Photo of Paula Pant crouching down in the middle of woodsMeghan’s mom is 64 years old and suffering under a toxic boss. It’s tough to switch jobs at her age. How should she think through the next steps?

Ellen has a 20-year-old son with physical and developmental disabilities. Her other child, age 21, will need to look after him for the rest of their lives. How should she handle their inheritance?

Joe wants to start working part-time in four years, and fully retire four years after that. He worries he’s investing too aggressively for his retirement date.

In today’s episode, former financial planner Joe Saul-Sehy and I tackle these tough situations.



Do you have a question on business, money, trade-offs, financial independence strategies, travel, or investing? Leave it here and we’ll answer them in a future episode.


Meghan asks (at 02:36 minutes): My mom is currently working in the C-suite of a very well known real estate company and has been in that position for 18 years.

She’s had a pretty good relationship with her boss during that time, with a few ups and downs here and there.

In the last two years, his attitude towards her and her department has sharply declined: He has become a classic, toxic boss. He bullies and belittles to the point where my mom has a heart attack if even an email is sent by mistake.

This attitude has led to her receiving her worst end of year evaluation she’s ever had and no raise. She’s worried that he’s pushing her out.

My mom is 64 and had planned on retiring at this company. She needs a few more years of earnings to retire. The traditional advice to leave toxic jobs and bosses immediately doesn’t really work in her case. She isn’t keen on having to learn a whole new job, only to leave a few years later.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the situation. We’ve tried to look at it from every angle but are wondering if there are other perspectives or things to consider.

Ellen asks (at 23:15 minutes): I’m 53 years old and I have two children, ages 21 and 20.

My 20-year-old son has mild physical and developmental disabilities. He is currently attending a university that has a program for those with learning disabilities.

While he is not excelling academically and it remains to be seen if he will continue, he is enjoying it and is learning to live more independently.

He will need financial support and general guidance throughout his life.

I have thought about creating a special needs trust for him, but the topic is confusing to me. I also recently learned about ABLE accounts, which would help him save money that he earns and his dad and I can contribute as well.

My older child is studying computer programming, is financially a saver and interested in personal finance. They are transgender and I worry about their safety. I can’t protect them from physical harm but I can create a financial buffer for them. I’d like to leave assets to them, as well as to my son.

Additionally, they will be providing guidance to their brother, when their dad and I are gone.

I own a two-family house (duplex); I live in one unit and rent out the other. I own another two-family in a much less expensive city, where my older child attends college. I also have money in retirement accounts.

What are your thoughts on how best to create financial security for both of my children?

Joe asks (at 43:54 minutes): I’m 54 years old and my goal is to have a fun, part-time job in four years.

I’d like to pull in $10,000 from the job and another $20,000 from my retirement. I’m also hoping to be 100% retired at the age of 62 and starting Social Security.

Currently, the mortgage on my home is $1,000 a month. I still owe $85,000 on the mortgage and the house is worth $325,000.My monthly expenses are $2,500. When I go part-time, I plan to downsize so that I don’t mortgage.

I currently have $500,000 in my company sponsored 401k, with a 75/25 stock to bond ratio, making $55,000 annually and contributing 21% of my pre tax salary to include the company match. I have $90,000 in a taxable brokerage account and 100% of it is in stocks.

I also have $70,000 in a target-dated Roth IRA with a 68/32 ratio, contributing $200 a month. I also have $15,000 emergency cash.

Am I being too aggressive in my allocations, based on my current goal and knowing I can’t be in the stock market another 35 years? Should I move 3 years worth of expenses into my 401k stable fund to hedge against the down market 2 years from going part time?

If you were in my shoes, what would you do to include withdrawal strategies and when I’m fully retired at age 62, would it make sense to start Roth conversions?

Resources Mentioned:

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