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April 26th, 2013 by

When it comes to retirement planning, most of the focus is placed on 401(k)s. The reality is that individual retirement accounts represent the largest share of America’s nest egg.

At the end of last year, IRAs had $5.4 trillion compared with $5.1 trillion in 401(k)s and other defined contribution plans. Some 40 percent of U.S. households own at least one type of IRA, which offer tax incentives to save for retirement.

Many of these IRA holders are left to their own devices to manage their accounts. Of course, some people are take-charge types with the ability to maximize monies without taking on too much risk. But in many other instances, portfolio management is hit-or-miss, with little attention to selecting an appropriate mix of vehicles or financial instruments.

“Many individuals are still missing out on the long-term benefits of IRAs, simply because they don’t understand what they are and how they work,” says Dan Keady, director of financial planning for TIAA-CREF, a financial services company. In a recent telephone survey of 1,008 adults, his company found that nearly half of the respondents lacked a basic knowledge.

IRAs provide individuals not covered by workplace retirement plans with an opportunity to save on a tax-advantaged basis on their own. The money put into a traditional IRA can be deducted from the account holder’s taxable income for that year, and the money isn’t taxed until it’s withdrawn at retirement. Also, workers who are leaving jobs can use IRAs to preserve the tax benefits that employer-sponsored plans offer.
Source: http://insurancenewsnet.com 4/18/2013

life_guide_retirementBe informed about how to plan for your retirement. Sometimes, that means getting help from experts who specialize in retirement planning strategies. I have helped thousands of my clients plan for a successful retirement. I want that for you too! Download my free life-guide resource to start the planning process.

 

April 25th, 2013 by

Saving Money

Effective retirement planning starts with making the right assumptions.

If we hope to be on the mark when we retire, we need to make accurate estimations about important retirement variables, including how long we will live and how much we need to save. Once we have reasonable estimates for these, we can take the appropriate action to help ensure we will be ready for retirement. If we do not plan ahead or if we make erroneous assumptions, the quality of the retirement life we hope to live can be in jeopardy.

Sometimes despite our best efforts we make mistakes in our calculations for retirement, and we are forced to live with the consequences. But we can greatly help our cause if we are careful to avoid these glaring retirement miscalculations:

1. Underestimating the length of retirement. Average life spans continue to increase.  If you are a 65-year-old U.S. male, you now have a 40 percent chance of living to 85. Females have even better odds, with a 50 percent chance of getting to 85. But if our plans for retirement do not take into account the likely increase in longevity, we could find ourselves out of resources with more time still ahead.

2. Living beyond your means. The people who spend extravagantly during the early days of retirement could find themselves in dire financial straits as their retirement years continue to roll on. Living with a “why wait when tomorrow may never come” attitude is a mistake, unless you actually have unlimited funds. A better motto for most of us is to live beneath our means.

3. Following advice that isn’t right for you. Advice that is good for one person may be entirely inappropriate for the next. The best financial vehicle depends on your individual situation and requirements, the level of risk you can comfortably assume, the amount of money you are considering Call Freeman Owen Jr For Retirement Planningputting into it, and the number of years you have for the nest egg to grow.

Source: MSN Money 4-22-2013

Contact me today and allow me to help you keep your money safe! My consultation is free: 1-833-313-7233

April 24th, 2013 by

retirement take control

Today’s companies are rewriting the retirement rules for working Americans. Traditional pension plans, which gained prominence in the 20th century, are rapidly disappearing because of the high costs involved in funding them. Some corporations are defaulting on their plans, and an increasing number of companies have underfunded or at-risk plans.

To help protect employees with corporate pensions, the federal government has enacted laws requiring employers to meet a 100% funding target for their defined-benefit plans. Companies that sponsor pension plans are also required to pay higher insurance premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which was created by Congress in 1974 to help protect American workers from the risk of pension default. Premiums have increased because the PBGC itself is facing a deficit as a result of more companies defaulting on their pension plans.

