Estate & Financial Planning

Financial Planner Pointing to a Graph

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” This page is the home of articles about setting goals and making plans for the future.

Whether it relates to big picture money management or arranging for the orderly distribution of your estate, you’ll find it here.

Topics of interest include budgeting, income and expense forecasting, preparing a will and/or trust, powers of attorney, living wills, beneficiary designations, estate tax issues, and even selecting a financial planner (if you you need one).

Defining Financial Independence

by Michael on Mar 20, 2014

If you prowl around the internet a bit, it won’t take you long to find someone chronicling their journey toward “early retirement.” Of course, what these individuals are seeking isn’t really early retirement, but rather financial independence. In other words, they’re trying to reach the point at which they no […]

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Wise Words From Warren Buffett

by Michael on Mar 6, 2014

Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders has always been a treasure trove of investing insight. This year’s letter, which was recently released, is no different. Among other things, Buffett urges individuals to stay within their “circle of competence,” saying that: “Most investors, of course, have not made the study of […]

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How do you think your spending will change in retirement? Will it increase? Will it decrease? Or will it stay the same? When it comes to retirement planning, investors are often advised that they’ll most likely spend considerably less in retirement than they do during their working years. After all, […]

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Setting Financial Goals for 2014

by Michael on Jan 1, 2014

Welcome to 2014! I’m not sure about you, but we don’t have any major, life-changing resolutions for the year ahead. That said… We do have some financial goals for the next 12 months. What sort of goals? Since we don’t have any debt, we’re primarily focused on our investment accounts.

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In response to my recent post about estimating the true cost of ongoing spending, a reader (and blogger) named Edward said: On the flip side, I’m on track to have a fully funded retirement when I am ready to retire. Why forgo a pleasure now to have more money than […]

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Net worth is a common measure of wealth. At the same time, different people tend to define it in different ways. In its purest form, net worth is calculated as assets minus liabilities. Essentially, the amount of money you’d have if you sold everything that you own and paid off […]

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In case you missed it, Vanguard recently released data looking average portfolio size and stock allocation as a function of age. It’s an imperfect analysis in that it focuses on retirement plan participants at Vanguard. Thus, it’s a non-random sample and limited to defined contribution plan holdings. But still… Those […]

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How Much to Save for Retirement

by Michael on Aug 16, 2013 · 1 comment

Have you ever wondered how much you need to save to ensure a comfortable retirement? Thanks to retirement researcher Wade Pfau, who used historical data to identify the so-called “safe savings rate,” we have an answer. He investigated both the “maximum sustainable withdrawal rate” (MWR) and the “minimum necessary savings […]

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