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Keen On Retirement

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Search results for: estate planning

183 posts matched your search

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Can You Retire Comfortably with $2 Million Saved?

According to a recent Charles Schwab survey, U.S. workers believe they'll need around $2 million to retire. Using the old 4% Rule for some back-of-the-napkin math, those retirees are expecting to withdraw about $80,000 their first year in retirement, with future withdrawals going up or down from there based on how much annual savings and investment returns replenish their assets. We also know in most cases there will be other income sources like social security or pension income. So, is $80,000 per year from your investment portfolio, give or take, enough to live on in retirement? That's a much more complicated question to answer than some folks realize. So many factors that affect retirement planning are in a state of constant flux – most of all, your life. A financial plan that's built around static numbers might not be able to adjust how and when you need it to. Let's talk about some of the variables that factor into Keen Wealth's comprehensive planning process and try to arrive at a more thorough analysis of a $2 million nest egg goal.

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Retirement Planning Strategies for Managing Interest Rates, Investment Yields, and 529 Accounts

My team at Keen on Retirement has been hard at work analyzing the question that's top-of-mind for many of our listeners. And after crunching the numbers ... Yes, it looks like Taylor Swift will be able to attend the Super Bowl! She's scheduled to perform in Tokyo the night before our Chiefs take on the 49ers, but thanks to a 17-hour time difference -- and, presumably, a private jet -- we do expect to see Taylor in Las Vegas. All kidding aside, I'm especially excited for this round of listener questions. A couple of folks who have been with Keen Wealth for many

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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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Keen on Retirement at 200: Reflecting on Our Favorite Episodes

At the end of 2023, the Keen on Retirement podcast crossed a significant milestone: 200 episodes. To put that number in context, less than half of the 460,080 active shows on Apple Podcasts reach episode 4. It's a real testament to the quality of our discussions, Keen Wealth Advisors' commitment to financial education, the dedication of my cohosts, and the support of our subscribers that Keen on Retirement is still going strong as we begin our 9th year. On today's show, my cohosts and I look back on our favorite episodes of Keen on Retirement and reflect on some of the common themes that connect our wide-ranging conversations about the economy, investing, comprehensive financial planning, retirement, and living well.

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7 Preventable Mistakes the Soon-to-Be Retired Often Make and How to Avoid Them

My team at Keen Wealth has seen retirement play out just about any way you can imagine. We've celebrated with folks as they've clocked out for the last time. We've seen photos of dream vacations, new homes, and new grandbabies. And we've used our comprehensive planning process to help folks adjust to some major challenges, recalibrate the best path forward, and keep progressing toward long-term goals. Unfortunately, we've also seen folks fall short of their retirement goals, often because they tried to "go it alone" at the start of their retirement transitions. If 2024 is going to be the year that you finally retire, talk to your loved ones and your advisor about how you can steer clear of these seven preventable retirement errors and set up your Golden Years for success.

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The Psychological Shift from Saving to Spending in Retirement

There's an old joke among financial advisors that part of our job is to help new retirees get comfortable taking more "SKI" Trips -- meaning, "Spend the Kids' Inheritance!" Many seniors who have worked hard and committed to a comprehensive financial plan retire with more money than they've ever had in their lives. We want those folks to feel safe and secure about their finances as they head into their Golden Years. But we also want them to have fun, pursue their passions, and explore opportunities for growth. To accomplish both goals -- security and enjoyment -- retirees should be aware that it can be difficult to shift from a savings mentality to an “it’s ok to spend even though I’m not receiving earned income anymore” mindset. My team at Keen Wealth focuses our spending conversations with retirees on these four important points.

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Will Hitting “Peak 65” Rewrite the Rules for Retirement?

We spend a lot of time on Keen on Retirement discussing how retirement is changing, from new laws and rules to generational shifts in how seniors work and live. But one constant in the retirement planning process is the importance of the age of 65. Many folks still feel like turning 65 means you've hit "retirement age," even though the government's definition is a bit different. And even if you continue to work well into your 70s, at age 65 there are some important decisions that should be coordinated as your vision for your Golden Years comes into focus. On today's show, we discuss why the age of 65 will be an especially important transition point for the next couple of years. We also answer listener questions about charitable contributions and required minimum distributions that might factor into your tax prep this spring.

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How Social Security, Medicare, and Geopolitics Could Affect Your 2024 Planning

The comprehensive financial plans we design at Keen Wealth factor in every piece of available information to help folks plan for what we know is coming and prepare for the unexpected. While recent events at home and abroad are raising some new questions, we did learn some important answers last week that will help folks get ready for 2024. On today's show, we discuss listener questions about Social Security, Medicare, Ukraine and Israel, and year-end financial planning.

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Risk vs. Uncertainty in Investing: There’s a Big Difference, But Both Can Be Planned For

If you think about your comprehensive financial plan as a long flight from here to retirement, then risk and uncertainty are like the turbulence, bad weather, delays, and cancellations that all travelers have to deal with. Sometimes, these disruptions flash on our radar well in advance. Sometimes, they pop up at a moment's notice. But understanding how your retirement flight plan is built to avoid, absorb, cope with, and even steer clear of certain challenges can reduce stress and help you enjoy the journey a bit more. Let's talk about how my team at Keen Wealth approaches risk and uncertainty in our planning process and some strategies that can help folks stay on course for their dream retirement.

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Crossing Three Listener Questions Off Your 2024 Financial Planning Checklist

When we fall behind on our holiday shopping lists, there are usually some last-minute deals and expedited shipping options that can help us catch up. But if you fall too far behind on your annual financial planning checklist, you might miss out on some important rule changes or time-sensitive strategies that could impact your retirement next year. Based on the questions we've been fielding lately from Keen on Retirement listeners and readers, I'm glad that so many folks are making time during the holiday hustle and bustle to think about some important issues and get a jump on their 2024 financial planning. On today's show, we discuss popular questions about next year's tax brackets, a controversial video about retirement withdrawals that's been making the rounds on social media, and how seniors should be planning for long-term care.

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4 Case Studies Using Keen Wealth’s Comprehensive Planning

In a recent survey, non-retired adults told investment firm Schroders that they will need approximately $5,000 per month "to enjoy a comfortable retirement." But is that really enough? Maybe! Studies and surveys like these make for eye-catching headlines, but they skimp on the details. For example, where are these retirees planning on living? $5,000 per month is going to go a lot further in, say, Kansas City than it will on the coasts.

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7 Top Retirement Tips for 2024

Is 2024 going to be "The Year?" Are you aiming for retirement and starting to get serious about comprehensive planning? Or perhaps you're already retired and wondering if your financial plan needs to prepare for what could be a tumultuous year both politically and economically. In either case, Keen Wealth's philosophy is consistent: plan for what you can anticipate so that you can adjust to the unexpected. Your 2024 retirement planning checklist should start with these seven items.

