ADJUSTING YOUR FINANCES IN YOUR 50s

#aging #AdjustingFinances #retirement #investments
Are you in your 50s?
Do you have enough saved, or are you on track to have enough saved, for retirement?
Wes Moss, who writes the Money Matters column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, took on this subject in his March 17, 2019, column. He also is chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors, and has a Money Matters radio show that airs Sunday mornings on WSB radio in Atlanta.
First, Moss talks about the TSL strategy. That stands for taxes, savings and life. He says that for a younger person, 30 percent of your income should go to taxes, 20 percent to savings and the remaining 50 percent for life expenses.
But, when you reach 50, he says, you may want to adjust those percentages to put a bigger percentage into savings.
He also says many people save for their children’s college expenses. But college tuition can be covered through loans, scholarships (and having the child work through college), among other things. But there are no loans to cover your retirement, unless you take out a reverse mortgage on your house.
In short, Moss advises to make saving for a child’s education secondary to saving for your own retirement.
Moss also suggests playing catch-up with your retirement contributions, which the law allows you to do at that age. As for paying off one’s mortgage, as Moss advises, give it some thought before you dump cash into your house. If your interest rate is low, say, 5 percent or less, and you have an investment adviser who routinely can make you a lot more than that every year, it may be wiser to put your cash into other investments rather than your house. The aforementioned reverse mortgage, or a home equity line of credit, may be the only ways to get that cash back out of your house.
That brings us to Moss’ other point: stick with stocks. If you have your retirement nest egg invested in stocks or their derivatives, don’t panic at every downturn and don’t be overly cautious, and grab profits, on every upturn. If you have a good investment adviser, he or she will guide you to investments that are suited to your situation. Adjust as needed, but don’t dump stocks wholesale based on the news.
You may say this is all well and good if you have lots of money. If you can barely cover your taxes and life expenses, how in the world can you save, with your current income? That could be discussed in detail in a different setting, but it boils down to spending less on things that aren’t necessities, and saving more.
There is also another way to add to your income: check out one of the many vehicles out there that allow you to leverage your non-work time, perhaps just a few hours a week. You could potentially dwarf the income from your job eventually. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Meanwhile, in this day and age, your 50s could be a scary time. You’re at the age when your employer may yearn for someone younger , and cheaper, to do your job. Company reorganizations happen frequently, and many people find themselves unexpectedly out of work.
In past generations, people didn’t really start saving for retirement until their 50s. Decades ago, companies cherished their experienced employees. Now, they are seen as a mere cost, in most cases.
You can certainly make adjustments to your retirement plan in your 50s, but it’s better to start a retirement plan much earlier in life. Today, you don’t know when, or at what age, your retirement will come. And, in most cases, it will come, whether you’d planned for it or not.
Peter

NEW RULES FOR RETIREMENT INVESTMENTS

#retirement #investments #NewRulesForRetirementInvestments
Like eating and sleeping, choosing how to invest for retirement is a necessity of life.
The number of options makes the choice more difficult.
What may be good news is that new federal rules encourage brokers and other investment sales folks to make the client’s interest a priority, regardless of how much the broker may lose in fees.
Russell Grantham, a business reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, discussed these new rules in an April 24, 2016, article.
Baby boomers are starting to retire in large numbers, and these new rules are designed to ease the burden of choosing the correct investments for them.
As Grantham’s article points out, though, the new rules may discourage some brokers from dealing with clients that have small nest eggs. It could increase brokers’ costs, he writes.
The rules are among the biggest changes in the financial industry in generations, Grantham writes.
The financial industry sometimes gets a bad reputation. Not everyone in the industry looks out for his or her own interests over his or her clients’ interests.
The bottom line for investors, regardless of how much money they have, is to find someone trustworthy to manage their hard-earned money.
Someone trustworthy will always have your best interests at heart. Someone trustworthy will manage risk according to his client’s tolerance.
Someone trustworthy won’t be calling his clients daily, attempting to generate trades that may or may not be in the client’s best interest. Someone trustworthy won’t steer clients into investments that pay brokers the highest commissions/fees, if they are not in the clients’ best interest.
Also, the financial industry is extremely competitive. Those who work in it must not just make a living, but also must make money. A great way to judge an investment adviser is by how much he or she is making for YOU. Generally, advisers don’t last in the business if their clients are making puny returns, or are sustaining heavy losses.
Know, too, that the financial markets don’t go up in a straight line. There will be some down times throughout any investment market.
But good advisers will get clients’ through the tough times with minimal, if any, losses.
Though the markets don’t generally go up in a straight line, they generally go up over time. Beware the financial adviser who predicts doom, and encourages clients to pull everything out and turn everything to cash. Although it’s nice to have some cash available, cash by itself generates little or no return.
All this discussion about rules for advisers begs another question: how much money do you have for your retirement, and are you investing it properly? If you don’t believe you have enough for your retirement, and don’t know how you are going to get what you need as you age, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. There are many ways to generate extra income, and this is one of the best.
So choose your investment adviser carefully, if you haven’t done so already. Talk to several before you decide. Make sure the person you choose understands how much risk you can stand. Make sure, too, that he or she creates a balanced portfolio for you, and isn’t so conservative that your returns will be puny.
You’ll know by talking to different advisers whether you can trust them. Regardless of the rules they have to live by, trust is the main thing to look for in an adviser. The adviser’s job is not just to make you money, but also give you peace of mind.
Peter

NEW RULES FOR INVESTING: HOW WILL THEY AFFECT YOU?

