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Ben Stein Video

Ben Stein Talks Retirement

Who is Ben Stein and why should we watch Ben Stein Talks Retirement?  Here is what Wikipedia says about Ben:

Benjamin Jeremy Stein (born November 25, 1944) is an American attorney, political figure, and entertainment personality who in his early career served as speechwriter for U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Later he entered the entertainment field and became an Emmy Award-winning actor, comedian, and game show host.

Stein has frequently written commentaries on economic, political, and social issues, along with financial advice to individual investors.

Ben Stein Talks Retirement videos are sponsored by the National Retirement Planning Coalition (www.retireonyourterms.org) so understand that they are self promoting.  However, the sales pitch is minimal and the information is solid and valuable.  The videos encourage finding a financial advisor, which is not a bad idea.

Part 1 - Retirement Planning - Getting Started

Unless we are in the 20% of retirees who have a meaningful pension plan, our retirement will be dependant on our own efforts.  Ben thinks that social security will be around, but it will only provide 35% of the retirement income for a normal family (Other statistics say it will be closer to 50%).  He recommends using some of the retirement calculators on the Internet to see how much money you will need to retire (This website will help you find the best ones).  Once you find that information, you need to find a financial advisor to help you get there.  Ben goes on to tell how to find that advisor.  This is a good video on retirement basics.

Video length 2:49 minutes

Don't forget that staying active with a retirement job can lower the amount of savings that you need to retire.


Part 2 - Retirement Income:  How Much and How Do I Get It?

A rule of thumb says the average couple will need approximately 80% of their pre-retirement income to live in retirement.  Some people say you will need 100%.  If that is the case, this means you will need to save 16 - 20 times your annual salary just before you retire.

Authors Note:   The rule of thumb of 80% is what the financial industry uses.  Evaluate your own living expenses and create your own retirement budget.  Unless you are going to take a round the world trip every year, it will be lower than the 80%.  Read the Retirement Living Expenses page on this website.

How do you get it?  Ben recommends investing in broad based index funds, low cost broad based mutual funds, and variable annuities.  Stay away from real estate or hot stock picks.

Be concerned about inflation in your investments since if you or your spouse reach 65 one or both or you will probably reach 85.  Read more about inflation and how to estimate it on our Inflation page.

Video length 3:05 minutes

Ben says that the one thing that you do not have to pay for when you retire is saving for your retirement.  However, if your home is paid for and your are not making mortgage payments, this is a major reduction in the money you will need after retirement.


Part 3 - Variable Annuities and Retirement Income

Ben discusses variable annuities as an investment vehicle for retirement savings.  He does not recommend any one plan, but encourages you to check out the various variable annuity plans that are available.

Video length 2:59 minutes

Don't overlook the powerful positive impact that a retirement job can have on your retirement.  If you work part or full time during your retirement, you can retire comfortably with less than is projected in these videos.

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