financial advisers http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7380/all en-US What You Should Ask Your Financial Adviser at Your Annual Meeting http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-should-ask-your-financial-adviser-at-your-annual-meeting <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-should-ask-your-financial-adviser-at-your-annual-meeting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_communication_connection_people_concept_0.jpg" alt="Business Communication Connection People Concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The decision to work with a financial adviser is not a one-and-done type of deal. You need to stay engaged and informed. While you probably covered most of your key financial questions in your first meeting or two, you should continue to meet at least on an annual basis. Here are some important questions to explore when you do.</p> <h2>Is my investment mix still appropriate?</h2> <p>When your adviser first put your financial plan together, he or she probably had you fill out a risk tolerance questionnaire or asked you questions directly. That information, coupled with your investment time frame, helped determine your portfolio's optimal asset allocation &mdash; the mix of stocks and bonds that's generally best for someone in your situation.</p> <p>But your situation is ever changing. You're getting older, which could spell the need to make your portfolio a bit more conservative. Or changing market conditions might reveal something about your risk tolerance that the questionnaire couldn't catch. There's nothing like a real market downturn to find out just how risk-tolerant you really are.</p> <p>So, one key question to keep on the table is whether your portfolio is allocated appropriately. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-basics-of-asset-allocation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Basics of Asset Allocation</a>)</p> <h2>How will you help me navigate the next bear market?</h2> <p>This question could just as easily be, &quot;How will you help me navigate the next <em>bull</em> market?&quot; It depends on where we are in the market cycle. At the moment, we're still in the midst of a very long-running bull. But just as surely as night follows day, bear markets follow bull markets. President Kennedy once said, &quot;The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.&quot; Right now is a good time to talk about your adviser's plan for the bear market to come.</p> <p>When the market changes direction, are you expected to grit your teeth and ride out the storm? Or does your adviser plan to make changes to your investment holdings? If so, what changes will be made and what will trigger the need to make them? If your adviser plans to make adjustments, hopefully he or she will base them on clear, objective criteria. Make sure you understand them.</p> <p>This is all about expectations management. The better you prepare yourself for challenging market conditions and the actions your adviser may take to steer your investments through those conditions, the better you'll be able to sleep at night when they appear. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-investment-truths-to-remember-when-the-stock-market-is-down?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Investment Truths to Remember When the Stock Market Is Down</a>)</p> <h2>What if a bear market hits at the start of my retirement?</h2> <p>If you're within 10 years of retirement, it's not too early to ask this question. For the unprepared, a bear market that hits right at the start of retirement can be devastating. This is why some advisers recommend taking a &quot;bucket approach.&quot; One bucket contains cash, or very conservatively invested money. It should contain enough to cover three to five years' worth of the living expenses that your adviser predicts you'll have once you've spent your monthly payouts from Social Security or other guaranteed income sources. The other bucket is more traditionally invested.</p> <p>When the market is in decline, you use the first bucket to draw money for living expenses. That way, you can avoid selling more volatile investments while they're falling or recovering. When the market is growing again, you draw from that bucket and also use it to replenish your cash bucket.</p> <p>What's your adviser's perspective on this approach? What else does he or she recommend if the start of your retirement coincides with a market downturn?</p> <h2>What's my Social Security contingency plan?</h2> <p>Your financial plan surely includes an assumption about the age when you plan to take Social Security. If you intend to wait at least until your full retirement age (67 for anyone born in 1960 or later), what contingency plan does your adviser recommend in case you're not able to wait that long?</p> <p>Many of today's retirees left the workforce earlier than they expected due to medical problems, the need to care for a loved one, or a corporate downsizing. Your plan should include a contingency in case something similar happens to you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-for-a-forced-early-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Plan for a Forced Early Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>Should I consider an annuity at some point?