The Tools Your Retirement Plan May Be Missing: Auto-Enrollment & Auto-Escalation


What are your goals for your retirement plan? Are you a plan sponsor reviewing your plan and wondering to yourself, “Why is my plan not performing competitively against others,” or even more so, “How do I increase employee participation in my retirement plan?”

The answer could be, as we will outline in this post, something as simple as adding auto features to your plan design.

Continue reading

Underestimating Retirement

The financial planning industry has overplayed the marketing line ‘what’s your number.” I am referring to how financial literature and commercials primarily focus on having a particular asset value (i.e. one million dollars) and once you reach that mythical dollar amount you can have a successful retirement.Continue reading

Five Key Risks (to your retirement nest egg)

You know how much is at stake as you set aside money for your future.  You understand that retirements don’t just happen, and you are willing to make small sacrifices now so you can enjoy a more fulfilling retirement later.  The problem is, unless your action plan includes strategies to address Five Key Risks, that nest egg you’re working so hard to build up may not be enough.

Here are Five Key Risks to your retirement nest egg and how to address themContinue reading

Changing View of Retirement Can Benefit Workers and Employers

A recent Merrill Lynch survey found that 72% of pre-retirees older than 50 said that their ideal retirement would include continuing to work in some form. As I interact with individuals who are nearing retirement, we frequently discuss what they plan to do with the next 20 or 30 years of their life. After hundreds of these conversations, my common refrain has become: “It is not enough to retire from something; you must retire to something.” Sometimes preparing for the financial part of retirement is a cake walk compared to getting ready for the non-financial parts. Also the fact that many people are living longer and healthier lives has led to a changing view of retirement.Continue reading

The Third Phase of Life during Retirement: No, No, No

Do you act the same today as you did 20-30 years ago?  Do you live the same lifestyle and spend the same amount of money at age 50, as you did at age 25?  If these questions seem ridiculous, why would you expect anything different from your retirement years?  When you think about retirement, and even when you are calculating the needed size of your nest egg, you may only be focusing on that first stage of retirement.  Continue reading

Eight Ways We Sabotage Our Conversations about Money, and How to Avoid Them (Part Two)

Successful retirement planning requires successful communication, but why do discussions involving money turn explosive so quickly? And what can we do to defuse the situation, accomplish our goals, and feel good about ourselves and each other when the conversation is complete?
This article completes the discussion opened in an earlier post, “Eight Ways We Sabotage Our Conversations about Money, and How to Avoid Them (Part One)”.  Here are the final five:Continue reading

Eight Ways We Sabotage Our Conversations about Money, and How to Avoid Them (Part One)

Sue looks back to the events surrounding the disposition of her father’s estate and says, “I’ll never talk to my sister again.” Ron remembers conversations with his siblings about his mother’s long-term care expenses and realizes he’s not going to enjoy the next family gathering, and may not even attend.

Successful retirement planning is not possible without successful communication, but think about the last conversation you had with a family member about money. Was it a pleasant experience or one filled with tension and stress? Did it help you accomplish your goals or leave you feeling frustrated about unresolved issues?Continue reading

The Second Phase of Life during Retirement: Slow, Slow, Slow

There are three different and distinct phases in retirement.  Initially, you will find yourself in the go, go, go phase.  You might call the second phase slow, slow, slow, later followed by the no, no, no phase. This post will focus on the second phase of retirement life, the slow, slow, slow phase (for more information on the active phase of retirement read our post on the go, go, go phase).Continue reading

The First Phase of Life during Retirement: Go, Go, Go

Retirement life can be described as having three distinct phases. The first one is go, go, go. The second is slow, slow, slow. And the third phase of retirement life is no, no, no. Many times when you think about your upcoming retirement, you’ll only think about that first phase, where you start doing everything you’ve always wanted to do. As soon as you retire, you may already have three months of travel, visits to the grandkids and hobbies already scheduled. But then what…

Continue reading

Preparing for Retirement Isn’t a Game

trafficlightHave you ever played the game “Red Light, Green Light?” One player controls the traffic light while everyone else alternates between stops and starts depending on what color is showing. The last three to five years on the way to retirement can seem a little bit like that game.

You come to realize you’re down to your last handful of working years. The imagination phase of retirement is behind you and you’re likely filled with joy and excitement of your nearing retirement. You may not have the exact date, but at least the year is coming into focus.

Continue reading