Investing in Retirement Part 5

Bonus points for naming the beheaded guy

If you haven’t read the first four parts of this series, I suggest you go there first: Part 1: Sequence of Returns Risk, Inflation Risk, and the Safe Withdrawal Rate Part 2: Getting income from your various asset classes Part 3: Non-Portfolio Income and how it relates to your portfolio Part 4: Early Retiree issues and Tax Diversification In Part 5, I’m going to discuss a few last issues relevant for the retired investor. The … Continue reading

Investing in Retirement Part 4

Crossing a 42 m bridge to nowhere- Val d Isere, French Alps

Part 1 of this series covered the dilemmas faced by retiree investors. Part 2 warned against become too focused on income. Part 3 showed you how to reduce your need for portfolio income using Social Security, Pensions, SPIAs and rental real estate. In Part 4, I’m going to discuss a few issues faced by early retirees and a discussion of how to benefit from the tax diversification you worked so hard to achieve during your … Continue reading

Investing in Retirement Part 3

In part 1 of this series, I discussed the big issues that retirees face in investing. In part 2, I demonstrated the risks of becoming an income focused investor, and showed how to deal with several broad asset classes as a retiree. In this post, I’m going to talk about some ways to minimize sequence of returns risk by minimizing how much of your portfolio has to have a safe withdrawal rate applied to it. … Continue reading

Investing in Retirement Part 2

The author's wife ascending a Via Ferrata in the French Alps

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the important principles that affect investing in retirement, including the sequence of returns issue, inflation, and safe withdrawal rates. Today, we’ll get a little more practical about how to deal with these significant issues. Converting to Income First, a caution. Investors, both before and after retirement, are often inappropriately focused on “income” such that they ignore their total returns, which in the long run are far more … Continue reading

Investing in Retirement


I am often asked about how someone should invest in retirement. My first reaction is usually to wonder why they’re so worried about it. Just as investing for physicians is 95% the same as investing for everyone else, investing in retirement is 95% the same as investing before retirement. It seems to me that if you can figure out how to stash away enough money to retire on, then it shouldn’t be that hard to … Continue reading

Rebutting the Arguments For Indexed Universal Life Insurance


I recently had a life insurance salesman show up in the comments thread of a post I published years ago about not mixing insurance and investing. He thought Indexed Universal Life Insurance (IUL) was the best thing since sliced bread. In support of his position, he posted a link to an article written in 2012 by Insurance Agent Allen Koreis in 2012, entitled 16 Reasons Why Accountants Prefer Indexed Universal Life Insurance. I thought it … Continue reading

The Pink Price Tag: Disability Insurance for Women

Jamie Fleischner

[Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Jamie K. Fleischner, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, an insurance agent (Set For Life Insurance) and a paid advertiser on this blog. She has specialized in helping physicians with their disability insurance planning needs since 1993. Her niche is finding discounts and unisex rates for her clients and has created one of the largest portfolios of available discounts for physicians nationwide. This post addresses important issues faced by female … Continue reading

The Moral Hazard of Loan Forgiveness Programs

crescent sunset

I’ve been getting various versions of the following question more and more frequently: Q. I was playing around with a loan calculator and I figure it would be better to just take the loan forgiveness (even at 20 years via the Pay As Your Earn (PAYE) program, not just the 10 years via the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program) than to actually try to pay back my student loans. What do you think? Can … Continue reading

Personal Finance for Physicians – A Review

Christopher Burton, MD

There is a new book out by Christopher Burton, MD, a PM&R doc who is also expanding his career as a speaker, author, and coach. It is entitled Personal Finance for Physicians. When I found out about it, I emailed him asking for a review copy and he sent me the mobi file (it’s only available on Kindle.) That is the extent of our financial relationship. The book is extremely short and basic, for better … Continue reading

A Resident’s Net Worth

[Editor's Note: I often get "thank you" emails from doctors and other professionals that have really been helped by what I've written on the website and in my book. This guest post grew out of one of those emails. It was written by the spouse of a physician and a regular reader about their financial journey through the training years. I thought readers might find it inspirational and motivating. I'm going to preserve anonymity as … Continue reading

Still Earning 12.6% with Peer to Peer Lending


Those of you who have been following the blog for years know that I make changes to my portfolio quite infrequently. However, one change I have made was to add a risky fixed-income asset class called Peer to Peer Loans two years ago. I added it to provide diversification and to boost returns (especially given the very low fixed income returns available in our current low interest rate environment.) I figure if you’re going to … Continue reading

How To Fix A Spendthrift Spouse

Q. My wife is a  raging lunatic with a serious mall problem. She has over 100 pairs of shoes. She has boxes of outfits she has never actually worn. I love her very much but don’t want to work forever! What can I do to rein in her spending? Just kidding. The actual email I got was this, much tamer version: Finally, a recurring concept that both residents and colleagues constantly bring up is what … Continue reading

Top Ten Physician Specific Financial Books

I am often asked for book recommendations, although it happens a lot less now that I have written a book in which nearly every chapter ends with book recommendations. Nevertheless, I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss what I consider to be the top ten physician-specific financial books. Now, before I begin, you should be aware of a couple of things. First, 80% of financial planning and 95% of investing has nothing to … Continue reading

5 Reasons Not To Buy Indexed Universal Life Insurance

[Editor's note: Sorry about the pump fake this morning. This is the post that was supposed to run. I'm off having a great time in France and until now was taking the longest blog-cation I've had in 3 years. I thought I had everything set to run on autopilot for two weeks but botched this one up. My apologies!] My June Column at Physician’s Money Digest is a basic piece on Indexed Universal Life Insurance … Continue reading

The Concept of “Being Done” Saving

The idea behind this post was triggered when my cash balance/defined benefit plan limit was increased this year from $15K to $30K (thanks actuaries!). My wife and I were adding up what we expected our tax-advantaged savings opportunities to be in the next 12 months.  Here was the total we came up with: $401K/Profit-sharing plan: $52K Defined Benefit/Cash Balance plan: $30K Backdoor Roth IRAs: $11K HSA: $6,450 Individual 401(k) for The White Coat Investor: ~$40,000 … Continue reading