3 Unique Boomer Retirement Trends

Are you a member of the Baby Boomer Generation (or perhaps on the older side of Generation X)? Study after study proves that you’re unique.

An Olympic Retirement: 4 Things You and Michael Phelps Have in Common

How do you compare to Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps? He of five Olympics, 28 total medals, 23 gold medals, and three world records? Simply, what do you and Phelps have in common?

7 Places to Look for Income in Retirement

Do you know where your retirement income is going to come from?

The Man Who Invented Retirement

Historically, the human experience has rarely been comfortable.

How Mentoring is Good for Your Heart

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn.” Ben Franklin

Of all the topics I’ve examined over the years, this may be one of the most important. That’s because the subject matter has the unique power to help you make a difference in the lives of others, while simultaneously helping to make you both healthier and happier.

4 Keys To Happiness in Retirement

What does it mean to age successfully and retire happy? How do you define a life that’s worth living?

While these are deeply personal questions, according to the most in-depth study of its kind in history, when you consider what it means to be happy, there are a few common threads by which all of us are bound.

3 Ways to Live Like a 12-Year-Old on Summer Break

While your retirement may be a foregone conclusion, being happy in the 3rd chapter of life is another story. Many people get financially prepared to stop working, but then along comes retirement and, unfortunately, the intensity of the last 40 years makes it difficult to suddenly shift gears, slow down and be happy.

8 Unconventional Things to Do in Retirement

Your time is now. Okay, maybe your precise retirement isn’t right now. But it’s coming, and along with preparing for your financial transition, you should start considering all the incredible things to do in retirement.

Protect Yourself from Unscrupulous Advisors

This article is concerned with something that I believe to be of EXTREME importance. It’s focused on teaching you how to help protect yourself from unscrupulous, or even criminal, advisors who are looking to take advantage of you, or of someone you love.

2016 Election: Where MIGHT interest rates land?

The Fed and US Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve wants to see that we’re operating at maximum employment with stable prices while maintaining moderate interest rates. The Fed’s primary objective is to encourage steady GDP growth while keeping inflation in check. Simply put, the Fed lowers interest rates when jobs are scarce to make it favorable to borrow money; it raises interest rates when the economy is strong to make it favorable to save money.

7 Fast and Little-Known Presidential Facts

The primaries have begun, and President’s Day will soon be upon us. America’s next Commander in Chief will take the oath of office in just 11 months. With such historic happenings, we figured it was the perfect time to let you in on 7 “important,” but little-known facts about our former leaders.

5 Fun Super Bowl Facts

It’s that time of the year again. And with the Super Bowl being held this weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area, you need to get up to speed on some Big Game trivia that will bedazzle your friends and family.

Predicting Future Market Movements

You’ve probably heard people—your neighbor, an old friend, or maybe an “expert” on cable television—brag about how good they are at “timing” the market. Timing the market is the act of trying to predict (and then capitalize upon) future market movements, often by utilizing technical indicators or economic data, or, in some cases, just by counting on intuition.

Overspending Risk

Here’s a threat to a fulfilling retirement that seems to hurt as many people as almost anything else I see: Overspending risk. When you transition into retirement and receive a lump-sum pension payout from your employer, or cash out your 401(k), you may suddenly be in possession of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, which is likely more money than you’ve ever had in your life.

Will I Outlive My Retirement Income?

Besides savvy saving and investing, what else can I do to help ensure I don’t run out of money once I retire?

Design a Portfolio to Weather the Storm

As I cover throughout my "Don’t Let Market Gyrations Wreck Your Retirement" webinar, which is available for free simply by clicking on the link above, fluctuations in the markets are not at all unusual. But those swings make it all the more impossible to “time” the markets and jump in or out as you chase returns (or try to avoid losses).

Will the State Decide Who Inherits Your Assets?

You hear a great deal about probate, including complaints and concerns about the difficulties and time it takes for the process to run its course. While occasionally straight forward, the complications and confusion surrounding probate have been the subject of hundreds of books written by our best legal minds. But because I get so many questions about this topic, I thought a very basic overview would be helpful to readers.

