Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:09:00 -0400Keeping quiet about your little retirement secrets is going to cost you
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 08:00:00 -0400Both options can work depending on your situation. Your advisor can help you figure out which option makes the most sense for you. As always, the important thing is that you stay disciplined, and stick with your financial plan.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:24:00 -0400Today’s column examines eligibility and filing options for spousal benefits, disability benefits, foreign pensions and eligibility for divorced spousal benefits after a court ordered name change.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:44:00 -0400They've brought their net worth up by $450,000 since nearly declaring bankruptcy after the recession.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:37:00 -0400There’s a lot of buzz about beta these days. Should we contrary-minded investors fade the fad? Beta is industry slang for volatility. It’s generally used when judging a particular investment or portfolio with respect to the broader market, with 1.0 as the benchmark. Lower is better, as that (in theory) means [...]
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 09:17:00 -0400John Maynard Keynes was not only a great economist, he was a great investor. He's one big truth about how he made money.
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 18:30:00 -0400You’ve spent much of your career accumulating enough assets for retirement. You’ve participated in your employer’s 401(k) or other retirement plan and perhaps you’ve even established an IRA or other account specifically earmarked for retirement. But now, as retirement approaches, however, your focus must change. No matter how well you save [...]
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 17:03:00 -0400Drug companies are often demonized for high drug prices. They say it's necessary in order to create new drugs. Experts at a recent debate take sides.
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 17:03:00 -0400
Here are some common medical expenses you can use your pre-tax healthcare flexible spending account money for, according to Aetna. You can no longer (since Jan. 1, 2011) use FSA money to buy over-the-counter drugs--unless you have a prescription, but an FSA is still a valuable perk. Note: If you have both an FSA and a Health Savings Account, you can use the FSA only for dental and vision expenses.
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:46:00 -0400A financial adviser's recommendations to use your 401(k) wisely
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:03:00 -0400Are you a baby boomer entrepreneur?
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:46:00 -0400When meeting with clients on the verge of retirement, the most common concern we hear is "I want to protect my principal". Even though it’s been a few years, the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 in still fresh in everyone'sminds. And as the Dow Jones flirts with all-time highs, it’s [...]
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:13:00 -0400Most retirees won't see any of the tiny 2017 Social Security increase in their bank accounts. Instead, it will go to pay higher Medicare premiums.
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:13:00 -0400
Searching for new surroundings in retirement? Here's our 2016 list of the top 25 U.S. places for retirement. We canvassed data covering housing and other costs of living, taxes, crime rates, weather and air quality, doctor availability and opportunities for an active lifestyle, including walking, bicycling and volunteering. Also taken into consideration: economic data for those eyeing a "working" retirement or simply a growing community. Our list includes places in 19 states coast to coast. A fuller explanation can be found here. Cities are listed in alphabetical order.
West Texas outpost, population 120,000, 150 miles west of Fort Worth. PROS: Robust economy, cost of living 17% below national average. Median home price $156,000 (national median: $213,000). Low rate of violent crime. High number of doctors per capita, extremely high rank on Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging. Warm climate. Good air quality. Home to seven colleges. CON: Not very walkable. NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees. On list last year. TRIVIA: Named for Abilene, Kan.
Growing suburb of 37,000 toward eastern end of Phoenix metro area. PROS: Good economy, cost of living 6% below national average. Good tax climate for retirees. Median home price $129,000. Low violent crime rate. Scenic terrain, including Superstition Mountain. Warm climate. CONS: Not very walkable, lackluster air quality. NOTED: Average physicians per capita. New to list. TRIVIA: Named for intersection with stagecoach route Apache Trail.
Classic college town (University of Georgia) of 120,000 70 miles east of Atlanta. PROS: Good economy. Cost of living 1% below U.S. average, median home price $145,000. Low serious crime rate. Extremely high Milken aging rank and walkability index. Good air quality. Warm climate. Good state tax climate for retirees. CON: None. NOTED: Average doctors per capita. On list last year. TRIVIA: Birthplace, in 1891, of America's first garden club.
