Rodney Brooks Blog


rodney-brooksRodney Brooks is the former Personal Finance Editor and retirement columnist for USA TODAY. He is author of Is One Million Dollars Enough: A Guide to Planning a Successful Retirement. Previously he was assistant business editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has also worked at The Bulletin in Philadelphia, the Asheville, N.C.  Citizen-Times and the Ithaca (N.Y.)  Journal. He received a B.S. degree from Cornell University and an executive certificate in financial planning from Georgetown University. Twitter: @perfiguy, Website:

There’s more to retirement than saving your money

May 25, 2017

It’s complicated, this retirement thing. It sneaks up on you, and many of us aren’t quite ready. We haven’t saved enough, didn’t plan enough or we just haven’t figured out what we will do with all that time suddenly thrust upon us. Saving for retirement is difficult enough. Many surveys show that Americans have saved…

>> Read Full Story

Downsizing Your Budget in Retirement

Apr 24, 2017

Many people nearing retirement already know they may need to downsize from those big family homes. Why pay for all the maintenance and upkeep when the kids are gone? But they need to also think about downsizing their finances. Reducing that pre-retirement budget can be critical to a successful retirement. Some people start reducing their…

>> Read Full Story

Update your retirement plan regularly — or it could become useless

Apr 13, 2017

Remember the days before GPS when we had to follow a road map? (They were free and you could pick them up in any gas station back then). So, what if you were following that map and the highway just ended in the last place you visited — with no signs to tell you how…

>> Read Full Story

Why don’t some small business owners save for retirement?

Apr 13, 2017

The people who own and run small businesses are busy – extremely. They have a lot to worry about  — payroll, rent and trying to bring in new contracts. And, on top of that, it seems they are constantly recruiting and hiring. What they might not make time for is preparing for retirement. And that’s…

>> Read Full Story

Women and Retirement

Feb 27, 2017

  When it comes to retirement planning, American women often face a unique set of problems. And those problems can threaten to leave many women short on savings, and, thus, in danger of running out of money in retirement. Those problems are meticulously outlined in a new report, “Sixteen Facts About Women’s Retirement Outlook,” from…

>> Read Full Story

Beware of these “Retirement Shocks”

Feb 10, 2017

Retirement is a time of major change, and for most of us and usually requires major adjustments. First is the challenge of figuring out how to spend your day, after getting up each morning for however many years to make that early-morning commute to your job. Then there’s the fact that you are no longer…

>> Read Full Story

Don’t let your grown kids ruin your retirement

Feb 10, 2017

A third of Baby Boomers – or eight million households — still support their children, according to Hearts & Wallets, a financial research company. The survey, Dissecting the Baby Boomers, also says Boomers who support adult children are 25 percent more likely to have heightened financial anxiety than their peers and they are the most…

>> Read Full Story

Biggest Mistakes Couples Make

Jan 11, 2017

A successful marriage is all about communication. So, it make sense that the same can be said about a successful retirement. Retirement planning is tough enough, but when it comes to couples some of the biggest mistakes can be related to the lack of communications, according to the financial planners surveyed for the 2015 Fidelity…

>> Read Full Story

Coming Up Short for Retirement

Dec 22, 2016

This is for the people headed towards retirement and coming up short in their savings. According to a 2016 survey  , from GoBankingRates, 23% of Americans have saved less than $10,000 and a third have saved nothing for retirement. Another survey, by TIAA-CREF, says the number one regret of people approaching retirement is that they wished…

>> Read Full Story

Year-end Retirement Savings Tips

Dec 20, 2016

Here we are, once again, in the midst of people’s favorite holidays. Between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s time for good food, visiting friends and relatives, gifts, and of course, popping champagne. It’s also time for New Year’s resolutions (which most people forget about by February anyway). It’s the perfect time to assess your financial…

>> Read Full Story

Protecting Pre-Retirees and Retirees from Scams

Nov 16, 2016

Washington, D.C. — Recent arrests in the U.S. and India should put a big dent in the one of the biggest scams affecting pre-retirees and retirees – the IRS scam. The U.S. Treasury Department says nearly two million Americans have been targeted by scammers impersonating IRS officials, with 12,000 to 13,000 people submitting complaints every…

>> Read Full Story

Five Things Retirees May Forget to Plan For

Nov 1, 2016

Rodney Brooks Retirement is tough enough, but it can be really tough for the people who did little or no planning. It’s tough enough even for those who do plan for retirement. After all, there is much to consider. Which means that there could be a possibility for some people to either forgot something or…

>> Read Full Story

Six Great Websites to Help You with Retirement Planning

Jun 9, 2016

by Rodney Brooks We all know that planning for retirement is no easy task: Whatever information we can get to help is welcome. There are literally thousands of websites tasked with helping Baby Boomers slide gracefully into retirement.  A big part of the difficulty in planning for retirement is figuring out exactly where to go…

>> Read Full Story

Borrowing From Your Retirement to Start a Business

Jun 8, 2016

by Rodney Brooks Many Baby Boomers are finding that they are not ready for retirement, but they are also not ready to ride off into the sunset. So, they are choosing to be entrepreneurs in their encore careers. Some have lost their jobs because they were laid off or bought out after spending years with…

>> Read Full Story

Retirement Planning Through Life’s Stages

Jun 1, 2016

by Rodney Brooks So, when should you start planning for retirement? In your 20s, retirement just seems so far away that we just feel like we can put it off. And today’s Millennials are still feeling crippled by their college debt. In your 30s, we are distracted by getting married, raising a family, and buying…

>> Read Full Story

Claiming Strategies for Social Security, and Resources to Consider

May 16, 2016

by Rodney Brooks One of the most important decisions you can make going into retirement is when to take Social Security. That’s why it’s so important to study and prepare – and not wait until you are facing a deadline to make your decision. Study your options when you are still in your 50s. And…

>> Read Full Story

Before You Do Any Retirement Planning, You Must First Do a Budget

May 11, 2016

  You can save all you want for retirement, and you can have the best-laid spending plan. But if you don’t start out with a budget, it may be all for nothing. Pulling together a list of your income and expenditures is crucial, financial professionals say, especially in retirement. In fact, many professionals say that’s…

>> Read Full Story

Family Communication and Financial Planning

Apr 28, 2016

by Rodney Brooks One thing that still surprises financial professionals is the lack of communication sometimes between spouses when it comes to financial and retirement planning. This goes far beyond a disagreement over where to live in retirement, when one spouse wants to go to the beach and the other wants to go to the…

>> Read Full Story
tax tips

From Roth IRAs to RMDs, Experts Offer Tax Strategies for Retirement

Mar 14, 2016

If you are preparing for retirement or are currently retired, here are some special tax tips for you from insurance agents and financial advisors across the United States.

>> Read Full Story

Prepare for Crisis: Planning for Unexpected Health Care Costs in Retirement

Feb 1, 2016

It’s difficult to plan for an unexpected health crisis, but there are steps you can take to ensure that you can handle health care costs in retirement.

>> Read Full Story

Real People. Real Stories.


Retired Since 2010
From New Jersey

George & Karen
Retired Since 2012
From Arizona

Portor & Elaine
Retired Since 2010
From California

Retired Since 2015
From Kansas