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Keen on Retirement’s Top 5 Podcasts and Blogs of 2023

How do you adjust your financial plan to cope with inflation, higher interest rates, and an up-and-down economy? Our most popular blogs and podcasts of 2023 all touched on that question in some way, especially from the perspective of retirees living on a fixed income. Our discussions also eventually arrived at a similar conclusion: you need to have a plan! Comprehensive financial planning puts tools at your disposal that can keep you on track for a successful retirement, no matter what’s happening in the outside world. And working with an experienced advisor, like my team at Keen Wealth, could potentially eliminate so much of the worry and uncertainty from figuring out what moves are going to keep your short-term needs and your long-term goals in sync.

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Your Guide to 2023 Medicare Open Enrollment

This year's annual Medicare Open Enrollment period runs from October 15th to December 7th. Whether you're already on Medicare or about to claim your benefits for the first time, seniors need to make sure they get the care they need at a price that fits with the rest of their comprehensive financial plan. On today's show, we answer listener questions about Medicare Open Enrollment to help you get ready for this important part of your annual planning process.

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What Most People Get Wrong When Determining Retirement Income Withdrawal Rates

Many seniors have a "retirement number" stuck in their heads. It could be a net-worth goal that you want to hit so you can live an affluent, carefree retirement. Or it could be an amount you want to see compounding in your savings account. Maybe you've run some “4% Rule” calculations or plugged your financial info into a free "Monte Carlo Simulation Tool" to figure out your probability of running out of money. Unfortunately, focusing exclusively on these kinds of numbers could be more harmful than helpful when it comes time to plan for withdrawals in retirement. I think discussing four different approaches to financial planning may help folks see the bigger retirement picture and feel more confident about how they will spend their money.

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Coordinating Bonds, Market Returns, and Taxes into a Personalized Retirement Strategy

One of the reasons my team at Keen Wealth puts so much care into personalizing our comprehensive planning process is that there's no one path to a successful retirement. Yes, we often incorporate some tried-and-true strategies and tools, like diversification, downside volatility protection, and Monte Carlo simulations. But as we discuss on today's show, even professional financial advisors have to sort through a wide array of options to help folks find their optimal plan. When you're managing your finances on your own, those options can be overwhelming and, in some cases, a little dangerous for your money. After discussing four listener questions, I'd also like to share some exciting personal news and thank my alma mater, the University of Central Missouri.

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Add Daily Thanksgiving to Your Holiday Routine

Being grateful can be hard work. The media bombards us with so much bad news, and our lives are so full of everyday stresses that it's easy to lose sight of all the good things we have going for us. And when we're really low, gratitude might even feel a little out of reach. However, as we discuss on today's show, intentionally incorporating gratefulness into your daily routine can create a positive mindset that improves all aspects of your life, from your health and your relationships to your financial planning.

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Reflecting and Reconnecting: Using the Holiday Season for Personal Growth in Retirement

In many ways, the holiday season is a mirror of what life in retirement can be like. Folks are off work, if only for a few extra days. Schedules tend to revolve around the people we love and the things we enjoy doing, especially cherished family traditions. And even though there can be some stress around prepping meals and crossing items off your shopping list, there are also pockets of quiet where we can enjoy good company and a warm beverage while we reflect on what matters the most. As you celebrate the holidays and prepare for the New Year, consider ways that you can incorporate some of the season's fellowship and good cheer into your 2024 retirement plan.

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Setting New Year's Goals and Ignoring Old Noise in 2024

Happy 2024 from the team at Keen Wealth Advisors! The Dow sent us into the New Year on a high note -- literally -- by hitting a new all-time high in December on the back of some very positive economic news. Employment and job creation are still strong. It looks like we're going to avoid the recession that some analysts have been predicting for the better part of two years. And the Federal Reserve is hinting that it might be done with interest rate hikes as well. That's a pretty good jumping-off point for a year that, I can confidently predict, sure won't be boring. Elections, Olympics, big changes to how and where we work, advances in AI and other tech, ongoing conflicts across the globe, Leap Day -- there's a lot to look forward to in 2024, but also a lot of very serious matters to keep tabs on, and a lot of potential distractions to filter out of your financial planning.

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How to Thrive in the New Age of Aging

How to Thrive in the New Age of Aging This summer, we've seen some very high-profile examples of just how much the norms on aging are changing. Once again, 61-year-old Tom Cruise scaled box office heights all over the world. 81-year-old Martha Stewart graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Music legends Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, Dolly Parton, Peter Frampton, and Mick Fleetwood collaborated on a cover of "Let It Be" that hit the Billboard charts. The Rolling Stones released their first new song in 18 years. And at the end of August, arguably the most famous and influential investor in the world, Warren Buffet, turned 93. These are just a few of the "age influencers" who embody major trends in an important new study by Age Wave, "the nation’s foremost thought leader on issues relating to an aging population." Let's look at four key insights from The New Age of Aging that are changing how folks should think about and plan for their golden years.

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Can Financial Planning Help You Get More Happiness From Your Money?

The connection between money and happiness has always been one of the most personal and complicated parts of the financial planning process. After all, "happiness" means something different to all of us. And those definitions can change as we progress through life, especially when we're navigating meaningful life transitions. On today's show, we dive into some new research on money and happiness. We also discuss some of the important things in life that money can and can't buy and how a comprehensive financial plan can support your vision of happiness at every stage of your life.

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Busting 4 Myths About the "Sacred Cows" Hurting Your Financial Plan

On today's show, we answer a request from a Keen on Retirement listener who's been reading Garrett B. Gunderson's popular book "Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity." You might have seen some of Gunderson's thoughts about alternative financial strategies passed around online, especially among folks who are skeptical about the markets and the government's role in economic policy. But while there's certainly no one way to create a financial plan, most investors who steer clear of "sacred cows" like investing in a diversified portfolio and funding their retirement accounts could be killing their chances of a secure retirement. Below are several of the points we discuss.

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Answering Your Questions About Paying Taxes in Retirement

Without careful analysis and planning, taxes can become one of the biggest expenses for retirees -- if not the biggest. Matt Wilson, Chief Investment Officer and President of Keen Wealth Advisors, recently hosted a webinar discussing the tax issues you could face at four stages of retirement. Today's podcast episode hits on some of Matt's key points and answers important follow-up questions from webinar attendees. Together, this content provides a full picture of how Keen Wealth integrates both annual tax preparation and long-term tax planning into a comprehensive financial plan.

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The Latest on Interest Rates, Inflation, and Your Retirement Plan

At its meeting on June 14th, the Federal Reserve did something that it hasn't done in 15 months: it decided not to raise interest rates. This slight pause in the Fed's battle against inflation gives us an opportunity to discuss the state of our economy and the markets at the midway point of 2023. On today's show, we take stock of the latest market data, put current inflation and interest rates in their proper context, and consider the United States' place in the global economy.

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Using Personal Storytelling to Craft Your Ideal Retirement Narrative

Retirement will close an important chapter in the story of your life. But it also opens a brand-new chapter where you might be able to write stories that you've been dreaming about for decades and others that you've never imagined. Let's talk about how the power of personal storytelling, combined with the support of a comprehensive financial plan, can shape retirement into your vision of happy ever after.

