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Showing posts from November, 2016

Top 7 Retirement FAQs

On Web sites FAQs are Frequently Asked Questions. They are the inquires that occur often enough to be predictable. The questions are followed by short, to-the-point answers that sometimes actually answers the questions. Here are my responses to the most common satisfying retirement FAQ over the past 6+ years. Each also has a link to a post that deals with that subject in more detail:

1) How much money do I need to retire? Enough to live comfortably and handle most emergencies. You will probably end up needing more than you think. If you live in Scottsdale, La Jolla, or West Palm Beach, a lot more. Don't believe all the "rules" about how much you have to save or how little you can withdraw each year and not risk running out of money. Life is a constant adjustment to situations. No one can predict what the future will be like or how you will want to live. Stay flexible. But, I will say that the oft-used $1 million figure isn't necessary. 
Link:How Much Money Do I need To…

Online Thieves Are Looking For You

The holiday shopping season has begun in earnest. Projections are a 10% increase in online sales over last year, which already set records. Unfortunately, that means a growing opportunity for those who want to separate you from your money, your online identity, or plant an infected piece of software on your computer.

I received information from Enigma Software Group, a company that markets anti-malware software. There were sobering statistics on the spike in growth of this dangerous phenomenon.  The company also gave me some tips to pass along to help keep you safe. Be on high alert for:

1) Spam emails and links promising great deals. Malware makers know that people will be on the lookout for great prices on everything from Xboxes to phones. They'll send bogus emails promising super low prices.

And those emails will contain links that can install malware if they are clicked. The bad guys will also post bad links in Facebook and Twitter accounts that they hijack.

2) Fake emails that …

Happy Thanksgiving

Though the contentious election season is finally past us, there remain powerful feelings and a sense that we have a long season of healing.

Even more than most years, for this day I want to keep my focus on the good things in my life, and that starts with family. As we gather together, all the other problems will disappear and become unimportant, at least for a day.

I also must thank my faithful readers. For over six years you have made Satisfying Retirement a labor of love for me. You are part of my family, too.

God Bless you and yours on the day to remember the good things in our life. 

Happy Thanksgiving,

Bob, Betty, and Bailey 


The #1 Problem With Our Health Care Future

No, it is not the massive increase in ACA premiums for those who must buy on the individual market. Nor is it the similar increase in deductibles and copays for the health insurance that the 80% of us who get coverage through our jobs must face. 

No, it is not the consolidation of the industry, where a handful of companies control our options. Nor, is it the immoral increases in life-saving drug costs.

No, it is not the inability of our political "leaders" to arrive at a solution that works for those in need. Heavens, they refuse to even talk with each other, preferring threats and slurs instead. Nor is it the slow acceptance by most of us that our health is primarily dependent on choices we make in diet, exercise, and lifestyle. 

The Number One problem with our health care future is.....uncertainty.

Retirement is a period in our lives when we welcome many changes, new opportunities, new directions, a new sense of the possible. We take back control of the clock, our schedule. Bu…

Caregiving: A Burden or Gift?

I received the following press release about caregivers and those who are cared for. I found the results both encouraging and distressing. I' welcome your reaction.

SAN FRANCISCO – October 31, 2016 – As part of November’s National Family Caregivers Month, Honor™ (www.joinhonor.com), the fast-growing tech-powered home care company, surveyed ove3r 1,000 men and women ages 18 and older across the U.S. and found a surprising discrepancy in opinions and perspectives related to caring for aging loved ones.

The 2016 Honor Family Caregiving Survey revealed that age and experience have a strong impact on attitudes. In particular, a larger number of Americans within the consumer sampling who hadn’t yet been exposed to the caregiving process or personally tasked with the related responsibilities viewed caring for an older loved one as a “burden.” 
This same group also expressed far greater concern over the financial impact of providing care. Ironically, those who were already deep in the trenc…

Confessions Of a News Junkie

I blame it on the just-past election mayhem. I blame it on the ease of being constantly updated on a smartphone or tablet. I blame it on a personal weakness. Whatever the reason, I have spent way too much time looking at the news, opinion columns, and analysis of what is going on in the world.

