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Richard Rosso

Richard Rosso

Richard Rosso has been in the financial services industry for 26 years. He is a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Investment Management Analyst. Richard has helped individuals and families make holistic financial decisions working for companies like Dreyfus and Charles Schwab. He has been part of the Clarity Financial family since November 2012. Richard is a featured writer for MarketWatch and a contributor to Money Magazine,, Nerdwallet, Christian Science Monitor and USA Today. He is featured regularly on Houston television and radio, including Fox, KPRC, KHOU and 740AM KTRH. He has been quoted in and interviewed for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and New Yorker Magazine. Richard is a personal finance manager and senior investment advisor for Clarity. Richard M. Rosso, MS, CFP, CIMA Senior Financial Advisor ClarityFinancial, LLC

Articles by Richard Rosso

The Fed Must End Its Love Affair With The Markets.

15 days ago

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The Fed must end its long-running love affair with the markets. It needs to be over, and here are several reasons why the Fed needs to end it.

In 1977, the band Fleetwood Mac released one of its most successful albums – Rumours. The song Chains was a big hit for the group. It was a mish-mosh of band riffs. You sort of can tell near the end that it was one big old jam session. In the beginning, the baseline, the lyrics are clean.

Confidentially, it’s one of my favorite tunes, but halfway through, I’ve had enough of hearing it, and I’m ready to move on. Allegedly, the inspiration for the lyrics was the drawn-out breakup between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

The Fed’s easy-money tune has been a rich melody for risk assets, but I’m at the point where the notes

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Ignoring Medicare Open Enrollment Can Cost You.

22 days ago

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Ignoring Medicare Open Enrollment can cost you. With the Annual Enrollment Period coming, it’s essential to spend a couple of hours doing homework. The time spent could save you hundreds of dollars in premiums.  Open enrollment begins on October 15 and runs through December 7. 

The state of healthcare premiums overall.

First, due to the lingering effects of COVID, the outlook for ACA healthcare premium inflation is a bit fuzzy. Insurers must submit their filings to the Feds by October 15 for the upcoming year. My initial thought is that premium inflation will range between the current CPI and the higher end of the Atlanta Fed’s flexible cut of CPI of 6.3% annualized. The flexible cut analysis gets based on a weighted basket of items that change prices relatively

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5 ways to increase spending in retirement

September 16, 2021

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Here are five ways to increase spending in retirement. Throughout their lifetimes, many retirees experience ‘portfolio withdrawal anxiety.’ It makes sense. After an eternity of being an accumulator or saving for retirement, psychologically, it’s a massive hurdle to begin and continue a withdrawal strategy, especially from portfolios comprised of variable investments like stocks. For those experiencing the anxiety of withdrawals and the ambiguity of retirement spending calculators, read on.

But first:

It’s normal to experience spending hesitation.

Keep in mind, you’re not alone if increasing spending in retirement scares you a bit, far from it. It’s rational and normal to feel this way. Why? The spending in retirement math is fraught with unknowns.

I call it the

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The Guide to Post-Pandemic Retirement in 2021

August 26, 2021

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The guide to Post-Pandemic Retirement in 2021 is designed to help industry professionals make clear choices in the face of transition whether it’s to retirement or another career. Those who seek a career change regardless of the industry can find several of these tips useful.

Currently, workers of all ages are experiencing transitional employment angst where the pandemic has helped them realize what’s important long-term for them. Some are trading more salary for more quality time; others are searching for new meaning in their profession or another.

On a regular basis, I speak with young, educated professionals who are taking their skills and rethinking careers especially in the face of a changing landscape due to COVID and the political risks arising for the Oil &

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Four Steps to a Successful, Secure Retirement.

August 12, 2021

Here are four steps to consider now for a more successful, secure retirement. Post pandemic, it appears that a successful and secure retirement is becoming more of a nebulous dream than a clear reality. It doesn’t need to be this way.

In a July 2021 generational retirement analysis by Dan Doonan and Kelly Kenneally for the National Institute for Retirement Security, we get a good idea of how the outlook for retirement in the United States is changing due to the ongoing pandemic.

I won’t bore you with the entire research paper, just the highlights. For a download of the complete study click here.

Overall, the current U.S. retirement system is no longer adequate for a large cross-section of workers regardless of age. Much of the U.S. workforce lack

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Medicare Set Aside Mistakes: Don’t Make These Errors!