Timing the Market

Always Remember That Markets Go Through Cycles

How to Plan for Long-Term Care

The whole topic of long-term care is not something most of us even like thinking about. That’s understandable. We all hope that we live a nice, long life, are wonderfully healthy through retirement, and then have a quick demise in our sleep. It can happen this way and I too would love this experience.

Is it hard to change financial advisors?

Sometimes I’ll speak with somebody who has had the same financial advisor for many years and has not liked him or her because that advisor is condescending, or they provide poor service, or the results have been lousy. Whatever the case may be, you’re certainly not stuck with that financial advisor.

Big Changes to Social Security Are Here!

Over the years, you’ve probably noticed headlines warning about the substantial changes that experts believe are coming to Social Security. While these headlines are intended to scare you, the one thing that you could always count on was that whatever changes were being promised were only going to happen “at some point in the future.”

Welcome to the future.

What Just Happened?

Is an early retirement realistic for you?

People are living longer and healthier lives today than ever before. Hopefully, that’s going to be you. But when we look at retirement from a couple of decades ago, people were trying to retire younger and younger.

How often should you talk with your financial advisor?

People sometimes ask me how often they should meet with their financial advisor. It varies some from person to person, but I recently read an article that suggested that you sit down with your advisor every quarter.

Every quarter? That was certainly news to me.

Can you name your trust as your IRA beneficiary?

Many people, once they retire, set up a living trust. Living trusts are a popular way to avoid probate and pass along assets once you become deceased.

What is BrokerCheck?

Over 300,000 people in the United States call themselves financial advisors. But what exactly does that title mean?

Social Security 101

Social Security remains a hot-button topic for many people. One of the main reasons is that each and every day more and more Baby Boomers are taking down their shingles and heading into retirement.

What should you do with a 401(k) when you retire?

I’m often asked what should be done with a 401(k) when someone retires. Should it be left with the employer? Should it be moved someplace else?

Which Pool of Money Should You Use at Retirement?

At retirement time, it’s sometimes difficult to know where precisely money should be withdrawn from to meet your monthly needs. Let’s say you reach retirement, and perhaps you have an IRA, a company savings account, a brokerage account, and maybe even some savings.

Assumptions on Rates of Return

We’ve moved into the 2nd half of 2015, and, economically speaking, this remains an interesting and unpredictable era for investors. I started my career as an advisor in the 1990s, and, needless to say, when it comes to expected rates or return, times have completely changed.

What is a fee-based Advisor?

When working with an advisor, an important thing to know is precisely how that person is paid. In the past, most brokers or planners were compensated by commission. A stockbroker would call you and pitch you on a product or stock, and that person would make a big, fat commission when he or she made the sale.

Retirement and Assumptions about Rates of Return

One of the most important aspects of retirement preparation is asset allocation. Simply, how do you invest over the long term to preserve and maximize your hard-earned savings?

Making Emotional Investments - "Fear of Missing Out"

According to Investopedia, behavioral finance is a relatively new field that seeks to combine behavioral and cognitive psychological theory with economics and finance to provide explanations as to why people make irrational financial decisions.

Locating Lost Pensions or Other Funds

Over the years, how many times have you changed jobs?

Maxed Out at Work? Don’t Stop!

Some people contribute the maximum amount to their 401(k) plans at work and then want to find other additional ways to save for retirement. They should be proud of themselves for doing that, since most people end up at retirement age with far too little in their retirement accounts because, regardless of their income, they tend to find other “needs” that require the money they would otherwise invest.

Special Needs Trust

Planning ahead for the financial requirements of your special-needs child presents unique problems. For instance, some parents think they should start saving education funds for a child with Down’s syndrome or severe autism because they hope their child will someday become self-sufficient and might be able to go to college, but this may not be a good move. Children with conditions such as these have a wide range of developmental possibilities, so traditional savings and education plans may not...

