Financial Wellness @ Work

3 Under-Rated Retirement Accounts

One of the most common questions we get is how to prioritize funding different types of retirement accounts.In an ideal world, we would max them all out but most of us need to figure out which ones should take priority. I recently read this article that attempts to answer that question. While I generally agree with the points, there are three things that this article and many similar articles I’ve read tend to underestimate: Read more

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All Good Things Must End

As an addict avid watcher of Game of Thrones, I always hope that the series will go on for as long as The Simpsons. But as we’ve all seen in our lives, eventually all things (good and bad) must end.This article discusses the potential end of the run of GoT. I guess we will all have to deal with a series finale at some point within the next few years. The good news is that with Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Friends, Seinfeld, MASH, etc. (depends on your generation which one will most resonate), we have precedent in watching our favorite show end.  Read more

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When Does A Roth IRA Or 401(k) Work Best?

As a financial planner, I find people are pretty predictable about their feelings on income taxes: hardly any of them want to pay more than is absolutely necessary, and they feel like other people don’t pay enough! The US tax code has incentives and rules meant to encourage us to do specific things like buy a home, make charitable gifts and save for retirement. But is there any value in actually paying taxes up front rather than put them off if you can? Read more

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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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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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