Is Bob Carlson’s Retirement Watch a Good Newsletter? (Review)

Hello and welcome to my review of the Retirement Watch newsletter.

I first learned about this newsletter through a presentation featuring Bob Carlson titled “Retired Americans Are About To Take One on the Chin.”

During the presentation, Bob talked about a “new law” that could devastate your 401(k)s, IRAs, and Roth IRAs. And that a “Retirement Doomsday” is coming.

It was quite grim, to say the least.

However, Bob says that his Retirement Watch newsletter can help you maximize your retirement finances and sidestep Congress’ devastating new law.

And that by signing up, he’ll give you a copy of his new book, The New American Retirement Plan, which shows you seven ways to protect your retirement nest egg.

Anyway, I decided to take a closer look to see if it was worthwhile or not.

And, long story short, I found that Retirement Watch is a legitimate newsletter that could be a good option to consider if you want to learn how to protect and grow your retirement nest egg in a flexible way, and with the help of a (real) expert in the field.

That said, it’s mostly aimed at helping those who already have retirement savings, so it’s probably not the most ideal newsletter for learning how to create wealth from the ground up.

Read on for the full review.

Are Retired Americans Really “About To Take One on the Chin?”

The presentation for the Retirement Watch newsletter starts with an “urgent warning” from Bob Carlson of the Center For Retirement Security.

The headline reads “Retired Americans Are About To Take One on the Chin” and, in the presentation, Bob says that the U.S. government is coming for your retirement money.

Bob Carlson during his Retirement Watch presentation.

He says it all has to do with a new law they’ve enacted, that is set to significantly reduce the value of things like 401(k)s, IRAs, Roth IRAs, and pensions.

According to Bob, this is the most devastating law he’s seen in over 30 years as a retirement expert and goes as far as to say that a “retirement doomsday is coming” as a result.

What “new law” is he referring to?

Based on what Bob Carlson talks about in the presentation, it appears he’s referring to The SECURE Act (or the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act).

This is a relatively new legislation that (mostly) went into effect on January 1, 2020. And it was supposedly set up to help make saving for retirement easier and more accessible.

However, according to Bob:

…what the government wants to do is strip the value of your IRA or 401(k) before you can pass it along to your family.


Is it really that bad?

Bob seems to think so. He says that on August 2021, your retirement plan could be whipsawed, and that “Congress is changing the retirement rules, in a severe way.”

And he is an expert when it comes to retirement planning. He’s been educating folks on retirement, and overseeing large retirement portfolios, for decades.

Not to mention, some of his concerns are shared by others in the industry.

For example, an article on the Wall Street Journal titled Congress Is Coming for Your IRA states that “The Secure Act would upend 20 years of retirement planning and stick it to the middle class.” And this article on, which points out some of the pros and cons of the act.

I’ve also come across other retirement gurus in the financial education space, like Dr. David Eifrig of Stansberry Research for example, who share a similar view to Bob Carlson about a coming retirement crisis. So there seems to be a lot of people talking about the issues facing retirees.

In any case, Bob states that there are roughly 75 million baby boomers reaching retirement and that many won’t be able to retire as comfortably as they’d like as a result of some of the new laws because they increase the cost of tapping into your retirement funds.

In Bob’s words:

For decades, they gave us all kinds of tax incentives to put as much money as we could into retirement accounts.

Today they’re putting the screws to us… by increasing the tax charges for taking that money out.

He says that some of the changes coming to the retirement sector could even impact social security and that many Americans may not get what they’ve been promised.

Especially since, as Bob points out, Social Security’s trust fund could run out by around 2034. Which appears to be an accurate estimate, it matches up with what is stated in a new report from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

To sum it all up – many believe, including Bob, that a retirement crisis is coming. And Bob says that the new laws being enacted are going to make matters worse.

He says that “America’s retirement dam will effectively burst” and that millions of Americans will see thousands, even millions, of dollars potentially taxed away.

What’s his solution to all of this?

According to Bob, he’s spent the past 12 months putting together a new book called The New American Retirement Plan, to help you fight back “against the looming Retirement Doomsday” and avoid the risk of running out of money during retirement.

What Is The New American Retirement Plan?

The New American Retirement Plan is a new 192-page book about protecting your retirement nest egg from Congress’ new law. A law which, according to Bob, could cut 30% or more off the value of your IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, and even your pensions.

In particular, Bob shares seven “end-around” strategies for protecting your wealth, along with dozens of ways to potentially grow your retirement nest egg.

Bob says to think of it like a “Retirement Survival Guide” for keeping the government’s new rules at bay, while also helping you increase your wealth.

Some of the topics in the book show you how to:

  • Save your IRAs and 401(k)s
  • Add up to $37,000 to a tax-free retirement account every year
  • Avoid running out of money in retirement
  • Increase your monthly Social Security payouts by up to 76%
  • Reduce the costs of long-term care (LTC)
  • Create a tax-free monthly income stream

Bob also talks about getting your retirement affairs in order, estate planning, and earning monthly or quarterly income with his Retirement Paycheck Portfolio.

All in all, The New American Retirement Plan is a comprehensive book and one that aims to help anyone either in retirement or approaching retirement.

How do you get access to it?

As far as I know, it’s not available to purchase through Amazon or regular book stores, you can only access it by joining Bob’s newsletter service, Retirement Watch.

It basically comes as a free bonus for joining the newsletter. So let’s take a look at what the service is all about and how it works, so you know what to expect.

Bob Carlson’s Retirement Watch Newsletter

The Retirement Watch newsletter is Bob Carlson’s flagship monthly newsletter that’s aimed at helping retirees stay informed and create a better retirement.

