Financial Wellness @ Work

Can The IRS Help You Save For Retirement?

Saving for retirement is a must these days and retirement confidence in general is pretty low. Our recent retirement preparedness study revealed that only about 20% of employees feel they’re on track to reach their desired income in retirement. In order to bridge this gap, it’s no secret many of us need to save more.  Read more

Social Security Myth #4: Collecting a Spousal Benefit Reduces the Amount Your Spouse Will Receive

One of the most valuable aspects of the Social Security formula is the accrual of spousal benefits for couples that have been married for at least one year at the time they file for benefits. However, some think of these benefits as a pool of money that somehow is split between the two of them. For this reason, they sometimes fall under the misconception that if one of them starts to collect a spousal benefit, the other’s benefit will be reduced. Read more

How to Manage Student Loan Debt in Retirement

You’ve worked hard both in the professional world and at home raising your family and retirement is just around the corner. Now it is your turn to relax – somewhat — and do the things you love and want to do. But what if you haven’t finished paying off your student loan debt?  Read more

Social Security Myth #3: You Will Lose Benefits If You Collect While You Are Working

In my previous two blog posts, I’ve addressed the myths of Social Security insolvency and calculating Social Security using final average earnings. Next up is a myth concerning the receipt of benefits while employed. Most of us know that the earliest we can collect a Social Security retirement benefit is age 62, but that doesn’t mean most of us plan to stop working by then. For this reason, I am often asked about the implications of collecting a Social Security benefit while working. Read more

Five Myths About Social Security: Myth #2 – Social Security Is Based on Your Last Five Years of Earnings

Last week, I addressed the first myth about Social Security benefits, namely that they won’t be there by the time you’re eligible to receive them. For this week’s post, I’d like to address another common myth related to how benefits are calculated: Benefits are based on your last five years of earnings. Read more

Things You Need to Know About Social Security: Will It Be There?

When I facilitate a workshop or webcast on retirement planning, I like to poll my audience to see which areas of retirement planning they would prefer to spend more time talking about. The audience generally ranks saving and investing for retirement as their top two choices but depending on who is in the audience, Social Security may rank as third. Even when it doesn’t, I find it amusing that a government benefit that some are skeptical will even be there by the time they retire ends up being the topic that generates the most questions. I guess it’s because it’s a source of retirement income that many are familiar with yet so few truly understand. Read more

The Three Most Useless Things a Financial Columnist Tells You

I often like to question much of the conventional wisdom of the financial services industry so I was intrigued when I saw this article titled “The four most useless things financial advisors tell you” by Howard Gold. Instead, I found myself questioning most of the conclusions in the article itself as pretty useless (with one exception). Let’s take a look at each of these “four most useless things:” Read more

Retirement: You Might Need to Visualize It to Realize It

As a financial planner, I feel that it is important to encourage people to realistically think about what their retirement will look like. No matter how young or old, now is always a good time to plan for the future. It is not uncommon for some of these popular questions to come up during a typical conversation: Read more

Should You Buy Life Insurance as an Investment?

In response to this article we published on Forbes, we received this question on our Facebook page:

I recently read your article “Should You Use Life Insurance as an Investment?” on Forbes. I wanted to know how this article would apply to me. I just graduated and started my first job that pays pretty well. I don’t have any dependents so I didn’t think about life insurance until I meet with a financial advisor. He said starting insurance young is a better investment where I could keep safe dollars and be more risky in other parts. Would I be better off buying insurance now and benefiting from compound interest or use that money in other investments? Thanks! Read more

Should You Split Up With Your Spouse In Retirement?

Some couples could benefit from a split strategy in retirement but I don’t mean breaking up with your loved one.  The Wall Street Journal‘s MarketWatch blog recently highlighted a split strategy for couples when deciding on the best time to take Social Security benefits. One spouse (the lower income earner) takes benefits as early as possible, which is at age 62.  The other spouse would wait until age 70 to take their own benefit but at their full retirement age (66 to 67 – depending on your year of birth) would claim the spousal benefit based on the lower income earning spouse.  Read more