</h2> <p>An <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-you-dont-run-out-of-money-in-retirement?ref=internal" target="_blank">immediate annuity</a> purchased upon retirement or shortly thereafter could provide some invaluable peace of mind, especially if it covers much or all of your essential living expenses. Generally, what does your adviser think of immediate annuities? And how does he or she recommended sorting through the myriad decisions related to annuities, such as: whether to base benefits on <em>your</em> life only or your spouse's as well, whether to include an inflation rider, whether to include a &quot;period certain&quot; provision whereby benefits would continue being paid to your spouse or heirs even after your death.</p> <p>What annuity companies does your adviser recommend and will he or she earn a commission from the sale of an annuity provided by one of those companies? Are there other annuities available to you that may offer better terms but no commission to your adviser?</p> <p>Also, what does your adviser think of <em>longevity annuities</em>? This type of annuity helps protect against the financial risk of a long life. You might purchase it for a lump sum when you are 65 or 70, with benefits not kicking in until you are 80 or 85. Should you plan to purchase one?</p> <p>Just because you're working with a financial adviser doesn't mean you can think of yourself as having outsourced your financial life. Stay involved, see it as a partnership, and keep asking informed questions.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-you-should-ask-your-financial-adviser-at-your-annual-meeting&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520You%2520Should%2520Ask%2520Your%2520Financial%2520Adviser%2520at%2520Your%2520Annual%2520Meeting.jpg&amp;description=What%20You%20Should%20Ask%20Your%20Financial%20Adviser%20at%20Your%20Annual%20Meeting"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20You%20Should%20Ask%20Your%20Financial%20Adviser%20at%20Your%20Annual%20Meeting.jpg" alt="What You Should Ask Your Financial Adviser at Your Annual Meeting" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-should-ask-your-financial-adviser-at-your-annual-meeting">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring">5 Details Your Financial Adviser May Be Ignoring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you">5 Questions Your Financial Adviser Should Ask You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-a-financial-planner">Do You Need a Financial Planner?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner">3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-financial-advisers-wish-you-knew-about-retirement">7 Things Financial Advisers Wish You Knew About Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance annuities asset allocation contingency plans financial advisers financial planners investments market downturns questions retirement social security Tue, 17 Apr 2018 08:30:09 +0000 Matt Bell 2125602 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Retirees Can Spring Clean Their Finances http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-retirees-can-spring-clean-their-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-retirees-can-spring-clean-their-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior_couple_paying_bills_online_at_home.jpg" alt="Senior couple paying bills online at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you've finally made the jump out of the working world and into blissful retirement. Congratulations! If you've been careful in your financial planning, you should have plenty of money to sustain yourself for a long time and have a happy post-work life. But even the most well-off retirees could benefit from re-examining their financial situation.</p> <p>Here are a few ways retirees can get their finances spic and span this spring.</p> <h2>1. Check your spending</h2> <p>After you've spent a large portion of your life amassing a large retirement fund, you may feel like your days of watching every dollar are over. But it's still important to make sure your expenses aren't higher than what your savings can afford. Now that you are home instead of heading to the office every day, you may be spending more on utilities. You may have unreimbursed expenses relating to caring for your grandchildren. That African safari trip may have cost you more than expected.</p> <p>If you have an annuity or are making regular withdrawals in retirement, it's important to avoid spending more than those payments. Otherwise, you may find yourself lacking in funds down the road. You may be fortunate to live for many more years, but you don't want to go broke along the way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a>)</p> <h2>2. Meet with a financial adviser</h2> <p>Even retirees who have plenty of money and a good financial plan can benefit from a checkup with an adviser. A good financial planner can help you assess whether your retirement savings are still on track to last and if there are any necessary tweaks. An adviser can also help walk you through any changes to tax laws and explain any changes to the investment landscape. Once you retire, don't just put your head in the sand and assume your money will last as long as you do. A periodic financial check-in with an expert can be hugely valuable to anyone seeking the best retirement possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner</a>)</p> <h2>3. Assess your withdrawals</h2> <p>Once you reach age 70 &frac12;, you may be required to make minimum withdrawals from your retirement accounts. The ultimate size of these withdrawals &mdash; and whether you decide to start withdrawing sooner &mdash; will determine how much you have to live on, and how much you'll have left in your accounts. If you are taking withdrawals already, take some time to determine whether the amount taken out each month is sufficient or too much. