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on 22 June, 2017

understanding risk tolerance for retirement planning success

Like everything else we do, saving for retirement involves risk analysis. We might not think about getting in the car to go to the grocery store, or even booking our dream vacation to hike the Inca Trail in Peru, as particularly risky decisions. But there are still elements of risk involved in every choice we make.

Your risk tolerance will help to you maximize and protect your retirement savings when you make sound choices. As you save and near retirement, your risk tolerance should change, adapting to your financial and income needs. In order to manage your retirement planning effectively, you need to understand your risk tolerance, grasp your financial needs in retirement, and make effective decisions about your savings and asset allocation.

Overall, you should be ready for a “smooth” financial transition into retirement – when you stop earning a full-time salary or business income, and start drawing on the savings you accumulated over many years. Working with a financial professional will help you meet your retirement income and financial goals, like the independent financial professionals at SafeMoney.com.

Let’s go into more detail about risk tolerance and why it’s so important.

on 12 June, 2017

 time to lock in stock market gains

American markets have been enjoying a recent stock market rally, with some markets posting double-digit increases. It is the nature of the markets to rise and fall. So if you are approaching retirement, this might be the time to begin to lock in your stock market gains. If you're wondering why, think about it. Many Americans will be relying on their portfolio money for retirement income once they leave the workplace. It may be to pay for spending quality time on the green, sailing, horseback riding, getting away on vacation, or whatever their preferred retirement activities may be.

Older Americans tend to have less invested in stocks because they move their savings out of higher risk vehicles in their pre-retirement years. This is typically to protect their retirement nest egg, since they tend to have less time for recovery. Unfortunately, many Americans are still reeling from losses from the 2008 financial crisis. They are looking at a delayed retirement.

You can take steps to protect the financial gains your portfolio has enjoyed and start preserving your wealth for your retirement lifetime. This may call for a shift in financial focus -- a start to evaluating safer retirement vehicles which have a lower risk profile than equities, like annuities and life insurance. It is a good idea to review your portfolio at least once a year, to review to make sure that your portfolio is meeting your goals, objectives, and expectations. As you approach retirement, you may want to begin to transfer your portfolio to a more risk-adverse position and realize any financial growth you've achieved before the markets make their natural corrections.

on 01 June, 2017

summer saving tips safe money

When you think about saving for retirement, it’s easy to focus on putting more money away and diversifying your investments or retirement funds. Another easy way to not only find more money for retirement, but to also get used to living on less, is to reduce your current spending and monthly bills. As always, you can stop buying that delicious latte every morning.

James C. Molet at Retirement Savvy runs an excellent feature called Living Frugally that provides excellent advice on cutting daily expenses, but let’s focus on some of the big-ticket expenses that are eating up your income and future retirement savings.

on 25 May, 2017

how to live your pre retirement life before retirement

You’re thinking about retirement. Maybe you have 5-10 years left to prepare for this exciting change. It’s time to consider what you need to do to ensure you have sufficient money for the retirement lifestyle you want.

Let’s assume you and your partner have talked about your retirement expectations and know how much you’ll need, how much you have, and a plan for reaching those financial goals. Then you can take these final years before retirement to prepare and ensure that you are able to enjoy retirement.

Let's get into some of the issues you and your partner should be thinking about as you approach your post-work years.

in Annuity
on 18 May, 2017

should you put your retirement savings into annuity

Do annuities make sense for your retirement portfolio? Well, when used right they can be a very powerful financial vehicle, especially for retirement. Annuities allow an investor to pay a lump sum of money upfront and then receive an income stream in return for a set period of time. The insurance company is bound to provide this income stream by contractual guarantees. The income stream can last anywhere from a set duration to a lifetime.

