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Here are the Keys to Thriving During a Bumpy Stock Market

The stock market has recently been acting like that old saying about the weather, “if you don’t like it today, just wait for tomorrow.” The past few months have been very bumpy in the stock market. Down big one day, up big the next, rinse and repeat. With this bumpiness, we thought it would be a good idea to kick off the 2019 edition of Keen on Retirement by discussing the current state of the markets, how today’s volatility compares to historical norms, and how our planning process...


3 Key Ways to Maximize the Impact of Your Charitable Giving

‘Tis the season here at Keen Wealth! While folks are wrapping up their holiday shopping and party plans, we’re helping clients put a bow on their 2018 finances. This time of year I’m always moved and inspired by how many of our clients are looking outside of themselves, using the assets they’ve worked so hard for to improve our community and help those in need. On today’s show, we discuss how charitable giving factors into your year-end tax planning preparation. A little forethought and...


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-Term Care and Your Financial Plan

Health care was on the minds of many voters during the mid-term elections, and I suspect this will continue to be a hot-button issue. Thanks to advances in medicine, technology, and standards of living, people are living longer and more active lives. However, with increased life expectancy comes higher health care costs and higher insurance premiums that you’ll have to account for longer into your retirement – especially if you’re a woman. Nevertheless, most of us are going to reach a...


Stock Market Jitters? Making it Through Volatile Times

“Are we going to be OK?” I know some folks are asking themselves and their fiduciary advisors that question after a turbulent month for the markets. We’ve discussed both current and historical reasons for October’s volatility – which again, I have to stress, was perfectly normal and no cause for panic. But I understand that technical and theoretical analysis are cold comfort right now if you’re retired and depending on your investments to support you for the rest of your life. So on...


How Do Interest Rates Affect the Economy – and Your Nest Egg?

Last week I tried to provide some calm perspective on the recent fluctuations in the markets. Again, in summary: the corrections we’re experiencing right now are perfectly normal, and not nearly as scary as some of the headlines would have you believe. One of the main factors that’s contributing to this volatile October is the pace and expected duration of the Federal Reserve’s current rising interest rate cycle. As you probably read, President Trump wasn’t very happy with the Fed, and a...


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...


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.


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 entering...


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 today’s...