Retirement Planning

Long-Term Financial Goals for Building Wealth


Building wealth is not just about accumulating money; it’s about setting strategic long-term financial goals that guide your financial decisions and investments. Long-term financial goals, typically spanning eight years or more, are essential for achieving major life milestones such as a comfortable retirement, purchasing a second home, or funding your children’s education. This comprehensive guide will delve into the importance of long-term financial goals, how to set them, and the best strategies to achieve them.

Understanding Long-Term Financial Goals

Long-term financial goals are objectives you plan to achieve in the distant future, usually over a period of at least eight years. These goals allow for a greater risk tolerance compared to short-term and medium-term goals because the extended time horizon can accommodate market fluctuations and leverage the power of compounding interest.

Key Characteristics of Long-Term Financial Goals:

  1. Extended Time Horizon: Allows for market volatility to smooth out over time.
  2. Higher Risk Tolerance: Enables a more aggressive investment strategy, often with a larger allocation to stocks.
  3. Significant Financial Milestones: Typically includes retirement, education funding, and major asset purchases like a home.

The Importance of Long-Term Financial Goals

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Common Financial Issues for Surviving Spouses

Common Financial Issues for Surviving Spouses

Common Financial Issues for Surviving Spouses: Navigating the Challenges

The loss of a spouse is a profoundly emotional experience, compounded by a myriad of financial and life issues that require immediate attention. In an era marked by economic uncertainty and rising living costs, surviving spouses face unique financial challenges. This article explores some common financial issues that surviving spouses may encounter and offers insights on how to manage them effectively.

Change in Social Security Benefits

One of the most significant financial changes for surviving spouses is the alteration in Social Security benefits. Couples typically receive two Social Security payments each month. However, after one spouse passes away, the survivor is left with either their own benefit or the survivor’s benefit, whichever is higher. This reduction in income can strain the surviving spouse’s budget, as many fixed expenses, such as mortgage or rent, utilities, and transportation costs, remain unchanged.

To mitigate the impact of this change, it’s crucial to have savings and other financial plans in place. Immediate actions include notifying the Social Security Administration of the death to ensure the timely adjustment of benefits. Surviving spouses should also consider whether the survivor’s benefit is larger than their own full benefit and plan accordingly. For those supporting minor children or disabled dependents, applying for survivor benefits promptly is essential since benefits are not retroactive to the date of death but start from the application date.

Drop in Overall Income

The death of a working spouse can lead to a significant drop in household income, potentially necessitating the surviving spouse to re-enter the workforce. This situation is particularly challenging for older adults who may have been out of the job market for years or have health issues. For example, if a corporate executive passes away, their spouse may struggle to find employment that matches the previous income level.

To prepare for this possibility, couples should consider building a robust emergency fund and exploring part-time work or freelance opportunities that align with the surviving spouse’s skills and health.
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Get a Second Opinion on Your Retirement Plan

Ensure Financial Security: Discover How a Fresh Perspective Can Optimize Your Retirement Strategy

Retirement is a significant phase in life, often marked by mixed emotions: excitement for the years ahead and uncertainty about financial security. Many people have some form of retirement plan in place, whether through personal savings, an employer-sponsored plan, or a combination of both. But with changing market conditions, evolving retirement needs, and increasing lifespans, it’s critical to ensure your retirement plan is robust and aligned with your long-term goals. Seeking a second opinion on your retirement plan can be a prudent step to ensure you’re on the right track.

Common Retirement Planning Challenges

Retirement planning can be complicated, and even the most carefully considered strategies can have blind spots. Here are some common challenges:

    • Underestimating Longevity: Many people outlive their life expectancy predictions, and not having enough savings can lead to financial difficulties.
    • Healthcare Costs: Healthcare expenses tend to rise with age. Not accounting for unexpected medical bills can put a strain on your savings.
    • Inflation: A plan that doesn’t consider inflation might leave you with significantly less purchasing power.
    • Market Risks: Investment risks, particularly with volatile markets, can impact portfolios and retirement income.
    • Estate Planning: Many overlook estate planning, potentially leaving loved ones with complex and expensive inheritance issues.

Benefits of a Second Opinion

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Managing Healthcare Costs in Retirement

Preparing for the Unseen, Ensuring Peace of Mind

Introduction to Managing Healthcare Costs

As you approach retirement, you hope to enjoy your time without stress. However, high healthcare costs can quickly deplete your savings. Therefore, it’s crucial to include these expenses in your retirement planning. Annuities offer a reliable solution by providing a steady income to cover healthcare needs.

Understanding Medicare

For most Americans over 65, Medicare serves as the primary health insurance. It provides substantial support but does not cover everything. Notably, Medicare excludes services such as dental, vision, and hearing care. It also involves co-pays and deductibles. Consequently, some retirees opt for additional insurance like Medigap or Medicare Advantage to fill these gaps, although these plans come with additional costs.

Why Annuities Help

Annuities are particularly effective for managing medical expenses in retirement. By converting some of your savings into regular payments, annuities ensure that you always have funds available to meet medical costs.

Consistent Money
One of the key benefits of an annuity is that it delivers a consistent monthly income for life. This reliability is invaluable as it allows you to manage your budget more effectively. With this steady income, you can comfortably handle regular medical expenses and unexpected health issues alike.

