Freeman's Blog


February 22, 2012
February 22nd, 2012 by

Everyone hopes and prays that they will never find themselves in a position where they need long-term care. The mere thought of being unable to walk, talk, feed yourself, or even bathe yourself can be terrifying. But as understandable as your reluctance is, it’s crucial that you take steps for practical planning in the event that a major life event leaves you unable to care for yourself. Don’t leave this tremendous responsibility and decision-making to your family. For your own peace of mind, you need to sit down and make a plan.

The need for long-term care can, in many cases, create personal financial ruin. The funds that you intend to give as inheritance to your loved ones can be quickly evaporated with the employ of nursing facilities during long-term care. And keep in mind that the possibility of needing long-term care increases as you get older.

So, there are 2 options to consider:

1. Self-insurance
Self insurance means that you set aside funds to cover the cost of long-term care yourself. This option, however, requires that you have sufficient resources to pay for the rising costs of long-term care. Even if you have sufficient resources now, you may not be able to afford the rising costs without drastically altering your life-style or financial portfolio.

2. A better option for many is Medicaid.
Medicaid is a joint Federal/State insurance that pays the medical bills of the needy. If you qualify, it could help pay for long-term care costs. Unfortunately, this might require that you spend down all of your assets or transfer your assets to qualify.

Long-term care insurance may enable you to transfer the majority of long-term care costs to an insurance policy in exchange for the regular insurance payments. But, this kind of policy has a number of exclusions and limitations so you have to be careful when choosing one.
Your Safe Money Kit

Before your possible need for long-term care arises, be sure to have your financial portfolio in good standing. Let me help you get the most of your retirement dollars and help you keep your money SAFE. Download my SAFE MONEY KIT to help you determine your greatest financial needs. Then, contact my office at 1-833-313-7233 for a free consultation.

February 15th, 2012 by

Senior Couple Interest RatesVery few aspects of the economy can have such a profound impact on your spending and saving as interest rates do. In fact, throughout much of the last decade, the Federal Reserve has relied on its control of short-term interest rates to influence economic activity. Now, some people might say that the Federal Reserve has made some pretty unconventional moves. After all, they cut the federal funds rate eleven times in 2001 and have been keeping the rates around 2% for much of the decade. I’d like to point out, though, that these short-term interest rates have very little effect in punching down high long-term rates like those seen in credit cards. Now, the primary reason for cutting interest rates is usually to stimulate spending. A lower interest rate on a loan can mean that a small business can purchase property and equipment, launch an advertising campaign, or even hire new employees. In short, lower interest rates can stimulate the economy.

On the surface, it might even seem like manipulating interest rates is a solid approach to steering one of the world’s most powerful economies. If the economy is moving too slow or not at all, lower interest rates. If the economy is moving too fast, raise the interest rates. If the economy seems fine, just leave it alone. The reality is that there are a few elements in any economy that can influence behavior more effectively than the interest rate.

I want new retirees and boomers to consider how little interest rates can actually have on your finances with proper planning. As a retiree and because of lower interest rates, you may find that you are able to purchase things that were previously out of reach without a loan.  But, interest rates only affect you when you’re using some form of credit.  If you take the the time now to plan effectively, you won’t need a credit vehicle, you’ll have more capital and you’ll free yourself from the influence of interest rates in your retirement years.

Call Freeman Owen Jr For Retirment Saving AdviceLet me help you get started with proper planning for your retirement years. Contact me at 833-313-7233 for a free consultation so we can keep your money SAFE!

February 9th, 2012 by

Healthcare in RetirementI want to give you some number to consider: in 2010, the present value of lifetime benefits for Medicare was about $376,000 for a 65 year old married couple. Now, because Medicare covers about half of that, does this mean you’ll need $188,000 to cover your share? Well, as much as that might seem, most experts suggest you save even more than that to cover medical expenses in retirement, especially if you don’t expect to retire for another decade. Now, how certain do you want to be? According to the employment research institute, a man will need between $244,000 and $290,000 and a woman will need between $210,000 and $406,000 in savings to have a 50% chance of affording health care expenses in retirement.