Your Retirement is Bearing Down, What Should You Do?

In spite of literally thousands of articles, columns and news reports warning of the impending retirement crisis, it’s now 2015 and most Americans still don’t save nearly enough for their post-work years. In fact, according to an April 1, 2014 article in USA Today, 36% of Americans have less than $1,000 in reserve.

Recessions are more common than depressions

Recessions are more common than depressions, with, generally speaking, the single largest technical indicator that a recession is taking place being two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.

What Women need to know about Social Security and divorce

According to the Social Security administration, even though more women than at any time in America’s history are in the workforce, on average, they still receive a greater proportion of their Social Security benefits from their husband’s (or their former husband’s) accumulation of benefits than from their own work history (this will change as the women who have been in the workforce for their entire careers begin to retire).

Aversion to risk is a healthy economic policy

There’s been five certified “depressions” in United States history. But when was the last one, and how did it come about?

All value is perception

Did you know that in our country’s history, we’ve experienced five major economic depressions? The second American Depression was in response to land speculation.

Going Through Divorce? Meet with an Advisor

Whether you are the person in your family who controls the finances, or if you’ve always left that to your spouse, when divorce is imminent,

Behavioral Finance: Take a peek at the Tulip Bubbles

Way back in the 1600s, an unprecedented demand for tulips caused a bidding war that brought Holland to its knees.

Straightforward Steps for Retirement

If you’re putting off preparing for retirement, you’re not alone. According to a July 7th, 2014, article in InvestmentNews, almost 40% of Americans have no retirement savings at all.

Marriage and Teamwork: The Million Dollar Investment

Statistically speaking, according to Investopedia, by far the #1 source of arguments in a relationship is concerns and issues about money.

Saving for College; The Sooner the Better

If you wish to achieve a financial planning goal, you need to start as early as possible. That’s because the more time you have to save for a goal, the more your investments grow due to the compounding of interest.

Investing During Retirement

When figuring out how much they need to save for a comfortable retirement, many people forget to account for the inflation that will occur once they are no longer working. 

They may begin retirement with a sufficient nest egg to maintain their lifestyle, but they put all their money in cash or bonds and not in stocks. 

A Hopeless retirement Situation?

What if you’re 55 years old and have saved nothing for retirement? Is your situation hopeless?

An Apartment Is Not a Home

When Sam was growing up, his family lived in various apartments, some of which had exorbitant rents. Sam’s parents could afford high rents, but they could never afford a house in the suburbs, which was their dream.

When it Comes to Social Security, What Does Full Retirement Age Mean?

The age in which you begin to take Social Security affects how much you’ll receive over the duration of your retirement. Here’s a basic guide: 

What is a Social Security "Credit?"

You qualify for Social Security benefits after you’ve worked at a job and they’ve deducted Social Security taxes for a specific amount of time.

Money Matters Radio Show: Life Insurance Tax Implications

Scott and Pat speak with Jay regarding rare cases where tax implications may apply on life insurance policies. They go on to answer a second question regarding the types of trusts that some politicians invest in to achieve high returns. 

Become a Debt “Deadbeat” and Retire Earlier

Most of the time calling someone a deadbeat would be an insult, but it’s the biggest compliment you can get from a credit card company, since it means you pay off your balance each month, thereby avoiding interest charges.

Which Retirees Still Need Advisors

Many people are aware of the importance of working with an advisor during the accumulation and planning stages of their lives, but what about after you retire? Which retirees will still need advisors?

Where to Retire?

Whether your retirement is years into the future or you’ve already taken down your business’s shingle, the next big question in your life might be the same one posed by the rock group “The Clash,” back in their 1982 hit, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

When to Take Social Security

It’s pretty common to hear financial experts advise people to put off taking Social Security for as long as possible to maximize their monthly payments. While in many cases that might be the best course of action, it’s definitely not the best for everyone.

Will I outlive my savings?

