James Rukstalis

The science around financial planning

In preparation for my seminars this week on retirement income, I wanted to have a brief discussion about the science around financial planning. Focusing on how we can make more money with less risk is one of the ways I fell in love with financial planning. The mathematical concept is known as “coefficient of variation” which is defined as “a measure of spread that describes the amount of variability relative to the mean”. In lamens terms, this means that by breaking up your assets (diversification) into riskier investments, you’re actually […]

Financial Priorities

I find that the majority of my clients are trying to focus on how to build retirement money when they aren’t addressing their debt. They focus too much on investments as opposed to a total plan for their life. They are focused intently on small nickel and dime savings methods while ignoring the more important larger portfolio. They take 2,000 hours for their work but can hardly spare an hour for their estate. “There’s no rush” is what I hear quite often which excuses why they should delay in making […]

Social Security: The best retirement income you can receive

I do a lot of seminars on Social Security.  If you’re reading this, it’s possible you even went to one.  One of the biggest issues I hit on is the value of social security.  There is a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) added onto your Social Security income every year.  That is something an IRA simply cannot do.  When you get an income from an IRA or a Pension, not only is all of the money taxable, but the income remains the same every year.  If you’re getting $500 a […]

Should I do a Roth IRA/401(k) or IRA/401(k)?

Every now and then I get asked whether or not someone should put their money into an IRA or a Roth IRA. There seems to be confusion as to which would be more appropriate. The argument in favor of IRA’s & 401(k) is that you can defer paying the tax on the money you currently earn reducing your present tax liability. The drawback is that you will eventually have to pay the taxes and can not escape them. In retirement, this may cause additional taxes on your Social Security income […]