Hamza Butt /

Welcome to age 70. Believe me, you don’t look a day over 69.

If you’re not quite to age 70, don’t worry…its coming sooner than you think!

What happens at age 70…or 70 ½ to be precise?

That’s the age Uncle Sam says you must begin taking a required minimum distribution (RMD) each year out of your IRA. And if you don’t do it, you’ll owe a 50% penalty on every dime you fail to withdraw on time, plus the taxes due. I’m not kidding – they are serious about this stuff!

Steven Depolo /

I once had someone come to see me about their mother. They described her as “totally obsessed with not spending money.”

Apparently she never went anywhere or spent anything, nor did she throw anything away. Her house smelled pretty bad due to all the old newspapers and magazines she kept.

She was widowed, but her late husband had left her with more than enough money. Her children would swear she never spent a penny of it.

It sounded like a plot from a reality TV show.

Junk Dynasty, maybe?

Ouachita Council on Aging

Life is a sum total of all our experiences, our growth and development, our hopes and our disappointments. 

It's a movement from conception to death. We move from one transitory stage of development to the next transitory stage.

As we move through in life, we learn to deal with our life experiences in our own functional or dysfunctional way. 

simplyrikkles /

You are retired. You live comfortably. Sure, no one would say you are rich, but you have more than you need; and whatever assets you may have left once you are gone, you’d like to leave to your children. Maybe some to the grand kids.

Do folks like you…need a will?

Yes, I believe you do.

First, let me offer a very clear disclaimer. I am a financial planner, not an attorney. So anything I say is simply my understanding of the law and should not be considered legal advice. For legal advice, see an attorney.

Secondly, if you have wills, make sure they are valid.

Hamza Butt /

Last week we identified four bases you need to cover in your planning for retirement income: you need contentment for emotional health, a baseline budget for financial health, and a budget for both expected big stuff and unexpected bad stuff to make sure neither causes your financial house to collapse on your head.

Hamza Butt /

Have you ever read or heard that on average you’re going to need 70% of your working income in retirement.

Be careful when mixing averages and real life. If I put one foot in a bucket of ice and the other foot on a hot stove, on average, I’m comfortable. But in real life…

There are four things you need for a financially and emotionally (yes the two are linked) healthy retirement:

Mario Mancuso /

Sometimes the dumbest thing you can do is not ask a stupid question.

Maybe you have no idea where to start in thinking about retirement planning. And so you think asking about it might be a so-called stupid question.

Well, if that’s you, it isn’t a stupid question – it’s a good one.

So congratulations for just asking! Asking is the first step to gaining wisdom. Acting on what you’ve learned is the second (and most important) step.

Craig Sunter /

Two sisters are fighting over Mom and Dad’s estate. Now, mind you, Mom and Dad are still alive and kicking.

One sister thinks Mom and Dad should give away most of their assets so they can qualify for Medicaid if one or both have to go to a nursing home. The other sister thinks that is a terrible idea and tantamount to bilking the government out of money.

So they come ask me what I think.

I think that when it comes to settling arguments between sisters, I usually try to speak out of both sides of my mouth, then duck.

Matthew Peoples /

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I’d like to welcome you aboard Retirement Airlines. We know you have a choice when you fly and we’d like to thank for choosing Retirement Air.

“The tower is telling us we’ve got some bumpy weather ahead of us….European debt down drafts are pretty strong still and we’ve got some pretty strong winds blowing out of the housing depression as well as some unemployment turbulence.

eltpics /

I find that the farther away an event is, the more willing people are to accept risk now in hopes of dealing with it later. But when later comes…

Why else would a 45 year old man keep telling himself, “I’ll do some retirement planning…when the kids are out of school.”

The same is true for many a 60 year old who says, “I plan to self-insure for long-term care,” when they may know very little about the risk they are now so blithely accepting.