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Travel the World in Style: Exciting International Destinations for Life-Loving Retirees

In Part 1 of this two-part series on luxury travel for retirees, we shared some tips on getting the most vacation for your money and took a brief tour of some U.S. hotspots. In Part 2, we are going to explore some international destinations that you might want to consider adding to your bucket list. With proper planning and budgeting, this could be the year you take your dream vacation or journey somewhere unexpected that opens your eyes to how wide and wonderful the world is.

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Maintaining Mental Agility: Try These 4 Brain-Boosting Activities for Retirees

Is your brain getting the workout it needs to keep you mentally sharp in retirement? Medical science has established a pretty clear link between physical and mental health. According to Harvard Medical School, a variety of mental stimulation, paired with regular exercise and a healthy diet, can create new neural connections in your brain, regenerate new brain cells, and even protect the brain against the loss of cells in the future. The Mayo Clinic says that same mix of healthy living and thinking can lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. And CogniFit Research recommends “brain fitness” as a means to maintain working memory, planning ability, focus, and the speed at which we process information. Consider mixing some of these brain-boosting activities into your retirement wellness routine.

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Keen Wealth’s Checklist for Caring for Elderly Relatives

On today's show, we discuss a topic that many of us will deal with from multiple angles: caring for elderly family members. Many baby boomers who are transitioning into retirement have also become caregivers for their parents or older relatives. At the same time, these retirees may be beginning to talk to their children or grandchildren about some estate planning basics and how they want to be cared for if they start to experience a decline later in life. These are some of the most challenging decisions to make and some of the hardest conversations to have. But making a plan while you and the people you're caring for are still healthy and opening up about your wishes with loved ones can make the tough times we all experience in life a little bit easier down the road.

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Tax Season May Be Ending But Effective Tax Planning Never Stops

Why are we talking taxes on today’s episode, when the 2022 tax season is already over? Because taxes are a constantly evolving part of a comprehensive financial plan. The rules around tax planning and retirement change. Your taxable income changes. And, most importantly, your life changes. Today, we discuss some of the tax items on our checklist-driven planning process at Keen Wealth that keep every part of a financial plan in sync throughout the year.

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Will Declining Life Expectancy in the U.S. Affect Your Retirement Plan?

U.S. life expectancy is trending in the wrong direction for the first time in decades. According to data from the Center for Disease Control, in 2014 the average American was expected to live 78.9 years. In 2021, after several years of plateauing life expectancy, that figure dipped to 76.4 years, the sharpest 2-year decline in over 100 years. From a financial planning perspective, Keen Wealth still believes that folks need to prepare for a retirement that's going to last, potentially, decades. But this latest life expectancy data does raise some important issues about what we can do both individually and in our communities to turn these trends around so that we can all enjoy our golden years to the fullest.

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Insights on Interest Rates, the Banking System, and Your Financial Plan from the 2023 Barron’s Summit

Earlier this month, I attended The Barron’s Advisor Independent Summit in Dallas with Keen Wealth's Chief Investment Officer and President, Matt Wilson. It's a real privilege to be invited to this annual conference where we can talk to and learn from some of the top minds in finance. While the program had been scheduled well in advance, the recent bank collapses in California and New York became one of the dominant topics. Matt and I recorded today's show live at the Summit so that we could share some of the key insights we heard from colleagues and other financial pros about the state of our banking system and the broader economic outlook for the year ahead. We also scale these issues down so that you can have a better understanding of how the big picture could affect your personal financial plan.

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From 38 Years at Black & Veatch to Living a Full Retirement

All of us Chiefs fans have incredible memories of watching Super Bowl LVII that we're going to treasure forever. But not many of us had a seat as close to the action as my guest today, Teresa Hannon. "This game was such a nail biter," Teresa told me, "and where I sat was lower level, right by where the winning field goal was made. Just seeing it go through the goal post right by where I was sitting was incredible. And Arizona had perfect weather, it was 75 degrees every day there. The stadium was beautiful. And the experience of just being there was everything I imagined." But Teresa did more than just imagine this Super Bowl experience. She worked with her Keen Wealth advisor to make this trip part of her comprehensive financial plan. And as we discuss on today's episode, that plan helped give Teresa the means and the confidence to live her best life in retirement.

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Answering Your Questions About “Timing” the Retirement Transition

We received very positive feedback from folks who attended our most recent educational webinar, "Timing is Everything." And, we also received some excellent follow-up questions that we're going to address on today's episode. Our conversation ranges from transportation costs to health insurance and asset allocations. We also discuss what we mean by “timing” in retirement and how Keen Wealth’s comprehensive planning process prepares folks for the best half of life.

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Should You Relocate When You Retire?

Where do you see yourself when you picture your dream retirement? Lounging on the beach? Playing golf with new neighbors in a gated community? Taking a quick walk from your condo to watch your grandkids play soccer? Moving abroad for an authentic international experience? Enjoying the hustle and bustle of big city living? Let’s examine some of the pros and cons of relocating in retirement, including potential effects on your financial planning.

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Slow Travel Could Make Your Next Vacation More Affordable and More Rewarding

Planning a vacation is often a balancing act between quality and quantity. But retirees who opt for slow travel may not have to make that choice. Rather than rushing from one attraction to the next, slow travel lets you really immerse yourself in your destination and get the most from two valuable retirement resources: your money and your time. Here are three reasons retirees should consider adding some extra days, or even weeks, to your next travel itinerary.

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Should You Unretire?

For previous generations of seniors, "retirement" meant the end of work, period. The modern version of retirement often isn't that cut and dry. A growing number of seniors who have achieved total financial independence are "unretiring" not because they need money, but because working in some capacity makes their golden years more purposeful and enjoyable. If any of these thoughts about unretiring ring a bell, it might be time to sit down with your advisor and talk about what returning to the workforce could mean for your financial plan.

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Answering Your Questions about Retirement Spending

I know I say this every time we answer listener questions, but these are some of my favorite episodes of Keen on Retirement. I love hearing from listeners trying to think through crucial financial planning issues and be proactive about their lives. And I'm thrilled that so many folks in our audience took the time to attend our most recent webinar on Retirement Spending, reflect on the info that Keen Wealth's Matt Wilson presented, and send in thoughtful follow-up questions on a wide range of essential topics.

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Answering Listener Questions on the SECURE Act 2.0 and Maximizing Retirement Resources

It's clear from our latest batch of listener questions that the Keen on Retirement audience has been paying attention to how recent legislation is affecting retirement planning. But today's episode should also clarify just how challenging it can be for folks to find the answers they need when so many details keep changing. My team at Keen Wealth doesn't just dig into the fine print: we understand how to apply these rules to individual financial scenarios and create appropriate outcomes for folks in retirement.

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Answering Your Questions About the Debt Ceiling, Bank Closures, and the Market Outlook

Matt Wilson's latest Market Update webinar touched on some important topics that you've probably seen in the headlines lately: interest rates, inflation, bank closures, the debt ceiling debate, and economic growth forecasts for the rest of the year. But if you're just getting your info on these things from social media or cable news, Matt's approach was likely a breath of fresh air. At Keen Wealth, we try to provide clear-eyed analysis without the hype so that folks can understand the practical effects that hot-button issues could have on their financial plans and their retirement. On today's show, we recap some of the bullet points from Matt's Q2 Market Update and answer a few follow-up questions from folks who attended the webinar.

