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June 28th, 2013 by

estate planning

Estate planning is usually a sensitive subject to discuss.  But while having these conversations takes a lot of courage, they can help avoid surprises, lead to better planning and promote family harmony if done correctly. Here are some tips on how to start a conversation about estate planning:

Choose the Right Moment

Scheduling a conversation can work better than catching someone on short notice. Sometimes, it better to bring up the subject when going out for a walk or chatting over dinner.

Start With A Story

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?”

Be Sensitive To Family Dynamics

Be sensitive to how your family dynamic works.  Sometimes it is best to have a series of talks, rather than covering everything all at once. If it’s better to have a group discussion, invite everyone over for a dinner and talk around the dinner table. If your family does better with individual discussions, prepare to talk independently with each member of your family.

Talk First With Your Spouse

Be sure to discuss your wishes and needs with your spouse before discussing with your children. 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”) or make it a subject of mutual concern (“We’re not getting any younger”). Either way, discuss it privately with your spouse first so that they feel included and part of your decision-making process.

Give Reasons For Decisions

When you’re not here, many will ask “Why was it done that way?” So, rather than causing conflict after your passing, offer reasons for your decision-making. Whether it is agreed upon or not, voice your reasoning to your family to avoid conflict later on.

Know your options before doing any decision-making. Seek the advice of someone who deals with retirement planning on a day-to-day basis to help you on your journey. Contact me for a free consultation. Toll Free 1-833-313-7233.

Source: forbes.com 6/13/2013

June 20th, 2013 by

Welcome to “Skills To Pay The Bills” and JustAskFreeman.com segment. Please welcome our co-host, Mr Freeman Owen, Jr, President and CEO of Financial Sources, Inc.

Tia: When we were talking about employer sponsored retirement account, men can contribute 6% and their employers will contribute 6% also. When women contribute to their retirement accounts, they can only contribute 4% because they don’t make as much money.

Freeman: Well, Tia, when you said “match”… many employers are not matching anymore. No, they are not contributing to building a retirement account. I’ve seen the matching process within various companies go completely away completely. In some instances, the employers terminate any contribution to the employer sponsored retirement accounts. They just don’t put money in there. When you look at today, since many employers don’t offer a defined pension plan, what is happening is that many ladies who have setup their 401K and 403b need support and help [with those accounts]. So, when you mention matching, that is pretty much archaic today.

Check out my other blogs for more information about how to plan for a better retirement. Moreover, I offer free, no obligation consultations
Toll Free: 833-313-7233

June 19th, 2013 by

Welcome to “Skills To Pay The Bills” and JustAskFreeman.com segment. Please welcome our co-host, Mr Freeman Owen, Jr, President and CEO of Financial Sources, Inc.

Tia: You said that women don’t always fully fund their retirement accounts. What do you mean by that?

Freeman: When I say that they don’t always fully fund their retirement accounts, what I mean is they don’t make the income that men earn. But, I have seen the statements of their nest egg dollars and contributions to various savings programs, or placing their monies into banks or credit unions, and in my opinion, they have more monies available to them than most men.

save moneyIf there is a widow, there is something that we call survivor benefits. Some ladies are the beneficiaries of large insurance programs. They get their insurance policies and they know these monies are all tax free, and they get a large sum, like $250,000 or half a million dollars which increases their net worth. With good counseling, they know how to manage this money. With a good solid background in education in retirement planning, those monies lasts their entire lifetime and go on to their children and children’s children. Seems like that have a lot of practice in money management as well. So, that’s the reason [women end up having more monies available to them].

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

June 18th, 2013 by

Welcome to “Skills To Pay The Bills” and JustAskFreeman.com segment. Please welcome our co-host, Mr Freeman Owen, Jr, President and CEO of Financial Sources, Inc.

Tia: We do know that there is an income disparity between men and women, with women being on the lower end. So, if they aren’t making as much women on the job, and a lot of times, you’ve got single women or divorced women who have the kids who sometimes gets the child support check and sometimes they don’t. So, how do you determine that women are able to save more when they are making so much less?

