Thanks to "jeanwa" for directing me to this board!!!What are some good sources of information and reading material for dealing with the Post-Retirement situation where the husband, who was the breadwinner in the more traditional mode of the older generation, has passed away and the wife is left with a comfortable estate but does not know how to deal with it? A lot of information has been written about pre-retirement planning and investing, but very little about the post-retirement world and its challenges of managing assets, income, expenses, and possible health problems. And the special case is when the wife must suddenly come up to speed to deal with a financial situation that was not in her domain asa married spouse.H.S.
<<What are good sources of information and reading material for dealing with the Post-Retirement situation where the husband, who was the breadwinner in the more traditional mode of the older generation, has passed away and the wife is left with a comfortable estate but does not know how to deal with it? A lot of information has been written about pre-retirement planning and investing, but very little about the post-retirement world and its challenges of managing assets, income, expenses, and possible health problems. And the special case is when the wife must suddenly come up to speed to deal with a financial situation that was not in her domain asa married spouse.>>Hi,I found myself in the above situation three years ago when my husband died. I had not been totally out of the money loop, but did need some fast education, a lot of which I found on the Fool boards. Managing Your Finaces has a lot of good boards: Index Funds taught me what I needed to know to begin investing in equities (Vanguard 500 Index). Bonds and Fixed Income was helpful. Retired Fools. The Retire Early Home Page. Just prowl all the boards--there seem to be pearls abounding. My problem is not enough time to prowl. Sandy
Hi,There are lots of web sites that can help. Beginning right here on the Motley Fool. At http://www.fool.com/school.htm?ref=LN you will find a wealth of information for begginers and retirees alike. I also found a lot of good information in books. I liked 'Living Well In Retirement' by Lisa Ellis and the editors of Money Magazine. Try your library and I am sure you will find others.Quicken Financial Planner has some great planners or calculators that help with questions about retirement, such as, Am I spending too much? or will my money last? Similar calculators are also available on line. Try www.retireearly.com and www.quicken.comMany mutal fund companies also have web sites with education sections. These are full of general information along with information about the various products offered. Try www.vanguard.com and www.gefn.com There are many more excellent sites keep looking for the ones that help you the most.I hope this helps, I am sorry for your loss.Regards
Take a look at www.morningstar.com Conversartions. Two of them could be of interest to you: Investing during retirement and Vanguard Diehards. Both have plenty of participants willing to help. Ozark in the first one and Mel, Taylor & others in the second are particularly savvy and helpful. Good Luck!
Today's MONEY section of the Oregonian newspaper suggested:"Bloomberg University, online at www.bloomberguniversity.comFree classes - with lessons, assignments and quizzes - taught by experts in investing and planning. A great place to begin your investment lessons or to expand your knowledge beyond the basics."I haven't tried this, but it may be worth a look.The article also gave tips on how to find good, unbiased advice if you need a competent financial planner. If you're interested perhaps you can find a link to the MONEY section of the Oregonian, Sunday Feb 10th.There is lots of help available. Motley Fool is one of my favorites.Sorry about your loss.Charlotte
Author: humanshark Date: 2/9/02 3:32 PM Number: 7766 What are some good sources of information and reading material for dealing with the Post-Retirement situation where the husband, who was the breadwinner in the more traditional mode of the older generation, has passed away and the wife is left with a comfortable estate but does not know how to deal with it?Let me assume we are actually talking about you, and say that I am very sorry for your loss. I lost my father in Dec 99 and my mother was left in a similar position as you. Fortunately, I knew a little about investing, and I have been able to help her.1. The first thing you have to do is to fully understand every detail of your estate. You need to be sure that you know exactly how much money you have and where it is invested. You will be very vulnerable until you establish a monitoring system to make sure none of your assets are disappearing. Be extremely careful about paying anyone to help you. It is very expensive (if not downright dangerous) to turn your money over to someone else to handle. There are lots of sharks out there who would love to take your money. Make sure all the decisions require your approval.2. Figure out how much money you should be receiving from dividends, interest, pensions, social security, etc., each month, and where it is going. Call your broker, mutual fund company, and banks to find this out. Track this money flow regularly.3. Figure out how much you need each month to live on, including discretionary (entertainment, travel, fun, etc) as well as non-discretionary (food, shelter, transportation, clothing, utilities, etc)expenses. Multiply this by 12 to find your annual expenses.4. Subtract any cash income streams (pensions, social security, etc) from your yearly expenses. This number