Retirement Planning Blog

5 Things You Should Consider Doing for Your Aging Parent

5 Things You Should Consider Doing for Your Aging Parent

Editor’s Note: The following article is a retirement guest post that has been authored and contributed by John Freeman.

Watching our parents age can be difficult as they begin to need more assistance with different aspects of their lives. While your parents likely want to maintain as much of their independence as they can, and they should, you should be there to lend a helping hand when they need it.

More than 65 million Americans provide care for an aging, chronically ill, or disabled family member each year. And, since the U.S. has an aging population, with geriatrics outweighing younger demographics, more and more individuals will be taking on this role—many of whom are not adequately prepared.

If you are one of these individuals, or are simply trying to figure out how you can be useful to your parents as they age, there are certain aspects of their lives that you can help them handle to make the transition easier, starting with these 5 things. Read More

When It’s Time to Move Your Portfolio from Growth to Income

When It's Time to Move Your Portfolio from Growth to Income

Earlier in your career, you focused on saving and growing your money so you could pursue your financial goals later in life. You might have worked with a financial advisor to do this.

Over the years, you socked away money in a retirement account and maybe even grew an overall portfolio. That meant having and following a strategy with a focus on accumulation and asset allocation. But as we reach the so-called retirement red zone — that crucial period of a decade before and into retirement — new planning is essential.

The income you earned from your career likely won’t be the same once you retire. Then there is the challenge of making your money work for you.

How do you ensure that the income you draw from your portfolio is as efficient and tax-wise as possible? You want to be sure that your money lasts as long as you need it to in retirement! Read More

What Franklin Templeton’s RISE Study Teaches Us

What Franklin Templeton's RISE Study Teaches Us

Franklin Templeton’s annual Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations Survey (RISE Survey) was recently released for 2020. This is the ninth year that the RISE Survey has been published.

The survey examines the concerns and attitudes of retirement savers. And it contains some very interesting data for retirement planners and savers alike.

In it, people of many generations share whether they think they are ready for retirement. The survey also covers what they are doing to accomplish their financial goals before they stop working.

As usual, this year’s RISE Survey wasn’t any different in the insights it drove home. Here’s a roundup of some findings that might be helpful for your own retirement planning efforts. Read More

How Severe Was the Market Drop Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic?

How Severe Was the Market Drop Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic?

The novel coronavirus pandemic has had an economic toll that has affected tens of millions of people. Everyone has felt the impact in some form or fashion.

Many people have lost their jobs. Millions of others have been furloughed. Those saving for retirement and those already retired have also had some surprises.

Equity market indexes saw record-breaking swings. Beforehand, those 1,000-point-or-more swings had taken months or even years to occur.

In the first quarter of 2020, some happened as quickly as in 24 hours. Given all this, it’s natural for us to think about how much of a toll that the early days of the pandemic had on everyone’s retirement security.

In an article by the Urban Institute, Richard W. Johnson talks about seven ways that the Covid-19 pandemic could undermine the retirement plans of many. Read More

How Can Guarantees Help You in Your Retirement Plan?

How Can Guarantees Help You in Your Retirement Plan?

Annuities can bring more stability and certainty to a retirement portfolio. But how do you know you are getting a good deal for your money?

The biggest advantage that annuities can give for your retirement is their guarantees. Or in other words, the contractual assurances that the contract-issuing insurance company promises to provide you.

For your retirement, you might already have a number of financial guarantees that will contribute to your retirement security.

You paid into the coffers of Social Security during your career. In exchange, Uncle Sam guarantees you will receive a monthly paycheck from the SSA once you begin your benefits.

If you buy Treasury securities, you are guaranteed a return of your initial principal once the bonds mature. The bonds also pay you guaranteed semiannual interest payments during the maturity period. You also have these same guarantees when you hold a CD from the bank. Read More

Tax Planning Strategies Are Hot Right Now Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic and 2020 Election

Tax Planning Strategies Are Hot Right Now Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic and 2020 Election

A lot has happened in 2020, from the novel coronavirus and its effects on the economy to Congress adding trillions to the national debt for economic relief. Many financial advisors see the situation now as a major opportunity for tax planning.

Recent market drops allow them to take advantage of reduced retirement account balances and to do Roth conversions. Their clients would save on the amount of taxes due, thanks to the lower account balance.

With national debt approaching new highs, advisors believe that an increase in tax rates is inevitable. Not only that, the CARES Act, passed by Congress for coronavirus relief, also put a pause on required minimum distributions for 2020.

For advisors, the opportunity for tax planning is ripe. But on the flip-side, many financial professionals also disagree about how and when is the best time to go about these strategies.

In an article on InvestmentNews.com, many advisors shared their thoughts on how they were coordinating tax strategies for their clients. Read More

Survey: Americans Increasingly Worry About Their Finances Due to Covid-19 Pandemic

Survey: Americans Increasingly Worry About Their Finances Due to Covid-19 Pandemic

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a new study shows that Americans are becoming increasingly anxious about their finances.

Back in April, Fidelity asked 3,062 retired and working-age Americans about their concerns and what they were doing to shore up their confidence gap. In the survey, 60% of Americans said they were concerned about their finances now. Thirty-eight percent were extremely or very concerned, while over twenty percent were just moderately concerned.

Six in 10 (62%) Americans said they worried about job security, with 43% being extremely or very concerned. 51% of baby boomers said they were worried about their finances over the next 6 months. Meanwhile, 69% of millennials and 68% of Gen Xers also shared that concern. Read More

The Benefits of Working with Virtual Advisors

The Benefits of Working with Virtual Advisors

While times change, the need for quality financial guidance doesn’t. Many financial advisors do things old-school. Nevertheless, with everything happening right now, that might well be changing.

It may not be the most exciting topic around, but working with a virtual financial advisor can be beneficial in many ways.

You don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to go to an office location. Nor do you have to worry about the logistics of what it would take to make that appointment.

You don’t even have to be in the same city as where your financial professional resides. Virtual advisors use communication methods such as videoconferencing, email, the internet, and (for some) even texting to stay in contact with their clients.

If you aren’t working with a virtual financial professional yet, here’s a look at how it can be beneficial in the short and long run. Read More

Could Annuities Be Better Than Bonds for Lifetime Income?

Could Annuities Be Better Than Bonds for Lifetime Income?

If you asked a hundred financial advisors about what they use to construct retirement strategies, you would surely get as many opinions as there are flavors of ice cream.

Many portfolio strategies today call for strategic mixes of equities and bonds. Lots of research is on the so-called 60/40 portfolio, made up of 60% equity assets and 40% bond assets.

The problem is that bonds are particularly vulnerable to interest rate risk, which is the danger of an asset losing value when interest rates rise. And with interest rates sitting at basically zero percent for the foreseeable future, the only direction they can go is up.

This isn’t to say that bonds don’t have a place in a retirement income strategy. But there is also the flip-side to consider.

Do you really have all options on the table if your advisor leaves annuities out of the conversation? Unlike bonds of any sort, annuities are unique in that life insurers include estimates of people’s expected mortality into their payouts. Read More

6 Ways to Help You Weather Market Volatility

6 Ways to Help You Weather Market Volatility

After we enjoyed the sweet ride of an 11-year bull market, market volatility is back in style now. Where things will go from here is anyone’s guess. But even more importantly, what about you and your personal outlook?

How can you take steps to protect what you have accumulated over the years? Can you do anything to help you ride out this wild wave of volatility?

You can, and there are steps you can take right away. If they make sense, some tools and strategies that you might consider could add more stability, predictability, and certainty to your portfolio.

Here are six ideas that you can put to work right now. Read More

Next Steps to Consider

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