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Are You Getting Your Best Possible Life With Your Money?

The US economy has experienced some incredible gains over the last 40 years. Our GDP (the size of our economy) has tripled. The S&P 500, when you include reinvested dividends, has risen more than 9,000%. Since the 1980s, average household income in the U.S. has risen by one-third after inflation. Couple all that tremendous economic growth with the huge advancements we’ve made in health care and technology, and it goes without saying that people are much, much happier today than they were...


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. So, on today’s show, we work through our preferred version of our most common...


Stop Putting Off These Estate Planning Essentials

“I know I should probably make a will, but I’m not going to be around, so really, what do I care?” Sound familiar? Way too many folks hear this voice in their head whenever the subject of estate planning comes up. They don’t realize that an estate plan isn’t just a matter of deciding who gets what once we’ve passed. Most of us are going to need help handling our affairs at some point in our lives, whether due to the realities of old age or a serious incapacitation. Your estate plan...


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...


Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going - The Midyear Edition

At our 2017 Holiday Breakfast, Matt Wilson and I gave a presentation to our clients, families, and friends that analyzed the state of the economy at the end of a record year and attempted some predictions for where we could be headed in 2018. So, halfway through the year, how’d we do? At the risk of jinxing it, I’d say pretty good! My Keen Wealth team expected some market volatility heading into the new year, but we felt that solid economic growth would help prevent a major downturn....


So, How’s the Market Doing?

When people ask, “How’s the market doing?” the response is typically based on how the Dow Jones Industrial Average is doing (Dow for short). The Dow has been around since the late 1800s, so it has a long history of measuring how the US stock market has performed. Despite its popularity and longevity, the Dow has some quirks that make it not necessarily the best way to measure how the overall US stock market is performing. Recently, the powers that be decided to drop an iconic company...


Don’t Let These Media Scare Tactics Throw Off Your Retirement Planning

“Is the US Going Broke?” "Social Security's Coming Crisis” "The Economy's High Blood Pressure” "Exploding Federal Debt: Why So Dangerous?” "Joblessness is Here to Stay.” I know I’m not the only one who’s seen headlines like these in my social media and news feeds lately. And as worrisome as these hot takes sound, what’s even more concerning to my team at Keen Wealth is how they can scare investors into making mistakes that can ruin their financial planning. On today’s show, we...


Keep More Money in Your Pocket by Avoiding These Common Money Mistakes

Recently I took an amazing flight with my son, Devin, to St. George, Utah, near the Grand Canyon. Devin is a certified private pilot studying for his instrument rating, so it was a big help to have someone with his skill and knowledge in the copilot seat helping with navigation, communications with air traffic control, and helping to perform crosschecks – all of which make for a safe flight. We cruised above the Rocky Mountains at 17,000 feet, and at that altitude, you have to pay special...


How to Teach Your Kids (and Grandkids) Good Financial Habits

Graduation season always brings to my mind one important subject schools don’t usually cover: financial education. We parents have to take it upon ourselves to teach this important “class” at home. And the younger your kids are when you start these lessons, the more likely they are to take seed and create lasting, positive financial habits. On today’s show, we talk about how to introduce your young children to saving and investing, some important planning tips for young adults just...


Don’t Fall for These Sneaky Online and Offline Scams

2017 was a big year for internet hacks, with WannaCry, Petya, and the Equifax breach causing online headaches for people around the globe. Nothing quite that widespread or dramatic has rocked the internet so far this year, but that doesn’t mean we can all start relaxing about cybersecurity. In fact, some of the scams that are making the rounds right now mix online and offline tricks to try to capture your most important information. I received one in my own home mailbox recently!


Are You Missing Out If You Don’t Have a Roth IRA?

More often than not, the milestones we look back on in the financial services industry are negative in nature: Black Monday in 1987, the dot com bubble burst around 2000, the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, The Great Recession of 2007 – 2009, the Flash Crash of 2010. Even as we remember how these events made life incredibly difficult for a lot of folks in the moment, the economic lessons we learn tend to trend positive: time and time again, our resilient economy and continues its...


What is the “Fiduciary Standard” and Why Should You Care?

The difference between the fiduciary and suitability standards is such a popular topic on “Keen on Retirement” because it’s such an important distinction. If you’ve never worked with a financial professional before, then you need to be crystal clear about the terms of your arrangement, the means by which the professional is compensated, and how committed both parties are to realizing your dream retirement scenario. If you’re still a little fuzzy on fiduciary vs. suitability, I think...


One Big Retirement Question Leads to One Simple Answer

When we open up the mailbag at Keen on Retirement we usually try to answer as many of the thoughtful questions our listeners send us as time allows. But this week is different. 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...


Gearing Up for Tax Time: Answering Listener Tax Questions

By the end of February, your financial institutions should have sent you all your relevant tax documents for 2017, like earning statements on your investment accounts, interest earned on savings, etc. If you’re missing anything important, you might want to get in touch with those institutions and make sure the info you need is on its way. This tax season is a bit unique because many people are wondering how the laws passed at the end of last year are going to affect their tax picture and...


Market Volatility is Back: Time to Panic or Just Normal?

The headlines and talking heads painted a very bleak picture last week as the market went through its first significant bout of volatility in two years. But at Keen on Retirement I’m not trying to scare you into clicking on another link or sticking around through the next commercial break. We want to give folks our honest perspective on what’s really going on in the markets and the state of the economy’s fundamentals. So, on today’s show, we take a clear-eyed, long-term look at the recent...


20 Minutes to Live

On January 13th, I was walking through the grocery store with my mother and daughter when I noticed that I’d missed a call from my son, Devin, who was vacationing in Hawaii. I played Devin’s voicemail and listened as he very calmly told me that I didn’t have to worry. The alert of an incoming ballistic missile, headed for Hawaii, had been a false alarm. He was safe, after spending a terrifying 25 minutes huddled in a storm drain with about a dozen other people. This was the first I’d...


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...


Insights from Our 20th Annual Holiday Breakfast (Part 2 - Matt Wilson)

We were privileged to have so many clients, family, and friends join us to celebrate our 20th Annual Holiday Breakfast. As is our tradition, we rang in the season with great food, inspiring entertainment, and our Market and Economic Outlook Presentations for 2018. Matt’s presentation, entitled “Focus on the Fundamentals,” gave an outstanding overview of some of the key metrics that drove 2017’s strong markets.


Insights from Our 20th Annual Holiday Breakfast (Part 1 - Bill Keen)

We were privileged to have so many clients, family, and friends join us to celebrate our 20th Annual Holiday Breakfast. As is our tradition, we rang in the season with great food, inspiring entertainment, and our Market and Economic Outlook Presentations for 2018. In my presentation, I gave a brief overview of recent global turbulence as it related to fluctuations within the market.


What is Bitcoin? Blockchain? Should You Buy Some?

At the end of the year the whole internet goes into list-making mode with lists for best movies, best TV shows, best songs, biggest political events and so on. I couldn’t help getting into the spirit a bit myself, so here’s my “Top 3” list of questions that clients and listeners have asked my team at Keen Wealth in 2017: I think we’ve done a good job covering the first two questions in previous episodes this year. So on today’s show, I’m going to cross the final big question of 2017 off...