Ready to Retire? How to Properly Frame the Investment Allocation Conversation.

Retirement puzzleYoung investors are often told to embrace risk in their portfolios. The ups and downs of the markets are an ally in the pursuit of long-term growth, and losses only matter when they’re realized. Rarely is this common and often correct advice applied to investors that are nearing retirement. But indeed it should. Not because sixty is the new forty, but because investment allocation decisions should be based on when the invested funds will be needed, not on how old you happen to be. Continue reading

How Planning for a Long Life Impacts your Retirement Income

Nest Egg with large billsRetirement planning involves a delicate balance between adequately planning for a long retirement and maximizing the enjoyment of the money you’ve worked hard to accumulate. In most cases, a retirement that lasts 35 years will require far more financial resources than will one that lasts 20 or 25 years. What is more, the final years of retirement may be the most expensive, as costs associated with chronic or end-of- life care come due. Advances in medical technology have extended life expectancy for many, but certainly not all, demographics. Longevity is a critical consideration of retirement planning, but so too is recognizing that living to an advanced age demands more retirement savings or a lower lifetime income, and whether this is justified based on your current health, lifestyle and family history. Continue reading

The Yearly Journey of 1,000 Steps: It’s Tax Season and I Can Do Better

journeyAh, mid-February- that time of year when my postman provides a daily barrage of tax documents, and scolds me for not retrieving them quickly enough. When it finally becomes apparent that he can no longer jam another rumpled envelope into my overflowing mail slot I know it’s time to file my taxes. While this annual ritual often yields a financial reward in the form of a tax refund, there is clearly a higher purpose for the enormous pile of paper. Note to self: my inner guilt will be quelled; this year I will make better use of tax time, and so can you. Continue reading

Making Sense of Roth IRA Conversions

ponder_elderThe Roth IRA has become a popular planning tool since it was established by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. Originally envisioned as a way for Americans of more modest means to efficiently transfer wealth to the next generation, the Roth IRA offers a number of potential advantages over a Traditional IRA that are particularly attractive to those that are more affluent. While there are many variables to consider when determining which type of IRA is best suited to an individual’s needs, the removal of income limits on Roth IRA conversions has made this tool available to wealthier individuals that would otherwise not qualify to make a Roth IRA contribution because of income-based restrictions. Continue reading

Which type of IRA is right for you?

roth_or_traditional_iraAsk a financial planner whether to save for retirement using a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA and you may receive an unsatisfying answer: it depends. While the Roth IRA is a much-loved planning tool, whether it’s the best option for you will depend on several factors, but math is not one of them. Continue reading

5 Painless Year-End Financial Fixes

checklistingThe end of the year is quickly approaching and it goes without saying that most of us are starved for time. December may be a hectic month, but it is also a great time to get your financial house in order before the New Year. Here are some quick and easy year-end financial fixes that will help you start 2017 off right.

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2017 Medicare Costs May Take a Bigger Bite from Your Wallet

wallthurtLost among presidential politics and the potential impact of President Elect Trump’s legislative agenda was news of more immediate impact to millions of America’s seniors: a large increase in Medicare costs.

While not unexpected, the magnitude of these increases is noteworthy, as is the fact that they will not be shared equally. Rising premiums and the cost sharing formula found in Original Medicare (the fee-for-service programs offered through the federal government consisting of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) will fall most heavily on new enrollees and higher income seniors. The final impact of these increases will depend on a variety of additional factors including geographic location, health care utilization, prescription drug regime, and whether you collect Social Security benefits.

Click here to view costs at a glance.

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2016 Medicare Open Enrollment Checklist

healthcareIt’s that time of year again. If you’re one of the roughly 50 million Americans enrolled in Medicare, get ready for some year-end shopping. Medicare open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage runs from October 15th until December 7th, and presents a great opportunity for seniors to manage their health care costs for the coming year. On offer are prescription-drug and Medicare Advantage plans, as well as the opportunity to switch plan types.

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2015 Medicare Open Enrollment Checklist

healthcareIt’s that time of year again. If you’re one of the roughly 50 million Americans enrolled in Medicare, get ready for some year-end shopping.

Medicare open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage runs from October 15th until December 7th, and presents a great opportunity for senMedicareCardiors to manage their health care costs for the coming year. On offer are prescription-drug and Medicare Advantage plans, as well as the opportunity to switch plan types.

“It’s like deja-vu, all over again”

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Employee Benefits: An Open Enrollment Checklist

JMworking

The final months of the year are a great time to reflect on your accomplishments and plan for the upcoming year. Many employers use this time to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of their employee benefit programs, with the goal of ensuring that they offer the right mix of incentives to attract and retain key talent. Employees, in turn, may be asked to make important elections or decisions that relate to their benefits. Following are some tips to help employees get the most out of their workplace benefits.

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