I bet it’s no surprise to hear that the #1 concern people have about retirement is not having saved enough. There are so many uncertainties that impact your retirement finances such as: “How long am I going to live?” “How much is healthcare going to cost?” ”Are we going to have another major recession?” “Am I going to stay healthy?” While you can’t control those, there are things you can do to be in more control of your finances.

Retirement Savings
Retirement Savings

The Fiduciary Rule

Most people use financial advisors who get their income by selling financial products like annuities and IRA’s. I’m not accusing anyone of ripping people off, but if an advisor gets a higher commission for selling one financial product over another, is the advisor making the best recommendation to you? If scoring another $200,000 IRA qualifies him for the Grand Cayman trip his wife wants, will he suggest the right product for your needs? In 2015, the federal government proposed The Fiduciary Rule. This rule would have made it a requirement that our financial advisor has to work in our best interest. What a novel idea! Here is a link to an article with all the details.

But like a lot of things in Washington, the financial services industry fought it and won, and you and I lost. Since the rule was shot down, we can’t assume we’re getting the best advice. We need to remain in control.

Financial stuff can be complicated, but you can learn enough to know if you are getting the best advice. I didn’t intend to blog much on financial stuff. I’m not a financial guy and I don’t play one on TV. But there are plenty of great resources I can point you to that provide solid education and advice. I’m not recommending that you gain enough knowledge to open an online trading account and risk it all. But I am suggesting that you put in the effort to get smart enough to help steer your financial ship.

My Favorite Financial Blogs

These are the financial blogs that I go to and recommend the most. I like to follow a few different ones to get various points of view that allow me to make the best decisions for us. I suggest you start at the beginning of their blogs and work your way through them.

  • Retirement Manifesto Fritz began his blog while he was preparing for his retirement and has continued it upon his freedom. He offers great advice and commentary in an easy to understand way. Fritz provides templates and planners that are very useful. He has gained a good enough reputation to have a few thousand followers and a book deal.
  • Can I Retire Yet? One of Darrow’s books is called Can I Retire Yet. I’ve gone through the book enough times, with different highlighter colors that the inside of the book looks like the cover of fruit Lifesavers. His ongoing blog covers things from using online retirement calculators, traveling, real estate and healthcare, just to start.
  • Early Retirement Now Big ERN, not his real name, has a really deep financial pedigree and can dive into the details to the point that my eyes cross, but he is worth the effort. He covers topics that help various age groups and I’ve been made a smarter man because of ERN.

These blogs are a good start to your financial self-education. My previous post “Downsizing Equals Rightsizing” includes some of the tips and strategies gained during my own self-education.          

It’s never too late to start your financial education, but it’s dangerous not to.

Your Extra Innings