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-financial-penalties-every-retiree-should-avoid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Financial Penalties Every Retiree Should Avoid</a>)</p> <h2>4. Re-examine your will</h2> <p>You remember filling out a will many years ago, but do you remember what it says? Do you still agree with the directives regarding who gets your assets when you pass? These aren't pleasant things to think about, but your family will appreciate it if your wishes are made clear. It may even make sense to discuss this with your children and other family members so there are no surprises or acrimony later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-need-to-update-your-will?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Times You Need to Update Your Will</a>)</p> <h2>5. Rebalance your portfolio</h2> <p>If you are retired, your investment portfolio should be geared more toward preserving income than growing it. It's OK to own some stocks, but it makes sense to also mix in some bonds, cash, and other more conservative investments. You may think your portfolio is optimized for retirement, but there's a chance it may have gotten out of balance. This is especially true over the last few years when stocks have performed very well.</p> <p>Everyone, not just retirees, is encouraged to rebalance their portfolios every year. If you haven't taken a hard look at your investments in a while, take the time to see if some smart buying and selling will get you back on the right track. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a>)</p> <h2>6. Do a deep dive into your charitable giving</h2> <p>You may finally be in a position to be generous with your money. But are you being smart and strategic about how you are giving to charity?</p> <p>Charitable donations are not only a wonderful thing to do, they can help you financially by saving you on taxes. If you itemize tax deductions, charitable donations can reduce your tax bill. Donating shares of stock to a charity can help you avoid capital gains taxes. If you are considering donating to charity, come up with a smart plan to support the causes you love as part of a broader tax savings strategy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good for You</a>)</p> <h2>7. Assess your health insurance situation</h2> <p>Older Americans can benefit from Medicare, but you may not be eligible if you retire early. And even if you do get Medicare, that doesn't cover every medical expense. Most retirees find that they need to purchase a Medicare supplement plan, as well as additional insurance for eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental work, and other health needs. You'll also need to consider whether long-term care insurance is right for you. Don't assume you are properly insured just because you are eligible for Medicare. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Sense of the Different Parts of Medicare</a>)</p> <h2>8. Hit the gym and eat better</h2> <p>Exercising may not seem like a financial decision, but in many ways it is. Getting and staying healthy will not only help you enjoy retirement more, but it could help reduce medical bills that may not be covered by insurance. Work to lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and make better lifestyle choices. You may find yourself not only healthier, but wealthier too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-invest-in-your-health?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Health</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-ways-retirees-can-spring-clean-their-finances&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Ways%2520Retirees%2520Can%2520Spring%2520Clean%2520Their%2520Finances.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20Retirees%20Can%20Spring%20Clean%20Their%20Finances"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Ways%20Retirees%20Can%20Spring%20Clean%20Their%20Finances.jpg" alt="8 Ways Retirees Can Spring Clean Their Finances" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-retirees-can-spring-clean-their-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-financial-advisers-hear-most-often">8 Questions Financial Advisers Hear Most Often</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-mistakes-diy-investors-make">9 Costly Mistakes DIY Investors Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-money-in-retirement">5 Myths About Money in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser">11 Secrets You Need to Tell Your Financial Adviser</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-struggles-nobody-talks-about-and-how-to-beat-them">5 Retirement Struggles Nobody Talks About — And How to Beat Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement charity financial advisers financial planning health care money moves rebalancing spending spring cleaning taxes Wed, 28 Mar 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 2119356 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Safeguard Your Financial Future With Just $200 http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wining_the_lottery.jpg" alt="Wining the lottery" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes it is a series of small decisions that can make a big difference in our lives. This is certainly true when it comes to protecting our financial assets.