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How to Plan for the Perfect Retirement

Learn how to secure your financial future and create the retirement lifestyle of your dreams with practical advice for planners of any age and income level.
How to Plan for the Perfect Retirement is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 17.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring, tedious, and out of date The first lesson is simply a recitation of the lecturer's background. References within the lectures are to 2014, 9 years out of date and certainly do not account for the volatility of the stock market during the 2020-2022 pandemic.
Date published: 2023-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Checklist Type Series Right off the bat, this course will not replace actually working with a financial planner who knows what they are doing. That would likely require the most extensive course in TGC history. I don't think that's the point though. The idea seems to be that you would use this course to understand what to ask and why. It does that very well in 12 lectures. I have gleaned a number of things to discuss with my advisor. To me, the course seems geared toward younger audiences. I think most of it would be useful to somebody as young as high school. The earlier the better since you will have more of a chance to learn a potential retirement pitfall and have time to do something about it.
Date published: 2023-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Straight and to the point Absolutely wonderful course, You will definitely benefit and be able to prepare for your retirement. The lecturer speaks clearly and at everyone's level. I am enjoying it tremendously!
Date published: 2022-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good for the younger folks This is a good course for younger people. I am near retirement so most of this I have already heard about. Overall it is good for those 50 or younger.
Date published: 2022-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love the info! Love the info that Dana was able to pass along as it was both concise and thought provoking. It made me realize that my current "Finanancial advisor" was more interested in selling product than actually "advising". Because of the lecture series, I started using the Roth for post-tax dollars which will open up more financial possibilities in for my retirement. Just a note ... Roth may not be "taxable" from a federal standpoint, but gains may be taxable at a state level, so consult with your advisor and/or tax professional.
Date published: 2022-04-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Extremely Valuable Overall this is an extremely valuable and excellent course. Most people probably should have studied this earlier in their lives! One major flaw in this course is a lack of consideration of a dramatically different future. Virtually all of this course is based on the financial world more or less doing what it's done in the past. There is no discussion of alternative investments (everything is very traditional, stocks, bonds, real estate, annuities, etc). Another major flaw in this course is that it's aimed primarily at wealthy people talking about saving $2 million dollars or more (even though some of the discussion mentions more moderate financial situations). Nobody deals with the extremely difficult unknown of how long will you live? Will you die only a few years after retiring? Or will you live to 125 years old?
Date published: 2022-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! The teacher really explains concepts in a way that makes them easy to understand. I’m loving this course,
Date published: 2021-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best! This is the best educational program I have ever seen on the complex subject of retirement planning. What makes Ms Anspach stand out is her holistic approach, by which she takes the audience through all the critical levers of retirement planning, and then help you understand how to coordinate them to achieve your goals. She paints you the picture of the whole elephant and does not allow you to get lost in any random parts of it. Instead, she shows you how all the parts work as a system to optimize your retirement finances. I have pored through a lot of materials on retirement planning but found that most of them approach it in a piecemeal fashion. Only Ms Anspach has been able to expertly synthesize the key aspects of retirement finances into a cogent, clear set of presentations. She does not stop at the big picture. She follows up with a methodical drill down on each of the critical levers and explains how your could use it to your advantage, all the while explaining how each decision you make within this lever will impact the big picture. You will emerge from this course with a clear high-level understanding of what retirement planning is, and a methodical approach for how to tackle each of the key components to achieve your goals. Ms Anspach’s clear and engaging presentation style is also a great plus. That makes the program enjoyable to watch. Anyone who’s thinking about retiring should take this course, the sooner the better!
Date published: 2021-11-14
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Recent statistics suggest that nearly two-thirds of Americans regret not planning properly for retirement. Often, the future tends to get here before we know it-and it does not arrive with its own financial security unless we plan it that way. In How to Plan for the Perfect Retirement, Professor Dana Anspach of Sensible Money, LLC will be your step-by-step guide to help you create the future you want. No matter how old you are or how far along in your working life, it's never too early or too late to develop a plan that works for you.


Dana Anspach

The retirement income planning process is not static; it is alive with choices and variables.

Dana Anspach is a Certified Financial Planner, a Retirement Management Advisor, and the founder and CEO of Sensible Money, LLC, a registered investment advisory firm that specializes in retirement income planning.


Professor Anspach has been practicing as a financial planner since 1995 and writing as an expert on retirement-related topics since 2008. She was’s MoneyOver55 expert for eight years, and her writing on retirement decisions can be found at The Balance. She has contributed content to MarketWatch and U.S. News & World Report, and she is the author of Control Your Retirement Destiny: Achieving Financial Security before the Big Transition and Social Security Sense: A Guide to Claiming Benefits for Those Age 60–70.


