Managing your financial life is not just about money.

Posts by Mike McNamara

Investing 101 Pt.3

This is the third article in a series that will discuss basic investment concepts in hopefully and understandable and meaningful way.  Whether you work with an investment advisor or choose to do your own investing, there are some things you need to know to be successful.  Here is my take on what those things are.
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Lump Sum (Investment) vs. Pension (Insurance)

Most workers have a voluntary, contributory retirement plan option available to them at their place of work. The worker contributes money from his/her paycheck, the employer may also contribute funds to this account via some kind of match. The funds are invested. The money belongs to the employee and goes with him/her in retirement, or upon a job change. Common plans are named 401k, 403b and 457. Some workers may also have what we call a “defined benefit pension plan” available to them.  In some cases (municipal employees) money is mandatorily taken from their paycheck for this pension.  In other
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Investing 101 Pt.2

This is the second article in a series that will discuss and explain basic investment concepts in hopefully an understandable and meaningful way.  Whether you work with an investment advisor or choose to do your own investing, there are some there are things you need to know to be successful. Here is my take on what those things are. Think of stocks as companies. You will sleep better.  The very word “stocks” has a negative connotation for many of us. They can be scary.  They crash. You can lose all of your money.  An easy way to deal with this
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Investing 101

This is the first article in a series that will discuss and explain basic investment concepts in hopefully an understandable and meaningful way. Whether you work with an investment advisor or choose to do your own investing, there are some things you just need to know to be successful. Here is my take on what those things are. You need to own some stocks in your portfolio, and probably more than you think.  Bonds are guaranteed and are perceived as safe.  However the 10 year government bond, as of this writing, is paying about a guaranteed 2%.  Take away taxes
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Life Insurance & Legal Documents

This is the 13th article (and last) in a series on retirement.  In this piece I will answer questions 29, 30, 31 and 32 questions that you must answer before retiring. What about life insurance? If you have done well financially in your life, you may well not need any life insurance. If you have not done so well, you may need to have life insurance on one or both spouses to provide financial security. The problem with this situation is that it is pretty expensive to carry life insurance on folks in their sixties or older, and those costs
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Leaving Assets for Children during Retirement

This is the 12th article in a series on retirement. In this piece I will answer questions 26, 27 and 28 of 32 questions that you must answer before retiring. Do I want to leave anything for my kids? The answers to this question run the gamut.  There are those who absolutely want to leave assets to their children.  Then there are those who plan to spend all their assets and leave nothing.  And there are those who would like to leave assets if possible.  The problems arise with folks who absolutely want to leave a legacy to their children. 
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Sequence Risk & Emergency Reserves in Retirement

This is the eleventh article in a series.  In this piece I will answer questions 24 and 25 of 32 questions that you must answer before choosing to retire What do I do about “sequence risk”? There are some things you can’t control in retirement, and “sequence risk” is one of the biggies!  Say that you assumed a 4% per year return from your retirement nest egg to make retirement work.  If you earn 8% per year for the first five years of retirement, you are a happy person and probably contemplating spending more in retirement.  If you average a
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How Big Does My Nest Egg Have To Be To Last For My Lifetime?

This is article number ten in a series. In this piece I will answer questions 21, 22 and 23 of 32 questions you must answer before deciding when to retire, How much income, before and after taxes, will I need from my nest egg? The answer is a process that is just simple math. Take the total guaranteed before tax income in retirement (usually social security and/or a pension) and have your tax preparer do a hypothetical tax return for you for your first full year of retirement.  What is left after federal and state taxes is what you have
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What Expenses Don’t I Know About in Retirement?

This is the ninth article in a series on retirement.  In this piece I will answer questions 17, 18, 19 and 20 of 32 questions everyone must answer before deciding on retirement. What expenses don’t I know about in retirement? I have talked about estimated retirement expenses in question 13.  However, there are some things that require repeating and more explanation. Many folks under-estimate the amount of money that will lavish upon kids and grandkids. If you don’t have grandchildren, you have no clue what is coming and how much it will change your life (and your checkbook).  Talk to
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Healthcare Expenses, Nursing Home Costs, & Adult Children Who Are Still Dependent On You.

This is the eighth article in the series on retirement.  I will address questions 14, 15 and 16 of 32 questions that you must answer before deciding to retire. What do I do about healthcare expenses? What you do is make a really good guess about what they are going to be in retirement and hope that you are correct.  The good news is that just about everyone who turns 65 will qualify for Medicare.  And Medicare is inexpensive.  The bad news is that Medicare does not cover everything, and you will need a supplemental insurance policy to cover the
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