This is the first of my Bogleheads’ Retirement Planning series.
The ultimate question is simple: how much do I need to have when I “retire” to be able to live for decades on the proceeds?
It’s worth getting over the hump of the definition of retirement, because it always seems to come up as a side topic in retirement discussions. Retirement, to me, isn’t buying a boat and spending all day golfing.
…Especially since I’d rather just take a group walk through a park instead of hitting and chasing a small ball in the process.
To me, retirement is getting out of a 40 hour a week job and working on things I love, even if they’re less profitable. That might mean I only work 15 hours a week for pay. Or that I publish a novel every couple of years, rather than racing to meet deadlines. Or that I join the Peace Corps and do something, you know, useful.
Whatever. Retirement is being out of the crunch.
Continue reading Bogleheads’ Retirement Planning: Determining a Retirement $$ Goal
I finished The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning last week, and I have to say, it’s the single best resource on retirement planning that I’ve seen or read so far. Hands down. Other books might add more depth to particular areas or have different approaches, but this book has given me the crucial vocabulary and background to know where I need to research further.
Each chapter is written by different combinations of writers (with repetition) and touches on everything from how much to save, how taxes work, retirement account and plan types, investment strategies, how to withdraw for retirement (including some tax minimization strategies), and what to do when fecal matter hits the rotary impeller (divorce, nasty debt, etc.).
That said, it’s not a personal finance book in the popular sense. It includes some ideas on how much to save, but doesn’t throw out anything like “save 15% of your income” or get into coupon clipping. If you need to save $10 million to have the post-retirement lifestyle you want, then you need to figure out what that means on a paycheck-to-paycheck budgeting level.
…If $10 million is what you need for self-sustainability, you may want to switch to cat food (much tastier than dog food!) now so that you can eat well later.
Continue reading Bogleheads’ Retirement Planning: Hitting the Highlights
I finished The Spook Who Sat By the Door yesterday morning. Sam Greenlee has one hell of a knack for sharp writing, and regardless of my not being a proponent for militantism, the book struck a chord with me. Greenlee got at the heart of the loneliness of being black in a nation and profession that both expects you to act white “enough” (but only so much) and simultaneously disdains you for doing so (as you disdain yourself). It was and is a fine line to walk.
There are going to be spoilers here, but nothing that actually ruins the novelty of the book, I hope.
Continue reading The spook who counted her money
I mentioned this obliquely a couple of weeks ago, but I’m wigging out a bit about retirement. In 39 years I will be 65, and I don’t have solid plans with numbers behind them. Socking away $5k a year into an IRA just isn’t enough.
Back in the day, I loved, loved, loved Microsoft Money’s Lifetime Planner. It asked you all sorts of questions about when you were going to have a kid and how much you were saving in various accounts, their expected returns, how much you thought you needed to live on in retirement, etc. Then it crunched the numbers and gave you a big graph showing your projected savings and if you could make your goal.
Continue reading Mo’ money, mo’ problems: a retirement app idea