Memorial Day

A Vanguard Retirement Plan & Whole Life Insurance

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Please, please take a moment or two sometime this weekend to remember all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. Without them, none of it is possible. 


We started the show this week with Dennis from Minnesota who is planning on retiring next year and is in the process of putting the finishing touches on his retirement plan and wanted to run it by us. 

Next up was John from Connecticut who is being pitched a whole life insurance policy by his financial advisor. Is such a policy in the best interest of John? Should he buy it? Or pass? 

Next up, you guessed it, we wrapped up the hour by answering a handful of emails. 

“I’m just bad with money!” I know that many have convinced themselves that they were born with a recessive money management gene, but financial planning can be learned, like anything else. That's the message of This Is the Year I Put My Financial Life in Order. In a book that is part financial memoir and part research-based guide to attaining lifelong security, New York Times reporter John Schwartz bares his financial soul.

Schwartz and his wife, Jeanne, are upper middle class earners, who have been on a financial rollercoaster. Sharing his own alternately harrowing and hilarious stories, from his brush with financial ruin and bankruptcy in his thirties to his short-lived budgeted diet of cafeteria food, John will walk you through his own journey to financial literacy, which he admittedly started a bit late.

He covers everything from investments to retirement and insurance to wills (at fifty-eight, he didn't have one!), medical directives and more. Whether you're a college grad wanting to start out on the right foot or you're approaching retirement age and still wondering what a 401(K) is, this book will help you find your financial way.

So if you are like the countless others who are a bit tentative when it comes to money matters, but are willing to learn before it's too late, this book should help improve your financial literacy.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman,

#220 Memorial Day, How to Buy Bonds


The roots of Memorial Day go back to the aftermath of the Civil War. It has since been expanded to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It’s also an opportunity to consider those veterans who are trying to transition into a civilian life. While working on a story, I stumbled upon a great resource for military personnel who are entering the broader job market:, so pass it on to someone who might need a break!

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The theme of this week's show is "How to Buy Bonds", because both Chris and Jay have big portfolios, allocated almost exclusively to stocks. Each voiced the same concern: Although they want to buy bonds, they find it hard to do so, just as interest rates are poised to rise. We provide both of them with some ideas to accomplish a more balanced portfolio.

Paul has a fixed annuity that will mature in November, but if he cashes it in, he will be on the hook for a big tax liability. He wonders what options are available to mitigate the tax hit.

Should Gary use the proceeds of his primary home sale to pay off the mortgage on his second home? While it might be great to feel unburdened without a mortgage, he might regret not having access to the money.

The existential question of the week comes from Jessica, who asks, "Is it financial suicide to consider taking 6 to 12 months off of work for both working parents mid-career?" Feel free to weigh on this conversation!

Mark and Caroline are busy juggling priorities. What should they do with an extra $1,000 per month? Pay down debt, save for a house or open a 529 college savings plan?

John asks whether all of the staff at the registered advisory firm with which he works, must be registered individually...the answer: Maybe, but maybe not!

Thanks to everyone who participated this week, especially Mark, the Best Producer in the World. Here's how to contact us:

  • Call 855-411-JILL and we'll schedule time to get you on the show LIVE 

Radio Show #116: Memorial Day, retirement planning


Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while serving in the American military and originated in the years following the Civil War. I know that many people think of the day as the unofficial start of summer than as a day to remember those who served our country. Try to make a point of remembering our fallen soldiers today. Maybe that means attending your town's parade or thanking a soldier who served or even just bowing your head for a moment to honor all of the brave souls who gave so much.

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  • Download this week's show (MP3)

It was fitting that we kicked off this weekend’s show with a call from Glen, who is transitioning from the army into civilian life. He has done a terrific job saving for retirement and I just added a few finishing touches on his allocation.

On the retirement front, we had a flurry of inquiries. Irvin from MD has plenty of retirement income, which is why it’s curious that an advisor is recommending a variable annuity (sigh). David from AZ is in terrific shape for retirement ($2.4 million squirreled away will do it every time!); Joe is ready to roll over his $650K employer plan into Vanguard; Tim is worried about the bond market collapsing, and James is trying to weigh whether he should pay down two different mortgages.

Louie and Amanda are starting their financial lives early – we try to make it as easy as possible for them to start saving efficiently and at a low cost. You really can’t go wrong with Vanguard, T. Rowe Price or Fidelity, as long as you choose index funds, so Jeff shouldn’t fret too much about it.

Eugene from Long Island needs to make sure he is comparing his Franklin Templeton fund to the correct index. This led to a friendly reminder that your banker may not have to put your interests first. It’s always best to ask any financial service professional whether he or she owes you a fiduciary duty.

Fred wrote in about his disappointing experience trying to get underwritten for long term care insurance, which can be frustrating.

Thanks to everyone who participated and to Mark, the BEST producer in the world. If you have a financial question, there are lots of ways to contact us:

  • Call 855-411-JILL and we'll schedule time to get you on the show LIVE