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10 Retirement Blogs Worth Reading

Accurate and Relevant - These Retirement Blogs Are Worth the Read

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Some retirement blogs are geared toward those with advanced knowledge, others are written for beginners who are just trying to figure out how to how to put together a retirement income plan.

I’ve started this list with advanced level retirement blogs, which happen to be blogs I love to read. As you progress down the list the blogs move to the intermediate than beginner level.

1. Retirement Researcher Blog - by Wade Pfau

Academic level: Advanced

I love Wade's work, as he is one of the few academics that writes in a conversational tone that is easy to follow. He is a CFA charterholder and has a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University. He is a monthly columnist for Advisor Perspectives, and has published in journals such as the Journal of Financial Planning, Journal of Portfolio Management, Journal of Investing, and National Tax Journal. His Retirement Research Blog applies academic research to retirement income problems, showing how such research can be used to help retirees make decisions that will improve their financial picture throughout retirement.

2. Nerd's Eye View - by Michael Kitces

Academic level: Advanced

If I want to take a deep dive into a retirement topic I turn to Nerd's Eye View. I often wonder how this guy can know so much! Well, Michael E. Kitces has all of the following professional degrees and designations:

  • MSFS - Master of Science in Financial Services
  • MTAX - Master's in Taxation
  • CFP® - Certified Financial Planner
  • CLU - Chartered Life Underwriter
  • ChFC - Chartered Financial Consultant
  • RHU - Registered Health Underwriter
  • REBC - Registered Employee Benefits Consultant
  • CASL - Chartered Advisor of Senior Living
As you can imagine, his writing is focused on thorough analysis and is geared toward the financial advisor and academic community. I subscribe to his newsletter as I know it is information I can rely on for its accuracy, and amazing level of detail.

3. GMO White Papers - Not Technically a Blog

Academic level: Advanced

I await this company's quarterly newsletter just like a kid on Christmas morning. GMO is a a global investment management firm and they happen to make many of their white papers available for public reading. I read most of their papers but I am particularly fond of anything written by Jeremy Grantham or James Montier. Their thoughtful analysis of our economic and investment climate makes for brilliant reading.

4. Pension Research Council E-News - by Wharton

Academic level: Advanced

This publication is put out by Wharton and gives you access to leading academic work papers on retirement related topics.It is their academic papers that I love. You have to set up a login and password to access them, but it is free. They also have a related blog designed more for consumers. It is called the RetireSecure Blog.

5. Retirement Security SmartBrief

Academic level: Advanced

This is a content aggregator - they pull retirement-related academic articles and studies into one place. The publication is designed for retirement focused advisors and wealth managers, but consumers interested in their own retirement can get a lot out of it. It provides a great summary of other industry related content.

6. Asset Builder - by Scott Burns

Academic level: Beginner/Intermediate

I aspire to write some day as Scott Burns does. He wraps an analysis into a story and before you know it you have learned something valuable. He should be that good – he’s been writing since 1977. On the Asset Builder website they say, “Scott Burns has covered the changing world of personal finance and investments for nearly 40 years. Today, he ranks as one of the five most widely read personal finance writers in the country.”

7. Oblivious Investor - by Mike Piper

Academic level: Beginner/Intermediate

If you are new to figuring out your retirement planning, and only subscribe to one blog on this list, it should be Oblivious Investor. Mike Piper has a knack for taking a complex topic and summing it up neatly in a few sentences that make perfect sense. As he says on his site:

"This blog is dedicated to spreading the idea that investment success is based upon stubbornly following a few (very simple) principles:

  1. Diversifying your portfolio,
  2. Minimizing costs (such as brokerage commissions, mutual fund expenses, and taxes), and
  3. Ignoring all the noise from the financial media about what the stock market does from day to day.
  4. I’m a fairly young fellow (24, 25, 26, 27, 28 — time really does fly when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?), married, living in St. Louis. Prior to becoming a full-time personal finance writer, I worked as a financial advisor (for Edward Jones) and as a tax accountant for a large real estate company in Chicago. I’m a Missouri Licensed CPA and an Illinois Registered CPA.
  5. I now make a living writing a series of books that’s somewhat akin to Cliffs Notes for personal finance topics."

8. Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row - by Jim Blankenship

Academic level: Beginner/Intermediate

Jim Blankenship is a practicing Certified Financial Planner, Enrolled Agent and author of two books, A Social Security Owner's Manual and An IRA Owner's Manual. I love that he is constantly writing about the importance of Social Security claiming decisions and tax planning, two things that can make a big difference in the amount of after-tax income available for you in retirement.

9. Squared Away Blog - by Kimberly Blanton

Academic level: Beginner/Intermediate

This blog covers a broad spectrum of finance related topics – not just retirement topics. It is hosted by the Financial Security Project at Boston College, which means it is based on research, and has information you can trust. Even better, it is easy to read, and you will learn something with every new post!

10. Early Retirement Extreme - by Jacob

Academic level: Beginner/Intermediate

Talk about extreme: this guy did what almost no one will do, and achieved what everyone wants to achieve - a very early retirement. He shares exactly how he did it in his blog. Not many of you will be willing to do what he did, but you are bound to pick up a few tips as you read. On an ongoing basis he shares his current financial status, and his thoughts on other people's financial choices always make me smile.

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