Mar 05 2012

Carnival of Retirement #9: Like planting a garden

Welcome to the 9th edition of the Carnival of Retirement. If you want to submit a post for next week’s edition, please use the submission form. Next week’s edition will be hosted by Money Q & A.

Preparing for retirement is sort of like planting a garden. You choose a healthy plot of land (a solid, low-fee company to house your investments), and select hardy perennial seedlings and bulbs (choose investments wisely).

Regularly water and add compost (contribute consistently to your account). You might place flowers along your walkway, herbs in pots on your patio, and in the garden — tomatoes, peppers, squash, lettuce, beans, and even a berry bush (diversify!).

You might call in extra help, like a landscaper (financial adviser).

Some years, you’ll experience devastating drought — not even frequent watering will keep your garden green (bear markets). Other times, the rains will come as they should, with optimal amounts of sunshine and the bounty will be beyond your wildest dreams (bull market).

You wait. You put in the hard work. You make the best with what you’ve got, trusting it’ll pay off later.

Then, it happens — beautiful blooms! Delicious, nourishing produce! A nest egg that will provide the retirement you envisioned way back when you were planting seeds and pulling weeds.

At the end of your season when it’s time to harvest, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.


Editor’s picks:

J.P. from Novel Investor published An Under-Invested America: Is Conservative The New Norm?, saying, ‘Nobody has gotten rich earning less than 1% on their money. Yet eight times more money has been put into savings accounts than into stock and bond funds, since the market crash of ’08.’

Corey from Steadfast Finances published Future Tax Policy and Why You Don’t Want a Roth IRA, saying, ‘Are you investing in a Roth IRA without considering the future tax policies. Future taxes on your roth ira could limit your investment return. ‘

Dividend Ninja from The Dividend Ninja published When Issuing A Dividend Can Be Dangerous , saying, ‘A dividend can actually be a huge red flag depending on where the company gets the money for it. If you know what to look for, a company paying or increasing its dividend is not always a good sign. How does your favorite dividend paying company get the money for those annual or quarterly payments? ‘

Best of the rest:

Kevin from Invest It Wisely published Why I Wish I Controlled My Pension, saying, ‘I simply hate the idea that I have to give up so much of my money. I don’t understand how it’s legal for a union to effectively say, “We know how to handle your money better than you do, you have NO CHOICE but to let us handle your pension, oh and we’ll be taking over 3% of your gross income in union dues as well.”’

Peter from Bible Money Matters published Betterment Lowers Fees Substantially: Also Launches Traditional And Roth IRAs To All, saying, ‘This week, however, Betterment is announcing some big changes for their service. First, and most importantly in my eyes, they’re announcing that they’ll be lowering their fees across the board to make Betterment an even more attractive option, with fees extremely competitive in the industry. Here’s a look at their newer better fee structure:’

Kay Lynn from Bucksome Boomer published A Part-Time Job: The Secret to Success, saying, ‘Do you currently have a full-time job? What is your current financial situation? Do you struggle to pay the bills or are you living comfortably from month to month? Either way, I think everyone could benefit from a part-time job (or at least another income source).’

Spring flower

MMD from MyMoneyDesign published Is It Time to Change Up My Retirement Portfolio?, saying, ‘With the current economic prosperity, my retirement portfolio is almost back up to pre-Recession levels. Is it time to change my portfolio to a safer asset allocation and lock into my earnings while I can?’

Michael Kitces from Nerd’s Eye View published Is The Retirement Plan With The Lowest “Risk of Failure” Really The Best Choice?, saying, ‘It is increasingly popular for retirement calculators and software to use a Monte Carlo style of analysis, leading retirees to select which plan has the best “probability of success”. This blog post highlights that in reality, the plan with the highest probability of success may actually be a poor plan to decision, because it may also have the highest risk of catastrophic failure. In order to properly assess conclusions for a retirement plan analysis, it’s crucial to look at both probabilities of success and failure, and their magnitudes.’

Investor Junkie from Investor Junkie published Press Your Luck With Dividend Stocks or Fixed Income, saying, ‘One of my favorite gameshows from the 80?s was “Press Your Luck”. The popular phrase from that show was “big bucks and no whammies”! Unfortunately investors looking for yield in 2012 and 2013 are only going to get whammies. It’s a very difficult time to invest looking for yield, and I actually call it a double whammy. We are going to get hit on two fronts, both will affect your investment returns.’

