The best sources for financial information
If you want to succeed in personal financial planning, you need to use the best-informed, up-to-date and unbiased sources. In this column I’ll share my recommendations.
For information about IRAs and other retirement savings accounts, Ed Slott and his publications are simply the best.
I regularly attend his seminars and keep up to date with his monthly publications. I recommend his book The New Retirement Savings Time Bomb, which is available on his website, irahelp.com.
As for Social Security, unfortunately, there is a great deal of confusion and misinformation regarding benefits and policies, including from many representatives of the agency itself.
I recommend you obtain Maximizing Social Security Benefits by Marybeth Franklin. Her book (available from her website, maximizingsocialsecuritybenefits.com) is reliable and covers all the important Social Security issues.
You can’t afford to make mistakes in deciding when to apply for Social Security benefits. The wrong decision can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Retirement and estate planning
When it comes to retirement planning, the most comprehensive book is the Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success by Wade Pfau.
He is an expert in this field, and the book covers all the major issues associated with retirement planning. Another advantage is that he makes available regular podcasts covering all the subjects he covers in his book.
A book I recommend for both pre-retirement planning and retirement planning is How to Make Your Money Last by Jane Bryant Quinn.
This book covers all the major issues related to financial planning, is easy to read, and refers readers to many other valuable sources of information that I also use.
On the topic of estate planning, Bob Carlson is a retirement expert who has also written an excellent retirement book, Retirement Watch: The Essential Guide to Retiring in the 2020s. Portions of the book provide excellent advice on effective estate planning.
If you are considering a reverse mortgage, which allows you to live in your home for several years after retirement while receiving payments for its equity value, you should read How to Use Reverse Mortgages to Secure Your Retirement by Wade Pfau.
This book is the most informative one related to reverse mortgages. Pfau points out the advantage of using the “line of credit” option. Don’t consider using a reverse mortgage until you read this book. It is available through Retirement Research Media.
The source I recommend for annuities is Stan Haithcock, whom I have worked with for more than 10 years. No one I know has more expertise in this field.
He will only recommend annuities that are cost-effective for you. He will make available for you, at no cost, easily readable booklets that summarize the pros and cons of every type of annuity.
His website is stantheannuityman.com. His email address is email@example.com. I have recommended his services to readers for many years and have never received a complaint, only compliments. His podcasts are available weekly.
Medicare planning is another area where making the right decisions is crucial. Before you reach 65, it is important to understand the pros and cons of different Medicare options.
Get What’s Yours for Health Care by Philip Moeller is comprehensive and covers the advantages and disadvantages of every option available to you. One reason it is crucial to inform yourself prior to age 65 is that some options are available at sign-up and may not be available later or available only with significant financial penalties if you change your mind.
Another valuable resource is “Medicare and You,” an official government publication that is available at no cost at Medicare.gov and through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Finally, I also recommend regularly reading financial periodicals such as the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s.
You can usually find these publications at your public library, or you can subscribe at reasonable prices when promotions are offered. Make sure you cancel when promotions are ended. Otherwise, you will incur higher costs automatically.
Elliot Raphaelson welcomes your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2023 Elliot Raphaelson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency LLC.