</p> <p>Building a high net worth isn't just about generating wealth. It's also about protecting what you have and avoiding disaster. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to put armor around your finances that won't cost you a lot.</p> <p>Check out these ways to safeguard your financial future for $200 or less.</p> <h2>1. Get renters or homeowners insurance</h2> <p>You can protect nearly all of your belongings from theft, fire, and many other bad events by paying a monthly insurance premium that is often less than $200. Homeowners insurance can protect you from lawsuits, disasters, and other things you might not expect. If you don't own the place you live, your belongings can be protected for less than $20 a month with renters insurance.</p> <p>Bad things can happen. We all want to pinch pennies, but insurance is an expense we should all try to budget for if we want to avoid financial tragedy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters' Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>2. Get life insurance</h2> <p>If you are married and your spouse earns an income, would you be able to make ends meet if they suddenly passed away?</p> <p>Life insurance will replace any lost income, and it's not very expensive to have a policy. With term life insurance, you pay a fixed monthly or annual premium to be covered for a specific amount over the course of a specific term. For example, you might purchase $1 million in coverage for a 20-year term. In most cases, you can get a very good life insurance policy for under $200 per month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Term vs Whole Life Insurance: Here's How to Choose</a>)</p> <h2>3. Contribute to a retirement account</h2> <p>If you open a Roth IRA, you can contribute up to $5,500 each year and invest in almost anything. Since money contributed to a Roth IRA is taxed upfront, all future withdrawals are tax-free. If you have $200 a month, this will get you nearly halfway to that maximum contribution. A $200 monthly contribution over several decades could result in $1 million or more when you retire.</p> <p>You may also choose to contribute to a 401(k) plan if your employer offers it. Let's say you're earning $40,000 annually, and set aside and invest $200 per month, or 6 percent of your income. And let's say your employer matches half that. That comes out to $3,600 annually, which can grow to well over a million when you retire. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both?ref=seealso" target="_blank">401K or IRA? You Need Both</a>)</p> <h2>4. Craft a will</h2> <p>Having a will is especially important if you have a family and a lot of assets. A will offers guidance as to who gets your financial assets after you pass away, as well as who is responsible for any dependent children you leave behind. If something happens to you, you need to know that the people who care about you will be taken care of. The good news is that it's fairly easy to write a will and it can be done cheaply.</p> <p>LegalZoom and similar online services will allow you to file a will for as little as $69. Even if you go through an attorney, you may only spend a few hundred dollars. A will is a good investment, because without one, your family members may be stuck with astronomical legal bills to sort out the ensuing confusion after your death. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-happens-if-you-dont-leave-a-will?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What Happens If You Don't Leave a Will</a>)</p> <h2>5. Meet with a financial adviser</h2> <p>For $200, you are unlikely to get a financial adviser to meet with you regularly or manage your investments themselves. But, there are fee-only advisers who would charge that much for an hour or so, which is enough time to get some basic advice and determine if you are on the right track financially. Periodic meetings with a fee-only adviser can help you develop a simple financial plan and identify a few good investments. These sessions could pay for themselves easily in the long run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Adviser</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Ways%2520to%2520Safeguard%2520Your%2520Financial%2520Future%2520With%2520Just%2520%2524200.jpg&amp;description=5%20Ways%20to%20Safeguard%20Your%20Financial%20Future%20With%20Just%20%24200"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Ways%20to%20Safeguard%20Your%20Financial%20Future%20With%20Just%20%24200.jpg" alt="5 Ways to Safeguard Your Financial Future With Just $200" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-critical-money-mistakes-people-make-in-their-40s">7 Critical Money Mistakes People Make in Their 40s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make">9 Money Moves You&#039;re Never too Old to Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-rules-every-working-adult-should-know">10 Money Rules Every Working Adult Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-estate-planning-questions-everyone-should-ask">5 