Is Retirement Possible Without $1 Million?

Retirement$1 Million Retirement

Of course entering retirement with a million dollars makes things easier, but you can absolutely live well without having met that magical goal. Preparing ahead of time and making small changes – or big ones – can pay off big in the long run.

5 Strategies

There are a few things you can try to help meet your goals like boosting your Social Security payments. Here are 5 strategies, from our friends at that  you can employ to make your (less than $1K 401(k)) retirement a joy!

We would love to know if any of these suggestions have worked for you or if you think any of these strategies might help. We would also love to hear what else might have made your less than $1K savings work for you.


Mystery: The Case of the Jumping Social Security Income


Glad you are here and I wanted to try to make this article a little LESS BORING by telling the story of a MYSTERY that needs to be solved.  sherlock-holmes-147255_960_720-pixabay-publicdomain

Do you have a bit of Sherlock Holmes in you? Can you crack this case? 

The taxation of Social Security is a bit of a complicated topic, but the basics are that the IRS has a specific worksheet that you can fill out to figure out the “tax” you will owe on your Social Security.  Part of your Social Security is tax free, but then it can jump up to 50% or 85% taxable depending on other income and various factors.

If you want to learn how to calculate it, then consider getting the “Social Security Taxation Kit” that we offer which explains it all through video and worksheets.

Meanwhile, I wanted to share a SPECIFIC case study that an advisor sent in that shows an interesting “visual” anomaly in the RetirementView program.  NOTE: this not a the real file but a copy and all identifying information has been removed.

So let’s dig in… first look at the main Retirement Income Graph below.  The advisor sent this file in asking “Why does the Social Security jump up by over $4,000 for 2 years and then drop back down? ”  You can see where we point out this anomaly in the following graphic:

2016-04-14 Income GraphIf you are an advanced RetirementView user, think to yourself “Why would this happen?”

To search for clues about this, I flipped to the Spreadsheet to examine the numbers.  If you scroll to the right you will eventually get to the royal blue Social Security columns.  Indeed, we see that there are 2 years where the taxation drops from 85% to 0%.  This causes the amount of income from Social Security to INCREASE.  Notice that’s counterintuitive to think about… taxation DROPS but income INCREASES.  I guess that’s why everyone would like lower taxes (except maybe our government).

Here is a graphic showing the spreadsheet columns that are relevant.  Now this is an internal copy where we have columns for every one of the Social Security taxation lines on the IRS worksheet so we can validate our calculations.

2016-04-14 Spreadsheet

The question is WHY is this happening.  Well first you have to understand the Social Security taxation algorithm which is too much to explain here.  But the revelant key is that Tax Free investment withdrawals from a Roth IRA account, do not get added into the calculation of taxes on Social Security.  So when you withdraw money from your Roth IRA in retirement, it won’t affect your Social Security taxes at all.

Whereas, when you withdraw from Taxable accounts or Tax-Deferred Accounts like Traditional IRAs and 401(K) plans, then that income IS included in the taxation algorithm for Social Security.

The second clue you need to figure this out is to look at the Savings Graph.  When we looked there we see that Taxable investments get depleted right before the anomaly.  At that point the program begins to tap the Tax Free investment bucket to satisfy the target retirement income needs.  When that happens, the taxation on Social Security drops to 0% and thus the income from Social Security increases by over $4,000!

Here is a screenshot of the Savings Graph pointing out the depletion of Taxable:

2016-04-14 Savings Graph

Now go back up and see the original Retirement Income Graph picture… you can see the Social Security jump up for two years.

In Retirement View the order of investment depletion is Taxable, Tax Free, Non-Qualified, then last is Qualified.  So program taps the Taxable until it is gone and then switches to Tax Free.  When it does so, the withdrawals reduce the taxes on Social Security which then increases the net Social Security income after taxes.

And now mystery solved!  You know why this is happening. 

Another retirement planning case closed.  Til next time and Happy Planning!



Eating Bacon will help you reach Age 116?

Susannah Mushatt Jones just turned 116 and is now the world’s oldest woman!


The Secret Ingredient to Living Longer?

