Skip to main content
Women's Retirement Radio

Women's Retirement Radio

By Russ Thornton
Retirement planning discussion and education for professional women (and their families) in their 50s and 60s who want to retire on their own terms.

We'll cover Social Security, Medicare, financial planning, investing, and much more.

I invite you to listen and subscribe.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Castbox Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Five Wishes - A Simple, Affordable Living Will for Women and Their Families - Episode 16
In this episode of Women's Retirement Radio, I was joined by Paul Malley and Alexis Jacobs of the Aging with Dignity organization, creators of the Five Wishes planning tool. In our conversation, we cover the Five Wishes program and why you should check it out for yourself, your family, and your friends. For instance, who do you want to speak for you about your care if you're not able to speak for yourself due to an illness or accident? And what kind of care would you want for yourself? Does your family (spouse, siblings, parents, children, grandchildren, etc.) know how you want to be cared for in the event of a serious illness or injury? Five Wishes is a plain-English, easy-to-use living will that is legal in 40+ states that can help you think through and address these important decisions. Be sure to listen to this important episode to learn more about why you should consider completing your own Five Wishes document as well as sharing the tool with your friends, family, and co-workers. Get your copy of Five Wishes here. Get in touch and let me know what you think. And thank you for listening. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
July 9, 2020
Rebalancing Your Investments. And Your Financial Plan - Episode 15
Many of you might be familiar with the concept of portfolio rebalancing, or the idea of strategically moving your investments back to their target investment mix - or allocation - from time to time. Well, the same holds true not just for your investments, but also for your entire financial plan. Things change - with your investments and with your financial plan - because of... life. Of course, the market changes too, but we can't control that. Which is why it's important to understand the benefits of rebalancing when it makes sense. Get in touch and let me know what you think. And thank you for listening. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
May 11, 2020
The Power of Replacing OR with AND - Episode 14
In today's episode, I want to introduce the idea of replacing the word "or" with "and" when it comes to certain financial decisions. For instance, instead of "invest OR pay off debt", why not "invest AND pay off debt"? I provide 2-3 examples, though there are many more. Ultimately, rather than trying to simplify and reduce many financial decisions down to "either-or" I think there may some opportunities for you to instead think in terms of "this AND that." Get in touch and let me know what you think. And thank you for listening. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
May 4, 2020
The Upside of a Downturn - Episode 13
While we're all dealing with the anxiety and increased uncertainty associated with CoVid-19 and the Coronavirus pandemic, I believe there is and will be, a lot of good to come out of this unprecedented time in our lives. I'm curious to know what you think... get in touch and let me know. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
April 27, 2020
Collaborative Retirement Management: A Better Approach to Retirement Planning - Episode 12
Over my 25+ years as a financial advisor, I've given a lot of thought to what I do and how I deliver advice to clients. Within the last year or so, I've started to think of and refer to the core of what I do as "Collaborative Retirement Management." Clearly, collaboration is a key part of how I work best with clients. You need to be engaged in planning your life and retirement. But it's also about the ongoing process of financial planning. And the ability to have a flexible mindset. It's about appreciating the ability to look at and evaluate different scenarios you may face or simply want to consider. Ultimately, it's about giving you sufficient comfort and confidence that you'll be able to retire - and live your life - on your terms. Related reading: Collaborative Retirement Scenario Management Thanks for listening. I invite you to subscribe and share this podcast with your friends and family. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
April 20, 2020
You Always Have Choices Even When Times Are Uncertain - Episode 11
Despite the recent market volatility and widespread uncertainty associated with the Coronavirus, remember that you always have choices. Now, more than ever, I believe it's important to focus on the choices you can control -- not on the news and information which, in addition to appealing to our emotions, is beyond our control. For instance, you can always control: how much you save vs spend how much investment risk you take the timing, duration, and frequency of future goals and more Resources referenced in this episode: How I'm Managing My Own Money Through the Crisis Understanding Market Downturns Thanks for listening. I invite you to subscribe and share this podcast with your friends and family. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
April 13, 2020
Your Coronavirus Financial Action Plan - Episode 10