Here’s a quick look at some annuity basics and other helpful tips to consider.

on 12 May, 2017

 3 retirement planning mistakes to avoid intro image

How should I invest for retirement? And during retirement? There’s a lot of great advice to answer these questions – a wealth of strategic financial tips for nest eggs of all sizes. But equally important is what not to do. Below are 3 retirement planning mistakes—avoid them at all costs.

on 04 May, 2017

how much should you save to save 1 million dollars for retirement

It's time for the million-dollar question. Literally. How much do you need to save to have $1 million in retirement savings? Apparently, if you’re 21, you only need to save $25 a week to be set for a comfortable retirement. Ah, to be 21 again.

Because that ship sailed long ago for us, we need to make sure that we are financially prepared for our retirement. $1 million seems to be the magic number that comes up often when we talk about retirement savings. This is based roughly on the idea that you can fund your retirement with a 4% draw, supplement with Social Security, and have enough money for a 30-year retirement with a comfortable, if not extravagant, standard of living.

But with lingering low interest rates, market volatility, and lengthening average lifespans, a 4% withdrawal strategy may not work for many Americans. What to do about it?

on 04 May, 2017

Time to diversify

You’ve heard it before: the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Through all stages of our personal and financial lives, we know there will inevitably be twists and turns. The market goes up, the market goes down. But there are safer routes than others for our money. While there’s no foolproof Waze app for retirement savings and investment, there are directions we can take—and avoid!

First, Let’s Look at Your Withdrawal Rate.

Two key players in the viability of your financial plan for retirement are the size of your retirement nest egg and the pace at which you plan to spend it. This is your withdrawal rate. After putting in the time and consideration to determine the magic number for your retirement and your intended rate to spend it down, you may have reservations about your actual investment portfolio and whether it will perform as expected to sustain you over time.

Since no one can say how long you will live, our lens of The Rule of 100 helps add perspective to this all-important strategy of making sure your retirement income will last.

on 28 April, 2017

401k fake news

Note: This is the fifth and final part of a month-long series on financial awareness in the U.S., and how investors are planning – or not preparing – for retirement. Here are some surprising insights into how the spread of fake news is growing - and how it's affecting the lives of retirement investors.

Fake news has struck again. The spread of misinformation has whipped up a new public storm, this time with 401(k)s and their tax-favored status. If the news buzz was any indicator, President Trump appeared to be pushing for an end to tax-deferred saving advantages tied to 401(k) contributions in his tax policy reform proposal.

The mayhem began at a White House press conference, when press secretary Sean Spicer was taking questions about the proposed tax reforms. Trump’s plan outline had called for a pullback of nearly all tax deductions in exchange for tax code reforms elsewhere.

Amid a volley of questions, Spicer was asked if Trump’s plan would affect 401(k) contributions. He responded by saying the plan protected charitable gifts, mortgage interest deductions, and “that’s it.” Then began a flurry of media activity – press reports ranged from uncertainty to affirmation of the tax proposal advocating for 401(k) changes. The Trump administration later clarified, responding that changes to 401(k) contributions were not in the works.

While the press outlets reporting uncertainty over possible changes had it right, it shows an emerging trend: the impact of fake news, or false and/or misleading articles, on the lives of everyday Americans. And research shows it is having effects on people’s financial lives.

on 25 April, 2017

how much money do you need to retire jpg

The “magic number” to retire comfortably – as worry-free as possible – has always been a hot topic between financial professionals and their clients. Do I have enough to do what I want? Did I save enough for retirement? Have I been living beyond my means? Do I have to keep working for another few years? Will I live to 100? These questions echo in almost everyone’s head, especially late at night. And, for some, they can get louder closer to retirement – when that “magic number” really matters. Luckily, there are many magic numbers.

One Magic Number Does Not Fit All

Take a look at your income before and imagine it after the gold watch. An income replacement number for retirement is often initially based on the income you have prior to your retirement. However, that figure may not apply to the actual income you need after you retire.

What’s your lifestyle now? What will it look like in post-retirement? Traveling around the world? Downsizing and becoming fulltime grandparents? Start a Second Act career? Supporting your kids if they move home? Living large and blowing it on a Porsche? Well, not everyone has retirement plans. So it doesn’t make sense that a “magic number” for one individual, couple or family is universal.

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