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Showing posts from July, 2017

To Do Checklist at 5 Years Before Retirement

The five years before retirement are probably the most critical there are in terms of getting ready for the big event. Here’s a quick list of some things to do when you believe you are five years away from retirement. Meet with HR to verify creditable service.  You don’t want any surprises when you are 90 days away from retiring that your eligibility date isn’t what you thought it was.  Another reason is to make sure any military service you want to get credit for is has been added.Envision what retirement “looks like” for you and if you are emotionally/mentally ready for that.  Some people’s identity is very interwoven with their work.  Are you going to be ok not having that be part of your life five days a week? Will your retirement be composed of leisure activities like golfing and gardening or will you volunteer and be active in clubs? Envision yourself in your new life.Maximize your savings until you retire.  You are probably at your earnings peak in these last 5 years. Save as m…

What is the new Fiduciary Rule and how does it affect the investor?

By now, you may have heard about the new Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule.  It has been discussed in various media outlets, including TV and online.  It has certainly caused a lot of discussion in financial circles.  Let’s begin on the meaning of the word “fiduciary”. Fiduciary is someone legally required to act in your best interest.  The DOL passed a new ruling, originally set to take effect April 10, 2017 but was delayed until June 9, 2017, to implement higher standards on investment professionals dealing with retirement accounts.  It may be a surprise to you, but up until now a financial professional was not legally required to act in your best interests.  This gap in ethical service continues on regular investment accounts. You shouldn’t assume someone in the financial industry, a stockbroker or insurance agent for example, is acting as a fiduciary on your behalf.  Up until now, they have been held to a lower standard. One in which they were just required to provide you …

Does someone in their 20s and 30s need a Financial Planner?

There is never a bad time nor is it too early to engage a financial planner. In fact, the earlier the better. Even if you are early in your career and don’t have many assets, you can still benefit from estate planning.  Here are some of the instances where a Financial Planner can help even a young person with limited assets: Importance of a Will. Virtually everyone over 18 needs a will.  If you die “intestate”, meaning not having prepared a will, state law will determine your beneficiaries for you. If you have multiple loved ones, you may want to be the one and not the court that decides how your assets and belongings are split up.  If you have set up your “Payable on Death” (POD), or “Transfer on Death” (TOD) beneficiaries on your financial accounts that is one positive step towards deciding which family members receive your assets without going through court.  Also remember that these PODs or TODs supersede a will’s declarations. Having an Advanced Medical Directives. No one wants …