Recently Forbes caught up with our Chief Investment Strategist, Wes Moss, and asked a list of questions pertaining to retirement, saving money, and his financial philosophy.
From the Wes Moss’ interview with Forbes, here are the highlights:
Forbes: What is TSL?
Moss: TSL stands for Taxes/Savings/Life. It’s a percentage breakdown of your gross income. Here’s how investors can consider the distribution: 30% to Taxes (federal and state); 20% to Savings through a 401(k)-type plan or by paying down debt; 50% for Life (housing, food, fun and everything else). This is a great starting point as a minimum.
Forbes: What are some of the mistakes you see people make that keep them from retiring when they’d like?
Moss: The people I see who run into trouble aren’t saving at all for 10 years or they’re putting all their 401(k) into a money market account without any growth or they’re buying a house that costs too much.
You know what they say about being penny wise and pound foolish? The mistakes I see are pounds, not pennies. It’s not buying too many lattés. It’s buying the $500,000 house.
Forbes: You say that Obamacare has made it easier to retire early. Why?
Moss: Yes, there’s a huge difference between now and five years ago. Then, if you had a pre-existing and had insurance through your employer but you wanted to retire at 64, you couldn’t do it. You had to wait until 65, for Medicare, because no one would give you insurance in the interim. That happened to my mother-in-law who had breast cancer.
The Affordable Care Act helps those who are in a position to retire financially but who couldn’t get health care in the past due to a pre-existing condition.
Forbes: You write that the happiest retirees spent at least five hours a year planning for retirement. How did they do that?
Moss: Think of it as a total of two hours a year meeting with a financial adviser every six months for an hour each time. The adviser will keep you on track and keep you from making big financial mistakes. Spend another hour on the weekend every couple of months throughout the year maintaining your retirement plans. That’s when you ask yourself questions like: ‘Are we saving 20 percent a year?’ And ‘Are we on track?’
Five hours a year can go a long way to keep you from making big financial mistakes.
Read More the rest of the Q&A Session with Wes Moss in the Original Interview with Forbes.