Scenic Ozarks foothill town of 28,000 in northwest corner of Arkansas. PROS: Cost of living 12% below national average, median home price $127,000. Good economy. Very low serious crime rate. High number of doctors per capita, good rank on Milken best-aging list. Good air quality, warm climate. CON: Not very walkable. NOTED: Average state tax climate for retirees, New to list. TRIVIA: Originally a summer resort town.
A college town (Virginia Tech) of 44,000 in southwestern tail of Virginia. PROS: Economically robust. Median home price $230,000. Above average air quality. Low crime rate. High Milken aging rank. Somewhat walkable. CONS: None. NOTED: Cost of living 2% above national average. Average state tax climate for retirees and doctors per capita. Mild climate. On list last year. TRIVIA: Named two centuries ago for town's founder.
Coastal village of 14,000 in South Carolina's Low County west of Hilton Head and northeast of Savannah. PROS: Good economy, good state tax climate for retirees. Median home price $226,000. Warm climate, good air quality. Low serious crime [...]
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:18:00 -0400Here's why Anne Alstott, author of 'A New Deal for Old Age' thinks the Social Security retirement age should be 76.
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 09:57:00 -0400It's not too late to learn and gain understanding—and thereby control—of your financial decisions and improve your financial health. There is no magic pill to swallow to gain financial health; rather, it is a process of small steps that requires proper care and treatment. You can turn your disease into comfort and security by making small, appropriate shifts in your thinking and your actions. You just have to get started and keep plugging away. I know you can do it!
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 08:00:00 -0400Placing a ceiling on spending will preserve sustainability by saving more than is needed in case of a rainy day. While including a floor on how far spending can fall opens the possibility of wealth depletion, it becomes increasingly unlikely as the minimal floor decreases.
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 17:28:00 -0400People walking with canes or in wheelchairs are especially vulnerable to other people not noticing them and getting bumped or pushed. The author encourages people to look up from their smart phones more.
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 16:11:00 -0400I found big-city amenities without the big-city hassles when I made the decision to relocate from Chicago to Grand Rapids in my 60s
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 14:33:00 -0400Retirement income planning can be like hitting a moving target in the wind. The target keeps moving because you do not know when you will retire, how much money you will need, or how long you will live. The wind is there because there is not an exact straight line [...]
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 13:15:00 -0400If you are looking to buy a business, or you are a business owner thinking about selling your company, do the reports or industry insider comments really matter? The argument can be made for either case. Then again, in the world of entrepreneurship, wait and see rarely works and certainly avoiding getting caught up in short-term events that are completely out of your control is diametrically opposed to the mindset of an entrepreneur.
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 12:59:00 -0400In an ideal world, we might be glad to see the Fed stand aside and let markets adjust themselves. The problem is that any adjustment will now be extremely painful for a large part of the population.
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 09:00:00 -0400Financial shocks in retirement are likely to happen. Here's what you can do to protect yourself.
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 12:30:00 -0400Shutterstock There are plenty of alternative uses for everyday items around your home. Baby wipes make great cell phone screen cleaners. Coffee filters can be used as a protective layer between your dinner plates. Pull out your tube of toothpaste to clean chrome. Investors can take a page from these do-it-yourselfers [...]
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 10:45:00 -0400There are numerous free tools to help you spot and prevent elder fraud. Here are some of the best.
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 10:45:00 -0400
This is the classic sleight of hand in which the promise of something – whether it’s a dollars-off coupon, a low advertised price or interest rate, promised trade-in value or what seems to be a bona fide price quote from a web site – is used to lure a shopper into a dealer’s showroom. After inhaling that new-car smell and getting in a buying state of mind he or she is told that the offer is expired, the price has gone up, the advertised car has already been sold or any other number of excuses why that particular offer is no longer in effect. Instead, the buyer is offered a higher priced vehicle, more expensive interest rate, lower trade-in value – you get the idea. If a dealership won’t honor its offers, head for the door and find one that will.
In addition to the standard window sticker that verifies a vehicle’s retail price, you may also find another price tag that details charges levied for overpriced dealer-installed equipment and other add-ons that are typically of little value. Some dealerships use a second sticker to tack on additional charges to recover advertising expenses or for something that may be called “ADM,” which is a clever way of collecting “additional dealer markup.” Refuse to pay such charges outright, though they may be unavoidable for a just-introduced model, typically a long-awaited sports car, that’s in short supply but is enjoying great demand.
