Freeman's Blog


December 11, 2019
December 11th, 2019 by
Holiday Shopping Tips

In 2018, Internet retail sales rose by more than 14% over 2017, while brick-and-mortar sales increased by less than 4%. About $514 billion in goods and services were purchased in cyberspace throughout the year. Even so, traditional retailers still dominated the marketplace, with $4.8 trillion in sales.1

Shopping online is especially popular during the holiday season when many people prefer to avoid the crowds and purchase and ship gifts with a few clicks of the mouse. Before you click, you might consider these tips, which could help make your online shopping experience safer and more satisfying.

Connect carefully. Look for https:// in the URL and an icon of a locked padlock, typically to the left of the URL, which indicates a secure connection. Don’t provide personal or financial information when connected to a public Wi-Fi hotspot unless you are certain it is secure. If you must use public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network (VPN).

Protect your identity. Create a strong password if you order through an account. Only provide information that is required for your order. Opt-out of future contacts unless you want further information.

Use a credit card, not a debit card. Credit card payments can be withheld if there is a dispute, but debit cards are typically debited quickly. Credit cards generally have better protection than debit cards against fraudulent charges.

Know the vendor. Ordering online from well-known retailers is generally safer (although even large vendors can be hacked). If you want to order from an unknown vendor, read online reviews from other consumers and check out the company with the Better Business Bureau. Regardless of the vendor, be sure you are comfortable with the return policy, check for additional fees (such as handling), and make sure you’re not signing up for a service or product with recurring charges.

Finally, remember to factor in time for shipping. Many retailers offer free or low-cost delivery with a guaranteed delivery date, but it might not be as fast as you would like — and overnight or expedited delivery can be costly. If you need a last-minute gift, you might have to face those crowds at the local mall.

1) U.S. Census Bureau, 2019

Planning for retirement is like planning a birthday party. You need a little foresight and knowledge to make the most of your retirement plan. So, contact me for a FREE retirement strategy consultation at my office in Upper Marlboro, MD. 

Contact me 1-833-313-7233.

Retirement Specialist Freeman Owen, Jr.
October 27, 2015
October 27th, 2015 by

Spousal IRA
An IRA study found that women lag behind men when it comes to accumulating money for retirement (see chart). Though there may be multiple reasons for this disparity, the most fundamental is the continuing wage gap between men and women.1 This gap tends to widen around the age when many women have children, which suggests that time away from the workforce may have a negative impact on a woman’s career.2 It also stands to reason that if a mother — or stay-at-home dad — is taking care of the children rather than working, she or he may not be contributing to a retirement account. The same situation could arise later in life if one spouse works while the other takes time off.

Additional Saving Opportunity

A spousal IRA — funded for a spouse who earns little or no income — offers an opportunity to help keep the retirement savings of both spouses on track. It also offers a larger potential tax deduction than a single IRA.

For the 2014 and 2015 tax years, an individual with earned income (from wages or self-employment) can contribute up to $5,500 to his or her own IRA and up to $5,500 more to a spouse’s IRA — regardless of whether the spouse works or not — as long as the couple’s combined earned income exceeds both contributions and they file a joint tax return. An additional $1,000 catch-up contribution can be made for each spouse who is age 50 or older. Contributions for 2014 can be made up to the April 15, 2015, tax filing deadline.

All other IRA eligibility rules must be met. So if a spousal contribution to a traditional IRA is made for a nonworking spouse, she or he must be under age 70½ in the year for which the contribution is made. The age of the working spouse does not matter for purposes of the spousal IRA.

Traditional IRA Deductibility

If neither spouse actively participates in an employer-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401(k), contributions to a traditional IRA are fully tax deductible. However, if one or both are active participants, federal income limits may affect the deductibility of contributions.

In 2015, contributions to the IRA of an active participant will phase out with a modified adjusted gross income (AGI) between $98,000 and $118,000, but contributions to the IRA of a nonparticipating spouse will phase out with an AGI between $183,000 and $193,000. (The income ranges were slightly lower in 2014.) Thus, some participants in workplace plans who earn too much to deduct an IRA contribution for themselves may be able to deduct an IRA contribution for a nonparticipating spouse.

Annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs and most employer-sponsored retirement plans must begin for the year in which the account owner reaches age 70½. Withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty, with certain exceptions as outlined by the IRS.

1) The Washington Post, May 21, 2014
2) Pew Research Center, 2013

Freeman Owen, Jr - Host of "Safe Money Talk" on CBS Radio The Big Talker 1580AM Plan for your retirement early so you can reach the goals you want.
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September 17th, 2015 by

CNBC Sharon Epperson - Social Security Benefits

Sharon Epperson shares tips for women to take advantage of Social Security Benefits. CLICK THIS IMAGE to view the full video.


