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Benjamin Brandt wants to teach you how to retire! Listen in as Benjamin Brandt CFP©, RICP© answers the questions on the minds of the modern retiree, often joined by the top experts in the retirement planning industry. Ask Benjamin a question here:

Benjamin Brandt wants to teach you how to retire! Listen in as Benjamin Brandt CFP©, RICP© answers the questions on the minds of the modern retiree, often joined by the top experts in the retirement planning industry. Ask Benjamin a question here:


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Benjamin Brandt wants to teach you how to retire! Listen in as Benjamin Brandt CFP©, RICP© answers the questions on the minds of the modern retiree, often joined by the top experts in the retirement planning industry. Ask Benjamin a question here:






7 Steps for Widows and Widowers to Manage Their First Year Alone, Ep # 196

Nobody wants to think about becoming a widow or widower, but unfortunately, if you are married, there is a 50/50 chance that you could. In addition to the crushing grief that comes with losing a spouse, there are many details to take care of in that first year alone. This is why I want to share an article with you from The article, written by Anna Byrne, outlines 7 steps that you can take to help manage that first year on your own. Anna was only 28 years old when she lost...


Do You Know the Difference Between Being Rich and Being Wealthy? Ep #195

Do you consider being rich and being wealthy the same thing? In the book by Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money, the author argues that these words mean two different things. In this episode of Retirement Starts Today, we’ll explore the difference between rich and wealthy as well as the connotation of the word money. Outline of This Episode Thank you for 1 million downloads I want to thank you all for helping me hit an exciting podcasting milestone. In May of this year (2021), we hit 1...


Cheaper Health Insurance Before Medicare? Ep # 194

Are you one of the many that are being held back from early retirement by the exorbitant cost of health insurance? If so, you won't want to miss this episode. This week’s retirement headline comes from Carolyn McClanahan at and it outlines the enhanced health insurance subsidies that stem from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). You’ll want to stick around for the listener questions segment if you are a fan of retirement podcasts. I have a treat for you all as I...


Improving the 4% Rule, Ep # 193

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the 4% rule for retirement planning. This rule is great for speculating your likelihood of success, but it isn’t always the best rule to follow in practice. Druce Vertes at offers a different approach to implementing the original 4% Rule. On this episode of Retirement Starts Today, we’ll dive into his technical article which explores the idea of making the normally rigid 4% rule more flexible to maximize spending for different levels of...


The 6 Phases of Retirement, Ep # 192

As you prepare yourself for retirement, you probably have a vision of your retired self traveling, spending more time on your hobbies, or with loved ones. Retirement will give you time for all that and more. I read an article recently that describes the 6 phases of retirement. I had never defined it that way before, but this was an interesting way to delineate a natural progression of this time period. Press play to learn what these 6 phases are. Outline of This Episode The natural...


Time for a Gap Year? Ep # 191

Have you ever considered going back to school? Early retirement can be a fantastic time to explore new learning opportunities. In this episode of Retirement Starts Today, we’ll take a look at a Market Watch article that describes the burgeoning culture of adult learning for those at or near retirement age. We’ll continue by exploring many higher education programs across the United States that are aimed at people aged 50 and above. Make sure to stick around for the listener questions...


Deducting Your Home Office in a Work from Home World, Ep # 190

Since 2020 was the year of working from home, you may be wondering how you can deduct your home office expenses from your taxes now that tax time is upon us. For this reason, we explore an article written by Jeffrey Levine at Learn the home office deduction rules and discover if they will apply to your situation. Outline of This Episode Who is eligible for the home office deduction? Many small business owners can claim a home office deduction as a tax break. However, not every...


The Future Is Foggy, Plan Accordingly, Ep #189

If 2020 has taught us anything it is that the future is not always certain. This has brought about feelings of insecurity and anxiety in some people. That’s why this week, I share an article from Harvard Business Review which describes how people can use micro-planning and biomimicry to combat feelings of uncertainty brought on by this post-pandemic world. After the retirement headlines, I’ll answer two listener questions. John asks about maxing out his HSA after 50 and Val is trying to...


What You Need to Know About Your My Social Security Account, Ep # 188

Are you signed up for the My Social Security account from the Social Security Administration? In this episode, we’ll review a article written by Jeffrey Levine about this important resource. We’ll review the history of My Social Security, how to sign up for it, how its benefit calculations account for inflation, and how Americans can interpret its information in order to understand their social security benefits. Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to review a very important...


Fidelity & Schwab Donors Set Record for Charitable Giving in Response to Pandemic, Ep #187

Despite the economic downturn, 2020 turned out to be a fantastic year for charitable giving. In this episode, we’ll look at how people chose to give and you’ll learn about the efficiency of giving through donor-advised funds (DAFs). In the listener questions segment, you’ll learn how to survive a bear market in retirement. We’ll investigate the length of the average bear market and see how you can prepare for the worst in your retirement years. Outline of This Episode Shwab and Fidelity...


