Financial Wellness @ Work

5 Myths About Social Security

I’m going to unofficially declare last week as National Social Security Awareness Week as a result of the questions I got in a series of workshops that I facilitated on retirement planning. I don’t think a week of Social Security actually exists on the calendar but with all the confusion surrounding Social Security there probably needs to be one. Here are some common myths I’ve heard: Read more

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Managing Your Pension In A 401k World

Lately there’s been a lot of criticism of 401k plans in the news and some of it is very valid. A 401k that is poorly designed and/or poorly managed can leave people in a bad place when they want to retire, but traditional pensions aren’t a perfect solution either. Don’t get me wrong. If you have a pension that is a GREAT benefit to have. You just can’t assume that everything will work out as planned.  Read more

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Should You Plan For Retirement Or Seek Financial Independence?

When our team of financial planners asks others about their top financial concerns and priorities there is a consistent answer – retirement. In fact, our financial wellness reports usually show that every age group with the exception of those under 30 indicate that their top financial planning priority is indeed retirement planning. This probably comes as no surprise because everywhere you look these days financial services companies are bombarding us with clever messages to shift our focus to retirement. The Financial Finesse blog team, which I am a contributing member of, frequently writes about different aspects of the retirement planning process as well. Read more

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Retirement Isn’t All About The Numbers

Once in a while, usually during a long cold winter in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic area, my thoughts wander into a warmer place. I’ve joked that one of the requirements for my next home is that I have to be able to call the local Home Depot/Lowe’s and when I ask if they sell snow shovels, their answer MUST be… “NEVER!  Not a single day during the year do we sell snow shovels.” It was while discussing that philosophy with a friend that she pulled up this article on her phone to discuss her retirement dream. She would like to explore the world for a decade or so and then settle down in whatever place she feels like calling home. That sounds like a pretty cool lifestyle and one that a lot of people would love to experience.  Read more

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How Divorce Affects Your Social Security Benefits

If you are divorced and were married for 10 years or longer, did you know you may be eligible for an ex-spousal Social Security benefit? Every time I say this I am amazed at the shocked expressions on people’s faces. Then I typically get the following questions: Read more

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Small Changes Now Can Mean Big Long Term Results

In a conversation I had recently with an employee of a large healthcare company, the topic of retirement planning and investing merged together. She had recently started her job and wanted to be sure that she got off to a good start. Her prior employer had no financial wellness benefits provided so this was her first conversation with a financial planner. The conversation was very revealing about her views of herself, the world of investing and the level of financial knowledge that many people who work in financial services business assume that individuals have when they walk in for a conversation. Read more

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Is the Retirement Savings Gap Closing?

Good news! More people are expressing confidence in their ability to meet their income goals during retirement. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s (EBRI) Retirement Confidence Survey, 28 percent of people with a retirement plan are very confident they will be able to retire comfortably.  Read more

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Laughter Can Be Retirement Medicine

Earlier in the day, I had a conversation with a couple who were convinced that they didn’t have nearly enough money to retire any time soon and this was a very problematic issue for them.While she loved her job and said she planned to work until she’s the oldest employee ever at her company, he is absolutely miserable. Through a reorganization at his company, he now reports to a manager that he absolutely cannot stand and he said he feels like life is being slowly sucked out of him. The new boss, in his view, is an absolute megalomaniac who makes life miserable for everyone in their department. Nearly half of the staff has left for other opportunities within the last 6 months and the workload for those remaining is overwhelming to the point that he feels like his health is being compromised.  Read more

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Why Your Advisor May Want You to Take Social Security Early

Earlier this year, I took a call from Carl who is getting ready to retire within the next few years. His advisor was suggesting that upon retirement, Carl rollover his 401(k) to an IRA and start collecting his Social Security benefit at age 62. Carl wasn’t so sure so he wanted a second opinion. Carl and I talked for a while and determined that it might make more sense for him to draw down his retirement account and allow his Social Security benefit to collect delayed creditsRead more

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Do You Need Life Insurance After You Retire?

As part of the financial education we provide on retirement decisions, we suggest a review of your insurance policies as a means of protecting your accumulated wealth.  This includes a review of your homeowners coverage, medical benefits, and long-term care insurance, but we also suggest a review of your need for life insurance. I’ve always taken the stance that life insurance protects against at least three types of risk: loss of income, insufficient liquidity, and high income taxes.  Let’s examine all three to see whether or not you need life insurance after retirement. Read more

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