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First on the cost associated with funds, the Globe’s Rob Carrick discusses Trading Expense Ratio in “TERs: Another fund cost to consider” This is an annual cost to you on top of the MER charged by your fund, and can eat 0.06-0.9% of your assets per year. (Actually it is much worse than that; the TER is just the tip of the iceberg. Every time there is a trade, a much larger cost is incurred due to buy-sell spread and taxes associated with the transaction). On the good(?) news side, Chevreau reports in the Financial Post that “Sky-high fund fees finally slipping”. However, if you are concerned about fund fees and return on your assets, the really good news is that you don’t have to buy any mutual funds. Just buy ETFs.
Before you tell your boss to take that job and shove it, there are “Five questions before you retire” Among the questions you must ask are: have you saved enough, how to cover major expenses, how to generate income from your assets, do you still have a mortgage? If you don’t have satisfactory answers to these, then perhaps you should consider working a little longer. The last question is what will you do? And, he suggests, that the answer should not be “I am retired”.
A partial answer to this last question can be found in a special section of the New York Times on “Retirement”. There are a great variety of articles there, ranging from the financial (e.g. annuities) to lifestyle (e.g. “concept of a life portfolio- a mix of paid work, leisure, travel, lifelong learning, volunteering and family and friend”, which is analogous to asset allocation for diversification in the financial world). Well worth perusing and may prevent you from answering “I am retired” to Clements’ question of “what do you do?”.