Recognized for her commitment to education, Professor Anspach has twice been named to the Investopedia 100, a list of financial advisors who are considered to be making significant contributions to financial literacy. She also serves on the Strategic Retirement Advisory Council for the Investments & Wealth Institute, where she helps expand the reach of the Retirement Management Advisor designation.

By This Expert

How to Plan for the Perfect Retirement
How to Plan for the Perfect Retirement


How to Think like a Retirement Expert

01: How to Think like a Retirement Expert

Discover the many aspects of retirement planning that you’ll need to consider when working toward financial security for your later years. Explore the differences between the go-go, slow-go, and no-go years of retirement, and why your plan must address the specific needs of each period. And when considering financial products, learn to differentiate between a salesperson and a true advisor.

33 min
How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?

02: How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?

You might have heard some “rules of thumb” about financing your retirement, and they might point you in the right direction. But in this lesson, you will learn why no generality, statistical average, or one-size-fits-all answer will work for you. Instead, you will learn how to accurately estimate how much money you will need in retirement by creating a series of personalized expense, income, and withdrawal timelines.

29 min
Five Ways That Retirees Run Out of Money

03: Five Ways That Retirees Run Out of Money

We all have one important thing in common about our retirement: We do not want to run out of money! Examine the five major risk categories every retiree will face and learn the key aspects of developing a responsive and resilient financial plan to address these risks in retirement. Then you’ll be in solid shape to weather any storms that might come along.

32 min
How to Start Saving for Retirement

04: How to Start Saving for Retirement

Many of us resist the idea of creating a budget, but having a handle on your spending is the starting point to financial success. Compare and contrast two different ways to create a personalized spending plan. You’ll also learn how to make some crucial planning decisions, including whether to pay down debt first or boost savings and whether to rent or buy a home.

29 min
Mid-Career Financial Strategies

05: Mid-Career Financial Strategies

If you’re a mid-career parent, you’ll have some important decisions to make regarding funding your child’s college vs. funding retirement accounts for yourself. You’ll also want to make sure you’re using your company’s benefits to your best advantage. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to address those issues, plus why tax-deductible contributions to a retirement plan might not be the boon you think it is.

27 min
Investing for Safety, Income, and Growth

06: Investing for Safety, Income, and Growth

Where should you put your money when saving for retirement? That feels like the million-dollar question, and the sheer amount of information out there is overwhelming. Understand why discipline, not superior skill, will be your key to success, as you learn how stocks, bonds, and mutual funds work and the differences between active and passive investing.

27 min
The Five-Year Countdown to Retirement

07: The Five-Year Countdown to Retirement

Discover the crucial actions and decisions you’ll face in the five years immediately prior to your retirement. You’ll learn about the importance of building up cash reserves; how and why to simplify your financial life; when to begin taking Social Security; whether or not to downsize your home; and, if you have a pension, whether to take that payout as a lump sum or as an annuity payout.

29 min
How to Make Your Retirement Savings Last

08: How to Make Your Retirement Savings Last

Look into four main strategies for withdrawal. For example, what is the income-only approach to retirement savings and is it right for you? Dig deep into annuities as a vehicle for your retirement and learn why this sometimes-controversial product is neither all good nor all bad. You’ll learn about the pros and cons of the other three main types of annuities as well—income, deferred-income, and variable.

31 min
Planning the Go-Go Years in Retirement

09: Planning the Go-Go Years in Retirement

One of the most important decisions you’ll make is when to retire. Learn about the costs and availability of health care coverage, the pros and cons of two spouses retiring at the same time, when to start taking Social Security payments, and rules related to required minimum distributions from your retirement accounts—all of which will figure into the many financial decisions you’ll make in the earliest years of retirement.

31 min
Financial Strategies for the Slow-Go Years

10: Financial Strategies for the Slow-Go Years

Most of us consider our trust, power of attorney, and health care directive as among our most important estate-planning documents. But in this lesson, you’ll see why these are equally crucial: the titling of your accounts and property, and setting up beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts, life insurance, and investment accounts.

28 min
Social Security, Medicare, and Tax Strategy

11: Social Security, Medicare, and Tax Strategy

Don’t make your crucial decisions about Social Security, health insurance, or your tax strategy based on outdated information or what anyone else did. In this lesson, you’ll learn about the pros and cons of all your decision options. The reward for getting these decisions right can be worth thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars.

32 min
10 Questions to Answer Before You Retire

12: 10 Questions to Answer Before You Retire

Creating a secure retirement plan that meets all your needs is complex, with lots of integrated moving parts. Small decisions you make now can have major consequences for your financial security later on. Explore 10 questions that can help point you to a plan for your perfect retirement.

30 min