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Do Gold and Real Estate Fit Inside Your IRA?

On our last episode, we ran through the changes to Medicare and Social Security that will affect seniors' benefits next year. Today, we're going to complete our 2023 planning picture by discussing tax brackets and contribution limits for retirement accounts. We also examine whether or not gold and real estate should factor into your financial planning given the current levels of inflation.

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Lessons in Successful Long-Term Planning from the 2nd Edition of Keen on Retirement

Thanks to the tremendous support of the Keen Wealth community, our podcast audience, and readers of our blog, I'm thrilled to announce that that the 2nd Edition of Keen on Retirement: Engineering The Second Half Of Your Life has hit Amazon's best-seller list! I think one of the reasons that folks have connected with the book is that I try to present up-to-date information on things like the SECURE Act and Medicare with an eye towards the big picture. And I think maintaining that wider perspective in your financial planning has only become more important since I published the 1st Edition of the book in 2019. The pandemic accelerated so many things in our society, from how we connect and communicate to how our government thinks about retirement. If you aren't working with an advisor and following a comprehensive financial plan, it's very easy to let the news of the day or the hot get-rich-quick pitch lead you off the path towards a safe, secure, and fulfilling retirement. On today's show, we talk about some of the additions I made to the 2nd Edition of my book. I sincerely hope that this new material and our discussion broadens your own perspective and helps you maintain focus on sound financial planning principles.

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Reviewing the Latest Changes to Social Security, Medicare, and Inherited IRAs

The numbers are finally out! And that means, if you haven't already started, it's time to get serious about working with your advisor to update your financial plan for 2023. On today's show, we discuss the changes coming to your Social Security and Medicare benefits next year, as well as an important clarification on the rules for inheriting IRAs that could impact how you and your family members think about legacy and tax planning.

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How to Navigate the Passing of Your Spouse Part 3

No one is ever truly prepared for the loss of a spouse. And what is already an emotionally challenging life transition can be even more difficult if a couple doesn't have a comprehensive financial plan that's designed to support both people together and separately. In this three-part series, I'll discuss how to Prepare for, Cope with, and Move forward from the death of a spouse, and how Keen Wealth's planning process can help.

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Henderson Engineers Puts People First with New ESOP

Because of the strong ties that Keen Wealth has established with metro Kansas City’s thriving engineering community, we’ve gained real appreciation for the power of employee stock ownership plans, or ESOPs. The Harvard Business Review study shows that companies that implement this unique structure dramatically improve their performance by empowering their workers to think and act like owners. ESOPs can also improve workforce retention, which is a boon for both young workers seeking career stability and companies that are battling for talent in a tight labor market.

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Find More Joy in Your Holiday Season

Even for those of us who are looking forward to big celebrations with our loved ones, the holidays can be full of conflicting emotions. You might be feeling pressure to plan and host the "perfect" holiday party. Baking and shopping for everyone on your Nice List can be stressful. You might be worried about making it through just one family gathering without an argument. And if you are spending your holidays away from loved ones, loneliness could have you feeling less-than festive. One of these activities might help you beat those holiday blues, experience the joy of the season, and spread that goodwill to other people.

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What’s New for Retirees in SECURE Act 2.0?

When our leaders in Washington passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act in 2019, it marked a major change in retirement planning. In a sense, the government was codifying advice that many financial advisors -- including my team at Keen Wealth -- had been giving for years. The next generation of retirees is going to live longer, with more active lives than any before it. Very few younger workers are going to stay at the same company for decades and earn generous pensions. Very few older workers will automatically retire at 65. And for most folks, Social Security alone will not fund a safe, secure, and rewarding retirement.

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4 Tips to Build Healthier Habits and Age Well

In my book, blogs, and podcasts, you'll often hear me call retirement "the best half" of life. And I truly believe that with the support of a comprehensive financial plan, your golden years can be a long and enriching chapter full of adventure, connection, and self-discovery. But it's also true that the realities of aging can cut some of that fun short. The older we get, the more our knees and backs start aching, the longer bumps and bruises linger, and the quicker we run out of energy. The good news is that we all have more control over our physical health than we sometimes realize. These tips can help you improve your self-care routine and set goals that will help you age well in the New Year and into retirement.

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What Market Fluctuations Mean for Your Retirement Plan

Ongoing market fluctuations have caused many of us to ask some of the same questions in 2022. Are we headed for a recession? Will inflation subside sooner than later? Should the Federal Reserve have moved earlier or has it done too much? I hope that listening to today's episode will help folks understand why there are no simple answers to any of these questions. And, perhaps more importantly, I hope our listeners will come away with a better appreciation for how a comprehensive financial plan can help you answer the most important questions of all: How does what's happening in the markets affect my nest egg and my retirement? And ultimately, will I be ok?

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How to Navigate the Passing of Your Spouse Part 2

No one is ever truly prepared for the loss of a spouse. And what is already an emotionally challenging life transition can be even more difficult if a couple doesn't have a comprehensive financial plan that's designed to support both people together and separately. In this three-part series, I'll discuss how to Prepare for, Cope with, and Move forward from the death of a spouse, and how Keen Wealth's planning process can help.

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How to Navigate the Passing of Your Spouse

No one is ever truly prepared for the loss of a spouse. And what is already an emotionally challenging life transition can be even more difficult if a couple doesn't have a comprehensive financial plan that's designed to support both people together and separately. In this three-part series, I'll discuss how to Prepare for, Cope with, and Move forward from the death of a spouse, and how Keen Wealth's planning process can help.

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Answering Your Questions About Maximizing Social Security Benefits

We received very enthusiastic responses from folks who attended our recent webinar, Maximizing Social Security Benefits. As always, Matt Wilson, Keen Wealth's President and Chief Investment Officer, did an outstanding job of presenting up-to-the-minute information explaining some strategies for integrating Social Security into a comprehensive financial plan.

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Developing a Healthy Relationship With Money

To help me explore these important intersections, I'm thrilled to welcome Dr. Megan McCoy to today's episode. Dr. McCoy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Financial Therapist-I. At Kansas State University, she's a Professor of Practice and Director of the Financial Planning Masters Program and key faculty in the Financial Therapy Certificate Program. Dr. McCoy is also an Executive Board member for the Financial Therapy Association and the Associate Editor of the Journal of Financial Therapy.

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Barron’s 2022: Analyzing the Present to Prepare for the Future

Effective financial planning is all about looking ahead. That's true for both people who are working towards retirement, and for my team at Keen Wealth. I believe that our ongoing commitment to educational events, learning, and professional development is essential to the work we do for our clients. And as the founder and CEO, I'm also committed to growing Keen Wealth into a firm folks can trust and count on today, tomorrow, and into the next generation.

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Control the Controllable and Prevent 4 Common Tax Mistakes

None of us can control a war, inflationary concerns, natural disasters, or market volatility. If you're worrying about how global events are going to affect your financial plan, try to focus on things you can control. As we discuss on today's show, right now that means efficient tax preparation so that you avoid some common filing mistakes before Tax Day on April 18th.

