With the Stock Market Near All-Time Highs, What’s Your Next Move?

Despite the pandemic and its severe financial shockwaves, the US stock market is up significantly over the last 18 months; however, the economy is still technically in a recession. The Business Cycle Dating Committee, a panel that acts as the official referee on the US economy, has not yet named an end date for the 2020 recession. These contradictory messages, combined with rising inflation and increased government debt, lead many to think that we may be on the brink of a major downturn. As wealth managers for decades, we’ve learned that no matter how strange the market may seem at […]

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 does a good job of outlining the importance of these conversations and some steps to […]

Are You Ready to Retire?

We’ve seen an increase in clients asking us if they can afford to retire.  While some could have retired years ago, many are clients who are looking to move up their retirement date.  This sudden interest in retirement is likely due to the pandemic; clients have experienced growth in their net worth from reduced spending combined with a strong stock market and are feeling COVID fatigue.   If you’re also considering retirement in the near future, know the answer to these questions before taking the leap:   What do you want to do in retirement?  The first step that I […]

Social Security Income

When considering Social Security income, most people think it best to take the income as soon as possible.  In most cases, this would be starting their income at age 62.  While this strategy works for some, there are some other options to consider. You can begin receiving individual Social Security benefits anytime between ages 62 and 70. Your benefit amount will differ, however, based on your full retirement age. This is based on your year of birth and ranges from age 66 for those born 1948-1954 to age 67 for those born in 1960+. The maximum benefit depends on the […]

Will this Game Stop?

Summary Smaller investors are making a big impact on Wall Street by joining together to buy companies such as GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry, and Nokia. The targeted buying is hurting Hedge Funds shorting these stocks, creating a short squeeze. The “short squeeze” is helping drive up these companies’ stock prices to astronomical heights. Currently, Hedge Funds are the biggest losers, but if stock prices reverse, there could be a ripple effect. If you’ve been monitoring the news recently, you’re likely to have heard something about a company called GameStop. While there have been further developments this past week, this article will […]

Hopeful and Optimistic

I first wrote about what it was like to work in Human Resources at a hospital during COVID last Spring.  I never thought I would be writing about again six months later.  I think we’ve all learned about ourselves and each other since then.  Hearing daily stories of COVID-related deaths and how many bodies in the morgue has taken its toll.  I had done my best to compartmentalize the horrific tragedies happening in the hospital, and to remain focused on my work.   My ability to do this has eroded over time. I find myself becoming irritable, defensive, and short with […]

Identity Theft

‘Tis the season for identity theft.  According to a recent survey conducted by Experian, 24% of people reported being a victim of identity theft or fraud during the holidays.1  During the holidays, we’re often so distracted while out shopping or searching for bargains online that we let our guard down.  Before you go shopping, take some steps to help protect your identity. Online Data– Be smart when you’re online.  Social media is a great way for thieves to learn more about you.  Take steps to limit the amount of personal information you share (employer, where you’ve lived, family members, etc) […]

Long-Term Care Options

November is long-term care awareness month, so we’re revisiting this challenging subject.  The national average cost for a private room in a nursing care facility costs over $102,000 per year. Depending on the level of your assets and income, you may elect to self-insure, spend down your assets and rely on Medicaid, or purchase long-term care insurance.  Traditional long-term care insurance benefits seem to be decreasing while the cost of coverage increases. Often people with more limited assets and income may rely on Medicaid to cover their long-term care expenses. Whether you are single or in a committed relationship, it […]

Things to Look for When Buying a Retirement Home

Retirees enjoy the freedom to move wherever they desire without a job or young family tying them down to their current location. Retirees often move during retirement, with a decent portion moving out of state. However, there are many things to consider before you book those movers and sell your house. Before selecting your dream retirement home, consider some of these things to help save you time and money down the line. Your Budget:Regardless of age, amenities play an important part in choosing a new home. Make a shortlist of what you need and want. Think about fitness, community activities, proximity, and maintenance. […]

These Are Unusual Times

Last month, I wrote about what it’s been like to work in a hospital during the time of COVID-19. What’s changed since then? I’d say quite a lot. The question really is, of all that has changed, what will stick? Basic change management principles tell us that when we make changes, we “unfreeze” and then “refreeze” after changes have been completed. This basic principle is very simplistic. Once reality sets in, we soon realize refreezing may not be possible depending on the scale and speed of changes. From my perspective, there are two major changes that have rocked all our […]