February 20, 2015

Despite widespread warnings to the contrary, veteran financial planner and investment advisor Jonathan Pond believes no matter what your age or circumstances you can take steps to get your financial house in order and achieve a comfortable retirement.

WEALTHTRACK Episode #1135; Originally Broadcast on February 20, 2015

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Jonathan Pond

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Consuelo Mack

How prepared are you, or your loved ones and friends for retirement? We have all heard about the impending retirement crisis. We recently devoted a program to it with Financial Thought Leader, Charles Ellis who co-authored a short and excellent book on the topic titled, “Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do about It.” It provides both a history of how retirement benefits have evolved and devolved in this country, as well as providing some straightforward remedies for both the nation and individuals.

How critical is the health of Americans approaching retirement, or now in it? Headlines to the contrary, some recent research suggests the dire warnings are overstated for the general population, but there are some segments in serious trouble.

Not surprisingly, the biggest differentiator between the haves and have-nots is work history. 73% of people without access to employer-sponsored retirement plans have less than $1,000 in savings and investments. A sporadic work history also means lower Social Security benefits, or none at all for those with less than 10 years of employment experience.

Lower income Americans who have been working steadily typically can maintain their standard of living because of Social Security and Medicare. For middle to upper income Americans, who have a higher standard of living that is not always a realistic goal.  A rule of thumb has been that retirees should aim to replace 75% of their average annual pre-retirement income. Many of them are living on less.

T. Rowe Price surveyed recent retirees with 401ks and median household assets of close to $500,000. The average couple in that group was living on 66% of their pre-retirement income. 85% said they didn’t need to spend as much as they did before they retired and 89% said they were somewhat or very satisfied with retirement so far.

This week’s guest has spent his entire professional career helping Americans prepare for life after work. He is also very well known to public television audiences.

He is Jonathan Pond, a financial planner, registered investment advisor, prolific author of more than 10 financial advice books, and host of 23 prime-time public television specials. His customized financial review reports have been among the most popular self-help thank you gifts in public television history.

The good news is you don’t have to watch a fund-raising program on public television any longer to take advantage of his personalized financial reviews. Pond just introduced Smart Planner, a comprehensive financial online planning tool for the general public. www.smartplanner.com  Pond says it is the culmination of 25 years of work refining all of those financial review questionnaires and reports. It is available for a modest fee of $40. It is completely confidential. You also fill it out anonymously so you never have to worry about receiving solicitations from anyone, including Pond himself. I will recommend taking advantage of it, or another online financial planning service in my Action Point this week.

In my EXTRA interview with Pond, available exclusively on our website, I will ask him to describe Smart Planner in more detail and why he specifically designed it to be anonymous. If you have comments or questions, please connect with us via Facebook or Twitter.

Have a great weekend and make the week ahead a profitable and productive one.

Best Regards,


Mathews Asia


  • Workers with a financial plan much more confident about retirement than those without a plan
  • Easy to get a retirement plan check-up online



  • Online financial planning service
  • Access anonymously
  • Low-fee


  • Hourly Advice over the phone, or in person
  • Local Financial Planner vetted by Garrett


  • Buy a growth-oriented global ETF
  • Growth “outperforms over the long run”
  • Consider a micro cap stock fund for young investors
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Jonathan Pond spent over two decades hosting financial planning specials on public television, all the while refining his online financial planning tool, Smart planner which was offered as a fund raising premium to viewers. This year, Pond is making Smart Planner available to all Americans for a modest fee of $40.00. We asked him to tell us all about this confidential and anonymous online service and if it will ever replace human financial planners.

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