Category Archives : All

Holidays and Financial Stress

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Did you know that according to one 2019 survey roughly 48 million Americans were still paying off 2018’s holiday debt by the 2019 holiday season? Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that a more recent survey conducted this year by Goldman Sachs found that 50 percent of Americans think gift-buying is the most financially stressful event throughout the year. So then, perhaps now is the time to make a change, in fact, another survey conducted by Experian “found that 84 percent of people were motivated to improve their finances during the last holiday season”. We’re here to help you do that. Call us, we may have some ideas you haven’t thought of that may improve your income during retirement years. Happy Holidays!

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Marshmallows and Social Security

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I thought you would enjoy this week’s article as it explains the old “marshmallow test” in answering the question of “should US retirees delay claiming Social Security until age 70, even if they have to spend savings until then?” You may ask “What do Social Security benefits and marshmallows have in common? When placed squarely in front of most people, both are hard to resist.” “Almost everyone knows about the famous “marshmallow test.” In the late 1960s, Dr. Walter Mischel of Stanford put marshmallows under the noses of preschoolers and asked them to wait 15 minutes before popping them in their mouths. Some were promised a reward if they “delayed gratification.” Most kids couldn’t go the distance. Similarly, Social Security benefits become available to most Americans at age 62, and people who retire in their early- to mid-60s tend to file for Social Security right away. Few retirees delay claiming until age 70, when the monthly benefit is as much as 76% higher than at 62. Experts at the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College would like to help people stop treating Social Security like a marshmallow”. This might be easier said than done when we need an additional income. Call us, we may have some options that can help solve this problem. We’re always here to help.

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Time to reflect

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With one month to go until the new year, it might be a good time to reflect on the status of your retirement savings in order to better understand what your choices and needs will be in 2021. Take a look at this week’s article for a few retirement calculators. They help you to understand if you are saving enough to retire, and how tax options impact on your savings. After you’ve run a few different scenarios, call us if you’d like to discuss some options that may make a big difference in planning for your retirement. We’re always here to help.

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What matters is if you are concerned

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This week’s article highlights a Harris Poll that showed “workers who have been laid off or had their hours reduced amid the pandemic are particularly concerned about their future.” “70% say they are worried about running out of money in retirement, 61% say they are much more afraid of life in retirement, and 61% say the pandemic took the joy out of looking forward to retirement.” What matters is if you are concerned, not the reason why. Call us to talk about some options that may help you to use what savings you do have to provide an income you can count on, and one that you can’t outlive. We’re always here to help.

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No, the Tax Laws have Not Changed

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We’ve been receiving calls from people thinking that somehow, with the election having just occurred, there are tax law changes that have already been enacted, or that 401(k) and IRA money is slated to be taxed. No, the Tax Laws have not changed. From time to time it is difficult to separate the wheat from the shaft when friends tell us what they’ve ‘heard’ and so we thought to assure you as part of our continued efforts in helping people know about options available to keep their hard earned retirement money working for them, and about the choices that continue to provide an income you can’t outlive. Call us, we’re here to help.

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Ideal Retirement

Commentary:

Simultaneously with thinking about where to put hard earned savings in order to obtain an income you can’t outlive in retirement, it may interest you to read a new U.S. News analysis compares the 150 largest metropolitan areas in the country as potential places to retire in 2021. The study discusses where you “might be able to save money and improve your quality of life by relocating to a retirement spot that better suits your interests and budget.” Let us know if you’d like to talk about the choices out there. We’re always here to help.

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Don’t give up and call yourself retired

Commentary:
Above all else, don’t give up. This week’s article tells us that when it comes to retirement planning “It’s “entirely understandable to be both intimidated and frustrated by all the challenges you might face, particularly with respect to finding work if you’ve been furloughed or laid off. It may sound easy to just give up and call yourself retired.” However, research shows that the longer you can delay collecting social security, the more money you will receive. Be relentless in learning how to navigate this virtual world, and try to find other sources of income. Call us, we’re always here to help and may have some ideas you have not considered.

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Identify the Risk in Dollars

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This week’s article tells us that “managing your risk constitutes a major element of your financial plan”, and that risk includes items such as your life in addition to your home.
Life insurance can be viewed as insurance to replace lost earnings, to provide a source of savings or an inheritance for your loved ones in the event of premature death, or the eventuality we all face. “The trick here is to put the risk in dollars. In the case of life insurance, for instance, lay out the expected income that will be lost if the insured were to die. Rules of thumb are handy, but there is no substitute for laying out the cash flows.” Call us if you would like assistance in doing this, and explaining some options that may be available to you. We’re always here to help.

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Financial Literacy for our Children

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Research has shown that one of the roadblocks seniors face in setting aside adequate savings needed to retire is the financial help that their adult children may unexpectedly need. One way of working to reduce those occasions where financial assistance is given is to encourage family members to take the initiative to self-educate and grow their own financial knowledge. Today’s article provides some ways to do that. Take a look, and call us if you think your family members might benefit from a conversation with us. We’re always here to help.

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Keeping it Simple

Commentary:

We have always tried to keep things simple, and so were thrilled to read this week’s article where a member of the faculty at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research has shown the adage “the simpler, the better” when it comes to retirement planning. In a study to be published in the Journal of Public Economics they will show that when faced with complicated choices “people end up throwing their hands up in the air and don’t save anything at all.” Call us – we will tell you, in an easy to understand way, about some choices you may have to create an income off of your savings that you can’t outlive. We’re always here to help

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