Now, this is assuming a retirement age of 65 in 2019. These estimates are for projected median savings you’ll need to pay for premiums on Medigap, Medicare part B and part D, and out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses. Since half the population will be above the median, half of you reading this blog could need more than these amounts in savings. Now, some of you will need to save more if you live longer than the average life expectancy, half above average prescription drug costs, or want greater security that you’ll be able to pay for health care.

The estimates tend to be higher for women because women have longer life expectancies. In fact, if you’re a woman that wants to be 90% certain you’ll be able to afford health care in retirement, you’ll need to save at least $377,000. You might be wondering if the health reform act will reduce the amount of money you’ll need to save to pay for healthcare. There’s a chance that it could but, of course, there are no guarantees.

Your Safe Money Kit

Download my SAFE MONEY KIT to help you determine your greatest financial needs. Then, contact my office at 1-833-313-7233 for a free consultation. Let’s keep your money safe in your retirement years!

February 6th, 2012 by

New Direction of Retirement Portfolio

If you’re like most baby boomers, you might be worried that your retirement dollars won’t last you for the rest of your life. You recognize the uncertainty of those times and that you’re more vulnerable than you had previously believed. 85% of people between the ages of 55 and 70 rely predominately on social security as their source of income. Some of you are also fortunate enough to have a traditional pension but this is certainly an exception rather than the rule. Now, many of you likely also depend on retirement dollars that are taxable.

Here’s an interesting fact: more than half of retirement income goes to basic living expenses. If you want to break free from this terrible situation, you have to consult with a financial professional and develop a written plan. You can’t do this alone. Can you imagine trying to navigate through the policies that are set up of Medicare and social security changes alone while also trying to make sure that your assets are protected, that your income is safe guarded? It’s like trying to sail a ship without an experienced captain at the helm.

That being said, there are a few things I can suggest that will help you take your retirement dollars in a better direction. First, know the tax code. There are a number of tax exceptions that, if taken advantage of, can significantly improve your ability to maintain an income for life. For example, if retirement is in the distance, consider putting your retirement dollars in a Roth IRA. While there is a limit to how much you can  deposit per year, this stream of retirement income will not be taxed when you decide to draw on it. Just following this one tip can help lower your tax bracket and allow you to live a more comfortable lifestyle without paying more taxes as a result.

February 1st, 2012 by

Income solutions for the risk-adverse According to a survey of consumers 65 and older, 17% of boomers are unwilling to accept any type of loss due to index volatility. Another 19% are only willing to accept below-average risk. This is in spite of the fact that changing your financial perspective means giving up higher potential increases. Folks, this is a great attitude. You can’t really allow much risk with your personal funds. Don’t let that nest egg crack. Still, 58% of you are looking to make decisions that will generate a current stream of income. So, how can you generate an income without taking too much risk?

Well, one way is considering fixed income instruments. Even these instruments pose some risk, though, that you may not be comfortable with. Of course, you can also purchase a long-term retirement vehicle through an insurance company. This allows you to remove the risk directly from you and an income stream can be created for even the most risk-adverse consumer. Now, think about that. You can have a guaranteed lifetime retirement income that will supplement your social security or your defined pension program. You’ll be fixed for life because the insurance company will guarantee against any losses.

Now, this might not be the best option if you’re looking for the highest possible increases. Still, it’s a great option that could supplement your retirement income and provide you with the peace of mind that you can count on that annuity when times get tough. Plus, annuities are really flexible. You could create an income that lasts for a specified period, for the rest of your life, or for the lives of you and another person. This is an income source that can actually be left to your loved ones when you pass away.

Your Safe Money Kit

Download my SAFE MONEY KIT to help you determine your greatest financial needs. Then, contact my office at 1-833-313-7233 for a free consultation. Let’s keep your money safe in your retirement years!