will be the amount you will need to withdraw from your estate each year to live.5. Now, since a properly allocated portfolio has historically been able to generate a maximum of 4% per year and survive longterm, you need to find out if your estate will meet your needs long term. Multiply your annual withdrawal number from step 4 by 25. This will give you the total amount of money you need to be sure of long term survival (again, assuming it is properly allocated, but I will address that next).A lot of information has been written about pre-retirement planning and investing, but very little about the post-retirement world and its challenges of managing assets, income, expenses, and possible health problems. And the special case is when the wife must suddenly come up to speed to deal with a financial situation that was not in her domain asa married spouse. Once you become fairly knowledgeable about where you stand and whether or not you have enough money to live on, you need to address the topic of where it should be invested.If you have a fairly sizeable estate, then you most likely have a full service broker. You can continue to work with that broker if you want to, but full service brokers are pretty expensive. Plus, your broker may or may not really have your interests as top priority. He/she may have his/her own succcess more in mind than yours.If you are independent-minded, you could open an account with a respected no-load mutual fund company like Vanguard (www.vanguard.com). Note: I am not affiliated with Vanguard in any way. I have some of my retirement money with them, and I think they are one of, if not the best mutual funds there is. Vanguard can even handle individual stocks now (but their trading costs are a little high).I would recommend reading a couple really good books (both can be purchased online at www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com):'Common Sense on Mutual Funds' by John C. Bogle (founder of the Vanguard Funds.'A Random Walk Down Wall Street' by Burton G. Malkiel.And, reading a few good websites:http://www.fool.com/retirement.htm?ref=G02A04 is the Retirement area here at the Motley Fool. Click on 'Managing Your Retirement'. Lots of great information.http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/ has lots of information on withdrawal methods and maximum withdrawal rates from retirement portfolios.http://www.scottburns.com/ Scott Burns is a columnist for the Dallas Morning News, and he posts all of his columns as well as tons of other info in his own personal website. Some of it relates to managing your retirement.Lastly, continue to read this board as well as the Retire Early Home Page board at: http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16682688&bid=112992and the Retirement Investing board at: http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16685375&bid=100154Other boards you might want to read are:Indexing Board at: http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16682124&bid=100111Bonds and Fixed INcome Investments at: http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16683545&bid=100135&days=60Investing for Income at: http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16645879&bid=115353I hope this will get you started.RK
HS, I think that rkmcdonald covered a lot of good references for learning how to manage your finances in retirement. I would add that if you are new to managing investments, be careful not to get stampeded into make changes or major decisions until you feel comfortable that you know what you want to do and why you want to do it. Sometimes after a major life-event, like the loss of a spouse, a broker or financial advisor will recommend major changes in asset allocation or investment vehicles. Sometimes this may be good advice, but sometimes it just generates profits for the broker. If your current situation is 'comfortable' then you will probably still be comfortable in 6 months, and that will give you time to understand what you need to do with your investments.One more recommendation for background reading. You might look over the continuing series called "The Retirement Journal" by Stan Hinton in the Washington Post. The articles chronical his retirement experiences and related topics. The on-line location is:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/business/columns/personalfinance/retirementjournal/Good LuckRick
You got wonderful advice and resources from rkmacdonald. I have been widowed for 14 years. Like you I was left with a nice 401K plus life insurance. I remember at first I was afraid to spend a dime in fear I would be begging on the streets. I left the 401K with the company, a very wise choice on my part as it appreciated with very little cost, just sitting there. The life insurance funds I put with a broker that I was acquainted with...not the best choice, but I knew nothing about investments and there was no Motley Fool to help out. There is a lot to learn about investing. I found that participating in TMF seminars really helped over time. I know that rkmacdonald recommended Vangard. I am invested now with Fidelity, maybe not quite as good, but they do have offices where you can sit down and speak to someone who can help you build your portfolio......As for now, I would leave the money just where it is till you learn at least the basics. And now that you are on your own, be wary of advice that will put your money into someone else's pocket. You have suffered a great loss, so don't be in a hurry to make changes in your life without a great deal of thought first. Best wishes to you,Birgit aka follydolly
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