Financial Wellness @ Work

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

What Is Your Family Vision?

Okay, I am somewhat of a geek. One of my favorite channels is HGTV. I am fascinated by how they can turn a home that looks like something out of a horror movie into a dream home.  Read more

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

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

Laughter Can Be Retirement Medicine

Earlier in the day, I had a conversation with a couple who were convinced that they didn’t have nearly enough money to retire any time soon and this was a very problematic issue for them.While she loved her job and said she planned to work until she’s the oldest employee ever at her company, he is absolutely miserable. Through a reorganization at his company, he now reports to a manager that he absolutely cannot stand and he said he feels like life is being slowly sucked out of him. The new boss, in his view, is an absolute megalomaniac who makes life miserable for everyone in their department. Nearly half of the staff has left for other opportunities within the last 6 months and the workload for those remaining is overwhelming to the point that he feels like his health is being compromised.  Read more

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

In Defense of “Personal Finance Scolds”

I used to think that the need for Americans to save more was pretty uncontroversial. That was before I read this article called “The pernicious ideology of personal finance scolds.” The author lambasts financial advisors for “scolding people for not saving enough money” and calls the “ideology of savings scolds…ideologically pernicious.” Read more

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

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

What to Do for 2015

I usually view “what to do at year end” and “what to do to start the new year” financial articles with great disdain (the same way I typically avoid writing “theme” blog posts for Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ & Fathers’ Day, Independence Day [is there any bigger cliché?], and any other over-played theme). However, I have spent most of my work hours early in 2015 talking to people who want to look at things they can do in the next 12 months in order to make progress toward becoming financially secure.  It’s only because I have been asked so often that I’ll cave in, become part of the crowd and write a “What To Do for 2015” suggestion list. Read more

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