Wednesday , May 18 2022
Home / Richard Rosso
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

Secure Act 2.0. How Will it Affect Your Retirement?

13 days ago

The Secure Act and all its iterations over the last few years remind me of the Terminator movies. After a while, you don’t care because it’s always the same plot with minor tweaks.  Secure Act 2.0 will affect your retirement, but how? Is it just another mindless sequel? Let’s explore.H.R. 2954 has passed the Senate and is off to the House so, it’s time for  – Secure Act 2.0 – Judgment Day but without cool robots. Are there some good ideas on the table to bolster retirement savings? Yes. Can much more be done? Yes. Stay tuned for Secure Act 3.0 by 2023.Overall, I cover the most significant changes. Again, we don’t know which version passes the Senate but my thought is Secure Act 2.0 is ready for launch just the way it is.The expansion of automatic enrollment in retirement plans.There are

Read More »

Looking to ‘Unretire?’ Four Important Steps to Consider.

March 10, 2022

Unretirement: The reversal of retirement due to extenuating circumstances because, as humans, we go through change, and sometimes life gets in the way. So, if you’re looking to unretire, there are four important steps to consider.

Keep in mind that a storm of changing employment and retirement trends emerged during the pandemic. A subset of the population 65+ had decided their assets appreciated enough to leave the job market. The dip is showcased in the Labor Force Participation rate growth since 2000 (chart courtesy of Advisor Perspectives). RIA readers are familiar with the ‘Great Resignation,’, especially among the Millennial cohort. But, older workers left too—perhaps too soon in the face of a turbulent start to markets in 2022.

The St. Louis Fed recently shared research

Read More »

Want Double-Digit Returns? Hold Cash.

January 13, 2022

So, you want double-digit returns in 2022? Hold cash. Sounds crazy, I know.

Especially today with the mainstream financial media headlines and big shots like Ray Dalio, who laments how ravaged cash is due to inflation. While that is indeed true for a long-term investment portfolio to a degree, maintaining a decent cash emergency reserve and going a step further with a financial vulnerability cushion can get you to double-digit returns.

Want to see how? I’ll show you.

First, let me share a broad perspective concerning the state of household cash coffers. According to a 2021 survey from Bankrate, only 39% of Americans say they could cover an unexpected expense of $1,000. Moreover, the Personal Saving Rate, which skyrocketed to 13.1% in 2020, has retreated to 6.9% as of September

Read More »

Five Of The Best Money Ideas For 2022.

December 23, 2021

Print Friendly
When I query my Magic 8 Ball about major financial decisions, it rarely disappoints. Frankly, the track record for correct responses stands at 80%. Not too shabby. I received a resounding YES ABSOLUTELY to the following best money ideas for 2022:

First best money idea: Fund a Roth IRA or Roth 401k.

Unless you believe your future tax burden is lower, 2022 is time to switch from the tax-deferred lane of traditional IRAs and 401ks to the tax-favored Roth IRA or Roth 401k.

Entrepreneur Peter Thiel’s Roth balance is currently the government’s unhealthy obsession. For those who have forgotten: Peter opened a Roth IRA in 1999 with roughly $2,000 and purchased 1.7 million shares of PayPal. The initial deposit is now worth over $5 billion. Keep in mind; this transaction

Read More »

Why Conversations About Money Are The Greatest Gifts.

December 9, 2021

Print Friendly
I own the first edition of Works of Washington Irving (circa 1900), published by T.Y. Crowell & Co. One of my favorite essays inspired me to write why conversations about money are the greatest gifts.

An observation of the holiday (one of five), “Christmas,” is Irving’s initial reflection on the season.

An excerpt:

The dreariness and desolation of the landscape, the short gloomy days and darksome nights, while they circumscribe our wanderings, shut in our feelings also from rambling abroad, and make us more keenly disposed for the pleasures of the social circle. Our thoughts are more concentrated; our friendly sympathies more aroused. We feel more sensibly the charm of each other’s society and are brought more closely together by the dependence on each other for

Read More »

10 Smart Money Moves to Make Right Now.

October 28, 2021

Print Friendly
2021 isn’t over yet. So here are 10 smart money moves to make right now.

Saving money should be a year-round endeavor, but life gets in the way just like anything else. So with 2021 coming to a swift, thankful end, take advantage of the fourth quarter to accelerate your financial acumen, bolster your balance sheet and successfully springboard into the new year.

Tip One: Max Out HSA Contributions for 2021.

A Health Savings Account is a pre-tax savings miracle account. What other vehicle allows investors to sock money away triple tax-free? There’s no doubt HSAs have caught on with investors. According to Devenir’s latest survey, a national leader of investment solutions for Health Savings Accounts, the number of HSAs has now exceeded 30 million.

The popularity

Read More »

The Fed Must End Its Love Affair With The Markets.

October 7, 2021

Print Friendly
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

Read More »

Ignoring Medicare Open Enrollment Can Cost You.

September 30, 2021

Print Friendly
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

Read More »

5 ways to increase spending in retirement

September 16, 2021

Print Friendly
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

Read More »

The Guide to Post-Pandemic Retirement in 2021

August 26, 2021

Print Friendly
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 &

Read More »

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

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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

Read More »

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?

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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 >

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »