For markets, there’s one thing worse than bad news

This week's The Distillery is a nice and short piece reminding us why markets sell off. It's never really about the actual headlines, but the uncertainty around how the ever-evolving landscape can potentially impact earnings of companies, and therefore the stock market. Enjoy! Read More >

Put Purpose in Your Financial Planning

One of the most important questions we help our clients answer is, “What’s the money for?” After all, if the purpose of your financial plan was just to keep growing your nest egg, then the best financial strategy would be to keep working and growing that nest egg as long as you physically could.

Our happiest retirees have improved their Return on Life not by earning as much money as possible, but by using that money in ways that make every day meaningful. Here are three ways you can start planning to build that same sense of purpose into your own financial plan.

1. Put your gifts to their highest uses.

A financially independent retiree might consider time to be their most valuable resource. Now that you don’t have to spend 40+ hours every week at a job, you can organize your days around using your personal and professional skills to do work that’s important to you.

So, what do you do best? And, just as importantly, what do you enjoy doing? Somewhere there’s a community organization that could benefit from your pro accounting skills or graphic design background. You could volunteer as a tutor at a local school or adult education center. If you’d like to maintain some ties to your old professional world, you could start your own consulting firm or serve as a mentor to the next generation. Or perhaps your favorite part of the work week was the spare hours you could focus on exciting new initiatives. Could you grow one of those unrealized ideas into your own company?

2. Create a charitable giving strategy.

Do you feel an extra bit of joy around the holidays when you donate to families in need? With proper planning, you can make giving back a part of your year-round routine.

The most effective giving strategies usually focus on making regular contributions to a couple core causes that are personally meaningful. When you have a special relationship with a particular organization, it’s that’s much more fulfilling to see your generosity in action. You might even feel inspired to start your own charitable organization and work on building a legacy that could impact your community for generations.

3. Have some fun!

Some retirees embrace an “endless weekend” mentality about their retirement. That can be a negative if your typical weekend involves lots of time on the sofa watching television.

But if you’re the kind of person who packs as much fun as possible into your off days, you might really enjoy filling out a new daily retirement schedule. Set a few weekly tee times with your retired friends and family and see how low you can get that handicap. Take your spouse out for date nights at your favorite restaurants – and between courses, start planning that dream vacation you never found time for when you were both working. Try a new exercise routine. Schedule some extra trips to visit your grandkids and catch their soccer games and dance recitals.

Perhaps most importantly, give yourself some space to experiment. Very few seniors get retirement right on their first try. It’s possible that some things that made you feel purposeful when you were working don’t excite you as much at this new stage of your life. Be open to new experiences. Follow your curiosity.

And if you ever feel your financial plan and your sense of purpose drifting apart, that’s where we come in. We can review your plan and work through some of our interactive Life-Centered Planning tools to reestablish that connection and make sure you’re getting the best life possible with the money you have.

Can I Give my QCD to a DAF? And Other Questions

This week's The Distillery kicks off our tax planning content, as we head into year-end. QCD's have been around for a few years now, but the strategy is certainly worth a refresher, especially if you're both charitable and taking RMD's. Enjoy! Read More >

Should You Buy a Home in the US?

This week's The Distillery is an article written by one of the more famous present day economists and author of Irrational Exuberance, Robert Schiller. He pens a response to a reader who disagrees with his views on the housing market and I think it's worth reading for the varying perspectives Schiller walks us through, especially considering the current real estate environment. Enjoy! Read More >

Nobody Should Overpay For A College Degree

This week's The Distillery is an eye opening piece regarding the markup on college tuition, and more importantly, how to bring pricing back down to fair market value and save some of your hard earned money. Enjoy! Read More >

10 truths about the stock market

This week's The Distillery is a wonderfully compiled list of stock market truths by Sam Ro of TKer. As investors, we often have a hard time separating headlines and noise from truth and historical context. Even if you believe yourself to not be a part of that group, you'll enjoy this read. Read More >

A Problem with the Quantified Self

This week's The Distillery is a quick and entertaining piece reminding us that technological advances within the quantified self and wellness app world don't come without their own drawbacks, namely noise. Much like investing, noise most often works against you.   Read More >

Can Your Medicare Choice Affect Your Return on Life?

We're heading into Medicare's annual open enrollment period. Whether you're a new retiree or a current Medicare enrollee who wants to review your coverage, you only have from October 15th through December 7th to buy or change plans. To make sure you're getting the coverage that you need, review this week's The Distillery for four important questions about any plans you're considering.

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How to Build a Montage Career

This week's The Distillery is an interesting piece highlighting the many options we all have to pursue the work we love while also earning income or enjoying retirement. With so many people seemingly in transition over the last year and a half, it helps to know there are options for what may seem like uncertainty ahead. Enjoy. Read More >

How to Win Any Argument Over Investments

This week's The Distillery is not a time sensitive topic, but more of a reminder that any investment can be sold as a "better" investment than another based on the presentation of the facts. My favorite part of this week's piece is the takeaway though. Enjoy! Read More >