Women Can Boost Their Income Later in Life

A woman who holds off on collecting Social Security after her full retirement age will receive delayed retirement credits that will boost her benefit as much as 8 percent for every year she waits until age 70. In other words, a woman whose full retirement age is 66 would receive a benefit reduced by as much as 30 percent if she retired at 62, but if she waited until age 70, it could increase by as much as 32 percent.


In addition, women who have been divorced after at least 10 years of marriage may have another way to boost their Social Security benefit: by using their ex-spouse’s benefit. The Social Security office can even tell you what the amount is. You don’t even have to go to him. Women divorced after 10 or more years of marriage are eligible for a benefit equal to half of the ex-spouse’s. So, if the benefit of half of the ex-spouse’s amount exceeds what you (as a woman) stands to receive on your own, that option is available to you.

Read the full article for more Social Security Benefit tips for women.
Kelley Holland – NBC News – Aug 11, 2015

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

There is expert guidance available to you for your retirement planning goals.

Meet me for a FREE retirement strategy consultation at my office at 833-313-7233 | MD, VA & DC. 


December 3rd, 2014 by

Once upon a time in American marriages, the husband “brought home the bacon” and made all the big financial decisions, and the wife received a “household allowance” to buy groceries and other everyday necessities.

But, not in today’s fast-paced world! Not only have women entered the workforce in large numbers but they’ve risen to high-level positions in the business world. On average, women in dual-earner households earn around half the family’s income, and about one out of four married women earn more than their husbands.1

Despite the stereotype of men being threatened by successful women, men whose wives earn as much or more than they do actually report higher levels of happiness. But higher-earning wives are more stressed about money than higher-earning husbands or lower-earning wives, perhaps because they are trying to balance the “traditional” woman’s role while also carrying the financial load.2
Financial Bacon - Spending money
Here are some steps you and your spouse can take to forge a more successful financial partnership.

Create a budget. Only 32% of households have a budget to track monthly income and expenditures, and only 30% have a long-term saving and investment plan.3 Budget for your basic monthly expenses and include monthly payments/set-asides for other regular expenses, emergency savings, and retirement savings.

Prioritize discretionary spending. Once you have budgeted together for necessities and savings, each spouse should make a “wish list.” Compare lists and focus on areas of agreement.

Allow some personal freedom. Consider putting money into a joint account to pay regular expenses and keeping some discretionary funds in separate accounts that you can each use as you wish, up to a mutually agreeable limit. One study found that men would spend an average of $1,231 without discussing it with their wives, but women would only spend an average of $396 without discussing it with their husbands.4 Setting a limit in advance could help prevent conflict down the road.

Recognize individual strengths. If one partner is more comfortable putting money into financial vehicles and the other is more focused on paying bills, there’s nothing wrong with giving more responsibility to one person for certain aspects of your financial life. Just keep the other spouse in the loop.

1–2) Money, June 2014
3) Gallup, 2013
4) Experian, 2014

Freeman Owen, Jr - Host of "Safe Money Talk" on CBS Radio The Big Talker 1580AM Money always matters because it affects your financial future. Start early with your retirement plans so that you never outlive your nest egg dollars. Let me help you do it right! Meet with me for a FREE retirement strategy consultation at my office.

Call 1-833-313-7233 | MD, VA & DC.

August 5th, 2014 by

Why Women Need Life Insurance

Women comprise almost half the U.S. labor force, and their contributions to family finances are more important than ever.1

A record 40% of households with children under age 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary breadwinner. In 1960, only about 11% of women carried this level of financial responsibility.2 And, about 37% of “breadwinner moms” are married women who earn a higher income than their husbands. The other 63% are single mothers.3  Of course, many working women might not earn more than their spouses but still make a contribution to the family’s finances.

Stay-at-home moms also contribute to family stability, even if they don’t bring home a paycheck. Based on wages that would be paid for common household tasks, the annual “value of mom” in 2013 was $59,862.4  And, here is the irony. Despite the growing importance of their financial contributions, women are less likely than men to have life insurance (see chart). Those women who do have insurance often have lower coverage amounts — an average of $169,000 for married mothers versus $215,000 for married dads.5

But, it isn’t as costly as you might imagine. The most cost-efficient way to obtain coverage is typically term life insurance. One study found that consumers tend to overestimate the cost of life insurance by almost three times the actual cost.6
Time have changed since the 1960’s. Women are actively in the work force and are actively participating in contributing to the family finances. So, whether you’re the breadwinner, a co-provider, or a stay-at-home parent, be sure that you have enough coverage to protect your family in the event you are no longer there to provide for them.

1) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013
2–3) Pew Research Center, 2013
4) Journal of Financial Planning, June 2013
5), January 9, 2013
6) LIFE Foundation, 2012

Freeman Owen, Jr - Host of "Safe Money Talk" on CBS Radio The Big Talker 1580AM For better money management and to plan more effectively for your retirement, contact me for a free consultation.
Toll Free: 1-833-313-7233 | MD, VA & DC. 
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

October 14th, 2013 by

Professional Progress For Women as Doctors and Lawyers

Gone are the days when women were expected to stay at home and raise the children. Since the 1970’s, there has been a substantial increase in professional careers for women. Women have opted to compete with men in the fields of science and law and have proven to be worthy competitors. In fact, about one third of all doctors and lawyers today are women according to the Wall Street Journal, 2010.

Women Take The Lead In Asking For Professional Help

I admire how women are able to take on the role of a professional in her career as well as a home-maker. After all, she is the still the primary caregiver to her children and she has a strong desire to maintain her household. Because she is juggling so much in a year, she recognizes her limits and is quick to seek out professional advice. During my 30 years of consulting with families about money strategies, women are the ones who are most likely to take heed of the advice of a professional. And, as a result, yes, they are the ones with bigger 401(k) accounts and long-term savings.

Let Me Help You In Your Retirement Planning

As with all things in a home, money must be maintained and managed correctly. Women have a natural ability to manage finances well. So, I encourage women, professionals, home-makers, single moms, and divorcees to visit with me so I can help you map out a retirement strategy that is right for you. My consultation is FREE and without any obligation. Call 833-313-7233 to setup an appointment today!

June 20th, 2013 by

Welcome to “Skills To Pay The Bills” and 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
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March 26th, 2013 by

When it comes to saving and spending, the news is not good for women., an online financial rewards program for saving and paying down debt, recently analyzed a representative sample of more than 20,000 of their users’ savings and debt balances. In their recent “U.S. Consumer Savings and Debt Report”, finds that the average man has more in their 401(k), IRA, and CDs. This report also noted that men are saving more money than women. More importantly, men are saving more aggressively to meet their retirement goals. Report Men Women
Avg. 401k $50,632 $39,320
Avg. IRA $8,456 $4,916
Avg. Certificate of Deposit $30,374 $7,459
Avg. Money Market
$11,157 $13,225









Why are men able to save more?

The simple answer is related to income disparity.  According to the American Council on Education, depending on their race and where they live, women make between $0.57 and $0.77 for every dollar men make. Thus, it is more difficult for women to save. In fact, their contributions to 401(k) and retirement contributions from their employer will be substantially lower through out their working careers.

Cost Of Living Expectation Is Lower for Women

Income disparity is not completely to blame. Women tend to have a lower expectation for the total cost of retirement living.  According to a 2010 Harris Interactive poll cited by Forbes, when women were asked to put a dollar figure on the amount they were trying to save for retirement, the median was $200,000 compared to the men’s median goal of $400,000.

Get Help From An Expert In Retirement Strategy

Women Retirement StrategyIt many seem unnecessary to get retirement strategy advice but its a vital part of planning for an adequate and successful retirement. My consultation is free. 1-833-313-7233. Let’s talk.

November 27, 2012
November 27th, 2012 by

Retirement planning for couples

If you think your marital hurdles are over by the time you hit retirement age, think again. According to a Wall Street Journal article from April 2012, many couples are in disagreement about what age to retire.  A recent study by Fidelity Investments found that well over half of couples—62%—disagree on the timing of their respective retirements.

These Times Are Different

The days when a husband automatically retires at 65 with a corporate pension and his wife dutifully follows him to a golf course in Florida are officially over. Most women approaching retirement age are now working, and many have their own retirement savings and viewpoints. “Many women have entered the work force later and are at their peak when men slow down and want out,” says Dorian Mintzer, co-author of “The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle.” “The timing can create some struggles.”

Only about half of couples retire within two years of each other, says Richard Johnson, a senior research analyst at the Urban Institute, a social-policy think tank in Washington, D.C. Men approaching retirement age are, on average, almost four years older than their spouses, he says. And the larger the age difference between spouses, the less likely they are to retire at the same time.

Retirement Talks Are More Sensitive

The talks about when to retire seem much more sensitive and difficult than the question of where to retire. The question of when involves focusing on money, age differences, job satisfaction and gender roles. Often times, it’s all these these factors at the same time. Therapists, not surprisingly, stress the importance of planning, clear communication and compromise. In order for it to work well, each person needs to clarify their own vision of what’s important and learn to talk with each other.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, 4/19/12

Call The Host of Radio Show- Big Talker 1580AM, Freeman Owen Jr Retirement planning is the best way to avoid undue stress. As a retirement strategist, I can help you navigate your financial options and ease the transition into retirement.
Get my best retirement strategy advice with a free consultation 833-313-7233.