At age 116, she says that she eats  a steady diet of bacon, eggs and grits for breakfast. A sign in her kitchen reads: “Bacon makes everything better.”

She was born in 1899!

If you or your spouse live to be 116, will you be able to afford it?  Or will you be stuck on a “fixed income”?

Consider running some numbers using the RetirementView program.  You can download a free demo version from our website at:

Read the full article about Susannah at this location:

Consumers Chasing Fool’s Gold

We’ve all heard a thousand times the old tale about finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  We all know it’s just supposed to be a humorous and interesting “old wives tale”.  But I find that many people are constantly chasing after “Leprechaun gold”.

Get rich quick schemes are everywhere! The internet is full of them. A quick Google search will lead you to more than you could possibly imagine…some legitimate but many not.

How many of you have been approached to invest $100 in your own business and with just a few hours a week you can become a millionaire? Again, some of these businesses are can help you achieve some extra income, some not but most don’t make the returns in their promises.

You can probably name a few more that you’ve come across in your experience, but nothing can quite meet the  good ol’ spend less, save more. If you have the luxury of starting early in life, making wise investments and putting a little away where you can, you will wake up one day and find that your little coins have accumulated into quite a pot of gold.

How can Torrid Technologies help you reach your retirement goals?

We hope that through this newsletter each month, you will find good tips and tricks for saving and investing.

Using our RetirementView Software can help you by looking for the GREEN on your graph. You can play with different scenarios in your plan and see what pays off in your personal plan.

Please let us know how we can assist you or make our product better any time! We don’t want you to leave your retirement security to the “Luck of the Irish”!

Tim Turner  Torrid CEO and Founder

Finding Solutions to Key Challenges of Modern Retirement

In the new book, Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do About It, Charles Ellis says that while just 30 years ago, most American workers were able to stop working in their early 60’s and enjoy a long and comfortable retirement, that brief golden age is over!

As responsibility for retirement savings shifts from employer to employee, increasing life expectancy and health care costs are key challenges that retirees today will face. On top of that, Social Security is replacing less of pre-retirement income, traditional pension plans are being exchanged for 401k plans with modest balances and employers are not providing health benefits for their retirees.

Mr. Ellis suggests a couple of changes that need to take place. For one, waiting to retire from age 62 until age 70 provides a 76% increase. He ventures that many of his colleagues in the investing world do not know that. He also points out that if your full retirement age is 66, that collecting benefits at the earliest age of 62 results in a 25% reduction in benefits.

Read much more detail about his research at

Torrid Advisory Solutions Helps RIAs Fight Back Against Pure “Robo-Advisors” by Releasing White Label Advisory Platform



Torrid Advisory Solutions Helps RIAs Fight Back Against Pure “Robo-Advisors” by Releasing White Label Advisory Platform


Marietta, GA, November 17, 2014 – Torrid Technologies has thrown its hat into the online advisory platform business competing with large financial companies and others using advanced technology integrated with a competing custodian. It is very clear that the online advisory business is growing and here to stay.


The Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform competes with pure electronic “Robo-Advisors” by helping existing advisors extend their practices to the “cloud” with ease.  This new “Cloud-Advisor” model  shines a light on the “Robo-Advisor” shortcomings, which are mainly a lack of human interaction and guidance.


The Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform changes the game for advisors looking to leverage the technologies needed to compete with existing solutions and leap over the competition. The service is immediately available for white labeling by Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and advisory firms.


As Tim Turner, CEO of Torrid Technologies shared, “Most robo-advisors are simply low-cost portfolio management solutions that rely totally on computer-based decision making.”  One robo-advisor firm, for example, has gathered over $1 billion in assets since 2012.  Unlike such pure “robo-advisors”, Torrid Advisory Solutions is different because it provides a Financial Advisor or Investment Advisory firm the ability to extend their existing financial practice to the cloud.

Doing business in the cloud shouldn’t represent a reduction in services in order to reduce cost. Torrid Advisory Solutions believes “bringing an Advisor’s business to the cloud” means increasing scalability while increasing efficiency and automation, so that an Advisor can manage a business growing without borders.


