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Keen On Retirement

Insights Blog & Podcast

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Stephany Bening Shares Her Remarkable Story of Faith and Forgiveness Thumbnail

Stephany Bening Shares Her Remarkable Story of Faith and Forgiveness

The power of the human spirit. Resilience. Forgiveness. Advocacy. Redemption. Character. Faith. These are just some of the words that came to mind when I reflected on our guest today, Stephany Bening, and the incredible story that she shares on this episode. Stephany and her children suffered a wrenching loss. But, guided by her faith, Stephany was able to turn that experience into a force for good that, hopefully, will make Missouri a lot safer and a little kinder for years to come.

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How Do Your Spending Levels Rise and Fall During Retirement? Thumbnail

How Do Your Spending Levels Rise and Fall During Retirement?

Are you planning to spend more money or less money once you retire? Many retirees would answer, "About the same," and that makes sense. Folks figure that what they end up saving in professional expenses (commuting, meals, work clothes) and childcare, they'll shift over to things like taking vacations, joining their local country club, and some quality-of-life upgrades around the house. Sure, inflation will drive up the cost of some goods and services by a percent or two every year. But most seniors aren't looking for a lifestyle upgrade in retirement, and they want to avoid any serious downgrades. Maintaining the status quo, with a few well-earned splurges here and there, sounds like a dream. Financial professionals and economists used to assume consistent spending was, more or less, a likely retirement scenario as well. But decades of research and analysis have uncovered a "retirement consumption puzzle." Most new retirees actually spend less money than they did while they were working. Retiree spending rates then continue to decline throughout retirement, even as inflation keeps pushing consumer prices upwards. Let's break down the retirement consumption puzzle piece by piece and explore how Keen Wealth's comprehensive planning process can help folks assemble a reliable retirement spending plan.

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How to Avoid Getting Caught Up in Financial Fraud  Thumbnail

How to Avoid Getting Caught Up in Financial Fraud

If you go back and skim the 200-plus episodes we've recorded of Keen on Retirement, you'll notice that every year or so, we devote an episode to the latest financial frauds and scams that are making the rounds. Especially as we head into tax season, it's important that folks remember the IRS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Social Security Administration are never, ever going to call you and ask for your banking info. We also regularly caution folks against clicking on suspicious emails or text message links, or making investments that seem too good to be true with the Bernie Madoffs of the world. On today's show, we talk about another type of financial "fraud" that's perfectly legal but potentially just as dangerous to your financial security: taking bad advice from unaccredited financial commentators and celebrities trying to further their own best interests, not yours.

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How a Financial Advisor Can Ease the Pain of Settling an Estate Thumbnail

How a Financial Advisor Can Ease the Pain of Settling an Estate

The pain of losing a loved one can be even harder to work through when you're tasked with settling their estate. As you're sorting through complex legal and family issues, you also have to worry about fulfilling your loved one's last wishes and ensuring that their legacy will live on. I hope this overview of settling an estate can help folks who are grieving work through the essentials as quickly and efficiently as possible. I also hope anyone in our audience who doesn't have an estate plan in place will understand how important it is to get your affairs in order and how a financial advisor can help at every stage of the process.

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Love and Community Helped My Mother Thrive in Her Golden Years Thumbnail

Love and Community Helped My Mother Thrive in Her Golden Years

Just after midnight on New Year's Day of 2012, I was standing in a pizzeria in New York with my wife Carissa. We had just watched “The Ball” drop in Times Square. Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" was playing over loudspeakers. Confetti was in the air. Spirits were high. And I was filled with gratitude and hope for the year ahead. Then I happened to see an email from my mother come in on my phone. What it said confused and worried me. I showed the email to Carissa, and she confirmed my reaction: "It is clear your mother is telling you goodbye." On today's show, I discuss how this experience changed my life, as well as my approach to financial advisory and building community at Keen Wealth Advisors.

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A New Approach to Decluttering Your Retirement Thumbnail

A New Approach to Decluttering Your Retirement

Organizing expert Marie Kondo encourages folks to look at their stuff and ask, "Does this spark joy?" The Swedes have a slightly less sunny spin on decluttering: döstädning, or, "death cleaning." As popularized in both a bestselling book and a Peacock reality show, death cleaning is a way for older adults to streamline their possessions so that their heirs won't have to when they're gone. “A loved one wishes to inherit nice things from you,” writes author Margareta Magnusson. “Not all things from you.” But “death cleaning” and the KonMari Method aren't just about clearing out your closets and saving your kids some hassle. Organizing your possessions and your home can have a liberating effect on how you live in retirement and how you plan for your legacy.

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