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Investing Blog Roundup: What to Do about Brexit?

The near future is sure to be a tumultuous time in the markets, given the results of the “Brexit” referendum.

As far as how I’ll be changing my own portfolio to prepare for such tumult, I hope the answer is obvious to long-time readers: I won’t be making any changes. There will be no change to our asset allocation. Nor will there be any change to our regularly scheduled retirement account contributions next week. We’ll be sticking with our plan of regularly buying shares of “total market” index funds (via the Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund).

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Investing Blog Roundup: John Oliver on Retirement Plans

People often send me links to articles that they’ve enjoyed, so that they can be considered for inclusion in the weekly roundup. This week, John Oliver’s segment on retirement plans was wildly popular.

The actual information won’t be terribly new to regular readers here (keep costs low, watch out for advisors who are looking out for their own interests rather than yours, etc). But it’s the most entertaining delivery of those messages that I recall encountering.

Warning: As is typical of a John Oliver segment, the video contains an abundance of adult language and themes.

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Investing Blog Roundup: The 4 Phases of Saving for Retirement

Saving for retirement is often thought of as a single extremely long-term project. This week, author/advisor Michael Kitces explains that it is often helpful to think of the task as four distinct phases, with each phase having its own challenges and primary focus for our efforts.

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Investing Blog Roundup: New Book Recommendation

If you’ve been following this blog for some time, you’re probably already familiar with Darrow Kirkpatrick via the weekly roundups. In case you aren’t familiar with his work, he blogs at CanIRetireYet.com, where he discusses various aspects of retirement planning, having retired at age 50 himself. (In addition to enjoying his writing style, I also enjoy the perspective he provides as somebody who retired early via “normal” means rather than by selling a business for a fortune or getting lucky with investing.)

This week, Kirkpatrick released his latest book (named after his blog) Can I Retire Yet?: How to Make the Biggest Financial Decision of the Rest of Your Life.

After reading the Kindle edition, here’s what I wrote in my review on Amazon:

This book is uncommon in that it is written from the perspective of somebody who has already retired. Naturally, most books (including but not limited to books about retirement planning) are written by people still in the midst of their careers. It is refreshing to get the first-hand perspective of somebody who has been through the process himself.

Perhaps my favorite characteristic of this book is that it’s very honest about the uncertainty involved in retirement planning. You don’t know how long you will live. You don’t know how your investments will perform. You don’t know what inflation will look like. And you don’t know how your spending will change from year to year. Unlike many other books that attempt to gloss over this degree of uncertainty, this book really spells it out for you in a no-nonsense way. Then it shows you how to go about planning in the face of such uncertainty.

I especially enjoyed Kirkpatrick’s discussion of “lifeboat strategies” — ways that you can change course somewhat after retiring in the event that things (i.e., investment returns or spending) aren’t going as you had hoped.

The “6 Crucial Questions” at the end of the book provide a concise, clear way to get started with planning. And I’m sure many people will relate to the “Should I Work One More Year” postscript.

In any event, if you are nearing retirement (or in retirement), I think you’ll find the book helpful.

You can find the book here on Amazon or read Kirkpatrick’s announcement here.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Investing During a Presidential Campaign

I’ve always made a point to keep my political views out of my writing. Still, some readers have asked me over the last few months what they should do to protect their portfolios in case an undesirable candidate is elected in November. Allan Roth’s recent answer is spot-on, in my view:

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Investing Blog Roundup: Actuaries Longevity Illustrator

One of the most critical questions in retirement planning is how long you expect to live. Longevity expectations affect everything from how much you can spend per year, to tax planning decisions, to Social Security decisions.

It’s easy to look up your life expectancy in a table. But all that tells you is the average outcome. It’s also very helpful to see somewhat more detailed information (e.g., how likely it is that you — and/or your spouse, if married — will live to various ages).

This week, via Walter Updegrave, I encountered a new, easy to use tool from the American Academy of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries that can give you such information:

http://www.longevityillustrator.org/

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