Protecting Your Future
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Mastering Retirement Account Diversification

Peace of mind knowing their retirement money is safe.

Comprehensive Strategies to Secure Your Financial Future

Navigating the path to a secure retirement can seem daunting. With numerous investment options, economic volatility, and increasing life expectancies, understanding how to effectively manage your retirement accounts is crucial. Diversifying these accounts is not just wise—it’s necessary. It ensures financial stability and sets you up for a comfortable retirement.

Why Diversification Is Key

Diversification stands as the cornerstone of sound financial planning. It involves spreading your investments across various assets to minimize risk. In retirement planning, this means allocating your savings across different types of retirement accounts. Each type offers unique tax advantages and withdrawal implications. Through diversification, you reduce risk and enhance your potential financial returns.

Understanding Different Retirement Accounts

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Your Wealth: Financial Strategies for a Longer Life

With life expectancies increasing, outliving one’s savings is a significant concern. Annuities, especially those offering lifetime income options, play a critical role in mitigating this risk by ensuring that individuals have a consistent income stream throughout their retirement years.

In an era where medical advancements and healthier lifestyles are pushing life expectancies ever higher, the challenge of ensuring that your wealth lasts as long as you do has become increasingly critical. For many, the solution lies in a financial instrument that is both ancient and misunderstood: the annuity.

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20 Questions to Ask Before Retirement (and Answer)


The thought of retirement can make one excited and anxious. Why have anxiety? Because of the ‘what-ifs’ about the future – the unknowns. You might have questions about retirement and whether it will live up to what you hope for, especially after decades of work.

Now, before you break out the party hats and leave the workplace hustle, make sure that your plan is ready to go. Retirement planning isn’t all about money, although that is a big part of it. Your financial plan should also spell out how you will make the most of your newfound free time. Whether you want to travel, spend time with loved ones, pursue hobbies, relax at your leisure, or do something else, your retirement plan will serve as a roadmap and GPS for keeping things on track.

Here are 20 questions to help ensure you have your retirement ducks in a row. From finances to lifestyle, you can use these questions to frame your overall goals and expectations for your golden years. You have worked hard to reach this point. Now is the time to confirm that you have everything you need to enjoy it fully.

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Living It Up in the Go-Go Years: Enjoying Your Early Retirement


Retirement is the golden age of chillin’, right? No more alarm clocks, no more office politics. Just you, doing what you like on your own time. Seems like one big period of life to take it easy, but then again, retirement isn’t just a long span.

Another way to look at it is in three stages, with early, mid, and later retirement years. The first few years of retirement are what we call the “go-go years.”

And what in the world are the go-go years? Imagine it’s the honeymoon phase of retirement, where your knees still work, and your joints aren’t creaking when you get out of bed. These are the years when you are practically bouncing off the walls with energy and excitement. It’s the retiree version of a kid in a candy store. The world is your playground, and now is the time to make the most of it.

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Unretirement: Making the Most of When You Return to Work in Retirement

Everyone might plan on calling it quits with their work at some point. But what about “unretiring” and going back to work again after leaving the workforce?

Well, you have probably heard of some of the more glamorous instances of unretirement: Tom Brady’s comeback. That cringe-worthy commercial featuring NFL legends Dan Marino, Emmitt Smith, Randy Moss, and Jerry Rice. Even in the entertainment world, where long-time actors like Cameron Diaz are returning to the big screen and other acting work.

Of course, unretirement isn’t just for sports stars and celebrities trying to extend their glory days. In the real world, it’s a growing trend where, for various reasons, people find themselves back in the workforce after saying farewell to the daily grind. Sometimes unretirement is a freely made choice. In other cases, it’s forced or necessary.

Do you find yourself thinking about unretiring? In this article, we will dive into why some people are dragged into it while others choose to unretire for a second-act career, financial necessity, or drive to start a business. If you happen to find yourself in a situation of unretirement, there are steps that you can take to put your best foot forward. We will also talk about what those options can look like.

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The Three Phases of Retirement: How You Can Be Ready Financially


Does your financial plan cover the three phases of retirement? Once you have retired, it’s quite different from your career years. Now is the time to live off the fruits of your work and enjoy life on your own terms. You don’t want to leave your retirement lifestyle up to guesswork or chance. Your plan should make you confident that you will be able to retire well and then stay retired.

All of that said, retirement is a moving target, and it comes with distinct phases. These phases of retirement are:

  • The go-go years
  • The slow-go years
  • The no-go years

The go-go years are when retirees are in good health and able to do what they enjoy. That can be travel or physical activities such as pickleball or golf. The slow-go years are when retirees can still pursue those activities, but their level of involvement slows down a bit. Finally, the no-go years are when retirees have aged and their health has changed. They tend to need more long-term care support and other healthcare supports at this stage.

It’s hard to estimate how long each phase of retirement might last. That will depend on a retiree’s personal health, family history, history of taking care of himself or herself, and more. In this article, we will go over these three phases of retirement, what they might look like for how you spend your money and time, and things to keep in mind as you plan ahead.

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Next Steps to Consider

  • Start a Conversation About Your Retirement What-Ifs

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    Start a Conversation About Your Retirement What-Ifs

    Already working with someone or thinking about getting help? Ask us about what is on your mind. Learn More

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