Financial Wellness @ Work

Are You Afraid of Your Student Loan Debt?

What’s really scaring you this Halloween? If you have student loans,  getting that bill might rank pretty high on the list. After all, no one likes owing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars  that will seemingly take forever to pay off. That doesn’t mean paying off your student loans should be your only or even top financial priority though. Here are some other goals that you might want to prioritize first. Read more

Why Wait Until Next Year to Plan Your Future?

It seems like every fall I try to take some time to enjoy a few minutes of solitude and reflect on the experiences of the current year. This is also a time where I usually acknowledge that the to-do list that I created earlier in the year still reveals some unfinished business. As a financial planner, I’ll admit that this includes some things on my family’s financial planning checklist that still need some attention.  Read more

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

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