Below are some of the most common personal retirement questions we have been asked. If you are looking for a financial planner to help answer your questions, perhaps we can help.



  1. How do I know if my portfolio is well diversified?

  2. What rate of investment return should I assume over the long term?

  3. What is the lowest and highest rate of return I should expect each year in my portfolio?

  4. What should my investment goals be?

  5. Which asset classes should be in my portfolio?

  6. What is an asset class?

  7. In what currency should I invest?

  8. How does currency impact my investment portfolio?

  9. My spouse does not know anything or is not interested about our finances and investing, what should I do?

  10. Is it possible to time the markets?



  1. What does risk mean in investing?

  2. What do you mean by risk capability?

  3. What is risk tolerance?

  4. Does risk only mean losing money?

  5. Are cash and bonds risk free?

Advisors, Fees & Expenses


  1. Are there different types of investment advisors? How can I tell the difference?

  2. What is the normal cost for Investment Management?

  3. How do investment advisers earn their fees?

  4. Is it better to work with an independent investment adviser or the investment managers at my bank or a large brokerage firm?

  5. Why are the Swiss Banks so expensive?

  6. Why don’t many foreign banks like working with Americans?

Saving for Retirement


  1. How much money should I save each month so I don’t run out of money in retirement?

  2. How much extra should I save each month? Am I saving enough to meet my goals?

  3. How much of an emergency cash reserve should I have?

Living in Retirement


  1. Should I put my entire investment portfolio into an annuity when I retire?

  2. Can I afford to retire?

  3. How much monthly income can I expect in retirement?

  4. How long should I expect to live in retirement?

  5. How do I make sure I don't run out of money after I retire?

  6. Does working part time in retirement make sense?

  7. Are there some good strategies to maximize US and Swiss social security benefits?

  8. What is my optimal withdrawal strategy?



  1. I think I pay too much in taxes. Is there any way to reduce them?

  2. If I want to minimize my taxes each year, what is the best strategy for my investments?

  3. Why did the bank withhold taxes? Can I get the money back?

  4. What is the difference between tax deferred, tax free and taxable accounts?

  5. Do I have to file a U.S. Tax Return while I am living and working outside of the US? Do my children need to file a tax return too?

  6. Will I be taxed in both the United States and in the country where I am working when I am overseas?

  7. How much money can I give as a gifts each year without paying taxes? Does it matter which country I live in?

  8. Do I have to pay US social security taxes when I'm working abroad?

  9. What’s included in the Swiss wealth tax calculation?

  10. Is there a treaty between the US and the country where I live?

  11. Do I have to file a tax return if I don’t owe US tax?

  12. What is FATCA? Why does it have anything to do with my tax return?

  13. What is the FBAR?

  14. My spouse is not a US Citizen. Is his income taxed in the US? Does he have to report his bank accounts?

Estate Planning & Gifting


  1. What happens if my spouse or I die while we are living in a foreign country?

  2. Is our US will valid in the foreign country?

  3. Will our assets be taxed both in the US and the foreign country if we pass away?

  4. Should we be more concerned with wealth preservation or capital appreciation?

  5. Is it better to pass our wealth at death or to gift some of it during our life?

  6. Charitable giving is important to us, what’s the best way to do this?

  7. I have children from my first marriage. How do I make sure they are taken care of if I pass away?

  8. My spouse is not a US citizen. Does that matter?



  1. Do I need life insurance? Do I have enough?

  2. What are the different types of life insurance and which one do I need?

  3. Can I keep my life insurance if I move to another country?

  4. Am I paying too much for life insurance?

  5. What is long term care insurance and do I need any?

  6. What is long term disability insurance? Do I need it?

  7. Do I need personal liability insurance?

  8. What is an umbrella policy?

Contact us if you would like to discuss these or other personal financial planning questions.