Managing your financial life is not just about money.

Archives for Financial Education

Investing 101 – Pt.03

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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FPA Annual Conference Recap

Last month Kirk and Justin attended the Financial Planning Association’s annual conference in Nashville.  The annual FPA conference is one of the country’s largest gatherings for financial professionals. It is a great opportunity to keep up with what is happening in our industry. Here are a few of our takeaways...
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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.02

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 – Pt01

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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Socially Responsible Investing

Social Responsible Investing is defined as an investment that adds the goal of a social good of some kind to the broader investment goal of purely making money.  However, the terms ‘social good’ and ‘socially responsible’ mean different things to different people.  I’m guessing there would be broad agreement that a hypothetical mutual fund that invests in tobacco companies would not be considered a socially responsible investment.  But what is?  The good news is that there are plenty of options, so most investors will be able to find something that fits their preferences. The most common types of socially responsible
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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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