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Redefining Who You Are in Retirement

Bob Buford's HALFTIME: Moving from Success to Significance offers a possible solution that's stuck with me ever since I first read the book about a decade ago. Buford was a successful cable TV exec who revaluated his priorities and made a very intentional plan for the second half of his life. I believe all seniors can adapt his three-part process to their retirement transitions and redefine who they are in a meaningful way.

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The Financial Advantages of Growing Older

Getting older isn't easy. Aches and pains can start to pile up and linger longer than they used to. Making necessary choices about estate planning can cause people to confront their own mortality. And transitioning into retirement can pose some significant financial as well as psychological challenges.

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Sorting Through the Health Care Options for Pre-65 Retirees

Health care is one of the most important aspects of planning for an early retirement. Medicare eligibility doesn't kick in until you reach age 65. Pre-65 retirees who don't have access to employer-subsidized health insurance could be facing some substantial costs for a number of years until they are eligible for Medicare.

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Keen on Retirement’s Top 5 Blogs and Top 5 Podcasts of 2021

Providing solid, fact-based content that’s educational and – hopefully! – entertaining is a core component of the Keen Wealth mission. 2021 certainly gave us all plenty to talk about, and as my team shifts its focus to the New Year, we’re already preparing to tackle a slate of topics that are important to folks at every stage of their financial planning.

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Best Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Blues

As much as we look forward to this time of year, the holidays aren't all merry and bright for everyone. Health concerns, transportation difficulties, and complicated schedules might be preventing some folks from spending time with loved ones this year. Others who are looking forward to the first "normal" holiday dinner in a couple years could be feeling the stress of all that planning and preparation. And for many families, this might be the first holiday meal with an empty chair at the table due to the loss of a loved one.

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Will the Build Back Better Plan Affect Your Tax Planning?

One reason we advise our clients not to overreact to election results is that the plans candidates propose on the campaign trail often look very different once they've worked through the U.S. lawmaking process. President Biden's agenda has struggled with that very reality in recent weeks. As Congress continues to debate and negotiate the Build Back Better Plan, perhaps the central topic of discussion has been balancing ambitious spending with changes to tax codes that would be necessary to pay for that spending.

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3 Reasons Why Investing in Mutual Funds Could Be More Trouble Than It’s Worth

At Keen Wealth Advisors, once we’ve created a financial plan for a client, we next work to determine the proper ratio between stocks, bonds, and emergency reserves they need to make that plan work. Our strategy of portfolio diversification, quantitative stock analysis, periodic adjustments, and short-term cash buckets for income needs is designed to help generate wealth for a family over decades, not days.

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Deficits, Inflation, and Your Retirement Planning

Do budget deficits matter to the health of the U.S. government and economy? That's been a hot topic of conversation among economists, especially as debate raged about the most effective way for the government to support folks during the pandemic. And it's been a topic that's popped up on a few of our Keen on Retirement episodes and blogs as well.

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Your Complete Guide to Medicare Open Enrollment 2022

Folks who follow a well-defined financial plan usually have some important dates circled on their calendars. At the beginning of the year, you probably plot out some annual goals. In the spring, you gather last year's info for tax season. In the summer, parents start budgeting for family vacations and the upcoming school year.

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Use the New My Social Security Website to Get the Most from Your Benefits

Seniors may have noticed that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has redesigned the periodic statements it sends about your benefits. Perhaps one of the most helpful changes is that these statements now explain how much your monthly benefits will be depending on when you decide to take Social Security. In my experience, some seniors head into retirement with slightly unrealistic expectations about these benefits. These new statements will help folks get a better idea of where their benefits will fit in to their overall retirement plan.

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How to Pick the "Right" Beneficiaries for Your Retirement Accounts

Making sure that you and your assets are protected at the end of your life is a standard part of our planning process at Keen Wealth. Over the past several years, we’ve welcomed many new clients who have been putting off estate planning decisions for far too long. Living through the pandemic gave these folks the sense of urgency they needed to sit down with my team and start thinking about the legacy they want to leave to their heirs.

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Is the Housing Market Boom Headed for Another Bust?

In recent months, my two daughters have given me a personal perspective on just how hot and how competitive the real estate market is right now. Both decided to buy homes in the Kansas City area, and both had to make unsuccessful bids on multiple houses before they were able to close on their new homes. The thought that millions of families all over the country are trying to navigate these same issues is quite a turnaround from just a decade ago, when folks were hesitant to buy houses in the shadow of the Great Recession.

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Separating “Needs” from “Wants” Could Be Harming Your Financial Planning

When we set our monthly budgets or make a long-term plan for retirement, it's common to separate line items into three categories: needs, wants, and wishes. Then, we do the sensible thing and prioritize our needs. Once the mortgage, car payments, utilities, and grocery bills are covered, we move on to deciding if we can schedule a date night at that new restaurant. Maybe a weekend getaway will have to wait until next month.

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Are You Planning for “The New Long Life”?

Instead of looking for ways to stay "young at heart," this generation of retirees might just end up staying younger, longer. In his book The New Long Life, Professor Andrew Scott of the London Business School argues that the intersection of technology and longevity is going to fundamentally change how all of us approach life. Instead of a traditional three-stage journey from education to work to retirement, folks who stay healthier and more active as they age will have more power to shape and reshape themselves over multiple stages.

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Is Your Retirement Plan Ready For Higher Inflation?

As good as it feels to be exiting the pandemic and enjoying a relatively normal summer, the ongoing economic fallout from COVID-19 and the levers our government pulled to accelerate recovery have a lot of folks worried about inflation. Those fears spiked recently after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer prices rose by 5% during the month of May, the biggest jump since 2008. Those numbers are ringing alarm bells for some of our older clients who don't like being reminded of 1970s stagflation as they're nearing or beginning retirement.

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Keeping Your Financial Plan in Sync with an Early Retirement Goal

The pandemic given us all a new perspective on our lives and our work. I think that’s a big reason why we’ve had a number of our clients at Keen Wealth ask us about early retirement scenarios this year. After a year of locking down, missing friends and family, working from home, and in far too many cases, losing loved ones, folks want more than just financial security. They want to use their assets to live their best lives for as long as they can.

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Retired Burns & McDonnell CEO Greg Graves on Improving Business and Empowering Workers

Folks on opposite sides of the political aisle don't agree on very much these days. But one area where Republicans and Democrats have found some common ground is the need for Americans to take more responsibility for their retirement planning. Corporate pensions are disappearing. Social Security won’t cover the bills. And many young folks face uncertain long-term prospects in our new decentralized post-pandemic workforce.

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3 Factors That Make Affluent Seniors More Satisfied in Retirement

According to a recent study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Retirement Security Research Center, affluent retirees are, on average, more satisfied than retirees with modest assets and folks who are just managing to get by. Now that probably doesn't sound like a very eye-opening conclusion. But what the EBRI found was that it wasn't really money that made affluent retirees feel better about retirement. It was three factors that I believe should be a cornerstone of any retirement plan, no matter how big your nest egg is.

