Financial Wellness @ Work

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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Can You Really Save More Tomorrow?

We hear a lot in the news about concerns that Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement. It’s not surprising for news to lead to an increased concentration on saving for the future. On average, retirement planning may be the top financial planning priority but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone shares this sense of urgency.  Read more

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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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Financial Finesse’s unbiased financial planning blog wins Gold for "Blog of the Year" in the 2014 Best in Biz Awards!

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