Freeman's Blog


March 31st, 2014 by

Freeman Owen, Jr answers questions about risk tolerance and how NOT to crack your retirement nest egg on “Skills To Pay The Bills”

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Planning a retirement that is worry-free is easy if you do it correctly. We offer no-obligation, free consultations for anyone needing retirement strategy advice. Contact my office at 1-833-313-7233 and I’ll get you started today! MD, VA & Washington DC.

March 19th, 2014 by

Long Term Care Insurance for nursing care

Nursing home stays are generally not covered by Medicare, yet they can be very expensive and often very long.

Indeed, one of the biggest health expenditure shocks a retired individual can experience is entry into a nursing home or the need for in home nursing care. Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) can safeguard people from the catastrophic costs of nursing home care, but few people purchase Long Term Care Insurance. As a result, those who live long enough in nursing facilities can lose all of their nest egg dollars until those expenses are picked up by Medicaid.

Although home health care is generally less expensive than nursing home stays, the John Hancock 2011 National Long-Term Care Cost Study suggests that the average cost for a home health aide is $20 per hour ($37,449 per year). The percentage of Americans ages 65 and older who use professional home health care services and have Long Term Care Insurance to help pay for it has seen a steady increase. From 2000 to 2004, only 9.7 percent of those who used professional home health care were also insured for the expense. By 2010, that percentage increased to 13.2 percent. That’s because nursing facilities can deplete your nest egg dollars very quickly, especially if you have the need for Long Term Care for multiple years.

Early Retirement Planning

It’s not easy to foresee the future and to know what kind of care you’ll need in your golden years. However, nobody wants to lose their nest egg dollars to nursing facility costs. So, be a savvy retirement planner and be sure to add Long Term Care Insurance into your retirement planning strategy. Use my expertise to get it done.

Freeman Owen, Jr - Host of "Safe Money Talk" on CBS Radio The Big Talker 1580AM

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Source: June 2012 | Employee Benefit Research Institute | “Effects of Nursing Home Stays on Household Portfolios”

March 11th, 2014 by

Retirement Plans Go Automatic
Workers who are eligible to participate in a defined-contribution plan such as a 401(k) must take action to enroll and select one or more financial instruments for their portfolios. Unfortunately, many workers who intend to participate never follow through. To help boost participation rates and overcome workers’ procrastination, a growing number of employers have added automatic features to their retirement plans.

With auto enrollment, eligible employees are signed up automatically unless they opt out. Contributions are applied to a default financial instrument that provides diversification; it also features an allocation that adjusts as the participant ages and rebalances when values change. Diversification and allocation are methods used to help manage the financial instrument risk; they do not guarantee against loss.

The average initial contribution rate for auto-enrollment plans is only 3%, which may be too low for workers to fully benefit from an employer match, if one is offered. Plans that utilize auto escalation typically increase a worker’s contribution rate by one percentage point each year.

Pay Close Attention To Your 401(k) Plan

Regardless of whether your employer’s plan includes these automatic features, it might be wise to pay close attention to your options and take an active role in all the important decisions regarding your retirement dollars.

Let me help you with your retirement planning.
Just Ask Freeman Tel: 1-833-313-7233 (VA, DC, MD)

Sources: Reuters, March 7, 2013; Science Magazine, March 8, 2013

March 7th, 2014 by

Women Still Lead The Charge in Retirement Nest Egg Planning

From the TV show “Skills to Pay the Bills”, Freeman talks about how women are still leading the charge in retirement planning. Their 401(k) accounts and 403(b) accounts are consistently larger than most men who are responsible for bills in a home and have a tendency to buy “big toys”. As more women have opted to pursue male dominated industries, like medical and law fields, women have created an even greater ability to plump their 401(k) and 403(b) accounts.

View This TV Segment With Tia Young

Protect Your Nest Egg Further

Ladies, your dedication to your retirement planning is impressive! But, please let me help you protect your nest egg further so you never outlive your resources.
Let me show you how it can be done. Just Ask Freeman | 1-833-313-7233

March 6th, 2014 by

overcoming retirement obstacles | JustAskFreeman | retirement planning DC, MD, VA

In a 2013 survey of people aged 50 to 70 with $100,000 or more in financial instruments, 90% reported that they had experienced at least one setback in saving for retirement.

In fact, the average respondent had experienced four setbacks with an average loss or missed opportunity of $117,000.1

The future is always uncertain, and as the saying goes, “Life happens.” It would be wise to prepare for the unexpected and react logically rather than emotionally when faced with retirement challenges. Here are some obstacles you might need to overcome.

Surviving market downturns. More than half of those surveyed said their nest egg had been reduced by index losses during the Great Recession.2 Yet another survey suggested that about 50% of workers who were 32 to 51 when the recession started actually showed gains in their retirement dollars during the 2007 to 2009 period.3 This group may have had lower balances when the recession began, and it’s likely that they continued saving throughout the downturn.

Saving too little or too late. To accumulate sufficient retirement dollars to retire at age 65, one rule of thumb suggests stashing away 15% of income starting at age 25. Someone starting at age 35 might need to put away about 30% each year, and the percentage would increase to about 64% annually for someone starting to save at age 45!4 To maximizing your retirement nest egg, you may also need to adjust your lifestyle and control your spending. Once you reach age 50, you are eligible to make additional “catch-up” contributions.

Experiencing a traumatic event. A job loss, unexpected medical expense, death of a loved one, or divorce might make it difficult to save for retirement. Having three to six months of living expenses in “emergency dollars” would prevent you from tapping into your retirement nest egg, especially tax-deferred IRAs and 401(k)s. This is because withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income and may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty if taken prior to age 59½.

Balancing college and retirement. When these two priorities compete, many people stop putting aside money for retirement to pay for their children’s educational costs.1 The key is to balance your children’s needs with your own retirement goals and find an appropriate strategy.

The road to retirement is long, winding, and seldom smooth. But with patience and a steady commitment, you could reach your destination regardless of how many obstacles you encounter along the way.

Let me help you get started with a sound retirement strategy today. Just Ask Freeman  1-833-313-7233

1–2), May 14, 2013
3) The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2013
4), September 24, 2012
5), March 4, 2013