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HERE’S YOUR CHANCE to help others with your financial insights. To comment, log on using your username and password from Disqus, Facebook, Google (Gmail), Twitter or WordPress. For more on how to comment, click here. And please come back often. We’ll be regularly updating the list of questions.

Is it okay to retire with debt?

"Debt any time for any reason drives me nuts. I can’t even stand credit card balances when I know they will be paid in full by month end. Retirement makes it worse. Any logical argument notwithstanding, I say avoid debt."
- R Quinn
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What do other people spend too much money on?

"On anything they can’t afford"
- R Quinn
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Should retirees use a 4% portfolio withdrawal rate?

"I like McClung’s method, described in his book, Living Off Your Money. His approach involves choosing an initial withdrawal rate based on a variety of factors, and then modifying it annually in response to your remaining portfolio value and what happened in the market during the previous 12 months."
- tshort
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Does money buy happiness?

"I've seen up close that the lack of money brings great fear and anxiety. So Think money can certainly buy peace of mind. Money can buy a certain level of happiness, but it's too easy to get get caught up in the hedonic treadmill. More stuff does not buy happiness, just more stuff."
- Rick Connor
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If you could buy just three funds or less, what would they be?

"I also second the Taylor Latimore/Bogleheads three fund portfolio of VTI (Total Stock Market Index), VXUS (Total International Stock Market Index) but instead on the BND bond index, I am following Warren Buffet’s recent advise about avoiding bond investing, and using the VWO (Emerging Markets Stock Index). The reason I have so much outside the US is to hedge the continued decline in the US dollar versus a basket of currencies I am not a Bitcoin or precious metals investor, but I am very concerned about the extremely high levels of debt the US government has taken on."
- Bob Wilmes
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What’s the wisest financial advice you’ve ever been given?

"I have to go way back to high school in 2005 when I listened to Clark Howard on the radio. He would constantly preach to open a Roth IRA at Vanguard and invest in a Target Date Retirement Fund. I finally saved up enough to follow his wise words. It was December 2005 when I invested $3,000 into VTIVX (the 2045 fund). I enjoyed tracking the performance each day as I learned more about the investing world. It really got me on the path to making finance my career. I thoroughly enjoy savings and investing (maybe to a fault because I am so thrifty now). The fact that it was simple advice given to me at a young age made all the difference. Of course, my interest in making the most of my hard-earned grocery store cashiering money played a role too."
- Mike Zaccardi
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Can the market be beaten?

"Of course it can. Oh, you mean consistently and by a large enough margin to be meaningful to your portfolio? Not so much, no. Lucky for most of us that it's not necessary. Market returns are enough to build a solid retirement stash."
- Roboticus Aquarius
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What are your favorite financial apps and websites, present company excepted?

"I've started using PayPal and Venmo for occasional payments to family, friends, and a few contractors. We've been doing online banking and bill paying for a while, but are looking at automating some of our bills as we anticipate more travel in retirement (and post-Covid). I still depend heavily in Excel, and self-aggregate my accounts for yearly balance sheets."
- Rick Connor
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How would you define “enough”?

"John D. Rockefeller was asked, how much is enough? "Just a little bit more" he replied."
- Scrooge_McDuck88
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Are annuities ever worth buying—and, if so, which type?

"SPIAs are a good choice. QLACs mentioned in the thread are also effective. I think the most important thing is to work with a fiduciary financial planner to ensure you are buying the right product at the right price for your situation. Annuities are perhaps among the riskiest products, but not for the risks we often talk about. Annuities' risk lies in buying the wrong type -- and that's easy to do given the complexity of the products. Ensuring an individual does not outlive their money is very important. That's where a good annuity can show its mettle. In addition to delaying taking Social Security to age 70, the right annuity can bolster financial security later in life."
- Mike Zaccardi
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Which aspect of the tax code do you hate the most?

"Foreign stock dividends and foreign stock taxes. I used to have several investments in foreign stocks that often did not have US traded ADR’s. Some companies like LVMH withdrew their US ADRs because of the US tax complexity. It required so much time and trouble to track these investments and their dividends (which were paid in various foreign currencies to my US brokerage account) that I eventually sold them all and bought the Vanguard total international market funds."
- Bob Wilmes
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What’s the best strategy for selling a house?

"Based on my recent experience selling two homes, be lucky is the best strategy. We sold in a low interest rate environment, during a pandemic, which drove housing prices and demand sky high. The one strategy that worked for my wife and I for all the houses we have sold is to use your network. The three houses we sold were all bought by someone who found about the sale through a friend, neighbor, or business associate. Let people know you are selling and ask them to let potential buyers know it is available."
- Rick Connor
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