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There’s an old joke. An elderly man goes to the doctor because his leg hurts. The doctor says, “I’m sorry, I can’t do anything for you. It’s just old age”. To this the elderly man replies, “I think you’re wrong, will you please run some more tests?” The doctor asks the man what makes him so sure his diagnosis is inaccurate. The man says, “There’s nothing wrong with my other leg and it’s exactly the same age!”
As the stock market continues to linger at all-time highs and rising interest rates put pressure on bond prices, nervous investors continue to look for somewhere to invest for income and hopefully some long term principle appreciation.
At the end of May the record flow of money into bonds that began years ago but significantly accelerated in 2008 made an abrupt u-turn based on concerns the Federal Reserve may begin to “taper” its huge asset purchase program called quantitative easing. The Federal Reserve Bank is in the 3rd round of quantitative easing (QE3) which they began in an attempt to stimulate economic growth after lowering short term interest rates to near zero didn’t have the desired affect. The volatility seen in the bond markets the last several weeks is being driven in large part by the fear that when the Federal Reserve stops buying bonds, interest rates will rise.
Establishing an estate plan is an important aspect of a comprehensive and well-rounded financial plan. A good estate plan will help ensure your wishes are carried out if you become incapacitated or die. It will help the people you place in charge of your estate to make appropriate decisions for your care if you are living but unable to handle your own affairs and distribute the things you leave behind according to your wishes. It will also help expedite your estate through probate or possibly avoid it completely.
In 2008 Fortune Small Business Magazine listed Oro Valley 44th on the list of their Top 100 places to live and launch a business. Fortunately for the rest of us that love living in Northwest Pima County (and don’t really like driving south of Orange Grove or east of Oracle), many people have set up shop here over the last couple decades. Further, according to the US Small Business Administration, small businesses account for between 65 and 75 percent of jobs created. I grew up in a family landscape business that, thanks to the hard work of my mom and dad put food on the table, kept a roof over my head, and paid for my 12 years of Catholic School education for me and my sister. So, mom and dad, and every small business owner that grinds it out on a daily basis to make our lives easier, healthier and more enjoyable, thank you and Viva Small Business!
For hundreds if not thousands of years New Year’s has been celebrated. A more recent phenomenon is the New Year’s resolution. According to a 2011 Forbes article by Gretchen Rubin, only 44 percent of Americans make a New Year’s resolution. Further, according to a 2007 study by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol, 88 percent of people that made a New Year’s resolution failed.
In addition to the already daunting task of putting up with men, women face some unique challenges when it comes to retirement planning. According to a recent study conducted by Prudential Financial, women are more likely to be the primary breadwinner and more likely to be single than a generation ago. This is often times not by choice but because of the death of a spouse or divorce. My practice is definitely reflective of this as many of my clients are widowed, divorced, or single women by choice.
If you are seriously thinking about retirement, there are many things that need to be addressed, but one that is often overlooked is identifying what “retirement” means to you. If you are single or a part of a couple, communication and prioritizing goals is key to a happy and less stressful retirement.
Of all the things I talk about with my clients, one of the quickest ways to throw ice water on the conversation is to bring up Long Term Care Insurance. Many people feel long term care insurance is too expensive and they think their kids will care for them in their old age. Some people also confuse the disability insurance they have through work with long term care insurance. Lastly, many people mistakenly think Medicare will pay for their long-term care expenses, which it doesn’t.
Recently, as part of celebrating the State of Arizona’s 100th anniversary, my 7th grade daughter worked on a project at school. The idea was to research the price of several basic food items in 1912 compared to today and determine the percentage increase. This was interesting to me since I do a lot of the shopping for the family and nearly have a coronary over the prices every time I buy groceries!
According to a recent report compiled by the College Board and posted on the website www.savingforcollege.com, the average cost for four years of (in-state) tuition and fees at a public University is approximately $33,500, and costs just go up from there if you select an out-of-state public university or private college. In 18 years, based on the current rate of inflation for education, the $33,500 figure could easily be between $90,000 and $100,000.
There is a lot of debate over when a person should start taking their Social Security Benefit. But, one thing is for sure, Social Security makes up a significant part of just about everybody’s retirement income and careful consideration has to be given to the question… “When should I start my Social Security Benefit”?
As triple digit moves in the stock market have become the “new normal,” the ride to retirement just got a little bumpier. For those of us who suffer from motion sickness, it’s been a little tough as of late!