July 29, 2021

PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSIONIt’s important to understand the Medicare Set Aside mistakes that can affect future Medicare coverage and benefits. In this blog, we will cover:
What a Medicare set aside is
How the allocations get determined
What the common Medicare set aside mistakes are

Be thankful that “Medicare Set Aside” is not familiar terminology because it means you avoided a worker’s compensation or personal liability settlement due to an injury that can last a lifetime. But if you have, we’re going to cover the basics of what you need to know.

Would you mind subscribing to our weekly newsletter in which we talk about how to preserve and grow your wealth?
What is a Medicare Set Aside?

A Medicare set aside (MSA) is simply an account or trust that holds settlement proceeds.

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Three Money Lessons From George Washington.

July 8, 2021

PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSIONThree money lessons from George Washington? Seriously?
Well, who better to inspire us to keep Fourth of July in our thoughts all month long? I decided to revisit the fortuitous saga of Washington, a solid reminder of the blood spilled and sacrifices made to form our nation.
Naturally, I turn everything into a money lesson!
Long ago, a boy yearned to be a British officer. Instead, while other children were at play, doing what children do, Washington gravitated to the rigorous study of famous battles. Studying was recreation to him.
He lived the victories and defeats.  With extraordinary precision, a young George envisioned and documented battle strategies he would have taken to turn the tide and win losing engagements.
Washington possessed an indomitable fire fed by

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The Retirement Crossroads – What Will You Do?

May 20, 2021

PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSIONRetirement crossroads are defining moments. For some, it’s the mental crossover anxiety that occurs when leaving a career and becoming dependent on investments for their paychecks. For others, it’s the impact of health or personal issues that force retirement before there are sufficient savings to accomplish the goal. Regardless, when at a crossroad, whatever it is, true character is revealed.
Due to the pandemic, the cohort of workers 65 and older averaged close to 11 percent unemployment in 2020. Those with sufficient assets figured that life was too short and took advantage of an abrupt but welcomed retirement path. Others who lost businesses, jobs or health, were forced to take a rougher road.

So, I have a question: At a crossroads, what will you do?

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The Post-Pandemic Retirement Survival Guide. Part 2.

April 29, 2021

PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSIONConsider the post-pandemic retirement survival guide as the catalyst for renewal.
(Read Part 1 – Here)
At the least, I hope it serves as a reminder of how a retirement planning strategy may require change when conditions warrant. Turbulent periods can lead to great self-awareness, a sense of inner fulfillment that no amount of money can purchase.
Perhaps you’re confident in your current strategy. Market prognosticators believe that economic ‘normal’ is mere months away (normal is yet to be defined). They may help to validate your hope for financial recovery in your household.
Ostensibly, experts go so far as to say the pandemic and its after-effects will disappear by late this year. It’ll be like the global economies never experienced economically devastating

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The Post-Pandemic Retirement Survival Guide. Part 1.

April 8, 2021

Print FriendlyConsider the post-pandemic retirement survival guide an awakening—a way to look at your retirement plan with a fresh perspective. At the least, I hope it serves as a reminder of how fragile a retirement planning strategy can be, and the ability to remain flexible in thought is so important.
Perhaps you’re one of the fortunate people not concerned about the viability of your retirement strategy. After all, markets predict that ‘normal’ is a quarter away (whatever normal happens to be). But be assured, the pundits say it’ll be magic.
They say that the pandemic and its after-effects will be poof: Gone. It’ll be like the global economies never experienced economically devastating lockdowns, a spike in mental health obstacles, and substance abuse. Also, let’s not forget the

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Outliers: Four Ways They Can Change Our Lives (Part 2)

March 4, 2021

Outliers can change our lives.
The pesky outposts of statistical warriors are situated at the far reaches of normality.  When they breach boundaries, lives change, sometimes forever. In Part 2, I examine the investment and portfolio outliers that can make the difference between retiring or working indefinitely (not that work during retirement is such a bad thing. I’m talking about working INSTEAD of moving on to the next iteration of YOU).
We want to be told stories, and there’s nothing wrong with that – except that we should check more thoroughly whether the story provides consequential distortions of reality. Could it be that fiction reveals truth while nonfiction is a harbor for the liar?
Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan.
Yes, the outliers. Consider them unwanted houseguests, the nascent

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Outliers: Four Ways They Can Change Our Lives (Part 1)

February 25, 2021

Outliers can change our lives.
The pesky outposts of statistical warriors are situated at the far reaches of normality.  When they breach boundaries, lives change, sometimes forever.
Why do we keep focusing on the minutiae, not the possible significant large events, in spite of the obvious evidence of their huge influence?
Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan.
Yes, the outliers. Consider them unwanted houseguests, the nascent Fredo Corleones of the statistical world. Their impacts are minimized by the academics, social scientists, and Wall Street ‘know-it-all’ pundits who believe most American households have recovered from the Great Recession.
With straight faces, they bloviate to convince us that the post-pandemic economy (whatever that is) will return to ‘normal’ by the second half of the

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Covid-19 and Women’s Finances: 4 Money Ideas.