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Listener Questions: Revisiting the Trump Economic Plan

Tax season may – finally! – be behind us, but taxes are still very much on the minds of our listeners, and my clients at Keen Wealth. President Trump recently unveiled a new tax plan, the consequences of which are still being unpacked and analyzed. And changing taxes is just one part of the broader Trump economic plan that the president and Congress are trying to convert from campaign promises into actual legislation.

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How a Solid Spending Plan Keeps Enough Fuel in the Tank for Your Retirement

Imagine getting on an airplane for a dream vacation that you’ve been saving and planning for your entire life. Just as you’re settling into your seat, there’s an announcement from the captain: “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve completed our pre-flight check, but I didn’t worry about the required fuel this time. If we end up being short, hopefully we will catch a tailwind that will get us to our destination. Should be fine.”

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Investing in Your Kids and Grandkids: 529’s, Roth IRA’s, or Outright Gifts?

Retirement planning isn’t just about fueling up for the flight to that dream destination. A lot of my clients at Keen Wealth also want to plan the most tax-efficient and responsible ways to set aside resources now that will support their kids and grandkids as they get started on their financial journey. That may mean a college education, buying a first home, or even giving them a head start on their retirement planning.

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Confused by Health Insurance? Don’t Get Caught in These Avoidable Medicare Traps

Whether you are currently enrolled in Medicare or are planning for it in the future, this episode will provide you with important information you need to be aware of. Medicare’s options and intricacies can be overwhelming if you’re not prepared for them – and like many issues in financial planning – they are a moving target.iTunes Between Now and Success

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How President Trump’s Tax Plan May Affect Your Pocketbook

On today’s show, we try to sort out the facts from the what-ifs, and make some considered observations about what President Trump may mean for taxes. Which proposed reforms are most likely to become law? Will there be a compromise with the Democrats? And what should you be doing to prepare yourself and your money for the next four years?

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What We Learned at the Schwab Impact Conference That Could Affect Your Financial Planning

Last week the Keen Wealth leadership team took a trip to Chicago for the Charles Schwab IMPACT® Conference. One of the biggest gatherings in the financial services industry, it is designed to educate attendees on new technologies, trends, and navigating hot-button issues. There were dozens of sessions, hundreds of vendors, and vast opportunities to learn.

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Disaster Strikes! Use This 3-Step Disaster Prep Plan to Minimize the Pain

Maybe the scariest thing about the 2017 hurricane season is that it’s not over yet. It’s hard to imagine dealing with anything more destructive than Harvey, Irma, and Maria this year, but historically, some of the strongest storms have hit the U.S. in October and November. And add in the devastation from the recent large-scale earthquakes, it’s clear that the strain Mother Nature has put on our disaster prep and response services will continue for some time.

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One Big Retirement Question Leads to One Simple Answer

On today’s show, we tackle one big retirement question from a listener with a lot on his mind. Retirement is nearing for both him and his wife. Decisions have to be made about portfolio rebalancing, withdrawal rates, and legacy planning. The breadth of issues and wealth of options are intimidating, and worse, this listener isn’t sure who to trust with these important questions.

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What You Need to Know about the New Tax Bill

My team at Keen Wealth has been hard at work pouring over the new tax bill that President Trump signed into law at the end of 2017. There’s much to unpack and a few details that still haven’t settled into place, but I know that my listeners and clients have questions. So while this probably won’t be our only episode this year on what might be the biggest change to the tax code in decades, today we will look at some of the most important changes this bill introduces. Hopefully this discussion will help folks cut through all the political clamor, and start thinking about the potential impact on their financial planning.

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Lock Up Your Nest Egg With These Expert Cybersecurity Tips from an FBI Special Agent

My Keen Wealth team can help you make well-informed decisions for your retirement. We can help you figure out how much to save and invest. We can help you figure out an annual withdrawal rate that will keep you happy and active without breaking the bank. We can put you in touch with the right tax and health care pros. We can help get your estate in order. Heck, we’ll even sit down with your children and explain to them the importance of starting their own financial plans as early as possible.

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Get A Big Jump on Your Year-End Tax Planning

I suspect that a month or two from now, your inbox and social media feeds will be full of year-end tax-planning checklists and advice articles. But one of our mantras at Keen Wealth is, “get out ahead of issues as early as we can.” So on today’s show, we help our listeners get a jump on year-end tax planning. If you put off addressing these important items, you’re not just wasting time. You could be losing money.

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Hopeful Politics: “Insider” Insights from My Recent Visit to D.C.

As much as we caution investors against making knee-jerk reactions to the news, your investments and your long-term planning don’t exist in a vacuum either. That’s why when I attend conferences like the Barron’s Top Independent Advisors Summit or the Schwab Impact Conference, I like to come back with a report that I think will be beneficial to my clients and listeners. It’s just another way that we at Keen Wealth try to give the folks we work with a comprehensive financial-planning experience.

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Forecast 2019: Anticipating Change

Thank you to all of our clients, family, and friends who attended our 2018 Holiday Breakfast. If you didn’t have time to schedule an annual review of your financial plan during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, give us a call and set up an appointment so we can get going on making 2019 another positive and productive year.

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3 Key Ways to Maximize the Impact of Your Charitable Giving

On today’s show, we discuss how charitable giving factors into your year-end tax planning preparation. A little forethought and some guidance from a financial professional can help you maximize your generosity – which could make a big difference in another person’s life this holiday season. According to experts, giving could give your own health and happiness a big boost as we head into the new year.

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How Much Do You Need to Retire?

The number one question we get from clients and friends at Keen Wealth is, “How much money do I need to retire?” But that’s not the question we help our clients answer when we’re working on their financial plans. Contrary to all the late-night TV and internet ads, there’s not some magic number to hit, no secret formula for combined savings, assets and investments that’s going to guarantee a secure retirement.

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Making the Right Choice When Inheriting an IRA

As we discussed earlier this year, 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the IRA and the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. For decades, Americans have been using these investment accounts to take control of their retirement planning and provide their families with favorable wealth building vehicles. The Roth in particular has become extremely popular thanks to its tax-free accumulation. And, as more and more seniors are working in retirement, the ability to keep making contributions for as long as you’re earning income is attractive as well.

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What We Do and How We Can Help

Without a blueprint, you can’t build a house. And without a map, you wouldn’t set off on a road trip. The same rule goes for retirement planning. When it comes to such a big milestone in life, you need a financial roadmap that navigates you from point A to point B.

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What if You Outlive Your Retirement Savings?

What if you are healthy at 100? Will your retirement savings last that long? We all know how important it is to create a retirement plan and save to ensure that we have enough to last through those Golden Years, but many people haven’t saved enough. Only one in four people aged 55 and over has more than $300,000 saved. Fortunately, most of our clients at Keen Wealth Advisors fall in that “one in four” category and have done a nice job saving for retirement.

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Here’s How NOT to be Surprised by Your Taxes in Retirement

One piece of advice we give our clients at Keen Wealth Advisors is to make a financial plan that attempts to minimize surprises in retirement. Without a plan, many retirees get their first big surprise in the second week of April. And it’s not a fun surprise: when you stop receiving a paycheck and start living off your assets and investments, your tax filings can change dramatically.

