What does that actually mean?

Commentary:

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a conversation with a financial professional and realized you have no understanding of the meaning of the words he is using? We try to keep things simple around our office, and go to great lengths to make sure that you understand what we are speaking about, but that doesn’t mean that others you may be dealing with in the financial community do the same. So I thought to share with you a dictionary of terms that you can keep on hand should you ever need them. Let us know if you come across a term or concept that you would like explained in further detail. We’re always here to help.

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Calculators and Calculations

Commentary:

It always seems to be this time of year when clients begin to ask if they are on track for retirement. There are so many factors that go into answering that question, we thought to share with you several customizable calculators that will allow you to run different scenarios and discover how small adjustments could make a big difference for your retirement future. Let us know if you have any questions when you’re done using them. We may have some suggestions for how to tweak some of your planning or where to put some of your savings that will help you come up with a calculation that you feel good about. We’re always here to help.

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One Answer

Commentary:

This week’s article references back to a topic we have been reflecting on over the past few months and that is the understanding that “retirees face a number of challenges to their financial security, including living longer and facing the danger of depleting their savings too soon. The pandemic has further threatened retirement nest eggs, as a growing number of people need to take Social Security benefits early, before full retirement age, thus reducing those payments in the long run.” Following up on that topic, you may be interested in a study by Principal Financial Group in conjunction with the Stanford Longevity Project that discusses these and other problems that retirees face, and “provided at least one way this group can “spend their retirement savings in a predictable and responsible fashion,” the study states. One answer to the challenge of a longer retirement was “widespread adoption of guaranteed retirement income products to supplement Social Security” that include purchasing annuities.” Call us if you think this is something you’d like to explore. We’re happy to give you more information and discuss the options that might work for you. We’re looking forward to speaking with you more in 2021.

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Plan Ahead

Commentary:
When we speak about retirement savings, we often talk about products that can provide an income stream you can’t outlive. However, there is something else that you probably should consider. If you plan on leaving some of your retirement savings to beneficiaries, or if – even after receiving an income stream off of your retirement savings – there will still be funds left for beneficiaries, it may be time for you to also consider how the SECURE Act may impact your goals, and to reevaluate your strategies. We have some ideas that may help. Call us, we’re always here to help.

Commentary:

This week’s article tells us that retirement planning needs to change in this new year and that “it may be time to revisit traditional approaches to retirement planning. The pandemic and near-zero interest rates dramatically changed the environment”. The article continues by focusing on the goals of delaying claiming social security benefits, improving portfolio return without taking on more risk, and improving portfolio longevity. So the question is, how do you accomplish these goals? Call us if you’d like to talk about ideas we have that may help do this. We’re always here to help.

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Start the New Year off

Commentary:

“Figuring out how much money you need to retire is like one of those word problems from high school that still haunts you.” This week’s article tells us that “The retirement equation isn’t unsolvable, but it’s not a precise calculation, either. You’ll need to revisit your retirement formula once or twice a year to make sure it’s on track, and be prepared to make adjustments if it isn’t. Weigh these four factors to get a better handle on how much money you will need to retire”. The beginning of a new year may be a good time to revisit your retirement figures. Let us know if you need to make adjustments. We’re always here to help.

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Holidays and Financial Stress

Commentary:

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

Commentary:
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

Commentary:

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

Commentary:

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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