Skip to main content

The Buckets of Money Retirement Solution: The Ultimate Guide to Income for Life



The Buckets of Money Retirement Solution: The Ultimate Guide to Income for Life

Raymond J. Lucia, Ben Stein (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-0-470-90671-2 July 2010 240 Pages


Investors, shell-shocked by the "Great Recession" of 2008-2009, are looking for answers, for something fresher than the old 'buy-and-hold' mantra. They hunger for stability, yet yearn for growth to rejuvenate their battered portfolios.

Ray Lucia's The Buckets of Money Retirement Solution: The Ultimate Guide to Income for Life provides just that—a reassuring and scientifically proven strategy that gives investors both growth and income.

Lucia, a Certified Financial Planner who's helped thousands of people invest more than $2 billion, explains how to spend down 'safe' buckets (containing, for example, Treasuries, CDs, bonds), while leaving a riskier bucket (real estate, stocks and alternative investments) to grow long-term. This strategy shields investors from the short-term ups and downs of the market. And it gives them the courage and discipline to stay invested no matter what the future holds.

Written in a breezy, accessible style and loaded with tons of examples and clear, specific calculations, the book explains how to set your financial goals, divvy up your money accordingly, and then invest intelligently. With this book as your guide, readers will learn how to achieve both income and growth while at the same time reducing risk. "All in all," Lucia writes, "this plan is akin to a sports car that seats six, approximating the best of both worlds. In this case by being a conservative strategy that’s also growth-oriented."

Almost every kind of investment—stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate—plunged in the past year or two, turning off millions of investors who'd been planning for and counting on a reasonably comfortable retirement. These retirees or near-retirees need solutions ... something fresher than the old 'buy-and-hold' mantra. Yet here's what they hear from the financial-services industry: Set up an asset-allocation model, then take a systematic withdrawal to support your retirement ... remembering, of course, to rebalance the accounts to remain in sync with the model. Wrong! That maximizes the advisors' fees but doesn't protect the investors' assets during the tough times.

Foreword by Ben Stein xi

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction xvii

Part I Regain Your Balance

Chapter 1 Adapt to the Changing Landscape 3

The End of Easy 3

The Lessons 9

A Final Word 10

Chapter 2 Prepare for Whatever the Future Holds 11

Rebuild Your Savings 12

Rethink Your Retirement Years 17

Retool Your Retirement Savings Plans 23

Reinvent Your Strategy 26

A Final Word 28

Part II Forge a New Plan

Chapter 3 Grasp the Buckets of Money Concept 33

Put Time on Your Side 34

Other Risks 35

Wall Street’s Answer 38

Flawed Analyses 40

Main Street’s Myopia 41

“Reverse Dollar-Cost Averaging” 42

Proper Allocation 44

Proper Location 45

A Final Word 47

Chapter 4 Choose the Proper Investments 49

Bucket 1: The Income Bucket 49

Bucket 2: The Relative Safety Bucket, Mid-term Investments 58

Bucket 3: The Growth Bucket, Long-Term Investments 68

A Final Word 76

Chapter 5 Execute the Buckets of Money Strategy 77

First, Check Goals 77

Art and Science 78

Filling the Buckets 79

Bucket 1 80

Bucket 3A 81

Planning for Inflation 82

Bucket 3B 83

The Bottom Line 85

The Fate of the Heirs 85

Another Scenario 86

How Much Risk? 87

How to Allocate 88

The Importance of Bucketizing Now 89

A Final Word 90

Part III Refine the Plan

Chapter 6 Take Another Look at Annuities 93

What’s an Annuity? 93

Predicting the Future 102

Good Evidence 102

What Academia Says 103

Recovery Strategy 104

Risks and Opportunities 105

A Final Word 106

Chapter 7 See What REITs Can Do for You 109

What Exactly Is a REIT? 110

Combining the Best Features 110

Public versus Nontraded REITs 113

Another Advantage 114

The Lowdown on Loads 116

Are All REITs Low-Leveraged? 118

What Kinds of Properties Are Best? 120

Differs from Homes 124

The Role of REITs in a Portfolio 124

What Should You Look For? 125

Getting Help 128

My Personal Bias 129

A Final Word 131

Chapter 8 Play It Smart When It Comes to Personally Owned Real Estate 133

Your Home and Your Future 133

Buying Other Real Estate 147

A Final Word 153

Chapter 9 Give Uncle Sam His Fair Share—But No More 155

Tax-Free Municipal Bonds 156

Tax Management of Stock Portfolios 157

Real Estate 157

Roth Conversion 159

Incorporating Your Business 162

Tax-Credit Investing 164

Choosing Smart Location of Assets 166

A Final Word 168

Part IV Live Happily Ever After

Chapter 10 Craft a Workable Withdrawal Strategy 173

Beware of Averages 174

Pitfalls Abound 176

Getting Set Up 177

Drawing Down Your Total Retirement Resources 179

Keeping Taxes Low 183

A Few More Thoughts about Stocks 187

A Final Word 191

Epilogue Keep Your Eye on Enjoyment 193

About the Authors 197

Recommended Resources 199

Index 203