February 11, 2021

Covid-19 has further deteriorated the status of women’s finances. Here are four money ideas for women to consider now.
In 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteed women the right to vote, Over the next hundred years the investment process has been democratized. It has never been more important to understand your financial picture.
Sharon Snow, Metropolitan Capital/RIA Advisors.
Nicole Bateman and Martha Ross penned an essay for titled “Why has COVID-19 been especially harmful for working women?” In their eye-opening work, the authors outline the economic challenges for women before and during the pandemic.
Nearly half of working women (pre-pandemic), 46% – $28 million, worked in low-wage jobs with median earnings of less than eleven dollars an hour. A significant number

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What Will Your 2021 Be ‘About?’

December 31, 2020

Ponder in 2021. What will your New Year be about?
I had a friend in elementary school who would answer every question with a question.  He was the eternal QWAQ (question with a question) enigma. Only recently, I realized what a genius he was.
Hey, Tommy, how are you feeling today?
It made me crazy. About. About? Is that an answer? 
Then I thought of the word within the context of 2020 to anchor myself for 2021. Perhaps some readers will appreciate the perspective. Stay with me.
What’s Your Life About?
Will you reassess priorities for 2021?
What are all your experiences, heartaches, memories, and trials worth to you? To others? Are you up to the journey for 2021? What are your plans to forge ahead?
The “about” is a continuous change. A journey. Because the “about of life” is a

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Nine-Steps To STRONG 2021 Fiscal Fitness

December 24, 2020

January is the time to make your fiscal fitness resolutions for 2021.
Most promises we make to ourselves will be a memory by February. Want a fiscal fitness head start and get 2021 going STRONG on the right foot? Here are 9-steps:
#1: A thorough portfolio review with an objective financial partner is timely.
Have you ignored your long-term asset allocation or the mix of stocks, bonds, and cash? With the major stock indices close to new highs, your allocation specifically to stocks may have grown disconnected from your risk tolerance.
Complacency is the emotional foible du jour. After all, every market dip appears to be a buying opportunity. With volatility subdued, investors head blindly overconfident into equity markets.
A financial professional, preferably a fiduciary, can help make

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Worried About Taxes? Consider These Ideas.

December 17, 2020

If you’re worried about taxes (and who isn’t?), consider these ideas for 2020 and beyond.
Daily, I communicate with professionals, mentors, and people who inspire me. Every year my tax specialist, who prefers to remain anonymous, shares an informative newsletter with friends and clients. She’s a master at her craft, and I’m fortunate to be able to tap her expertise.
Below are several of her reminders I selected for RIA readers because who isn’t worried about taxes?
Keep In Mind The Following Democratic Tax Policy Themes For ‘High Incomers.’
The Tax Policy Center estimates the proposed Biden Administration tax increases would raise roughly $3 trillion over the next decade, so ‘High incomers’ should pay attention to the following proposals:
A 6% tax rate increase for taxable income >

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What Is The Great Medicare Mistake?

November 25, 2020

What is the Great Medicare Mistake? Let’s explore what it is and how to avoid it.
We are in the throes of Medicare open enrollment season. The political ads are gone (thankfully). However, Medicare Advantage commercials continue to inundate the airwaves and interrupt my Westerns. 
As much as I love Joe Namath, he shouldn’t win out over Matt Dillon!
For all the television spots and direct mailers, most older Americans are resistant to review or compare coverage options because, frankly, the process is overwhelming and confusing.
Let’s face it; the exercise is as fulfilling as doing your own taxes. However, seniors must examine their Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Prescription Drug D coverages annually – even if they’re satisfied with their choices because one of the greatest Medicare

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Retirement Income Planning Truth with Jim Otar. Part 2.

