Is The Retirement Watch by Bob Carlson Legit?

Retirement Watch is an advisory service offered by Bob Carlson where he offers financial advice geared towards retirement, social security, estate planning and IRAs.

He gives his perspective on how people should plan for their sunset years and he approaches it in a practical way. He even claims to have formulated new rules for retirement and estate planning.

In this article, we take a closer look at what the newsletter is all about as well as what the man behind it all is like. I hope, you will find this helpful.

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Introduction to Bob Carlson’s Retirement Watch

Retirement Planning is a touchy subject for most people because they have no idea how to approach it. And that’s where retirement planners like Bob Carlson come in. He runs a service called Retirement Watch that fills the gap.

Other investment gurus who have covered retirement planning are Keith Kaplan with his Retirement Calculator and Ian King with The 20 Minute Retirement Solution.

The Retirement Watch is a program that is designed to provide estate planning and retirement planning advice to people over 50 that are planning for retirement as well as people who have already retired (retirees).

On the Retirement Watch website, Bob Carlson writes articles about:

Retirement Planning

This is the process of deciding how much money you need to save for your sunset years and then formulating and putting into action a retirement plan to hit your targets.

When Bob writes about planning, he seeks to answer questions like when you should retire, how much money you need to have saved up, how much you need to invest every month to meet targets, what to do when you retire, what accounts you should use, what you should be investing in with your account, and how you should handle medical expenses and long-term care.

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Social Security

When it comes to social security, Bob acknowledges that it is an important part of most people’s retirement income.

As he writes about social security, he seeks to make people aware about how much of it they will receive when they start taking their benefits.

Bob says that the amount in Social Security benefits you get varies depending on the year you were born, the age at which you start receiving Social Security benefits, and what you will have earned.

For example, he says that although you can start receiving your benefits at the age of 62, it is more beneficial to wait longer before you start receiving them. He says that the best thing to do is to figure out your full retirement age (FRA) at which you can start receiving your primary insurance amount (PIA).

He also writes about the special rules that apply to current, former, and widowed spouses and the strategies that single people, married couples, divorcees, the widowed, and surviving spouses can use to maximize their benefits throughout retirement. He says that understanding how those rules work is important and that some strategies increase the amount you get from Social Security checks.

Estate Planning

It is the process of organizing the management and disposal of a person’s estate during their life and on their death while ensuring that they don’t pay too much in the way of income, estate, or gift taxes.

Mr. Carlson writes about Estate Planning strategies on how to prepare for illness, incapacity, while also eliminating uncertainties over the the handling of the estate. He writes about unique situations too. For example, how guardians are brought in to take care of minor children or beneficiaries who are incapacitated.

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Annuities are insurance contracts that pay you regularly starting at a predetermined point in the future. He writes about how you can use an annuity to grow your retirement savings or guarantee your retirement income.


Investing your retirement nest egg ensures that it stays for as long as needed. Bob writes about earning retirement income once you determine your retirement spending. He says that for most people, they should keep investing the same as they did all along.

He also writes about the need for a balanced portfolio with a good asset mix that meets your risk tolerance.

Medicare, Long-Term Care and Healthcare

The articles tackle medicare, healthcare in retirement, long-term care, and how insurance works in long-term care. Many people do not understand how insurance works in these scenarios and the articles help.


Under this, there are articles about senior communities, retirement homes, nursing homes, reverse mortgages, and home equity in retirement.


There are articles about required minimum distributions, how to manage an IRA, and the laws involved in administering traditional IRAs and other qualified retirement plans.

Taxes in Retirement

There are articles about minimizing taxes in retirement. This includes things like estate taxes, gift taxes, and even income taxes (from the investments). He also writes about getting a tax deferral.

Retirement Spending

There are articles on Retirement Watch about developing and implementing a retirement spending plan to ensure things don’t get out of hand.

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Who is Bob Carlson?

Bob is an attorney and a leading retirement expert who has had a long career in this subject niche.

He is an attorney and a CPA. He got his JD and MS in accounting from the University of Virginia.

He started serving on the Board of Trustees at the Fairfax county retirement system (that has more than $4 billion in assets) in 1992. He became chairman in 1995 and from 2001 to 2005, he was a member of the board of the Virginia Retirement System that had $42 billion in assets.

He released a book called The New Rules of Retirement in 2016 to update the 2004 edition.

He has been featured on numerous publications, including The Wall Street JournalReader’s DigestBarron’sAARP BulletinMoneyWorthKiplinger’s Personal Finance, and the Washington Post.

He edits Retirement Watch, and runs a series called Retirement Watch Spotlight as well as a weekly e-letter called Retirement Watch Weekly. In each of them, he focuses on retirement planning.

Lifetime Retirement Protection Program

He recently launched this to equip people with tools to maximize their retirement finances. When you sign up, you get access to monthly video webinars in the Retirement Watch Spotlight Service, issues of Bob’s Retirement Watch newsletter, premium reports, complete access to past and future white papers, full access to, and a 90-day membership to

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What you get when you join Retirement Watch

When you buy the newsletter subscription, you get:

  • 12 monthly issues of the newsletter. Each monthly newsletter has new tools to manage your finances and capitalize on loopholes.
  • Members-only conference calls that are held quarterly. You get to ask Bob your retirement questions.
  • 24/7 Access to the encrypted website.
  • Model Portfolio updates. You have access to all the five portfolios and regular updates.
  • Retirement Watch hotlines. These are special updates every time something important happens that can affect your retirement.
  • Special Library of “Watch Lists.” There is a collection of watch lists with information that can affect your wealth.
  • Helpful links to valuable information.
  • A subscription to the Retirement Watch Weekly e-letter.

Bob’s Premium Reports

Cashing In on Congress’ $350,000 Retirement Shocker. This report reveals an additional $350,000 you can add to your nest egg by taking advantage of a law Congress just passed. You also learn two strategies you can use to achieve this.

The New Rules of RetirementreportIt is the cornerstone of Bob’s work. He reveals two big threats to your retirement and shows you how to handle them.

Gimme Shelter: Hidden Real Estate Tax Bombs to Avoid. In this report, he reveals taxes and penalties that affect homeowners.

Your 20-Minute Estate Plan: Building a Lasting Legacy. You learn how heirs can avoid over-taxation on an inherited IRA.

The Truth About Annuities. He discusses the different kinds of annuity.

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How Much is Retirement Watch?

There are three subscription levels:

  • Platinum Subscription for $87
  • Diamond Elite Subscription for $149
  • Gold Subscription for $49.95.

Refund Policy

Retirement Watchcomes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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  • You learn how to manage your assets as you prepare for retirement.
  • Bob shows you how to protect your nest egg from excess tax.
  • You have access to tools you can use for your retirement.
  • You learn how to secure long-term care expenses and take care of your family in retirement.


Although what you get from Bob in most cases is helpful, it is not tailored to your individual situation because he is offering general advice to all his clients.

Bottom Line

Bob Carlson’s Retirement Watch is a newsletter that teaches people to manage their finances as they near retirement. His material also benefits retirees.

Although is informative, it is no substitute to a personal advisor because Bob’s services do not have a personal touch. He doesn’t have the ability to offer personal advice and is legally barred from doing so.

However, he provides valuable information that can enable you better manage your finances.

Before you go…

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This made us 6-figures in the last 3 months:

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