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Five Reasons Couples Should Plan for Retirement Together

If your household is anything like mine, couples often divvy up jobs and responsibilities to make sure everything gets done, and everyone’s needs are met. Maybe one spouse works, and the other takes care of the kids. Maybe one spouse handles the meals, and the other handles transportation to lessons and practices. Maybe one spouse takes care of the yard, and the other takes care of home repairs.

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Is My Advisor's Fee an Expense or an Investment?

If you have investments of any kind you know there are costs associated with owning those investments. In addition, if you’ve been thinking about working with a financial advisor, you also know you’ll pay him or her a separate fee for their ongoing counsel. The bottom line question you should be asking is this: Will I be better off, net of fees, by working with an advisor than if I try to navigate my planning and investing on my own?

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Yes! Take Advantage of These 5 Free Preventative Services Medicare Provides

Moving from your employer-subsidized health care plan to Medicare or Medicaid can be one of the most complicated, and stressful, transitions for new retirees. Options vary depending on what state you live in. Weighing the cost benefits of affordable but restrictive Advantage plans, versus the freedom of a more expensive Supplement plan, can create budgeting challenges. We covered the basics of navigating Medicare in a very informative podcast earlier this year. Today, I want to give you some good news: once you do settle on a plan that provides for your health care needs, Medicare offers free preventative services that new retirees should jump on:

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Are You Living Too Conservatively in Retirement? A 4-Point Checklist

Is your conservative spending plan in retirement putting a lid on your day-to-day happiness? At Keen Wealth, we tailor financial plans to the specific needs and long-term goals of each client. But whatever tools and strategies we utilize, I think it’s safe to say that we’re helping folks stick to a “savings mindset.” And that’s a good thing! We’ve talked in recent blogs and podcasts about how important it is to get in the habit of saving and investing, especially for new workers (like your kids or grandkids).

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4 Important Lessons on Financial Success That 2017 Taught Us

No, we can’t look back at 2017 and tell you definitively how the market is going to behave in 2018. But we can look for potential “rhymes,” the lessons of the past year and the trends that may echo into the next. In particular, I think there are four important takeaways from 2017 that you should keep in mind when discussing your 2018 financial plans with your fiduciary advisor:

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What Should I Know about Taking Care of an Aging Parent?

As parents, our children are always at the forefront of our concerns, especially during back-to-school season. But as my clients near retirement age, their own parents often become part of the caregiving picture as well. An aging parent who is showing signs of slowing down, or suddenly needs more direct attention after a medical emergency, presents a whole separate set of challenges and responsibilities that can affect your financial planning.

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How to Prepare Emotionally for Retirement

Well, recently I came across an excellent article on this subject from the good folks at Age Wave, a company that studies how an aging population affects society. Their research and analyses have been very valuable to advisors like myself as we help the large “baby boomer” generation ease out of the workforce and into retirement. This study breaks down how to prepare emotionally for retirement into five stages: Imagination, Anticipation, Liberation, Reorientation, and Reconciliation. I highly recommend reading the entire article, but today I thought I’d give a brief overview of these five stages and how they relate to your retirement plan.

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How Inflation Can Pummel Your Portfolio, If You Don’t Plan For It

At Keen Wealth, we try to view these developments through a very wide lens and remind our clients that the long-term upward trajectory of our economy never follows a straight line. Today, I thought it might be useful to narrow our focus a little bit. Let’s look at how the rate of inflation affects your personal portfolio, as well as other factors that don’t necessarily make the headlines but can still impact your purchasing power in retirement.

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Live Longer and Better in Retirement – Social Conventions From The Ancient Village

I’ve written before that my team at Keen Wealth places a high priority on educating ourselves about trends, innovations, and ideas that could have an impact on the financial and lifestyle planning we do for our clients. Personally, I set aside a few hours out of my workweek for learning time, and recently I came across a fascinating Ted2017 talk from Susan Pinker. She’s a developmental psychologist whose book, The Village Effect, talks about how important face-to-face social bonds are to our longevity and quality of life. I recommend watching Pinker’s entire Ted2017 talk, but I’d also like to focus on a few insights that I think can really help seniors strengthen their social bonds and enjoy a long and prosperous life in retirement.

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Three Ways to Avoid the Downside of Retirement

In order to avoid this downside of retirement, my Keen Wealth team works to determine not only our clients’ financial needs, but we also work to understand their psychological and emotional needs. We like to really get to know our clients so that we can plan together for a meaningful retirement in which financial security and an active, engaged, fulfilling lifestyle go hand-in-hand.

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If You Treat Your Nest Egg Like a Jackpot, You Could Lose Big

Most of the clients that we work with at Keen Wealth are prudent, reasonable and disciplined with respect to their retirement resources. Every so often we will come across a soon-to-be retiree who thinks that when they gain access to their retirement nest egg, they can just stop working and crack open their accounts like they’ve just won the lottery. This occurs more often with folks who haven’t had to commit to a lifetime of saving, investing, and planning, but instead may have earned a lump sum on their pension, earned corporate profit sharing, or came into an inheritance. In s

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Comprehensive Financial Planning Can Help You Live Your Values in 2021

A recent study by Valuegraphics analyzed more than 500,000 surveys in 152 languages and determined that there are 56 values that drive all of human behavior. While the results did show some significant cultural differences between how these values are ranked, the top responses show that there is a lot of commonality when it comes to the really important things in life.

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It’s Never Too Late to Transform Your Life for the Better

In 2019 my family took a vacation to Cabo. When I looked at the photos from that trip, I didn't like what I saw. The bottom line was, I had let myself get out of shape. I was overweight, feeling lethargic, and the pictures really brought home the fact that I needed to make some changes. On my own, I started eating better and exercising more. But I knew that wouldn't be enough to get the results I wanted. So, I did what I've advised folks to do hundreds of times in my financial planning blogs and on my podcast: I called in the pros!

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Market Update Webinar With Matt Wilson

In my experience, the folks who have the most positive financial outcomes are often the ones who are the most engaged in the planning process. Now, that doesn’t mean I expect my clients to become expert portfolio managers! But if you’re working with a fiduciary advisor who is paying close attention to the issues of the day, you’re likely to feel more at ease about your investment strategy and more confident about reaching your long-term financial goals.

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Here’s What Congressional Action on the Proposed “SECURE Act” Means for Your Retirement Plans

Generally, on Keen on Retirement, we don’t like to discuss proposals that are floating around in Washington. There’s so much politicized chatter in our newsfeeds every day that we prefer to wait until the facts get separated from the fiction, all the dust settles, and a new law is actually put into effect. But we’re making an exception on today’s episode for the SECURE Act of 2019, which passed the House back in May and is currently kicking around in the Senate. The discussion surrounding the House version of the bill gives us some important insights on what the government is thinking about your nest egg and the future of retirement planning.