Personally, I can't help but wonder if the reaction to the Coronavirus, at least here in the U.S., is a little extreme... Of course, I want to preserve lives, but at what point do the preventative measures leave a lasting or permanent negative impact?What about potential job losses? Small business having to close their doors? Mental health issues like depression? Or worse?I don't know where to draw the line, but it brings to mind the concept of trade-offs, which I've written about before.But despite all the uncertainty, and the widespread feelings of helplessness, I want to offer a simple plan of action.If you're still working, consider: Increasing your retirement plan contribution amount (buying more while the market's down) Increasing your other savings, especially prioritizing short-term cash reserves (to give you more flexibility and choice going forward) Perhaps shifting your investment portfolio allocation to more stocks (buying more while they're cheaper) Evaluating your spending and dividing your expenses into needs, wants and wishes.Then focus on some of the wants and wishes and re-evaluate which can be reduced, deferred, or eliminated, at least for now. Talk to your credit card company or other lenders and ask about better terms. They would rather you keep paying them something than have you default on a loan altogether. Quit watching the news (and your portfolio). Get on with livin' Review and adjust your personal financial plan as necessary. You've got one of those, don't you? If you have already met your short-term cash reserves goal (see bullet #2 above), consider investing any extra cash savings over the course of several weeks or months. ​Call me if you have questions or would like to discuss anything. If you're already retired, consider: Increasing your short-term cash reserves (emergency fund) through your cash flow. I'm not recommending that you liquidate part or all of your portfolio. A shift of your portfolio to more stocks. This means buying more stocks while they're less expensive. Think of it as buying companies on sale. Remember, your portfolio isn't the market. Despite what the Dow Jones or S&P 500 is doing, you're much better diversified and don't own 100% stocks. At least you should be. Evaluate your spending and categorize your expenses into needs, wants & wishes. Maybe reduce or eliminate some of your wants & wishes for the time being.Be sure to recognize if you've told yourself a want or wish is really need when perhaps it isn't... If you have any debt, talk to your lender(s) to see about negotiating better terms. Many seem open to these discussions at this time. Can't hurt to ask, right? Pay attention to the things that matter... your family, friends, health, hobbies, etc.Not the market, news, your portfolio, etc. (remember, your portfolio is there to help you focus on and pursue the things that matter) If you have one or more old 401k plans at a prior employer, make sure to revisit them and make sure you're not exposed to more risk than you're comfortable with. Or than you actually need to take. Despite current advice of "social distancing" I instead would encourage "physical distancing" while staying connected socially via technology. This can be a simple phone call or video calls with Facetime, Zoom or other tools. If you have questions about how to setup and use any of these, let me know and I'll be happy to help. Visit my website to learn more.Disclosures.
April 6, 2020
Medicare Planning for Women and Their Families - Episode 9
Medicare planning for women and their families can be confusing. Should you get a Medicare Advantage plan? What about Medigap? When do you enroll? The list of questions is nearly endless. That's why, on this episode of Women's Retirement Radio, I'm excited to be joined by Danielle K. Roberts, co-founder of Boomer Benefits. Danielle and Boomer Benefits are based in Fort Worth, Texas, and serve clients across the country by helping them evaluate and make more informed decisions about their Medicare coverage. In this episode, we cover many things related to Medicare including: When you should start thinking about Medicare Some aspects of Medicare that are surprising to many And a couple of great stories about how Boomer Benefits have helped folks like you out with their Medicare coverage Here are some of the resources mentioned in this episode: Boomer Benefits Website Danielle's LinkedIn Profile Wealthcare for Women's Medicare Resources Page Boomer Benefits on Social Media Facebook Facebook Group Instagram Twitter Pinterest YouTube Webinars Learn Medicare 6-Day Mini Course Thanks for listening. I invite you to subscribe and share this podcast with your friends and family. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
March 30, 2020
Social Security Overview for Women - Episode 8
Social Security is often an important part of your retirement plan. In this episode, I wanted to cover the basics of Social Security along with some of the specific considerations that relate to a woman's retirement planning. For instance: What happens if you get divorced? Or what happens if you become a widow? How is Social Security taxed? When can you start taking Social Security benefits? How much will you get? I address these questions and more in this episode of the Women's Retirement Radio podcast. Related reading: A Social Security Overview Social Security Spousal Benefits - The Basics (video) Social Security Tips for Women Earning Over $100K (video) Atlanta Teachers and Social Security Planning How Much Longer Will Social Security Last? Tools: Free online Social Security analysis tool Thanks for listening. Please subscribe and share with your friends, family, and coworkers. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
March 23, 2020
6 Retirement Planning Considerations for Women - Episode 7
In today's episode, I cover 6 Retirement Planning Considerations for Women. They are: Family is often the primary concern Women are often caregivers Women don't always look out for themselves Women may find themselves alone Women business owners Charitable giving While the list above isn't exhaustive, my hope is it will give you some things to think about as you plan your unique and personal retirement. If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything covered in this episode, please let me know. Related reading: The Financial Risk to Women Caring for Aging Parents Atlanta Estate Planning for Women with Amy Refeca Financial Tips for Women Over 50 Thanks for listening. Please subscribe and share with your friends, family, and coworkers. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
March 16, 2020
Your Most Important Money Number - Episode 6
