My daughter said…

My daughter told me that I should add some personal things into No Surprises Retirement to make me more human to my readers. I’m an IT guy who has expertise in insurance, annuities, mutual funds, tax reporting, and tax preparation. What could be more warm and personal than that?

Ok, so to try and warm you up to me some, we did vacation recently in a world capital with excellent public transportation, friendly people, great museums, and interesting food ranging from Korean fried chicken to handmade (in a window so we could watch!) Chinese noodles. Which capital? Not Ottawa or London, it was Washington DC. We went in November because we find ‘shoulder season’ travel to be uncrowded, generally OK weather (and almost never too hot), and the rates are usually much lower.

Since going to Bonchon for the Korean fried chicken in DC, I have seen a couple of articles on Korean fried chicken and am waiting for it to arrive here in the heartland. (p.s. – the spicy was SPICY.)

RIP – Retirement Income Plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail (old saying). You should have a retirement income plan (RIP) well prior to retirement and you should maintain it in retirement, because changes happen that can affect your plan. I drafted my initial plan when I was 59, even though I was (and still am) a few years out from retirement.

In my opinion, a ‘good’ RIP covers all the sources of retirement income you (and spouse, if any) will receive, shows them year by year, lets you know if they adjust for inflation, and compares them to a desired budget amount to let you know if you need adjustments. A ‘perfect’ RIP would also make inflation adjustments.

This episode of the blog will cover the RIP. A future episode will cover the other half of the equation, budgeting. Note – another name for the RIP might be retirement income cashflow because it shows you the flow of income cash over the years.

Sample RIP spreadsheet(s) – free!

I put a simplified version of my RIP spreadsheet out on Google Drive for you to download and modify to personalize as needed. I included Excel and Google Sheets versions (the Excel is a little nicer but Google Sheets software is free). Copy and paste this link:
into your browser (I primarily use Chrome) and you should be able to see them and download. Let me know at if you have a problem.

TANSTAAFL* – The RIP will require work on your part!

The work:
-go to and get an updated ‘Your Social Security Statement’ for your Social Security income inputs.
-use an RMD calculator to calculate the RMD’s you’ll have to start taking at 70.5, but subtract out any funds from RMD’able accounts that you will take out prior to 70.5 Here’s a pretty good one from Schwab. You can also search ‘rmd calculator’.
-if you have a pension and/or annuity, figure out when you’ll be taking it and what the amount will be.

Use those numbers to complete the ‘Income Components’ tab of the RIP spreadsheet and enter the first year prorated amounts in the initial year.

Some of you may not be as familiar with Excel or Google sheets and may want your start year to be other than 2020. Two solutions; find a friend who can help or find an Excel or Sheets class at your local library or online. If you’re not a DIY’er on these things, a trusted financial professional most likely has retirement income planning software to use for your personal situation.

Actions you can take include:

-Develop and/or update your retirement income plan

-Don’t forget about your retirement activity plan – reach out to a friend and re-connect, especially now in the holiday season

And if you have not seen the “Why you should read this blog…WIIFY” post, it’s here

Questions, comments, or suggestions for retirement surprise areas you want to know more about?

-Leave a comment
-Use ‘Contact’, above, to send an email.
* – TANSTAAFL – There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.