Afraid you’ll outlive your money? You’re in good company. According to Forbes magazine, outliving our savings is one of the Baby Boomer generation’s biggest fears. And with more and more people living well into their 80s, and beyond, these fears are not unfounded.Said HMA President, Steve Burnett, “You’re going to want to budget.

Don't Take Social Security Early, (unless...)

Have you recently turned 66, and are thinking: “Time to claim my Social Security?”

Not so fast.

Four Steps for a Better Retirement

We aren’t preparing, at least not the way we should. We think about retirement, but many of us put off planning for it and organizing our finances in such a way as to truly prepare for this major life transition. Much of this is because information rains down on us from every source imaginable and it’s difficult to get away. If you are avoiding doing something this important, you should probably pay attention to the following bits of advice.

Planning a Roth IRA conversion? Check your state income tax.

Just about every article I’ve read on Roth IRA conversions discusses their benefits for people who might be in a high tax bracket once they retire.

What these articles invariably fail to mention is the negative impact that state income taxes could have and why, depending on where you plan to live, a Roth conversion might actually not be the best decision for everyone.

Should You Save Money, or Pay Down Debt?

With the sluggish economic recovery, after a few years of fiscal belt tightening, many Americans are again taking on credit card debt. Obviously, debt is almost always a bad thing. I say “almost” because it’s tough to argue with someone who is taking on debt to start a viable business. But debt in the form of credit card liabilities (and other unsecured loans) is something else entirely. It’s not merely a huge stressor it limits freedom and can even rob you of professional opportunity.

How You Can Stay Healthy in Retirement

Once you’re ready to retire and enjoy your freedom, you may find yourself refocusing on issues related to your health and longevity. Specifically, how to maintain optimum physical and mental well-being for as long as you can.

It’s common for new retirees to feel some stress about the change in their lives; which is why it’s so important to hit the “retirement ground” running and not allow oneself to be slowed down.

Did You Forget About A Pension?

I got asked the following question by a long-term client just the other day: What happens when someone works at a company for many years, leaves, changes jobs—maybe they even changed jobs dozens of times—and then, decades later, they remember that they may have earned a pension from that long-ago employer? 

Don't Slow Down

Some people contribute the maximum amount to their 401(k) plans at work and then want to find other additional ways to save for retirement. They should be proud of themselves for doing that, since most people end up at retirement age with far too little in their retirement accounts because, regardless of their income, they tend to find other “needs” that require the money they would otherwise invest.

You Should Commit to Automatic Savings

It’s almost 2015 and time to look ahead. That means evaluating where your retirement preparation stands. Haven’t started yet? Does your employer have a 401(k) plan, but you’re not participating? That’s almost certainly a mistake.

The One Time When Company Stock is a Good Deal

It is almost never a good idea to invest most of your wealth in your employer’s stock, because doing so means your economic fortune—your earnings and investments—is tied directly to your employer’s. That’s simply too big a risk to take, because —what if you end up working for the next Enron?

Match Home-Payoff with Retirement

I’ve been helping people save and invest for over two decades and I’ve come to understand that one of the best routes to financial independence is to enter into retirement without a mortgage.  Not only will you require substantially less income to survive, but you’ll be subjecting yourself to significantly less stress, as well.

Retirement is not for everyone

As a financial advisor who has worked with retirees for more than 20 years, I’ve come to learn one thing: Retirement is not for everyone. In fact, it’s not for a whole lot of us.

Using Roth IRA to pay for college

If you have children or grandchildren whom you hope will go beyond high school and receive a college education, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about setting some money aside to help pay their expenses. There are some terrific ways to do this, including utilizing 529 plans, but one savings vehicle that is often overlooked as a way to fund a child’s college education is a Roth individual retirement account.

Obama’s Budget

Obama’s proposed budget for 2015 is a disaster for the millions of Americans who are under-prepared for retirement. This bill reduces the tax incentives for employers to offer retirement plans to their employees.

Our country’s retirement situation is a mess. Social Security is grossly underfunded and is headed for insolvency, yet neither political party has the guts to offer any real solutions.