November 4, 2020

In Part 2, we continue our exploration of retirement income planning truth with Jim Otar. We draw from the later chapters of Jim Otar’s new book about retiree income challenges. (Read Part 1 Here)
Luck Is More Than A Four-Letter Word!
Where one retires in a market cycle is the spin of a roulette wheel.
Many investors are convinced the ‘when’ of retirement is a complex concept.
Once comprehensive planning (preferably years before) lays the groundwork, timeframes crystallize, and end dates become less nebulous. As time closes in on the ‘right’ year, month, day, a stir in the retiree’s gut, perhaps considered nature’s timing, motivates action.
Unfortunately, markets don’t always cooperate with holistic financial planning because where one retires in a stock trend, either a tailwind or

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Medicare Q&A with Aetna’s Chris Ciano.

October 15, 2020

To better understand Medicare, especially Medicare Advantage, I queried Christopher Ciano, president of Medicare at Aetna®, a CVS Health® company. He is also a caregiver to his 93-year-old parents. Therefore, I thought it would be beneficial for readers to gain his perspective.
(Note: Open Enrollment is from October 15 through December 7.)
QUESTION: Please give us your vision of the future for Medicare programs. What would be the most significant changes you anticipate over the next decade overall?
COVID-19 has already impacted Medicare programs and will likely continue to have an impact for the foreseeable future.
Telehealth – A strong area of growth.
One of the areas where we’ve begun to see tremendous growth is in digital health, particularly telehealth. Medicare plans will continue to

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Retirement Income Planning Truth with Jim Otar. Part 1.

October 8, 2020

Income is the lifeblood of retirement. 
In Part 1, wisdom from the early chapters of Jim Otar’s new book about retiree income challenges is explored.
A one-person revolutionary.
In 2004, I discovered the work of Canadian-based planner and Chartered Market Technician Jim Otar. As a result of his work, I changed my approach to planning. Compared to conventional financial gurus, Jim’s research showcased how stock market cycles changed over time and negatively affected a client’s retirement income planning success, sometimes permanently.
My thought is he’s not popular with mainstream financial professionals who constantly tout a neverending bull market. Bulls never seem to run out of steam to these folks. Jim showcases how markets truly behave:

Furthermore, the above illustration showcases

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Don’t Ignore These Retirement Mistakes. Part-2.

September 3, 2020

In Part-1, we explored mistakes investors make due to bad advice, flawed research, and emotional distress.
In Part-2, we continue the journey into a world of COVID and possible economic fallout, much remains unknown. Retirees, and those planning to retire, possess little financial bandwidth for error.
Retirement is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of the open highway.”
Today, retirees face a tremendous challenge: How to generate predictable cash flow with real interest rates on fixed-income investments such as bonds, at zero or negative. As a result, the willingness to take on greater stock market exposure has increased.
Unfortunately, current valuations portend to low future returns for stocks. Furthermore, in the case of a massive correction or bear cycle, older investors

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Don’t Ignore These Retirement Mistakes. Part-1

August 20, 2020

Retirement mistakes. In Part-1, we explore the mistakes that investors make due to bad advice, poor research, and emotional distress.
“The art of a happy retirement is in the creation of meaningful circles and the beauty of the variations among them. It’s a consistent rotation around sources of fulfillment and purpose that create a force of their own. In that moment, the art of living emerges.”
Rich Rosso.
The internet teems with irresponsible retirement advice.
Guidance for retirees and those planning for retirement is often wrong.  Financial pundits fail to distinguish wealth accumulators or those still working, from people who depend on portfolio distributions to meet household spending needs.
The genesis of mainstream financial advice came during the most significant bull market in

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We Are In The Winter of Household Finances.

June 24, 2020

We are in the winter of household finances. The “Fourth Turning” is upon us, as we explore how to navigate an uncertain future and maintain financial stability.

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3.

William Strauss’ and Neil Howe’s seminal tome – The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny – is a popular read among the RIA Advisor team. We reference it often, especially as the premise of The Fourth Turning grows increasingly prevalent.
As there are seasons to life, there are periods of heat and freeze to a culture – eras of discovery, turmoil, tranquility, war. Winter is the powderkeg. The cold front began in 2007. At grassroots levels, we must prepare

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Financial Friction Burns Wealth.

April 29, 2020

Financial friction burns wealth in 5-insidious manners.
What is financial friction?
Financial friction burns wealth when money is lost.
Financial friction burns wealth when there’s resistance  – the heat of conflict, clash of opinion. When money lies between two opposing forces, friction can destroy wealth.
What are the elements of financial friction that burn wealth? What are financial gaps that require attention?
Friction #1: The Gap Between an Estate Plan and Family.
Priorities have changed as we spend more time at home. A strong focus on family.  Attorneys across the country now witness renewed interest in estate plans. Young and old contemplate what happens when they’re gone.
Formal estate planning is essential – Proper wills, powers of attorney,  advance directives in case of

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Anatomy of The Bear. Lessons from Russell Napier.