At the heart of the Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platforms is “video”. Whether it is an Investment Advisor looking to share their portfolio management decisions with investors, or a financial advisor performing a video consultation with a client, integrated video conferencing and video communication makes the cloud feel a little closer. Providing Advisory Services is a consultative business and without integrated video, “Robo-Advisors” are little more than a computer program.


Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform is more than just video. It provides automatic

rebalancing and simplified portfolio management all without the advisor having to do anything to make a trade. But the icing on the cake is the robust client communications layer. Client’s will never feel left out in the cold with the real-time notifications of portfolio changes (including video explanations), and any other pertinent information shared by the advisor. Combined with Social Media integration, clients and advisors can participate in discussion threads that reach the masses with personal interactions.


The Torrid Advisory Solutions SaaS Platform competes with pure electronic “Robo-Advisors” by helping existing advisors extend their practices to the “cloud” without much effort. a This new “Cloud-Advisor” model  shines a light on the “Robo-Advisor” shortcomings, which are mainly a lack of human interaction and guidance.

Access a demo and solutions-driven white paper:



Torrid Technologies RetirementView software is used by thousands of customers including agents, advisors, planners and brokers This top-rated software for both consumers and financial advisors has been seen and reviewed favorably in Forbes, Barron’s, BusinessWeek, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, among many others. Torrid Advisory Solutions is a service of Torrid Technologies, Inc.

A New Opening For Annuities

A New Opening For Annuities

Straight from the IRS:: Under the new IRS guidance, a target date fund may include annuities allowing payments, beginning either immediately after retirement or at a later time, as part of its fixed income investments, even if the funds containing the annuities are limited to employees over a specified age.  The guidance makes clear that plans have the option to offer target date funds that include such annuity contracts either as a default or as a regular investment alternative.


The new policy change is another step reflecting the continuing commitment of the Administration to work in a variety of ways to further bolster retirement security and saving.


Torrid Tech Explains:  This means that the employer plans have the flexibility to offer the annuity as an option or as a default when employees save into their 401(k) plan.

Afraid you may outlive your savings; tried giving annuity options a try? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

IRS, Treasury Support Annuities Use in 401(k) Plans

IRS, Treasury Support Annuities Use in 401(k) Plans

Straight from the IRS: The new guidance or policy provides plan sponsors an additional option to make it easier for employees to consider using lifetime income.  Instead of having to devote all of their account balance to annuities, employees use a portion of their savings to purchase guaranteed income for life while retaining other savings in other investments.


How to use this info to your benefit?


Torrid Tech Explains: This means the employee can choose to put some into annuities for lifetime income and still also have savings in other investments like mutual funds.

Afraid you may outlive your savings; tried giving annuity options a try? What’s been your experience with using part of your savings for guaranteed lifetime income while using another portion for other investments? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

Treasury, IRS OK Deferred Income Annuities in 401(k)s

Treasury, IRS OK Deferred Income Annuities in 401(k)s

Straight from the IRS:: Many employer-sponsored 401(k) plans offer so-called target date funds as a default investment for participants who do not affirmatively elect a different investment.  Target date funds get their name from the fact that their allocation of investments shifts gradually from equities to fixed income as participants approach an intended target retirement year.


How does this apply to you?


Torrid Tech Explains: In recent years target date funds have exploded in popularity by offering workers a way to reduce risk in the market as they approach retirement.  Recent abnormal bond pricing has made it difficult to achieve this result and has left many wondering whether target date funds are accomplishing their goal.

Afraid you may outlive your savings; tried giving annuity options a try? What’s been your experience with target date funds? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

New IRS 401(k) ruling aims to boost retirement income

New IRS 401(k) ruling aims to boost retirement income

Straight from the IRS: Designed to expand the use of income annuities in 401(k) plans, IRS new change makes clear that plan sponsors can include deferred income annuities in target date funds used as a default investment.


Your new options?


Torrid Tech Explains: Employees saving in their 401(k) plan at work can choose annuities from insurance companies inside their 401(k) plan so they can reduce market losses on their retirement savings by putting their savings into annuities, instead of mutual funds or target date funds.


Afraid you may outlive your savings? Have youtried giving annuity options a try? What’s been your experience with putting your savings into annuities? Share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you!

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