Can Carl Retire? Listener Questions

Thank you for all the questions and comments after segment one of Can Carl Retire?: Step 1, Dream Up Your Ideal Retirement. I'm answering each one personally and encourage you to keep them coming. Together we can work together to jumpstart our retirement plans in 2015. Here are a few of the questions that came in this week.

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Question from listener:

This is great... However a couple of points... I would love to hear his wife's input on what he views as their retirement future.. What he is espousing is a dramatic lifestyle change.. I would be surprised if she was completely on board.. Secondly, I don't understand the dramatic increase in monthly spending... 7500 to 12000. If they are happy with 7500, why the increase? I also don't understand why he hasn't been using a program like mint to track finances which is so easy and simple to use.. Looking forward to the next installment.. Thanks.

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Answer from Carl:

Thanks for your comments, glad you’re enjoying the discussion.  I have talked to my wife about doing a podcast with Roger and I, but she’s uncomfortable talking “publicly” and prefers to stay out of the limelight.  I have had deep discussions with her before and after my sessions with Roger, and we are very much aligned.  She’s enjoying the series (she and I listen to each podcast together).  She wants to move to the cabin and start traveling even more than I do!

The “dramatic” increase in spending is a good topic.  If you talk “Ideal State,” the $12000 would allow essentially no constraint on spending, which was the objective in “ideal.”  Realistically, we can get by on $7500/month, though I should note I realized after the podcast that the $7500 does not include medical insurance premiums (~$1500/m), so $9000 is really our “baseline” and will be used in the modeling webinar on Jan 30th.  I do use Mint & Personal Capital and am impressed with both.  The reason we chose to do our analysis manually was to:

1) Insure we captured everything, including cash spending, by category.

2) Allow easy classification for items which we’re spending on now, but will disappear post-retirement (e.g., if I go to Target and buy something for our current home, should I assume that will continue or will it end?).

3) Allow close personal involvement with tracking of every expense to insure I understand our post-retirement spending assumptions.  I do plan to move to Mint full-time post-retirement, as it’s much easier.

Hope that answers your questions, thanks for listening!

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Question from listener:

I know that Estate Planning is part of the 1/28 episode, and I am curious about how a financial advisor can help to coordinate efforts with an Estate Planning Attorney and/or an Accountant (for tax planning).  I have concerns that these professionals would potentially work independently, rather than in a coordinated manner.  Thanks for your helpful educational information.

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Answer:

Great question. If you work with a CPA and/or Financial Advisor, I think it is essential they be involved early in the estate planning process. Even if you are only doing basic estate documents (we'll discuss that in Step 4 on January 28th) they can help assure that you're not doing too little or too much.

If there is more advanced planning being done, it is even more important. In fact, I would suggest you start with your tax and financial advisors to set objectives and discuss possible strategies. They will be more in tune with you and your overall financial situation. Once the initial work is done, you can bring the attorney into the discussion to advise and execute the documents and strategy.

I've experienced first hand the power and effectiveness of all three working in a closely coordinated fashion. I've also seen some major missteps due to a lack of coordination.

Beyond estate planning, there is another major benefit of your advisors working together. Each can provide an ongoing check and balance on the strategies and recommendations of the other. A lively discussion on proposed strategies by your advisors puts you in a much better position to make smart decisions. This is one reason I am not a fan of "in-house" attorneys and CPAs. Best to have each advisor work as an independent advocate for you.

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Question from listener:

I am not able to attend the live webinar on January 30th. Will you have it available for replay?

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Answer:

Yes. I'll make sure that there is a replay available for a limited time. Check back on January 31st for details.

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Have You Dreamed Up Your Ideal Retirement?

Remember to dream BIG and not worry about all the details. If you're having trouble, send me an e-mail with your questions.