remain highly relevant.

So, to help newer readers, or anybody searching for information on a specific personal finance subject, I’ve created a first-ever subject index for this blog.

Below is a link to the topics available under my broader umbrella of “saving, investing, and retiring,” along with a listing of all relevant articles under each topic.

From annuities, to frugality, to passive index investing, to real estate, to RV’s — there’s something for everyone.

If you haven’t acquainted yourself with all the articles, why not take a few minutes now to see what you might have missed, by clicking here: Subject Index.

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