Why We’re Experiencing Zoom Fatigue and How To Fix It, Ep # 186

If you’ve been working from home over the past year you may wonder why you feel even more exhausted than normal. This could be due to Zoom Fatigue. In this episode, we’ll explore an article from CNBC that references a Stanford study about this phenomenon. In the listener questions segment, I’ll answer questions about RMDs and Roth conversions. Let’s get to the bottom of your exhaustion--press play now. Outline of This Episode Why are we so exhausted after video conferencing? Over the...


How To Protect Yourself and Your Savings From Cyberfraud, Ep # 185

You have fraud protection on your bank accounts and your credit cards, but what about your retirement accounts? Today we’ll explore an article from the Wall Street Journal outlining a case of cyber fraud in a 401K account. We’ll also discuss ways for people to safeguard their savings. In the listener questions segment, I’ll answer a question about buying an RV in retirement and we’ll wrap up this episode with a question from Hal about whether to make Roth conversions or pay off the...


The American Rescue Plan Act Of 2021, Ep # 184

If you have listened to the news at all lately, you probably know what our Retirement Headlines segment will cover. The American Rescue Plan is all any financial news is talking about these days, so in today’s episode, we’ll explore what you need to know about this recent piece of legislation. Then in the Listener Questions segment, I answer the question: should having a pension change the way we invest the rest of our portfolio? Press play to find out. Outline of This Episode Eligibility...


What to Expect When You're Expecting (to Apply for Medicare), Ep # 183

Enrolling in Medicare can be extremely stressful and confusing. There are so many choices to make, there are different rules to follow, and timelines to be met. Additionally, there is so much information out there that it merely adds to the confusion. On this episode of Retirement Starts Today, I share with you an article written by Joanne Giardini-Russel from Advisor Perspectives entitled, 5 Tips to De-Stress the Entry into Medicare. If you are starting to dive into the Medicare enrollment...


Why Save If You’re Not Going To Spend? Ep #182

How long have you been saving for retirement? Are you hesitant to break into your retirement funds and start living it up once you retire? This week I share two Retirement Headlines articles. The first is called Right-Sizing Retirement and it comes from the Financial Planning Association. In this article, the authors pose an important question: why save for retirement if you're not going to spend it? We’ll also check out another article from Wharton Magazine entitled The Economics of...


Is a 50% Probability of Success Good Enough? Ep #181

Have you heard of the Monte Carlo retirement projection analysis? It is being used more and more by advisors and even popular retirement planning websites. Today, in the Retirement Headlines segment, I offer some insight on an article from that argues that using the Monte Carlo projection, a 50%probability of success rate is good enough. Then in the listener questions segment, I answer the question: what should you do if you plan on never retiring? Don’t miss out on my 5 step plan...


Why Markets Boomed in a Year of Human Misery, Ep #180

Have you wondered why the markets had such an amazing year in 2020 when the economy was a mess and everyone was stuck at home? You aren’t the only one. That’s why in this episode, we’ll look at a New York Times article that examines this question. We’ll also answer some listener questions directly from our newsletter readers. Dave asks about dividend investing in retirement and Brian asks about how to pivot away from target-date funds after retiring. Outline of This Episode Covid brought...


Why Companies Fret as Vacation Days Go Unused, Ep # 179

Has the Covid-19 pandemic cut into your vacation plans? It seems like everyone’s travel plans have changed over the past year. But what does that mean for employees and companies? Anne Steele and Chip Cutter examine the effects of Covid-19 and vacation taking in a recent Wall Street Journal article that we’ll look at today. In addition to our Retirement Headline, I’ll answer two listener questions. One is about Medicare before age 65 and the other about investing in bonds. Grab your...


Frothy Markets - Beware or Prepare? Ep # 178

Has the news about the ups and downs in the market lately got you a bit worried? You aren’t the only one. Many people are even thinking about pulling their money out in case there is a market correction. Does this sound like you? If so, you’ll definitely need to listen to this episode. When you press play you’ll hear what would happen if you only invested at the market peaks, what to do with an inherited IRA, and what the benefits are of an umbrella insurance policy. Outline of This...


Single-Ply Retirement, Ep #177

Are you setting yourself up for a single-ply retirement? Do you find yourself trying to save money out of habit rather than necessity? Listen to the retirement headlines segment to find out why this may not be the best idea in retirement. In the listener questions segment, I actually have a listener answer. I asked the subscribers of my Every Day is Saturday newsletter what they were doing to combat Zoom fatigue and Ann replied with a detailed answer. After that, we’ll analyze Social...