Estate Planning Questions Everyone Should Ask</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance $200 estate planning financial advisers health insurance homeowners insurance life insurance protecting the future retirement Mon, 26 Mar 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2114256 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions Your Financial Adviser Should Ask You http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mid_adult_woman_with_tablet_smiling_at_mature_colleague.jpg" alt="Mid adult woman with tablet smiling at mature colleague" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're looking for the right financial planner, you are essentially interviewing someone to work for you. Any hiring manager will tell you that a prospective hire who has no questions about the job during the interview is not well prepared to become an employee. The same is true for your prospective financial adviser. If the entire meeting is only about them answering your questions, you don&rsquo;t have the full story on whether or not this will be a good fit.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why you should expect to hear the following questions from an adviser before you decide to entrust your financial future with them.</p> <h2>1. What are your financial goals and objectives?</h2> <p>If you don&rsquo;t know where you&rsquo;re going, it will be tough to know how to get there. A financial adviser who asks you this question will not only help you better understand and articulate your goals, but they&rsquo;ll also be in a much better position to help you achieve them.</p> <p>This is also a good way to help you and your adviser understand your values, needs, and reasonable expectations. If you simply say you want to prepare for retirement and save a little for your kids&rsquo; college funds, your adviser should dig a little deeper to help you put specifics and numbers to your goals, so that you don&rsquo;t find yourself saving for a goal you don&rsquo;t really want. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Details Your Financial Adviser May Be Ignoring</a>)</p> <h2>2. What are your biggest financial concerns right now?</h2> <p>We all carry some sort of financial stress, and an important part of your adviser&rsquo;s job is to help you arrange your finances to minimize that stress. Letting your adviser know that you are regularly losing sleep over your debt will help them recognize that getting that debt paid off is an important goal. Even if it might make better sense on paper to focus on investing while paying off debt slowly, tackling the debt more aggressively will be more beneficial to your mental wellbeing.</p> <p>While many advisers will ask you to fill out some sort of risk assessment questionnaire to help determine what kind of investor you are, it&rsquo;s important for them to also understand the more day-to-day type of financial thinker you are. The goal of financial planning is helping you live well on the money you have, both today and in the future, and the best financial planners recognize that they can help you by addressing your most pressing concerns.</p> <h2>3. What are your biggest nonfinancial concerns right now?</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s important to remember that money does not exist in a vacuum. The nonfinancial issues that are causing you stress will also affect your financial life, so it&rsquo;s important to talk through those issues, as well. That could include your concerns about your child&rsquo;s education or your parents&rsquo; declining health, or your concerns that you don&rsquo;t spend enough time with your family. Your financial adviser can help you figure out what aspects of your life could improve and how financial planning can help. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Secrets You Need to Tell Your Financial Adviser</a>)</p> <h2>4. Where do you expect to be in five years?</h2> <p>This is a common job interview question, and it&rsquo;s also a good question to hear from your financial adviser. So often, we think of financial planning as being solely about retirement and estate planning, but there are any number of important life milestones long before you reach the end of your career. Knowing where you&rsquo;d like to be in the near future &mdash; and what upcoming potential issues you may be facing &mdash; can help you to determine what goals to set for yourself and with your financial adviser.</p> <h2>5. What do you expect to get out of this relationship?</h2> <p>Unmet expectations are the root of bad feelings and resentment. If you expect your financial adviser to be there for your debt payoff journey, tax questions, retirement planning, estate planning, and college savings, you&rsquo;ll be sorely disappointed if your adviser is only planning on chatting with you once a year about how your retirement investments are doing. Similarly, if your adviser is usually very hands-on while you are happy to DIY anything that you can do on your own, you might find them too invasive when they make recommendations you don&rsquo;t feel you need.