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Yes, Another one…(I think…)
Old 08-30-2012, 09:31 PM   #1
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Yes, Another one…(I think…)

Hi Everybody.

Googled my way over to this forum a few days ago. I've just begun researching RJL Wealth Management, Ray Lucia's financial planning firm. Yes, I think I 'm another "Ray Fan."

I've been reading some of the Ray Lucia related threads on this site and he seems to be fairly well respected although some take issue with his marketing approach or some of his advice (e.g. untraded REITs).

His approach makes a lot of sense to me, but unlike most of the posts I've read so far, I feel the need for expertise in my retirement planning, at least to get things started. I don't trust myself to navigate the financial planning landscape by myself, or even with friendly advice alone, anymore than I would in legal or medical issues.

A friend of mine at work turned me on to Ray's books, and I must say I agree with most of what I've read so far, including the wisdom of seeking expert financial advice. I was excited to find out about RJL Wealth Management. Which led me to my research and to this forum.

Besides this forum, I also came across a guy by the name of Seth Hettena. As with Ray Lucia, I'd never heard of him a few months ago, but his name popped up as I searched to see if there were any negative things written about Ray or RJLWM. I thought at first that he might be a crackpot, but I found out he is a published author and freelance writer. His bio on Amazon says he is a former reporter and correspondent for The Associated Press, and that his work has appeared in The New Yorker, SPIN and other publications.

He has about 4 or 5 entries in his blog that are very critical, not just of Ray's methods and advice, but also of his character. Here are a couple of the titles: "Study Confirms Ray Lucia is Selling Snake Oil," The 'Buckets of Money' Seminars: Who Pays?," Ray Lucia's Brokerage Settles SEC Charges," and "Ray Lucia Defamation Threat."

Has anyone heard of Seth Hettena, read any of his stuff, especially on Ray Lucia, or heard anything else about some of the accusations he's made about Ray and RJLWM?

I still think that getting expert advice in my retirement planning would be beneficial, and Ray's books still make a lot of sense to me, but when you come across something negative like this you have to wonder. I'd appreciate any input that would help shed some light.

BTW, I'm 61, retired last year from my job with the State of Maryland, drawing a pension of $33K a year (before taxes), and doing volunteer work at a local mission as a grant writer/researcher. This may turn into a pt or ft position in the future. My wife and I have about $300K in IRA's and Roths, about $125K in Mutual funds (taxable), and about $70K in liquid assets. My wife is still working and hopes to go part time in a few weeks. Our plan is for us to live off my pension and our pt incomes, then take SS when we're 66. Our budget is about 6K per mo.

We are grandparents of 5 beautiful grandkids, have no mortgage on our condo (yes, I'm also one of those pay-off-the-mortgage folks), and we are debt free.

Looking forward to hearing from you!
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:27 PM   #2
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Normally, people tell us first about who they are and what their goals are. But OK, you can tell us about Ray Lucia and Seth Hettena.

From what little you did post about your finances, I'd be a bit worried IIWY.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:37 AM   #3
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Welcome, Pop Pop T.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:13 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum Pop Pop T. There are a number of Lucia fans here and quite a few threads you can look over. Have you tried FIRECalc: A different kind of retirement calculator to look at your cash flow throughout your retirement?
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:36 PM   #5
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Hi Kumquat,

Thanks for the input. I mentioned SS in my original post but neglected to say that when we start taking SS distributions, we'll be getting about 49K per yr. That, along with my 33K a yr from my pension payment will get us very close to our yearly budget of 72K assuming we'll be in the 15% tax bracket. Then, if I add in 4% annual return on our Roth's, IRAs and Mutual funds that will be an additional 1.2K per mo after taxes, so it seems we should be OK. Let me know what you think.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:46 PM   #6
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Hi obgyn65 and MichaelB,

Thanks for the warm welcome!

MichaelB: As far as firecalc is concerned, I did take a real quick look at it but not in any detail. It looks interesting though, and I plan on taking a longer look whenI get a chance. Thanks for the tip. Are there any training resources on the site for firecalc?

Thanks.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:43 AM   #7
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Are you still as much of a Ray fan now that he's being investigated for only very loosely testing his buckets strategy and then making up claims for how well it does?
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:18 AM   #8
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Hi Kumquat,

Thanks for the input. I mentioned SS in my original post but neglected to say that when we start taking SS distributions, we'll be getting about 49K per yr. That, along with my 33K a yr from my pension payment will get us very close to our yearly budget of 72K assuming we'll be in the 15% tax bracket. Then, if I add in 4% annual return on our Roth's, IRAs and Mutual funds that will be an additional 1.2K per mo after taxes, so it seems we should be OK. Let me know what you think.
Well, an additional $49K makes it look more doable. Whether you pension has a COLA would figure in the mix. That said, I'd double check the assumptions, run the numbers and formulate a 'Plan B' if necessary. As mentioned, Firecalc is a good resource assuming the future resembles the past.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:44 AM   #9
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Thanks for the advice, kumquat. I'm definitely thinking about a plan B and yes, my pension has a 3% COLA.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:04 PM   #10
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Hi MichaelB,

Oops! Just discovered the Firecalc support forum! Please disregard my info request - but thanks for your advice.

Pop Pop T.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pop Pop T View Post
I still think that getting expert advice in my retirement planning would be beneficial, and Ray's books still make a lot of sense to me, but when you come across something negative like this you have to wonder. I'd appreciate any input that would help shed some light.
I'm sure you've probably seen this, but if not: Ray Lucia may have hole in "Buckets of Money" strategy
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:08 PM   #12
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Are you still as much of a Ray fan now that he's being investigated for only very loosely testing his buckets strategy and then making up claims for how well it does?
Hoo Boy, g.o. ! That is the question of the hour for me.

It certainly takes the shine off of Ray's halo, to say the least, if any of the charges in the SEC order are true.

My wife and I just met with a representative last week and quite frankly, we changed from semi-hostile to positive after we met with her. She seemed very sharp, and most importantly, honest (operative word: seemed). My wife's a good at reading people and she liked her.

Having said all that, this SEC thing is kind of hard to ignore. I also came across, besides Seth Hettena's blog, a website called "The Ray Lucia Project - REIT Wrecks" that I'm finding verrry interesting.

I think we're going to keep meeting with the RLJWM rep and get more of an idea on her recommendations and ask her questions that are informed by my research.

I'm thinking I could post some of our experiences to ER as our discussions continue with RJLWM if that would be appropriate. If there's interest, would it be better to port this thread over to another forum. What does everyone think?
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:30 PM   #13
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I'm thinking I could post some of our experiences to ER as our discussions continue with RJLWM if that would be appropriate. If there's interest, would it be better to port this thread over to another forum. What does everyone think?
Probably would be best to start a new thread about this particular topic in the Fire and Money subforum. I'm interested to hear about your experiences with them.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:51 PM   #14
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I'm sure you've probably seen this, but if not: Ray Lucia may have hole in "Buckets of Money" strategy
Hi REWahoo,

No, I hadn't seen that thread but I was hoping there'd be some discussion of the topic on ER. It was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!
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