Among all the financial data and information that is necessary to build and maintain your financial and retirement planning, there's one number that, in my opinion, is important above all others. It's your "MDI" or monthly discretionary income. This is the average number of dollars you have each month after you've paid all your normal bills and supported your lifestyle. This number can be positive (surplus) or negative (deficit). Having a surplus MDI each month affords you additional financial flexibility and choice which, in my experience, is something most people seem to appreciate. Figuring out your personal MDI is pretty simple and straightforward. Get your last 3 months statements from all your spending accounts (checking, credit cards, etc.) or login online and access this same information. Add up your total spending for the last 90 days and divide by 3 and this will give you your average monthly spending. However be sure not to double-count your credit card transactions if you're paying off your credit card bill every month from another spending account. Once you have your average monthly spending, simply deduct this number from your monthly take-home pay. This will give you your MDI. There are some software tools & apps to help you with this process: Tiller You Need a Budget There are countless benefits to calculating your personal MDI and reconfirming it every year or so. We cover many of these in this episode. If you have any questions about your MDI or anything else covered in this episode, please get in touch and let me know. Thanks for listening. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
March 9, 2020
Bad News is Highly Infectious - Episode 5
Today, as I record this episode, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down several hundred points based on more reported cases of the Coronavirus. Not to make light of a serious situation, this is just the latest crisis du jour. We have a U.S. Presidential election later this year. Imagine how crazy things might get between now and then. And in the past we've experienced acts of terrorism, wars, different Presidents, new legislation, and more. Despite all this, the market has managed to climb to new highs. And I believe that owning a diversified portfolio of stocks and high-quality bonds is still one of the best ways to build wealth for your future. So, what are we all supposed to do in the face of scary headlines? What do we do when this feels different than anything we've experienced before? It's simple really... just focus on the things within your control. Listen to this episode to learn more about why I think this is important. And why it may be the best strategy for coping with news and current events that seem to have everyone freaking out. Other resources: Seven Stages of Money Maturity George Kinder's book covers investor psychology and how emotions can cloud judgment on pages 143-146 The Normal from Twitter friend and fellow advisor, Preston McSwain and be sure check out the related reading below his article for more Gradual Improvements Redux Includes this great chart with a reminder of all we've dealt with since March 2009 Stock Market on Sale Is This Different? Thanks for listening. Please subscribe and share with your friends, family and coworkers. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
March 2, 2020
Why Serving Women is Important to Me - Episode 4
In this episode of the Women's Retirement Radio podcast, I share why I'm focused on serving women. I cite some statistics and research that demonstrate some of the unique financial challenges faced by women, but I also talk about my personal, first-hand experience seeing the impact of divorce, financially and otherwise, on my Mom. I invite you to listen and share your thoughts or feedback with me. Resources mentioned in this episode: Wealthcare for Women - 3 Biggest Retirement Threats for Women Transamerica Research Report - 19 Facts About Women's Retirement Outlook Forbes - Why Women Are Better at Investing Thanks for listening. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
February 24, 2020
The Tricky Transition to Retirement - Episode 3
There's a lot more to retirement than simply deciding "when" you want to make the transition. And it goes well beyond just the financial considerations, though clearly that's important too. You should also consider things like: How you'll spend your time How your relationships might change and evolve The psychology associated with the transition from savings to spending Striking and maintaining a healthy balance between enjoying today while being prepared for tomorrow Sustainable strategies to create income throughout your retirement And a whole lot more Related reading: Are You Retiring to Something? Thanks for listening. I invite you to subscribe so you won't miss our next episode. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
February 17, 2020
The SECURE Act & Your Retirement - Episode 2
Covering the recently passed SECURE Act and its major retirement planning-related changes. Specifically, we spend time going into the changes to Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) and the elimination of the Stretch IRA. Included are some planning considerations and action items. Here are some accompanying slides. Thanks for listening. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
February 10, 2020
Welcome to Women's Retirement Radio Podcast - Episode 1
Welcome to the first episode of Women's Retirement Radio. This is a podcast dedicated to simplifying retirement planning for professional women (and their families) in their 50s and 60s and they think about, prepare for, and transition into retirement. Stay tuned for future episodes where we'll talk about retirement planning, Social Security, Medicare, retirement income, investment strategy, sustainably supporting your lifestyle, and much, much more. I'm your host, Russ Thornton, and I look forward to sharing with you in episodes to come. Thanks for listening. Visit my website to learn more. Disclosures.
February 6, 2020