Freeman: Well, it boils down to priorities. We know women, based on statistics, based on race and where they live, make $0.57 -$0.77 to every dollar that a male makes. And yes, it is true, you do have a lot of single moms, divorcees, single women and widows. However, it’s amazing how they are able to save a certain amount of money, and do it consistently. And something else too. When it comes to their saving habits with employer sponsored retirement account, they may not fully fund that employer sponsored retirement account, but they are aware that their contribution to their accounts provides a salary reduction. It’s a savings. Again, I say, that ladies save a substantial amount of money somewhere or another, and they do it more consistently in their lives than men do.

So, ladies, I specialize in retirement planning strategies and making sure your nest egg is safe during your retirement years. My consultation is always free. Call 1-833-313-7233

June 17th, 2013 by

Welcome to “Skills To Pay The Bills” and JustAskFreeman.com segment. Please welcome our co-host, Mr Freeman Owen, Jr, President and CEO of Financial Sources, Inc.

Tia: I happen to have a report in front of me from the SAVEUP.com organization that, I think, focuses on saving and paying down the debt. And, I have to admit to you that I was really a bit disappointed when I saw this because, what it says is, that women are lagging far, far behind men in nest egg dollars. I didn’t realize that. So, I really got upset about that. What can you tell me about it?


Freeman:
Well, I’m a bit upset about it also, because I dare to differ with this report, because women DO save more money than men. It is documented in other reports and surveys that ladies save more money in 401K, IRAs, CDs and money market accounts. I was noticing the average 401K numbers on this report. Now that is a big disparity between men and women when it comes to their employer sponsored retirement account. Most of my practice, about 75%, are women who have income programs that we have designed so they will have a guaranteed income. And, the roll-overs from the various employer sponsored retirement accounts, such a as 401K, TSP (Thrift Saving Plans), 403B, all of these we rolled over into IRAs, and there is a high participation among women. When it comes to the money market, I do see on this report that there is about a $2K difference between men and women. But, the ladies have emergency funds (in money market accounts) that they pull from for various activates with their grandchildren and children. So, in my opinion, I don’t think men save as much as women because they men have their toys. A lot of times, men prioritize those toys. I’ve seen, since I’ve been in business over the last 35 years or so, that what men do is they have their toys such as cars, boats, etc and they prioritize their spending in that way. Women are a bit more conservative. And, something else I want to add too. Men are more concerned about getting the best or highest interest rate possible. In this economic environment, interest rates are very low. But, women are not as concerned with the rate of interest they are getting or the type of return they are receiving on their dollars, but they are more concerned about stabilizing or maintaining their principle.

Your Safe Money KitPreparing yourself for retirement is difficult when you try to do it alone. Trusting a knowledgeable professional who specializes in helping retirees get the most from their nest egg dollars can ensure you don’t run out of money in retirement.
Call me for a free consultation.
Toll Free: 1-833-313-7233

Also, get my free safe money kit and find out where you are in the retirement planning process.

June 14th, 2013 by

Paper Social Security checks are a thing of the past, and all retirement and disability payments (with minor exceptions) are made electronically.

The Social Security Administration has been transitioning to electronic payments for some time, so most recipients are already enrolled. Did you know that if you did not sign up by March 1, 2013, you will automatically receive a Direct Express debit card. By eliminating paper checks, the federal government anticipates saving about $120 million annually and 12 million pounds of paper during the first five years.1 Beneficiaries will no longer have to wait for a monthly check to arrive in the mail, take the time to deposit or cash it, or risk having it stolen from the mailbox.

social security monthly payments

New Scams for New Times

Unfortunately, thieves adjust to changing times, and there is a growing trend toward fraudulent access to electronic benefit payments. In a typical scam, the thief gains access to personal information (such as a name and bank account number) and then contacts the Social Security Administration, requesting that payments be rerouted to a different account.2 Of course, it’s good practice for all consumers to be wary of any requests for personal information. You should never provide account numbers or Social Security numbers in person, over the phone, or online unless you are absolutely sure that the transaction is secure and appropriate.

Sources:
1) Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, April 29, 2011
2) CNNMoney, September 26, 2012

CBS Sports Radio 1580 - listen liveJoin me every Saturday at 9am-10am on SAFE MONEY TALK on CBS Sports Radio 1580AM as we discuss kids and money retirement planning and strategies for your success. As always, feel free to call me with any questions.
I offer free, no obligation consultations Toll Free: 833-313-7233

June 13th, 2013 by

money lessons for your kidsIn a recent survey of American households, 61% of parents said they pay their children an allowance that averages about $15 a week or $780 per year. The allowance often rises with age, but 54% of parents said they began payments when a child turned age eight. About 48% of parents give more to school-age children who earn good grades — with payments for an “A” averaging $16.60.

