Most people are focused on saving for retirement so they’ll have the money they need to fund their income in retirement. However, ask most people how much they’re going to spend in retirement and they have no idea. To plan for retirement effectively, you need to have some sense of what your spending needs are actually going to be.

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The end of the year is a great time to get your financial house in order. As the market bounces along throughout the year, your portfolio bounces right along with it. Every once in a while, you need to give it a checkup. And it’s not just rebalancing your investment portfolio (though I cover that in step 4) – you need to make sure your entire financial picture is in good working order.

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It seems that no matter how much information is out there, people are still hitting retirement with little or no preparedness at all. Here are 5 of the most common ways people are sabotaging their retirement.

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One final spending rule serves as a reasonably easy way to implement an actuarial method for retirement spending. Actuarial methods generally have retirees recalculate their sustainable spending annually based on the remaining portfolio balance, remaining longevity, and expected portfolio returns.

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Tax-loss harvesting, when done right, is the equivalent of turning your financial lemons into lemonade, by converting your market losses into tax savings. Successful tax-loss harvesting lowers your taxes without substantially impacting your long-term investment outcomes.

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You’ve probably heard a realtor tell you that the 3 most important factors in a property’s value are location, location, and location. There’s a similar rule for investments: asset location. Where your assets are located within your portfolio matters.

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In August 2015, J.P. Morgan Asset Management released a study about retirement spending by Katherine Roy and Sharon Carson. In analyzing the expenditures for their diverse consumer base, they identified four retirement spending profiles and an additional category of miscellaneous individuals.

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Another important contribution in the area of retirement spending patterns is Somnath Basu’s 2005 article “Age Banding: A Model for Planning Retirement Needs.” Though it provided a comprehensive retirement planning framework, I want to focus specifically on the findings that covered post-retirement spending patterns.

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