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February 13, 2017

Smart Retirement Investing the Vanguard Way – with Maria Bruno


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For decades, Vanguard has been a trusted name in the investment community. In this financial blogger world that I’ve entered into recently, it’s a resounding theme that Vanguard is the way to go when it comes to investing for your retirement. Billionaire Warren Buffett thinks Vanguard is an excellent choice. Personal Development Coach, Tony Robbins wrote a book called MONEY: Master the Game where he praises Vanguard for being the only recommendation for many of the billionaires he interviews.

Since that is the ever-present case, I decided I would give Vanguard a call and get retirement advice straight from the source and share it with all of you.

I had the opportunity to chat with Maria Bruno, a Senior Investment Strategist at Vanguard. Maria specializes in retirement and personal finance. Being a personal finance junkie myself, I was elated to get this professional on the phone. Her wide-ranging experience, vast knowledge of retirement solutions and her signature laugh made this chat informative and delightful.

What are we covering today?

You’re going to hear Maria and I chat about:

  • 401k planning
  • Roth IRA advantages (versatility, back door Roth)
  • Goal setting
  • Asset allocation
  • Minimizing fees
  • Index funds

The goal of today's show is to give you some actionable advice that can help you on your journey toward retirement. If you’re fairly young and you haven’t started retirement investing yet, Maria and I implore you to start today! The power of compound interest only works if you allow time for it to compound.

If you’ve been investing for retirement for a while, our discussions on asset allocation and investing fees will potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars and years on your overall retirement.


Carpe Diem Quote

Don't look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack.
-Jack Bogle, Founder of Vanguard speaking on the importance of diversification

Show Notes

Vanguard Website

Roth: The most versatile account in your portfolio (An article by Maria)

Vanguard’s investment principles (How to apply Vanguard’s investment principles to retirement savings)

The Benefits of the Back Door Roth IRA (article)

Join the Marriage, Kids and Money Community

Guest Bio:  Maria Bruno

Maria is a senior retirement strategist in Vanguard Investment Strategy Group. She leads a global team that's responsible for conducting research and providing thought leadership on the topics of retirement, wealth, portfolio construction, and financial planning for individual investors.

Maria specializes in retirement planning, retirement income solutions, and wealth management strategies. Prior to her current role, Maria worked in our financial planning and advice departments. Maria earned a bachelor of science in business administration (B.S.B.A.) from Villanova University and is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional.

How are you planning for retirement?

Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.


  • This was a great reminder of the importance of investing. Thank you for sharing this. When I first started working I just was not in a position to save at all, but after a few short years, I began with contributing the same percentage as my company match (4%). I then used another discipline I learned: if you normally receive a merit raise each year, set up the automatic increase to be the same percentage as what the raise typically is. This way you’re saving more, without netting less in your paycheck. I have been able to do this most years (and have made some temporary adjustments over the years). While I haven’t been able to do this perfectly every year, I have now gotten to the point where I’m able to save 22% of my pay into my 401k! That is definitely a far cry from where I was 10 years ago and I don’t make nearly enough to get to the annual limit.

    • Wow! What an excellent success story on managing your money so you can have a better future. Way to go Tim! It is definitely not an “overnight” fix for sure. It takes time, patience and a lot education. But it is worth it. We’re talking about our future here!


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