3 Retirement Moves to Make at Work That Will Pay off in 2018 and Beyond
Fall is the popular time for open enrollment at work, when employers lay out all the ins and outs of their benefit package for the coming year, and leave it to workers to decide if they want to change or update any of their benefit coverage.
When the American College of Financial Services recently quizzed retirement-aged people on the basics of how to make their money last, just 35 percent of men passed the test. As troubling as that is, only 18 percent of women passed.
Avoid These Two Big Retirement Risks When You Land a New Job
When you land a new job you are going to be totally focused on making a great first impression. But I also want you to make sure you take care of your financial future by steering clear of two all-too-common retirement mistakes.
How Seniors Can Take the Bite Out of Dental Costs.
I hope anyone nearing age 65 realizes that Medicare does not cover routine dental procedures. As recently reported in a terrific retirement blog, seniors pay more than $1,100 a year for dental work. But what is most troubling to me is that two years ago the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation reported that one in five Medicare enrollees said the high cost of dental care is a barrier to getting care. That’s dangerous, as not keeping up with dental care can impact your quality of life—if your teeth and gums don’t stay strong-and can lead to illnesses.
It would be easy to say “yes” to long-term care insurance if you didn’t have to come up with new money to pay for it, wouldn’t it? Well, there might just be a way to pull that off by repositioning money you already have.
Why I Hate Guaranteed Acceptance Whole Life Insurance
I was glued to the TV recently watching the news when an advertisement for Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance came on. Whoo boy, did my blood pressure rise. I am not a fan of this type of life insurance.
Why ETFs Are The Best Choice For Your Retirement Investments
You know I am a big believer that a Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is the best way to save for retirement. And for my money, I think Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are an ideal way to invest the money in your IRA.
It’s been a great stretch for investors. Stocks have gained more than 250% in the bull market that stretches all the way back to 2009.
I am always a big believer that dollar cost averaging-investing on a regular basis-is a great strategy for long-term investors. So don’t take what I am about to say as a reason to give up on stocks: Returns over the next seven to 10 years probably won’t be as good as what we’ve had the past seven years.
Social Security Sends Another Lesson On Why Delaying Is So Important
Before the end of October, Social Security will announce the annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) retirement beneficiaries will get for 2017. Or rather, what they won’t get. Because of the way the COLA is calculated the inflation adjustment is expected to be around 0.2%. Sadly, 0.2% will be better than the 2016 COLA: Zero.
How to Deal with a Rate Increase on Your Long-Term Care Insurance Policy
Many of you are asking me what to do when you receive a rate increase on your long-term care insurance policy. You know my advice for years has been to not buy long-term care insurance unless you can afford a 50% rate increase in your lifetime. I never thought I would be discussing a 126% rate increase which is how much some Federal LTC Insurance Program (FLTCIP) policyholders are facing, with an average of 83%. The Federal program policyholders have to make a decision by September 30th so that’s why I’m writing this blog now.
You may have heard or read recently about some high profile retirement plan sponsors being sued by plan participants for high fees in the plan. Financial service firms-yep, folks who run mutual funds-have been hit with lawsuits, as have the plans run by MIT, NYU and Yale.
The Stealth Retirement Move That Can Save You a Bundle
When it comes to planning for a secure retirement I bet you have the major strategies covered:
-Invest in your 401(k) or 403(b) up to point of the match? Check
-Save in a Roth IRA? Check
-Aim to have your mortgage paid off before you retire? Check
-Commit to getting plenty of exercise?
My dear Friends,
If you receive an email that talks about me on CNN quoting something like “Brexit is Destroying the American Economy”, Please DELETE it.
This is an internet scam from something they are calling Global Payday System. They are trying to steal your money. I Do NOT endorse this business. Please beware and report this as SPAM if you receive it.
That $30,000 Wedding Really Costs You $130,000 Or More.
The average cost of a wedding is now more than $30,000. As I have explained in How to Budget for a Wedding, spending even $3,000 on a wedding is a bad move if you have credit card debt, have yet to build a large emergency fund, or aren’t on pace with your retirement savings.
I spend a lot of time helping people work out a plan for overcoming a financial challenge. Quite often the bulk of my work is in getting them into the right frame of mind. Financial problems are so stressful it is completely reasonable to feel anxious or depressed. But the first step in working your way out of a financial fix is to convince yourself you control your future and you have the ability to make it a great future.
Are You Making This Dangerous Retirement Planning Mistake?
I am concerned that many of you are banking on a retirement strategy that may not work out. According to a national survey, more than four in 10 Americans say they plan to keep working past the age of 65.
You know I have long recommended that every household look into obtaining long-term care insurance (LTCi). Given our increasingly long life spans and the fast rising cost of health care, an LTCi policy can be the linchpin of a secure retirement.
