Financial Wellness @ Work

3 Hidden Pitfalls Coming to a 401(k) Statement Near You

When you see your 401(k) balance or even a projection of your future balance when you retire, do you really know what that number means for your retirement? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t. A $200k balance may look like the most amount of money you’ve ever had so you can easily think it will be more than sufficient even if it turns out to be nowhere near enough to generate the income you’ll need to retire comfortably. Read more

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How to Pass the Retirement Income Literacy Test

Americans flunk retirement quiz.” That was a headline in the December 3, 2014 edition of USA Today. In a recent survey conducted by the American College of Financial Services, 80% of surveyed Americans age 60 to 75 with at least $100,000 in household assets received a failing grade when given a basic retirement-income literacy test. Read more

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Retirement Planning, Dougie Style!

One thing I love about my colleague and friend, Doug Spencer, is his ability to make the complicated simple. Take retirement planning for example. Some people approach retirement planning as though it involves complicated math, an ability to predict the future, and an ounce of luck.  Read more

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Should You Take a Pension or a Lump Sum?

Within the past few weeks, I have had more than a few people ask about a prior employer offering a lump sum payout vs. leaving it in the plan and taking a monthly payout at a later date.I’m not sure if companies are making this “the lump sum season” intentionally or not, but there has been a major influx of conversations about this topic. I’m figuring for every person that is asking, there are probably many more sitting there silently and trying to make the decision on their own.  That sounds like a great reason to write a blog post.  Here is the process that I walk through with a person to help them evaluate their options when they have a lump sum opportunity. Read more

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How the IRS Can Help You Save More For Retirement in 2015

It has often been said that the only constant in life is change. As a parent, I find that change is both exciting and scary as heck because you never know what lies around the corner. This statement about anticipating change definitely remains true when the IRS is concerned.  Read more

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Be Long Term Careful

One of the questions I get asked frequently by people who are on track to retire is if they should buy long term care insurance (if they don’t already own it) or if they should cancel it (if they already own it).Lately, that has been a very difficult question to answer.  Companies that offer long term care insurance are raising premiums, sometimes very substantially, and there are no guarantees that they won’t go even higher in the future.  So if you are considering purchasing a LTC policy or cancelling your existing LTC policy, what are some things that you should factor into your decision? Read more

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3 Reasons Not to Ditch Your IRA

I read this astonishing article today titled “3 reasons to ditch your IRA.” The author makes the case against contributing to traditional IRAs but all his arguments could be used against traditional pre-tax 401(k) plans as well. Before you cancel your pre-tax retirement account contributions, let’s take a look at his arguments and why they might be problematic: Read more

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Living Longer May Not Be All Good News For Women

According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, Americans are living longer—o.1 years longer to be exact—as the national life expectancy has reached a new record high of 78.8 years. Women, with an average life expectancy of 81.2 years, live on average 4.8 years longer than men, at 76.4 years. While some may see this purely as a blessing, it does present a financial challenge for today’s women. Namely, women may need to save more for retirement than men in order to account for these additional years. Here are five things women can do to help address this added financial challenge: Read more

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Social Security Myth #5: You Only Receive A Spousal Benefit If You Are Married When You Retire

In my last blog post, I addressed the myth that Social Security benefits are based on an accumulation of assets and that collecting a spousal benefit would reduce the amount a spouse would otherwise be eligible to receive. This brings up another myth that is circulating out there that suggests that one has to be married in order to collect a spousal benefit. That is not the case. Read more

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