#retirement #investments #NewRulesForInvesting
Like eating and sleeping, choosing how to invest for retirement is a necessity of life.
The number of options makes the choice more difficult.
What may be good news is that new federal rules encourage brokers and other investment sales folks to make the client’s interest a priority, regardless of how much the broker may lose in fees.
Russell Grantham, a business reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, discussed these new rules in an April 24, 2016, article.
Baby boomers are starting to retire in large numbers, and these new rules are designed to ease the burden of choosing the correct investments for them.
As Grantham’s article points out, though, the new rules may discourage some brokers from dealing with clients that have small nest eggs. It could increase brokers’ costs, he writes.
The rules are among the biggest changes in the financial industry in generations, Grantham writes.
The financial industry sometimes gets a bad reputation. Not everyone in the industry looks out for his or her own interests over his or her clients’ interests.
The bottom line for investors, regardless of how much money they have, is to find someone trustworthy to manage their hard-earned money.
Someone trustworthy will always have your best interests at heart. Someone trustworthy will manage risk according to his client’s tolerance.
Someone trustworthy won’t be calling his clients daily, attempting to generate trades that may or may not be in the client’s best interest.
Also, the financial industry is extremely competitive. Those who work in it must not just make a living, but also must make money. A great way to judge an investment adviser is by how much he or she is making for YOU. Generally, advisers don’t last in the business if their clients are making puny returns, or are sustaining heavy losses.
Know, too, that the financial markets don’t go up in a straight line. There will be some down times throughout any investment market.
But good advisers will get clients through the tough times with minimal, if any, losses.
Though the markets don’t generally go up in a straight line, they generally go up over time. Beware the financial adviser who predicts doom, and encourages clients to pull everything out and turn everything to cash. Although it’s nice to have some cash available, cash by itself generates little or no return.
All this discussion about rules for advisers begs another question: how much money do you have for your retirement, and are you investing it properly? If you don’t believe you have enough for your retirement, and don’t know how you are going to get what you need as you age, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. There are many ways to generate extra income, and this is one of the best.
So choose your investment adviser carefully, if you haven’t done so already. Talk to several before you decide. Make sure the person you choose understands how much risk you can stand. Make sure, too, that he or she creates a balanced portfolio for you, and isn’t so conservative that your returns will be puny.
You’ll know by talking to different advisers whether you can trust them. Regardless of the rules they have to live by, trust is the main thing to look for in an adviser. The adviser’s job is not just to make you money, but also give you peace of mind.
Peter

YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE ALL SET, BUT …

History may judge the years 2007 to 2012, give or take a few years on either end, as the retirement bust years.
People not only lost jobs just before they were about to retire, but also their pensions shrank.
People who thought they were all set for retirement, with a nice, promised pension, got a rude awakening. The monthly benefit on their retirement documentation shrunk considerably.
It was a combination of the economy tanking, and companies contributing less, if anything at all, to their retirement accounts. Added to that, the stock market , which supports most retirement accounts, took a big tumble. Net worth of everything – companies and individuals — had the bottom fall out.
Even the savviest investor could not prevent what happened in those years, short of taking his money out of the financial markets ahead of time. Any investor who withdraws completely is probably not that savvy. Savvy investors take the ups and downs of the market as an expectation, though no one expected what happened in those years.
So the question becomes not who to blame for the mess. There’s plenty of blame to be spread around among Wall Street, government and, yes, individual decisions. But blaming wastes energy that should be focused on recovery.
We have all had to rethink retirement. Some of us have told ourselves we have to work until we die. Some of those folks may have other alternatives, but they are not seeing them.
Certainly, some of us have said we have to work past the age we thought we were going to retire. That’s fine if you are in good health personally. But don’t think for a minute that your job will be there for as long as you want it. Companies reorganize drastically and often. The younger generation of workers, when they retire, may brag about how many reorgs they survived, just as the older generation is thankful for the steady work they had.
Speaking of young people, they may want to think twice about ASSUMING they will survive every reorg. It’s great to believe, or even be told, how good you are at what you do and how your employer cannot possibly live without you.
But, you can’t always see into the future, especially today. The world changes quickly. Companies are constantly looking at ways to work more efficiently. Lots of good people have lost jobs they expected to have for as long as they wanted to work.
How do we avoid the instinct to cast blame and rethink retirement? First, work on you. Make sure you have a good and optimistic attitude. Remember, those who innovate are usually optimists. It’s tough to see the future properly without believing that all, eventually, will be good.
Secondly, think about the things you DON’T like to do – things that make you “uncomfortable,” or so you believe. Give them a try. Then, try them again, and again etc. This will take you out of your comfort zone, where you may have to go, eventually, to survive.
Thirdly, don’t be afraid to look at something different. The people who lament that they thought they were all set, are many of the same people who tell themselves, “oh, I couldn’t possibly do THAT!”
There are many ways to fight this. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. If you leave your comfort zone to look at something new, you may lose the instinct to cast blame for your troubles, and find a way out.
This may not be your dad’s way to retire, but the world has changed. We need to be part of our own solutions, rather than focusing on how we got into trouble.
Think of it this way: the federal government bails out some companies because innocent people would get hurt if they didn’t. But they won’t bail you out as an individual if you get hurt. You have to bail yourself out. You might not only bail yourself out, but prosper in many ways in the process.
Peter