</p> <p>Laying out the expectations on both sides for how the relationship will work can help you determine if the adviser you&rsquo;re meeting with will take care of your needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner</a>)</p> <h2>What to do if you don&rsquo;t hear these questions</h2> <p>While many good financial advisers will ask you these sorts of questions during your initial interview, it&rsquo;s not necessarily a given that <em>every</em> good financial adviser will think to ask them. That means you risk turning away a financial adviser who would be a good fit just because they didn&rsquo;t ask these questions.</p> <p>It can often be up to the client to take the bull by the horns. If your prospective adviser hasn&rsquo;t asked deep getting-to-know-you questions, let them know that you would like to discuss these issues. Come right out and explain your financial goals and objectives, your concerns, and your expectations. This will prompt a productive discussion with a good planner who just hasn&rsquo;t thought to ask these questions, and will be dismissed or minimized by a planner who isn&rsquo;t actually interested in helping you.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Questions%2520Your%2520Financial%2520Adviser%2520Should%2520Ask%2520You.jpg&amp;description=5%20Questions%20Your%20Financial%20Adviser%20Should%20Ask%20You"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Questions%20Your%20Financial%20Adviser%20Should%20Ask%20You.jpg" alt="5 Questions Your Financial Adviser Should Ask You" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-should-ask-your-financial-adviser-at-your-annual-meeting">What You Should Ask Your Financial Adviser at Your Annual Meeting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring">5 Details Your Financial Adviser May Be Ignoring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner">3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200">5 Ways to Safeguard Your Financial Future With Just $200</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-goals-for-every-age">Saving Goals for Every Age</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance financial advisers financial planners goals hiring interviews milestones questions retirement Wed, 20 Dec 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2073761 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/realtor_agent_presenting_a_new_project_property_on_tablet_pc.jpg" alt="Realtor agent presenting a new project property on tablet pc" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hiring a financial planner should be something you give a great deal of thought to. You will be trusting this person to guide you through major financial decisions and help you reach your life's goals. So why would you settle for the random financial planner who passed out business cards at a work event, or the first one you found on Yelp? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-to-hire-a-financial-planner-or-a-financial-adviser?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Who to Hire: A Financial Planner or a Financial Adviser?</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, the decisions that you ought to spend the most time on &mdash; like which financial planner to hire &mdash; are often the ones that you hurry through. It can feel overwhelming to figure out how to vet multiple financial planners in order to find the best fit for your needs, so you end up following the path of least resistance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Adviser</a>)</p> <p>Before you find yourself settling for a financial planner, consider the following.</p> <h2>1. Not all financial planners are created equal</h2> <p>There are many different types of financial advisers and planners, and only some of the titles that various financial professionals can use are regulated in any way. When you meet with someone calling themselves a financial planner, you could be sitting across the desk from a Certified Financial Planner, an insurance agent, a registered representative, or a registered investment adviser. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-5-questions-before-deciding-on-a-financial-advisor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Ask These 5 Questions Before Deciding On a Financial Advisor</a>)</p> <p>You need to understand what each of these titles mean so that you know what kinds of advice to expect from each type of planner.</p> <h3>Financial planner</h3> <p>This is the most loosely defined of all types of advisers, since there is no regulatory body that oversees self-proclaimed financial planners. However, if you meet a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), you know that they have completed an education requirement, passed an examination, have at least three years of experience, and have agreed to the CFP Board's standard of ethics. In addition, CFPs have a fiduciary duty to put clients' interests above their own.</p> <p>Since financial planning has such a loose definition, you can find a financial planner who can help you with any number of personal finance goals &mdash; from retirement planning, to general budgeting, to saving for college, to estate planning. The best financial planners embrace this jack-of-all-trades aspect of their profession and strive to help their varied clients reach all of their financial goals.</p> <h3>Insurance agent</h3> <p>An insurance agent has been licensed within their state to sell life insurance products, including everything from traditional life insurance to annuities. Some financial planners are also licensed as insurance agents, which means they can give you general financial advice, as well as sell you insurance products.