With November 8th in the rear view mirror, I thought I'd be able to cut back. After all, the constant drumbeat of political news and non-news is over. But, no, that hasn't happened quite yet.

Obviously, the election of the President didn't bring a conclusion, a satisfactory ending to anything for a large part of the country. It only stoked the political fires that were already at a dangerously high level. After a few days of self-imposed exile, I was back obsessively grabbing for the phone much too often.

After a few years of receiving no morning newspaper I did break down. Waiting in my driveway six mornings a week is the Wall Street Journal. While I rarely agree with their editorial s…

Retire With Less Than One Million Dollars? Sure

From the archives. First published three years ago, these thoughts continue to be appropriate as 10,000 people a day retire.




According to many retirement advice experts, $1,000,000 is the minimum you need in your investments accounts to have a satisfying retirement. Others say you need something north of $2 million to rest easy.

As regular readers know, I tend to push back against such generalizations. How someone can draw a line in the sand and tell you what you must have or must do without knowing you and your situation is poppycock (I love that word!).  I offer suggestions and advice based on my experiences and feedback from readers, but I hope I am never guilty of telling you "my way or doom."

That being said let me offer some thoughts on how the non-millionaires among us can still retire and enjoy a fulfilling and stimulating life. Again, I will say these are thoughts from me. They may not work for you, or you may have even better ideas which I sincerely hope you will leav…

Aging: The Top 9 To-Do List

I am a sucker for lists. To-do lists, productivity lists, how to be happy lists, the best movies in a foreign language list...doesn't matter. I like lists. 

A good friend sent me this list. A Google search identified the source as Assaly & Associates, a banking relationship management company, based in Lebanon. The original list included 21 items. I have shortened it to nine. If you'd like to see all 21 items, the original article is here.


1. It’s time to use the money you saved up. Use and enjoy it. Don’t just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Remember there is nothing more dangerous than a son or daughter-in-law with big ideas for your hard earned capital. Warning: This is also a bad time for a [major] investment, even if it seems wonderful or fool-proof. They only bring problems and worries. This is a time for you to enjoy some peace and quiet.

2. Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like wal…

Today's The Day

To my American readers:

If you haven't already voted, then vote. Whatever you do, vote today. 

If you voted early, congratulations. You don't have to worry about long lines and unhappy people.

Watch, or don't watch the results tonight - they will be the same.

Wake up tomorrow with four thoughts:

1. It is over ( we hope!).

2. Tens of millions of your fellow countrymen will be very happy.

3. Tens of millions of your fellow countrymen will be very unhappy.

4. The sun will rise.



See you with a fresh post tomorrow. I have every confidence our world will still be here.


If Only I Knew This When I Retired

I  have been retired for 15 years. When I stopped working the world was a different place than it is today. 9/11 was still 3 months in the future. That event would shake up just about everything, including retirement. Financial planning and a certain predictability of how things worked would change almost overnight. Well laid plans would be shaken to the core.  

While still adjusting to a new world, our system suffered yet another huge shock just seven years later, with a recession that came close to an economic meltdown. It's ripples are still being felt today. I could argue that the contentious election cycle we are enduring is part of that ripple. 

Just because I had retired didn't mean I was isolated from the twin shocks of the terrorist attacks and the financial mess we found ourselves. In fact, in looking back I think those events may have had a greater effect on me mentally than if I were still getting a paycheck. I felt I had little control over my investments or economi…

Five Key Qualities of a Spouse, Partner or Friend

Relationships determine the success of your satisfying retirement. Humans are not built to be completely alone. Interaction with others of our species is essential to our mental , emotional, even physical health. 

Assuming that is true, then there must be some important qualities or traits exhibited by one person toward another that keeps us healthy and happy. There must be some baseline of interpersonal behavior we could look for in others, and follow ourselves. Here is my list of the top five qualities that experience has taught me are crucial to a long lasting relationship, be it marriage, partnership, or even a meaningful friendship:
1. Empathy: The ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes, to understand what motivates, disturbs, empowers, scares, and drives him is the only way to truly relate to that person's life. In a healthy relationship, one person should be able to empathize with what is concerning the other. This doesn't mean you must accept that line of re…