Only 1% of parents reported that their children save any allowance money, despite the fact that mom and dad tend to cover many of their discretionary expenses.

Here are a few tips for parents who might prefer to tie an allowance to important money lessons:.

  • Clarify (and stick to) your conditions. You can help your children comprehend that money is earned by explaining why you are giving them an allowance, what tasks you expect them to do in return, and what actions will cause them to lose it.
  • Encourage kids to think about the future. Introduce some guidelines for saving. Suggest that children set aside a certain percentage each week for long-term goals (like a college education) and for shorter-term wants and needs. As an incentive, you might offer to match their savings dollars.
  • Talk about family money issues. Use time at the dinner table, and/or lengthy car trips, to discuss budget challenges and plan large purchases. This could help prepare your children to practice sound money management throughout their lifetimes.

Source: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 2012

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.

 

June 11th, 2013 by

vacation- getting the most for your travel dollarsSince it is holiday season, I wanted to bring you some tips on how to get the most for your travel dollars. Many experts agree that the key to traveling for less during this 2013 will be booking a package deal. While airfares are expected to rise, cost-conscious travelers can save hundreds of dollars if they book their airfare and hotel together — a feature offered on most travel booking sites, said Sarah Gavin, an Expedia.com spokeswoman. For popular resort locations, like Hawaii and Mexico, savings can reach up to $1,000 for a week-long vacation. By lumping the purchases together, hotels and airlines are able to fill vacant rooms or flights at a deeper discount, she said.1

Moreover, if you have a flexible schedule, you’ll find that booking your airline tickets on certain days is more cost effective than others. Midweek is usually a good bet if you want a discounted ticket price. If you’re a “last minute” vacationer, don’t expect to get a deal if you traveling in the next few days. A savvy price-conscious vacationer should book 2-4 weeks before travel and shop on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Many vacation locations offer reduced rates for midweek shopping and arrivals. Also, avoid flying out on a Friday and back on a Sunday. These “weekend escape” prices can blow your vacation budget out of the water.

Whether you decide to visit the warm Mediterranean Sea in the South of Spain or the take in the sights of Yellowstone National Park, just remember to use your hard-earned vacation money wisely. After all, retirement cannot be only about planning dollars and cents. It is about enjoying every moment along the way.

Source: CNNMoney.com 1/23/13

For all your retirement planning needs, call me for a free consultation.
Toll Free: 1-833-313-7233

 

June 4th, 2013 by

retirement-plan

Running out of money is one of the biggest fears for retirees and people planning to retire. With the general population living longer and medical expenses rising each year, living within your retirement means is a major concern. By creating a retirement plan and sticking to it, you are more likely to stretch your hard-earned dollars. When planning for retirement, there are a few things to seriously consider:

1. How much do you really need in retirement?
As a general rule, 80 percent of your current annual income will be enough to maintain your lifestyle when you retire. But, remember, the total sum that you will need depends on what age you retire, your life expectancy, and the age that you start collecting Social Security. It’s wise to use a variety of retirement calculators to help you estimate how much you will need based on how much earning time you have to collect those valuable nest-egg dollars. Moreover, these retirement calculators can estimate how long your predicted nest egg will last you.

2. Consider Your Withdrawals Carefully
Before and during retirement, you must remain cost conscious and carefully consider your withdrawals from any nest-egg sources. It’s tempting to take out more than you need when you feel that you have earned the right to enjoy your retirement years. There are benefits to keeping your money “stashed away” for withdrawals at a later time in retirement. So, plan when you will withdraw money, from which buckets of dollars, and at which time in your retirement before the actual day arrives.

3. Keep Some Money Separate For Emergencies
It’s the age-old good advice to have money set aside for medical, car, home or unexpected emergencies. By planning to keep some of your money in an accessible form, you won’t be tempted to dip into your retirement nest-egg dollars.

Your Safe Money KitPreparing yourself for retirement is difficult when you try to do it alone. Trusting a knowledgeable professional who specializes in helping retirees get the most from their nest egg dollars can ensure you don’t run out of money in retirement.
Call me for a free consultation.
Toll Free: 1-833-313-7233

Also, get my free safe money kit and find out where you are in the retirement planning process.