And it is doubly important for women to consider. According to the Society of Actuaries, a woman alive at age 65 has a one-in-three chance of still being alive at age 90. And if that 65-year-old woman happens to be in very good health the odds of being alive at 90 rise to more than 40%. In other words, there’s a good chance you could live a very long life.
I don’t know about you, but if I see or hear of one more survey about how panicked most Americans are about their retirement, I will scream. That we have a national fear of retirement preparedness is abundantly clear. What we need now are less surveys and more advice on how to conquer retirement fears. Here are my key steps to start down your road to retirement financial freedom.
As year-end approaches, I know that’s when plenty of you will be sitting down with your manager for a year-end review. I sure hope there’s a pay raise involved.
Given how stingy raises have been since the Great Recession, I want to make sure that you don’t blow it. Literally.
It’s estimated that Americans spend more than $20 billion a year renting space in a self-storage facility. According to the Self Storage Association, the number of households renting out a storage facility has grown 65% over the past 20 years. It’s hard to drive more than a few miles in urban areas and not spy at least one self-storage business (and often more). The aggregate land mass for U.S. storage facilities spans a total of 78 square miles, or more than three times the size of Manhattan.
Please don’t keep your health insurance on autopilot. I know it’s tempting just to ignore the annual “open enrollment” communications from your employer to review your choices, and just stick with the plan you have. That could be a costly mistake. Here are 4 reasons to spend some time reviewing your employer-provided health insurance choices:
Health Insurance: 3 Reasons You Should Pick the HSA Option
About half of large employers now offer a high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP). I know the mere mention of “high deductible” might send your blood pressure skyward, but please listen to me. For many of you, a HDHP may be the smartest health insurance.
What You Need to Know About Social Security “Going Broke.”
You know that I think it is smart to delay taking Social Security as long as possible, so you can then receive the biggest possible Social Security payout. But I often hear from many of you that you are worried this doesn’t make sense, because you stand to lose out because Social Security is “going broke.”
The going broke message is the favored phrase among politicians who are more interested in fear mongering than facts.
A Message for Husbands: Your Wife Should Drive the Retirement Planning
One of the most common things I hear from many couples is that the husband likes investing and planning, and thus wives are all too happy to let him handle the retirement strategizing.
Not because I am doubting the skill and intentions of men. Rather, my concern is that it’s women who typically are the most at risk in terms of retirement security for a very simple fact: Women tend to outlive men.
A recent report that studied the 401(k) savings habits of millions of workers found that one in four of you are not contributing enough to your account to qualify for your employer’s maximum match.
The average annual amount of money left on the table is more than $1,300 a year.
That is nuts.
You know I love, love, love Roth IRAs. One of the prime reasons being that in retirement you will not owe a penny of tax on your withdrawals. That’s quite different from a Traditional IRA where every penny will be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate.
Your Social Security retirement benefit is one of the most valuable pieces of your retirement plan. Not only will it likely account for a large portion of your income when you retire, but it also has an incredible feature: your annual benefits increase with inflation. Your 401(k) and IRAs don’t come with such a great guaranteed inflation-protection feature.
I have said over and over again that as you enter your late 40's to 50's you should look into buying long-term care insurance. But looking and buying are two different things. You should only purchase LTC insurance if you know that you can easily afford the premium at the time of purchase and all the way until you are 81 (which is the average age of needing LTC).
Saving for retirement is a no-brainer. But knowing the smartest ways to do that saving is anything but easy to figure out, given all the choices. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here’s exactly what you should do, in the order I list:
The Two Biggest Mistakes You Can Make When Buying a Car
If you lack the cash to buy a car free and clear, you really need to hear me out on the two worst financing moves you can make. What I am about to tell you can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. And trust me, this is exactly what car dealers and financing companies don’t want you to know:
Do you keep finding yourself with debt that just won't go away? Every time you pay off your credit card, do you feel compelled to run out and charge it back up again? If so, your problem may not be financial at all.
Suze Orman: Don’t put your retirement on a credit card
As the economy slowly recovers, Americans are struggling to get out of credit card debt they amassed during tougher financial days...Out of desperation to stay current, or to rid themselves of their debt, people are looking at their retirement accounts as a cash source. But Suze Orman says that's the biggest mistake you could make.
Saving Money: Suze Orman’s Financial Advice For Baby Boomers
Long-term-care insurance provides a multigenerational benefit: The policyholder is covered, while her adult children are free to spend more of their income on their own kids. Here's what to consider when choosing LTC coverage...
That nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage is encouraging progress for those of us who believe that everyone deserves to have basic civil rights. But, even if every state in the country could pass a similar legislation, it would not be enough.