Planning for Diminished Financial Capacity

According to the SEC, “’Diminished financial capacity’ is a term used to describe a decline in a person’s ability to manage money and financial assets to serve his or her best interests, including the inability to understand the consequences of investment decisions.” (Bit.ly/2Mq4i3y) Of all the things we plan for, it’s likely that we’re least interested in and least likely to plan for diminished capacity. The thought of losing one’s mental capacity is, for some, a fate worse than death, but, it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored. According to the World Health Organization, a new case of dementia is diagnosed […]

Should I Refinance My Mortgage?

Although mortgage rates climbed steadily in 2018, they’ve come down since the beginning of the year. According to BankRate.com, current rates for 30-year mortgages are 3.98% nationally (rates posted online as of this May 17th). While you may have a low rate on your current mortgage, you may want to consider evaluating your refinance options to lock in potentially lower rates. How do I know if a refinance makes sense for me? The most common reason to refinance is to reduce your monthly payment. Even with the fees paid to your lender, a large enough decrease in your interest rate […]

Strategies for Investing Cash

The stock markets are at all-time highs and don’t appear to be ready to change course any time soon. If you have a rollover from an old 401k or some saved cash, you may be asking yourself if this is the right time to invest that money. You may want to have your money invested right away so that you don’t miss the potential upside of the market or you may want to wait on some or all of your investing for fear that the market may pull back. When clients come to me with cash to invest, I typically […]

Medicare Basics

My clients often report Medicare as the most confusing aspect of their retirement financial picture. With all of the options available through Medicare, just deciding on which coverage to elect can get someone’s head to spin. Understanding the basics can help you feel more comfortable as you sort through the decision process. In this article, I’ll cover some of the main aspects of Medicare as well as providing some resources where you can learn more. When can you sign up? Most people will become eligible for Medicare at age 65 and can sign up as early as three months prior […]

These Unpredictable Markets

While the past seven years have been a relatively smooth ride for the markets, the past couple of months have been more like riding on a roller coaster. Market volatility such as this can present challenges for investors. Without a clear direction up or down, investors have trouble deciding how and where to invest their money. Some are looking for security and moving their money back into cash and bonds while others are using the down days as opportunities to buy into stocks. Sage Advice – The average investor will find that the old advice could still ring true. Most […]

Long-Term Care Options

Whether you are single or in a committed relationship, it is hard enough to take care of the challenges of day-to-day living without having to worry about planning for the future. Despite your hectic life, you may have already taken the time necessary to plan for retirement and for your life insurance needs. However, not enough people have taken the time to evaluate the need for long-term care. What is long-term care? Long-term care is the service provided by someone helping you manage your day-to-day routine. Typically, this would occur if you could not perform several activities of daily living […]

Employee Benefit Options

It’s getting to be that time of year. If you haven’t already, you should soon receive your 2019 employee benefit options from your employer. These options typically include selecting a health insurance plan, dental, and vision coverage. Your employer may also provide for things such as life insurance, disability insurance, and/or a flexible spending account (FSA). Because you have to wait a full year before you can change your mind, it’s important to take care with your elections. Life insurance – Employers often provide some sort of basic insurance coverage. This could be $50,000 or some multiple of your salary. […]

How to Select the Investments in your 401(k)

Whether they have a 401(k), 403(b), 457, or other employer sponsored retirement plan, one of the first questions people typically ask me is, “How should I invest the money in my retirement plan?” Your investment options are typically limited and often come with little or no advice from a professional. Consult your 401k representative: If you contact your human resources department, they’re likely to provide some fact sheets on the investments in your plan but little beyond that. If you contact the 401k company, they’ll likely do the same. I suggest contacting the plan representative. This is the person who […]

Talking to Your Heirs About Money

One issue for people as they age is communicating with their heirs about the inheritance they could receive. Some people are uncomfortable talking to their heirs about money while others are concerned that their heirs could become lazy while they wait on a windfall. Talking with your children early about money in general and later about the money they might inherit can help your heirs become more responsible with the money they’ll receive. Here are some resources to get you started: This article from Kiplinger’s (Bit.ly/2wYIHJo) does a good job of outlining the importance of these conversations and some steps […]

Market Volatility

Market volatility has returned in 2018. While volatility seems scary, it’s quite normal and healthy. By comparison to the nearly straight-up trajectory of the market the past nine years, the past six months does seem nerve racking. It’s normal – Keep in mind that we’d expect to see a 10% or greater decline (a “correction”) in the market every 12 to 18 months, yet we’ve only seen four such declines since the market started rebounding in March 2009. That’s an average of one correction every 27 months. If for nothing else, we’re due to catch up in volatility after enjoying […]