Melissa from Fiscal Phoenix published Market Captalization: Large, Small, Mid Cap, saying, ‘Would you rather have a stock that is up 10% one day and then down 10% the next or one that steadily increases by 1% a day? Avoiding those wide swings and creating a stable portfolio is probably your main goal. There is a way to diversify by company size and it should keep your portfolio stable and steady.’

Spring in the Capay Valley

Shaun from Smart Family Finance published Smart Family Finance Mortgage Basics: Lifetime and Reverse Mortgages Explained , saying, ‘While a lifetime mortgage is not right for everyone, it can be a viable alternative for retirees who want a larger fixed income for no additional monthly expense. ‘

Daniel from Sweating the Big Stuff published The Ideal Amount of Savings at Age 30 , saying, ‘I would like to live comfortably in retirement. Just how much do I need to save by age 30 to never have to save another penny for retirement? ‘

Daisy from Add Vodka published Individual Opportunity Costs , saying, ‘Everyone has a price. At work the other day, we were playing the ‘what if’ game, after a particularly horrifying happening on Fear Factor. It was along the lines of ‘Would you ever cheat?’ ‘

Kanwal from Simply Investing published Want To Increase Your Investment Income With Dividends? , saying, ‘Are you looking to increase your investment income? What is the simplest and quickest way to increase your earnings? Dividends! Not just any dividends but dividends that increase regularly. In this article let’s take a look at the power of dividends and some recent dividend increases.’

Steve from Money Infant published What’s Love Got to Do With It! , saying, ‘One of the long standing personal finance questions is Buying vs renting a home. Let’s take a look at the financial wisdom of buying a home versus renting. ‘

Dana from Not Made of Money published The Best Tips for Automating Your Finances , saying, ‘The most common area for people to struggle in their lives is with their finances. Remembering to pay bills on time, putting paychecks in the bank and keeping everything running smoothly can be impossible with the responsibilities present in everyday life. Unordered finances lead to bounced check fees, overdraft fees, late fees and other problems, ‘

FG from Financial God published A Frugal Manifesto , saying, ‘I have seen far too much hate for frugality and frugal people these days. I consider myself a frugal person, even though I don’t make my own toilet paper, soap, nor laundry detergent. Does being frugal mean that we all have to go to extremes? ‘

LaTisha from Financial Success for Young Adults published Stop, Limit, Profit and Loss , saying, ‘Trading with the protection of stop-loss and profit-limit orders. ‘

Spring Flowers

Tushar from Start Investing Money published Could You Invest in a Business? , saying, ‘This Post was Originally published at Could You Invest in a Business? on Start Investing MoneyWhen we think about investments we often think about stocks, shares and different forms of bank accounts. But what about investing in a business? Could this prove to be one of the best ways to invest your money for a good return in the future? What type of business should you invest in? ‘

SFB from Simple Finance Blog published Why Index Funds Will Always Beat Active Managed Funds , saying, ‘There are basically two types of funds. The first is the ‘active’ managed fund and second the passive or the ‘index’ fund. Which is better? And why? ‘

Don from MoneySmartGuides published How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Early , saying, ‘Your house is for most, your largest expense. Not only in terms of the size of the monthly payment, but also in terms of time. ‘

Andrew from 101 Centavos published More on Investing in the Basics: Chocolate , saying, ‘Ask any lady about the bare necessities of life, and chocolate ranks way on up there. Food, fire and shelter… and fudge brownies! ‘

Photos: Booleansplit, Janoma, Basykes, El Frito

17 Responses to “Carnival of Retirement #9: Like planting a garden”

  1. Thanks for hosting the carnival and for including me!

  2. Thanks for including us. :)

  3. Thanks for the editor’s pick, very much appreciated!

  4. Thanks for the inclusion this week. Your pictures of flowers are making me really want the Winter to be over so I can start my landscaping!

  5. Thanks for the mention, and for hosting the carnival!

  6. Very nice carnival. (And I liked the garden analogy.)

  7. Thanks for the include. Love the gardening theme!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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