(Today's post was suggested by my daughter, who keeps an eye on Gen Y financial issues...) Shortly after Hallowe'en, MSN put up a scary article about Generation Y needing to save (spoken, of course, in a creepy Dr. Evil voice) two million dollars for retirement. And if that's not frightening enough people, the article also claims … [Read more...] about Do you really need $2M to retire?!?
Money Management & Personal Finance
It's been a while since I've discussed the choices of retirement planners and their strengths/weaknesses. If you're new to this blog (or if you've discovered this post through a search engine) then you might want to read about the problems with retirement calculators. They all have problems (no matter how well they work or how user-friendly they … [Read more...] about Retirement planners and calculators (part 1 of 2)
I've researched the state of the art in retirement calculators, and I'm splitting the results into at least two blog posts. For a retirement-calculator geek, I think the best websites are still FIRECalc and FinancialEngines.com. However, all calculators have their flaws and let's face it-- neither one is simple to use. They're both complex in … [Read more...] about USAA on retirement calculators
What if 4% is all wrong? By "4%" I mean the method tested by the Trinity Study over a decade ago. It determined a portfolio would survive for 30 years if withdrawals started at 4% of the portfolio's initial value and then were raised each year by the rate of inflation. Skeptics point out that the Trinity Study is based on a narrow slice of U.S. … [Read more...] about Is the 4% withdrawal rate really safe?
Many of us Boomers are caring for aging parents, but nobody seems to talk about it. Maybe we don't like to contemplate the foreshadowing of our own mortality, or maybe society deems it to be selfish complaining. Yet if the subject happens to come up in a Boomer conversation, then everyone has their story. Some of them are happy, a few are sad, and … [Read more...] about Geriatric financial management
Day 61 of our familyroom renovation. Under the dubious logic of "Might as well...", my spouse and I agreed that it seemed like a good idea to expand beyond the familyroom to add new baseboard moldings in the kitchen, livingroom, and diningroom. This despite those three rooms being already filled with furniture from what used to be our familyroom, … [Read more...] about Protecting military with the SCRA
I'm a tech geek, but being a bleeding-edge early adopter is more hassle than benefit. For example I've been a photovoltaic enthusiast for over three decades, but we weren't in a good position to "go solar" until after I retired from the military. I was all over computers in the 1970s and an early Internet user in the 1980s, but we didn't buy our … [Read more...] about Personal finance, mobile banking, and mobile wallets
(Today's post was inspired by reader Bridget, who also contributed a large portion of the book's chapter on Reserves and National Guard. Thanks again, Bridget!) Do military retirees need more medical insurance than Tricare? For the vast majority of us, the answer is "No". America's healthcare system is confusing, and military healthcare can be … [Read more...] about Medicare, Tricare For Life, Medigap insurance, and Congress
Today's (lengthy) post has been inspired by a reader question. Let me try to stop sounding like a USAA fanboy for a few paragraphs and talk about the issues of pricing and service. "Some of my relatives use USAA and the costs on the services they get are cheaper than what we pay. Which USAA services did you find to be higher than … [Read more...] about Pricing insurance and investments
The last post described USAA's business model and why they favor member services over profits. This post shares their answers to your questions. But first, I've been reminded that all is not necessarily sweetness & light at USAA HQ. After several days of persistent followup I found a scandalous complaint: the parking at their campus is really … [Read more...] about Answers to USAA’s questions