Some auto dealers loathe to let buyers cross-shop at multiple dealerships – or for that matter take the time to think a deal through before signing the paperwork – so they’ll often do whatever they can to ensure one only walks out through the front door if it’s with the keys to a new car. Typically, you’ll be told that a given deal on a particular model will stand for that day only and will cost more if you decide to come back tomorrow. That’s pure butcher shop-grade baloney. The only instance where this tactic might have a shred of truth is if a manufacturer’s rebate is about to expire, and that usually happens only on the last day of the month.
This isn’t so much of an outright swindle as it is a car dealer’s equivalent of Three Card Monty. Only instead of trying to keep your eye on a particular card as its being shuffled around face down on a table, you have to keep your eye on the bottom line as a salesperson manipulates various aspects of a new-car deal. It’s called the 4-square method because the salesperson often illustrates the various components of the transaction on paper sectioned into four squares. The idea is if a buyer focuses firmly in on one facet, usually the monthly payment, he or she can be easily fleeced by manipulating the other parts of the deal to the house’s advantage. Fortunately, this scam is easy to counteract by simply treating each component as a separate transaction and to shop around for financing ahead of time to find the most favorable rates and terms. And never buy a car based solely on a given monthly payment.
While a new-car buyer can usually get the most for his or her current ride by selling it outright to a private[...]
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 09:30:00 -0400Financial empowerment is the key to self-reliance. As such, it is important for future retirees to take care of their finances today. The "Great Recession" was an eye-opener on many fronts, especially on the issue of defined contribution plans. Today, corporate America is working with their employees to ensure that they take control of their financial present and future.
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -0400Estate planning is a little different for everyone. While you are alive, the estate planning process allows you to manage and preserve your assets while you are alive. At death, your estate plan allows you to conserve and control their distribution after your death according to your goals and objectives.
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -0400
Many people consider estate planning too private or morbid to discuss. There's even an element of superstition that talking about bad things will cause them to happen. But while having these conversations takes a lot of courage, they can help avoid surprises, lead to better financial planning and promote family harmony. For a cautionary tale of what can happen otherwise, read "In Battle For Thomas Kinkade Estate, Girlfriend Doesn't Have A Prayer."
Scheduling a conversation can work better than catching someone on short notice, but it also gives you both an excuse to procrastinate. Another possibility: bring this up while you're doing something else, such as taking a walk, says Deborah Tannen, a Georgetown University linguistics professor and author of You Just Don't Understand.
Often it's easier to start with current events or an anecdote--a news report about someone who recently died or a story about a the sudden death of a friend who hadn't planned and how much hardship that caused the family. A child could tell her mother: "I just did my own estate plan. Don't you think you should update yours?"
How families handle delicate issues depends both on the particular circumstances and the personalities involved. Sometimes it is best to have a series of talks, rather than covering everything all at once. To reduce the possibility of a hostile audience, parents may talk to each child separately, rather than addressing them as a group.
Think about what plays best with your mate. You could emphasize your own mortality ("I'd like to talk about ways to provide for you and the family in case something happens to me") make it a subject of mutual concern ("We're not getting any younger") or focus on the kids. ("Now that we are parents, we really need to draw up wills.")
Parents who share their estate planning intentions risk hostility from adult children who do not like what they hear. Afterward, ask each child, "What do you think?" While parents have no obligation to change an estate plan after hearing a child's preferences, disclosing what they plan can help refine their approach.
In his book Wealth in Families, author Charles Collier encourages parents "to tell their children the principles that have guided their decision"-- something his own father didn't do. Although all of his father's other assets were split equally, the family's vacation home went solely to Collier, which left one of his three sisters resentful.
Confrontation can paralyze your effort, especially with an elderly parent who thinks you're just protecting your own inheritance. (Sometimes it's better to back off, rather than poison your final years together.) Those who encounter pushback from a spouse or partner have a special card to play: "We owe this much to each other."