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Catch up on some of the latest posts with this week's roundup:
Now You or Future You: Which One Are You Planning For?
With every dollar you have, you make a choice: Do I use it to satisfy me now, or do I use it to satisfy me in the future?
And that is the fundamental tension with money, and in the practice of financial planning. When we think about personal finance, we tend to think about how to lower taxes, exercise stock options, max out our 401(k)s, etc. Those are all involved, of course, but they’re Step 3, at best.
Don’t let those very specific questions distract you from the biggest issue:
With this next dollar, do you want to give it to the Now You or the Future You?
Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Before Retirement: the 5 Most Important Things to Consider
by Shaun Carney, Bolt Financial Group
I recently taught a retirement planning seminar to 17 wonderful people that were within 5-10 years of retirement. A common question people were asking during our breaks was whether they should pay off their mortgage before retirement. I gave a consistent answer that no one seemed pleased with, “it depends.” And it’s true. So often, people want a black and white answer; however, everyone is different when it comes to this question.
Anytime someone gives you an answer without understanding your full financial background, you should be skeptical.
Why Retirement Needs a Rethinkby Morgan Ranstrom, Trailhead Planners
A few months back, I had an introductory meeting with a married couple who were hoping to retire within the next year or two. The wife made note that she was ready to retire a decade ago. Her job at a large corporation, which once had been glamorous, had been reduced to a glorified call service, where her every word was scripted and her every minute tracked. She was frustrated and burnt-out.
Their plan was for her to work until she could take social security at age 62. At that point, which would have been about a year from our meeting, their house would be fully paid off, and they felt they could handle the reduction in income. She desperately wanted me to tell her she could retire immediately. Though they didn’t have a great deal of financial flexibility, I was able to present one alternative that would allow her to retire as soon as she like (which inevitability involved some compromises). However, the husband was attached to the original plan and they decided to stick with that.
How (and Why) Freelancers Should Start Saving for Retirement
Some of the first questions I’m asked from new or prospective freelance clients are how much should I have saved for retirement? and how much should I be saving now?. These are good and important questions, and also ones that I have no answer for. That’s because there are some even more important questions that they need to ask themselves first, namely: “What does retirement mean to me?” and “Why is it worth saving up for?” My job as a financial planner is to help people achieve their goals; if those goals are muddy and unmotivated, any plan to reach them will seem pointless and be quickly discarded.