Because of these costly requirements, it is becoming less and less attractive for companies to provide traditional pensions to retirees. Employers with underfunded plans may simply choose to eliminate them, and even companies with healthy plans may decide that defined-benefit plans are not worth the cost. As a result, it is likely that more companies will offer defined-contribution plans like the 401(k) to attract new employees and to help employees fund their own retirements.

Thus, it is important to be aware that you may have less help from your employer and will probably have to rely more on your own nest egg to fund your retirement. Get ahead by planning for retirement early.

April 12th, 2013 by

Trillions of dollars are expected to pass to heirs in the coming years.

Here are some tips you may want to consider if you happen to benefit from an inheritance:

  • Wait to act. You might regret quitting your job, buying a sports car, or making other snap decisions before you have really thought them through. It’s important to consider carefully how the money could be used to strengthen your financial position over the long run.
  • Pad your emergency dollars first. Add to your nest egg if you don’t already have enough to cover at least six months to a year’s worth of everyday living expenses.
  • Boost (don’t blow up) your lifestyle. Put the money into a safe place and consider allowing a financial vehicle to supplement your employment earnings. This will allow you to live better now while still preserving the bulk of the money for future needs such as a child’s college education or your retirement.
  • Practice discretion. Telling others that you have inherited a substantial amount of money may lead to unwanted advice, business or opportunity solicitations, and outright requests for financial support from friends and relatives.
  • Consider meeting with an expert in retirement strategies. Discussing your situation with someone outside of your family may help you gain perspective, clarify your goals, and make sound decisions. To keep your money safe, consider meeting with an expert who can help plan your future goals in retirement.

life_guide_inheritanceI have a free resource to help you if you have inherited a sum of money. Keeping your inherited money safe over a long period is essential to being able to enjoy it as well as pass it onto your future heirs.

Keep Your Money Safe

My motto remains the same for an inheritance and retirement planning: Keep Your Money Safe. My consultation is always free. Call 1-833-313-7233

Source: forbes.com, February 15, 2011

April 11th, 2013 by

USA today and Brides Magazine say that the average couple is spending $26,989 for their wedding.

wedding budgetChildhood fantasies, Pinterest and celebrity wedding hype is being blamed for brides that decide to go over their wedding budgets. Pinterest has become a renowned source of “wish list” items for wedding preparation. From ideas for flowers, dresses, party favors to table settings and food option, these ideas surround this social media site. Furthermore,TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com are constantly streaming wedding ideas and images 24/7. It’s just the kind of temptation a girl thinking about getting married dabbles in.  But, are these media outlets to blame for the price tag of today’s average wedding?

According to Anne Fulenwider, editor in chief of Brides and Brides.com, “There is no need to go into debt. You can have a lovely, unique, personal wedding at any price point.” But, that is easier said than done. Many grandfathers are helping with the costs of wedding these days and are forced to dip into their nest egg to do so. And fathers, too, are taking on overtime hours to pay for wedding expenses.  TheKnot’s research finds that more than 75% of couples are either paying for the wedding or contributing — along with their parents, grandparents and extended family.

A May 2012 survey of 1,272 Brides magazine and website readers found:

  • 72% of couples used nest egg dollars to pay for their weddings
  • 30% use credit cards, and most expect to pay off credit cards within six months of their wedding
  • 54% of couples said paying for a wedding would not hamper their plans for “buying a house or a car, starting a family, etc

Is it really worth it to blow the wedding budget?

Yes, the emotions surrounding a wedding defy the logic of cents and dollars. But, those costs are felt long after the nuptials are completed. Rather than being casual with your wedding planning, be extra careful to stick to the budget, be thrifty in most areas and make decisions based on reason rather than emotion. It will keep more dollars in your pocket for future decisions involving buying a house or starting a family.

Strategic planning is key to planning a better future. Keep your money safe by having an advocate who can help you determine the best way to safeguard your nest egg. My consultation is always free. Call 1-833-313-7233

Source: USA Today, 8/10/2012