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Retirement Challenge, The: Will You Sink or Swim?: A Complete, Do-It-Yourself Toolkit to Navigate Your Financial Future

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Retirement Challenge, The: Will You Sink or Swim?: A Complete, Do-It-Yourself Toolkit to Navigate Your Financial Future

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  • Copyright 2009
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-264366-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-264366-5

“Imagine that you board an airliner and are told that you will be piloting the plane. Such is the plight of tens of millions of Americans, on whom have been foisted a jumble of 401(k), 403(b), and 457 defined contribution plans, and are as well qualified to manage their retirement portfolios as they are to pilot a jet from Los Angeles to Boston. Since things aren’t changing any time soon, you may very well need flying lessons, and pronto. Frank Armstrong’s The Retirement Challenge: Will You Sink or Swim? is just the ground school you need.”

—William Bernstein, author of A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World and The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio

“Armstrong and Doss have written a simple and understandable guide through the maze that is our financial world. If your goal is to outperform the vast majority of investors on the road to retirement, The Retirement Challenge: Will You Sink or Swim? paves the way.”

—TAYLOR LARIMORE, coauthor of The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

“This is a great handbook for those planning for retirement. Armstrong and Doss not only tell you the right way to build a plan, they also show you how to avoid purchasing products from the wolves of Wall Street that lead investors to be sheared like sheep.”

—LARRY SWEDROE, author of The Only Guide to Alternative Investments You’ll Ever Needand Wise Investing Made Simple

“In today’s investment markets, this is an invaluable book. If you care about the quality of the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself and your family to read The Retirement Challenge: Will You Sink or Swim?

—HAROLD EVENSKY, CFP®, AIF®, President, Evensky & Katz

In 48 quick, practical lessons, Armstrong shows how to assess what you have and what you’ll need to build a simple, reliable retirement plan. Better yet, the book’s easy online calculators do all the math for you. Investing for retirement has never been so sensible and simple! Includes free access to comprehensive Web-based tools and resources at www.Sink-Swim.com:

  • More than 75 easy-to-use online calculators and budget spreadsheets to help you get on track and stay on track
  • Sample asset allocation plans you can adjust for any stage of your career and any portfolio
  • Up-to-the-minute updates on pension law, regulation, enforcement, and estate planning
  • Free Sink or Swim Newsletter, and much more

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements  xiv

About the Authors  xv

Introduction  1

Part I: Overview of the Retirement Problem 7

Lesson 1: You Are On Your Own  8

Lesson 2: The Changing Face of Retirement  15

Lesson 3: The Retirement Problem  20

Part II: Meet Your Retirement Plans  23

Lesson 4: Defined Benefit Plans  24

Lesson 5: Defined Contribution Plans—An Overview  30

Lesson 6: The Basic Defined Contribution Plan  32

Lesson 7: Profit-Sharing Plans  37

Lesson 8: Employee-Funded Plans  38

Lesson 9: Generic Problems with Pension Plans  39

Lesson 10: The 401(k) Plan  47

Lesson 11: The 403(b) Plan—Not-For-Profit Enterprises  50

Lesson 12: The Roth 401(k), 403(b) Option  55

Lesson 13: Section 457 Plans for Municipal and State Employees  56

Lesson 14: Making the Most of Your 401(k), 403(b), or 457 Plan  58

Lesson 15: IRAs  60

Lesson 16: Retirement Planning for the Self-Employed  72

Lesson 17: How Does Your Plan Stack Up?  75

Lesson 18: What Can Go Wrong  80

Lesson 19: Should You Contribute to It?  87

Lesson 20: Alternatives to Qualified Plans  89

Lesson 21: Help from the Courts  93

Part III: Where Are You in Your Career?  95

Lesson 22: Early and Mid-Career  97

Lesson 23: Changing Jobs: Smart Moves for Your Pension Plan   99

Lesson 24: At Age 50, the Catch-Up Provisions  111

Lesson 25: Approaching Retirement Transition Planning  112

Lesson 26: Early Retirement Tactics: How to Avoid the Tax Traps  114

Lesson 27: 70 is the New 65: Delayed Retirement Advantages  120

Lesson 28: At Retirement  125

Part IV: How Much Will You Need?  143

Lesson 29: Sustainable Withdrawal Rates  148

Lesson 30: Forecasting Your Needs  152

Part V: Investing to Meet Your Goals  161

Lesson 31: The Anti-Cramer Guide to Investment Success  162

Lesson 32: Start Early  163

Lesson 33: Cleaning Up Credit Card Debt  169

Lesson 34: Costs Matter  173

Lesson 35: Taxes Matter  176

Lesson 36: Control Risk  178

Lesson 37: Concentrated Stock  185

Lesson 38: The Perils of Company Stock  187

Lesson 39: Taking the Right Amount of Risk  193

Lesson 40: It’s the Portfolio, Stupid!  197

Lesson 41: Traditional Active Managers Are a Waste of Money  198

Lesson 42: Investment Vehicles  201

Lesson 43: Building Your Buckets  208

Lesson 44: Periodic Maintenance  214

Lesson 45: Investing During Retirement  216

Lesson 46: Selecting an Advisor  224

Lesson 47: Reaching Your Goals  233

Lesson 48: Public Policy Issues  240

Glossary  243

Index  251


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