Retirement Assumptions: What’s Your Legacy Goal?

When you are building out your long term retirement plan, a financial advisor will often have to make many different types of assumptions. I have authored numerous articles around this topic. You need to consider market downside risk, interest rate risk, inflation risk, liquidity risk, tax risk, sequencing risk, and several others. Often, one major mistake made around the discussion regarding building a quality retirement plan is actually having the end in mind. What do you want your legacy to be when you pass on? This is a crucial conversation to have at the onset of your overall comprehensive financial plan. Consider this for a moment. If you tell your financial advisor nothing, he or she will likely build out your retirement plan analysis by using a ‘death age’. From the conversations you have with your planner or from some default number in the financial planning software, you will arrive a set age usually in the 85 to 90 range. ...

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5 Ways To Cut Down Your Cell Phone Bill

Many of the clients I sit down with tell me how their basic bills continue to rise year over year.   Two of the main monthly costs that keep going up and up for many families are the cable bill and the cell phone bill.   Since mobile companies offer so many different types of plans with minutes, data, texting, and other additional options, it’s important that you review your family cell phone bill each year to see how you can keep costs to a minimum.   Here are five ways you can potentially cut down on your cell phone bill. Who Is Your Top Ten?- Most of the mobile phone companies will offer some type free minute program around your top ten friends and family you call the most.   Between my phone, my wife’s phone, and the two phones my daughters have, we checked to see which numbers were called the most so we could access the most amounts of free minutes.    ...

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Suze Orman’s New Prepaid Debit Card – Is it really a good thing for consumers?

It’s official.   Suze Orman is now in the game of selling financial products to consumers.    This past week she launched her new card called “The Approved Card” which is supposed to be a low cost alternative to other pre-paid debit cards in the market place.    While Suze gets on television to espouse the latest and greatest ways to make good decisions for your financial future, is a prepaid debit card something consumers need to make their financial picture better? Let me remind you some important notes about Suze Orman.  First and foremost that she isn’t a licensed financial advisor.    In fact, she hasn’t had a securities license since May of 1991.   There are tens of thousands of hard working licensed financial advisors out there trying to help clients every day.   While she spends countless numbers of hours on television trying to tell consumers to stay away from ‘high-priced’ products and avoiding paying people fees and/or commissions, it’s ironic that she ...

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Personal Finance 101 – Your Benefits Package At Work: The Extras

One of the most overlooked parts of an overall financial plan is the benefits package you receive from your employer.   Last week I reviewed the area of disability insurance and how to best protect your overall income.    Depending on the size of the company where you are employed, you will find many different types of unique benefits.   Each of these benefits can be easy to gloss over come open enrollment season, but analyzing your overall budget and how these benefits fit in with your plan can be paramount to reaching overall success.  Here are handful extra benefits you may have that should be examined. Legal Plan – A basic legal plan through your employee benefits package can cover many items including legal consultations, wills (including certain types of trusts), living wills, powers of attorneys, deeds, and potentially more based upon the type of overall plan.   If you carefully consider the years you may need these types of legal services, it ...

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