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3 Major SECURE Act Provisions You Need to Discuss With Your Fiduciary Advisor

Clients and friends of Keen Wealth have questions surrounding the Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act that was passed at the end of 2019. And with good reason! In many ways, the SECURE Act represents a significant rethink of retirement and estate planning. The government has recognized that as folks begin working longer at a wider variety of jobs, individuals need to start taking more personal responsibility for their retirement planning.

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Making Sense of Recent Market Movements and How the CARES Act Affects Your Retirement Planning

The coronavirus pandemic continues to make recent market swings difficult to follow. Are the markets recovering or not? Are we still bearish or heading back to bullish? And what do these movements mean for your retirement planning? Today’s episode is another up-to-the-minute look at the current economic situation that we wanted to get out to you all as quickly as possible. We also just recorded a more in-depth webinar on these topics that you can view by clicking here.

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Negative Oil Prices, Tax Day in July, and Getting Our “Acts” Together: More Listener Questions Surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic

I’m really happy that clients and other friends of Keen Wealth have continued to ask us questions about their financial planning over the past month or so. Those questions tell me that even as we’re dealing with all of the uncontrollable stresses surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, folks are keeping at least one eye on the things they can control

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5 Ways to Sync Your Financial Plan with Your Family’s Financial Needs

During the pandemic, we’ve talked quite a bit about potential positive outcomes of this unprecedented experience. One plus that I’ve noticed recently is that more people do seem to recognize the importance of having a financial plan, whether they’re just starting the process or refining some details with their fiduciary advisor in light of all that’s happened this year.

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Anthony Fasano on the Skills That Helped Him Engineer a New Career Path

More often than not, the skills and processes that make folks successful in one business work in other businesses as well. I think that’s a big reason why Keen Wealth Advisors has been able to establish such a strong relationship with the engineering community in Kansas City and around the country. Engineers respond to our checklist-driven planning process because they use the same kind of diligence in their own work. And we love working with folks who are hardworking, curious, and dedicated to following through on a plan.

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What Divided Government and Potential Covid Vaccines Could Mean for 2021

After a historic week, it looks like America will head into the new year with a new president and some very encouraging news in the fight against Covid-19. The ways that these events have rippled through the markets are yet another reminder of just how complex – and how resilient – our economy is. In the weeks ahead, it will be very important that folks separate their personal feelings from their financial planning and stay focused on things that they can control.

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Prepare for 3 Important Changes to Social Security Coming in 2021

Now that the presidential election is nearly over, I hope that folks will start to focus a little bit more attention on their financial planning to-do lists as we close out 2020. I know it’s tempting to get caught up in speculating what Congress and the Federal Reserve will or won’t do with regards to the economy, the markets, and health care. But those are unknown variables right now that none of us can control.

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This is How to Let Your Heirs Know Your Valuable Life Learnings Without Sounding Preachy

There’s more to crafting a sensible estate plan than just deciding what assets you want to leave to your loved ones. That’s a big part of the process, of course. But your estate plan might also include establishing a trust that safeguards your assets for beneficiaries. You might set up a charitable fund that benefits a favorite cause. You’ll need to file all your important documents in one easy-to-find spot. You’ll need to make decisions about how you want to be cared for at the end of your life. And you’ll need to coordinate with attorneys and tax experts.

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When It Comes to Retirement, Couples That “Retirement Plan” Together Are Much More Likely to Enjoy Retired Life Together

Even if one spouse is the primary breadwinner and the other more of a homemaker, couples have to plan for retirement together. Your retirement planning process and your retirement period itself will be much more successful if you put the time in now to think about both parties’ needs. And if a sudden health issue should make it hard for one of you to handle the family’s finances, both people need to understand how the bills get paid and how your investments are working. These five special considerations for retiring couples are big topics at our annual checkups with married clients.

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Retirement Planning: How to Do It and When to Start to Ensure You Retire on Your Terms

When is the best time to start planning for retirement? Right now! Whether you’re new to the workforce or just starting to see retirement on the horizon, you never know what tomorrow is going to bring. Hopefully you’re able to work as long as you want, doing something that’s fulfilling until you’re ready to retire.

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How to Avoid Becoming Depressed, Even Mildly, in Retirement

For most of our clients at Keen Wealth, the end result of hard work and diligent financial planning is a happy retirement. A big reason for that is how our process helps clients to plan for not just financial security, but for their daily lives in retirement: the things they want to do, the hobbies and interests they want to pursue, the people they want to share this new stage of their lives with.

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What is the "4 Percent Rule" and How Does It Affect Your Retirement Spending?

A few times every year a new client walks into Keen Wealth so excited to start planning and saving that they think they’ve already done the work for me! They show me this big, beautiful spreadsheet they’ve put together that has everything: salaries, assets, liabilities, cash in the bank, investment accounts, their whole financial picture.

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The Questions You MUST Ask to Select the Right Financial Advisor for Your Retirement

Whether you’re 30 or 60 years old, involving a financial advisor in your retirement planning is a smart move. But not all financial advisors are created equal. Some advisors are more interested in making money or meeting employer metrics. It’s important you know how to steer clear of these folks and find an advisor who truly has your best interests in mind.

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Don't Let Love Blindside You Into Making Money Mistakes

When love is in the air, some folks have a tendency to lose their heads. That can be fun if you’re planning to sweep your loved one off his or her feet this Valentine’s Day. But when it comes to your finances, letting your heart get in the way of your head can lead to some serious problems. Forget about killing the romance – if couples wearing rose-tinted glasses aren’t careful, these money mistakes can kill their financial future.

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5 "Retirement Regrets" That You Can Avoid

Coulda. Shoulda. Woulda. Three words we never want to hear from our Keen Wealth clients who are well into their retirements. And, I’m happy to say, three words we don’t hear very often! But we do work with retirees who tell us that there are things they wish they’d done differently. What’s interesting is that the major retirement regrets that clients share don’t really have to do with how their financial planning played out. Instead, these folks regret decisions they did, and didn’t, make that impacted how they lived in retirement.

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A 6-Point Checklist to Secure Your Home and Finances From Tornadoes and Flooding

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the storms that hit the Midwest recently. In particular, the mile-wide tornado that tore through Linwood, KS was a sobering reminder that we’re going to be dealing with peak tornado season for at least a few more weeks, as well as ongoing concerns about flooding as our rivers continue to swell. You know our mantra at Keen Wealth when it comes to your finances and your life: plan ahead. And in our part of the country, tornado and flood prep has to be a part of that larger picture. Take a moment to go through these important tips that will help protect you, your family, your home, and your money.

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The Go-Go, Slow-Go, and No-Go Years: A Spending Plan for All Three Phases of Retirement

At Keen Wealth, we stress planning for retirement as far in advance as possible so that our clients will be ahead of the game. We encourage clients to create a retirement blueprint with measurable milestones and specific achievable goals. And we help them implement personalized strategies for disciplined wealth-building over time.

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Better Habits for Better Health, Better Financial Stability, and a Better Retirement

When we ask our clients to describe their ideal retirement, two of the most common responses are “healthy” and “stable.” In our experience, most successful retirees find ways to align these two goals … and throw in a little fun as well. In fact, it seems that there may be a psychological connection between how we plan for our money and how we plan for our health.

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