Over the course of the roughly three decades it has been running, Bob says the newsletter has tracked every issue and event that’s critical to retirement.

Whether it be taxation, social security, or growing and protecting your wealth. Basically anything Bob deems relevant to helping you live the best retirement possible.

Each newsletter is published on a monthly basis and delivered straight to your email inbox and is designed to cover the most important, relevant, and timely retirement topics.

There’s more to it than just the monthly newsletters though.

A lot more.

As a subscriber, you also receive access to five “Easy-Chair” portfolios, regular updates on the positions in the portfolios, quarterly conference calls, and access to a members-only website.

Not to mention, a bunch of bonus reports covering different opportunities to both save and grow your wealth for retirement.

All in all, it’s quite a comprehensive service.

And one of the main things that make it unique, compared with most investment newsletter services I come across, is that it contains five model portfolios.

A model portfolio is basically a list of stocks the service recommends, and most services only have one. In this case, there are five that are designed to match your investing preference. Some are focused more on income than growth, while others are more diversified than focused.

Here are the names of the five “Easy Chair” portfolios:

  • True Diversification
  • Sector
  • Balanced
  • Income Growth
  • Retirement Paycheck

These are located on the member’s website, along with the full archive of Retirement Watch newsletters, special reports, and other resources.

On top of all this, you also get some bonuses depending on which page you join through and which membership option you choose.

How Much Does It Cost?

There are three membership tiers with Retirement Watch (Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Elite).

Gold Subscription ($49.95)

The Gold subscription costs $49.95 and gives you 12 months of access to the Retirement Watch newsletter, as well as access to Bob Carlson’s book – The New American Retirement Plan.

Platinum Subscription ($77)

A Platinum subscription costs $77 for 12 months and gives you everything from the Gold subscription, but an extra nine bonus reports.

Here are the bonus reports you get:

  • Your 20-Minute Estate Plan: Building a Lasting Legacy
  • IRA Investment Guide: A Road Map for Avoiding the Tax Traps and Penalties
  • Cashing in on Congress’ $350,000 Retirement Shocker
  • The New Rules of Retirement
  • Gimme Shelter: Hidden Real Estate Tax Bombs to Avoid
  • The Truth About Annuities: and How to Make Them a Lifetime Stream of Income
  • Keep Your Nest-Egg Safe From the IRS Money Grab
  • How to Insure Your Way to a Rock-Solid Retirement
  • How to Inflation Proof Your Nest Egg With ETFs

Diamond Elite Subscription ($149)

The Diamond Elite subscription is the highest membership level for the Retirement Watch newsletter. It gives you everything in the previous two memberships, as well as an additional special report titled “The New Rules of Estate Planning.”

Are There Any Guarantees?

There’s no guarantee you’ll make money because no newsletter service can promise you that. But there is a 30-day money-back guarantee in place according to the website. So if you’re not happy with the service during your first 30 days, you can request a full refund.

Who’s Bob Carlson – Real Retirement Expert?

Bob Carlson
Bob Carlson

Bob Carlson is fairly well-known in the retirement space, and not just among subscribers of his newsletter services.

He’s written best-selling books, he’s a senior contributor to Forbes, and has helped oversee billions of dollars worth of retirement portfolios over the years.

According to the Retirement Watch website, he started writing the monthly issues of Retirement Watch in 1991 after obtaining his law degree and master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Virginia.

He says he wasn’t meant for the courtroom or office, and instead wanted to help retirees and those preparing for retirement. Which is what he’s been doing for over 30 years now.

Bob runs four services that are published by a company called Eagle Products, LLC. One of them is a free email newsletter, and the rest are paid subscriptions:

  • Retirement Watch Weekly (free weekly e-letter)
  • Retirement Watch (the monthly newsletter been discussing)
  • Retirement Watch Spotlight (monthly video series)
  • Lifetime Retirement Protection Program (Bob’s most comprehensive service)

He has also published three popular books related to investing and retirement:

  • The New Rules of Retirement
  • Personal Finance After 50 for Dummies (with Eric Tyson)
  • Invest Like a Fox… Not Like a Hedgehog

Unlike some gurus in the finance and investing space, Bob isn’t just someone who just publishes newsletters and books, without having any “real world” experience.

He has helped oversee and manage some of the most important retirement portfolios in America, and from what I understand, he still does.

For example, he has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fairfax (Virginia) County Employee’s Retirement System since 1995. And as part of this, oversees a $3 billion portfolio.

He also managed a $42 billion pension fund between 200 to 2005, when he served on the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Retirement System.

Last but not least, he founded the Center for Retirement Security in 1989, as a “research and collaboration vehicle for retirement finances, investments, taxes, and estate planning.”

Safe to say, Bob is a real expert when it comes to investing and retirement planning.

That doesn’t mean you should follow all of his recommendations, because everyone is unique and not everything he suggests will work for everyone. But he is the real deal.

Bottom Line

Retirement Watch is a monthly newsletter headed up by Bob Carlson that’s all about helping retirees and pre-retirees create their best retirement possible.

As a subscriber, you receive monthly newsletters, special reports, portfolios, and other resources aimed at helping you stay on top of events impacting your retirement, and protect and grow your nest egg. All in all, it’s an affordable, comprehensive service.

Worth pointing out, however, is that there are always risks involved with investing and retirement planning. So even though it’s a good service, there are no guarantees.

That’s one of the good things about Bob though, he doesn’t really make a bunch of wild claims about helping you get rich quick, or helping you find the next “little-known” stock. He’s more focused on helping educate his readers and sharing his insights.

Whether or not you decide to join is something only you can decide. But hopefully what I’ve shared here, helps you make a more informed choice either way. And if you’d like to share your thoughts on Bob’s newsletter, feel free to leave a comment below.

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