April 1, 2020

One of my annual re-reads is Russell Napier’s classic tome “Anatomy of the Bear.”
A mandatory study for every financial professional and investor who seeks to understand not only how damaging bear markets can be but also the traits which mark their bottoms. Every bear is shaken from hibernation for different reasons. However, when studying the four great bottoms of bears in 1921, 1932, 1949 and 1982, there are several common traits to these horrendous cycles.  I thought it would be interesting to share them with you.
First, keep in mind, bear markets characteristically purge weakness – weak companies, weak advisors, weak investors. I want you to consider them less a bloodletting and more a cleansing of a system. There will be unsuitable investors who will never return to the market and

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March 24, 2020

“Much of what passes for orthodoxy in economics and finance proves, on closer examination, to be shaky business.” The Misbehavior of Markets – by Benoit Mandelbrot & Richard L. Hudson.

If as households we do crumble financially yet another time, will this ‘outlier’ event finally teach us a valuable lesson? One we’ll never forget (again)? I mean, how many Black Swans or events that create wholesale economic and financial devastation must we endure to work diligently, effortlessly, to shore up our family’s finances?
Unfortunately, as humans, we focus on risk and financial stability too late. Always. Too. Late. We are creatures of complacency and mainstream financial advice does nothing but fuel our overconfidence bias. Only when a storm is upon us, wreaking havoc, do we seek to board the

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Three Ways to Avoid the “Lost Highway” of Financial “Advice.”

March 4, 2020

Now boys don’t start to ramblin’ roundOn this road of sin are you sorrow boundTake my advice or you’ll curse the dayYou started rollin’ down that lost highway
Hank Williams.

On the road to personal financial milestones, investors aspire to reach multiple destinations that are important to them – whether it’s saving for a college education or retirement, we all seek to assess travel risks, regularly track progress and hope to avoid hazardous conditions.

We all long to  -cheer – “I have arrived!”

However, there is imminent danger on the path to our destinations; like a low fog that hangs heavy, there are forces out there which blind and misdirect investors from the major road onto a lost highway. Unfortunately, obstacles to wealth are created by Wall Street, mainstream financial pundits

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6 Considerations for Long-Term Care Coverage.

February 19, 2020

Retirement is a a continuous road; mile markers that represent age may be visualized along the path.
However, if one looks to retire at 67 and in relatively good health, it’s a challenge to comprehend what quality of life may be like at 80. It’s easy to understand how 40 may not look too different from 60 from a quality of health perspective. The stretch from 60 to 90 may be so dramatically different, it’s a challenge to envision.
How does one contemplate their own increasing frailty?
People tend to avoid the topic of long-term care which is defined as financial and caregiver resources required to perform daily activities such as bathing and dressing. Services range from temporary home health services to full-time care through assisted living or memory care. At RIA, we find that investors

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Where’s the Adult Merit Badge for Super Savers?

February 5, 2020

Super Savers are a special breed.
They are not concerned about keeping up impressions; they exist outside the mainstream of seductive consumerism.
Call it a mindset, call it walking a different path; perhaps it’s an offbeat childhood money script. Whatever it is, those who fall into this category or save 20% or more of their income on a consistent basis are members of an elite group who strive for early financial independence.
Speaking of independence: At RIA we believe households should maintain 3-6 months of living expenses in a savings account for emergencies like car and house repairs.  They should also maintain an additional 6 months of living expenses as a “Financial Vulnerability Cushion,”  whereby cash is set aside for the big, life-changing stuff like extended job loss especially

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#FPC: New Advisors: Stop Doing These Two Things.

January 24, 2020

The higher stocks ride a glide path of zero volatility, the greater the risks for investors and their financial partners to fall victim to overconfidence. After all, we are human;  when it comes to money and emotions our brains are no smarter than a lizard’s. 
As markets continue to be  hyper-fueled by unconventional monetary and fiscal policy in the form of tax cuts, it’s normal to suffer from chronic FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out. It feels like this charging bull is invincible.  You don’t hear much in mainstream financial media about corrections, bear markets, or recession, either. It’s at these times when things are going smoothly that I’m most suspicious. It doesn’t mean I’m going to take it out on a portfolio. Nor does it mean I’m bearish.  It does mean I’m going to aggressively seek

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