</p> <p>The thing to remember about insurance agents is that they will generally recommend an insurance product to meet whatever needs you have. As long as you are in the market for such a product &mdash; whether it's life insurance, an annuity, long-term care insurance, or disability insurance &mdash; this can be a great fit. Just make sure you are not seeking general financial advice from someone who is only licensed as an insurance agent.</p> <h3>Registered representative</h3> <p>These advisers, also known as stockbrokers, generally work for or are affiliated with a broker-dealer &mdash; a company or firm that trades securities for clients.</p> <p>Since registered representatives work for a particular broker-dealer, they are often advised by their companies as to which stocks to recommend, which products to sell, and which investment strategies to follow, although that does not preclude them from giving you good advice. Just remember that registered representatives often work on a commission basis, so it's in your best interest to always ask how your adviser is compensated.</p> <h3>Registered investment adviser</h3> <p>An RIA's primary function is to provide advice to clients on the best way to manage the moving parts of their complex finances. These types of advisers offer both investment advice and portfolio-management services. They are also among the most regulated of financial advisers. Registered investment advisers tend to work with extremely wealthy clients who have very complex financial situations.</p> <h3>What to do</h3> <p>Ask your prospective financial planner what licenses and certifications they hold. This will help you to understand exactly what type of adviser you are interviewing and will give you a sense of how well their expertise matches with your needs.</p> <h2>2. Compensation can be confusing</h2> <p>Different types of financial professionals are paid in different ways &mdash; and the compensation is not always transparent for the client. That's why you need to know upfront exactly how your financial planner will be paid for their time. Otherwise, you risk paying far more for their advice than you may have wanted.</p> <p>In general, there are three ways that a financial adviser can be paid.</p> <h3>Commission</h3> <p>Advisers who get paid on a commission only make money when you purchase a particular product through them. The main issue with commissions is that they can cause your adviser to have a conflict of interest &mdash; they may become more incentivized by earning a commission than making sure you have an appropriate plan and product for your financial goals. That said, there's nothing wrong with working with a commission-based adviser, as long as you understand exactly how they will be paid based on the various products offered.</p> <h3>Fee-only</h3> <p>These advisers are paid directly by their clients, which means their advice may be more objective than that of commission-based advisers. However, you will still need to know exactly how they calculate their fee, since it may be taken as a percentage of your account value, as an hourly rate, or as a flat fee.</p> <h3>Fee-based</h3> <p>Fee-based advisers are not the same as fee-only advisers. These advisers are compensated directly by their clients <em>and</em> through commissions from the sales or recommendation of products.</p> <h3>What to do</h3> <p>Ask any prospective financial planners to explain to you exactly how they are compensated. If all you hear is that you don't need to worry about payment, it's time to walk away. Generally, the only reason your adviser will harp on the fact that you pay nothing out-of-pocket is because they want to conceal their sales incentives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-you-need-to-fire-your-financial-planner?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Signs You Need to Fire Your Financial Planner</a>)</p> <h2>3. Investment strategies can vary a great deal</h2> <p>Some investors like to chase returns and are willing to take some big risks for potentially big rewards. Others prefer to maintain their principal and invest more passively for slow long-term gains. While any financial adviser should be able to accommodate the investment strategy that works best for your risk tolerance and timeline, it's important that your adviser respects and understands your basic investment philosophy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-the-investing-style-thats-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Find the Investing Style That's Right for You</a>)</p> <p>Though there are a number of different investment strategies, these are some of the most common:</p> <h3>Buy and hold</h3> <p>This is a long-term investment strategy where an investor purchases company shares or funds and holds them for a long time, counting on the long-term overall increases in the market over time.</p> <h3>Market timing</h3> <p>This active investment strategy is based on the idea that you can buy shares or stocks when they are priced low and sell them when they are priced high. Since this strategy hinges on being able to predict what the market will do, it is very risky.</p> <h3>Dollar cost averaging</h3> <p>With this strategy, you invest an equal amount of money regularly into a portfolio. Since the market fluctuates, sometimes your regular investment will buy more shares because the shares have gone down in value &mdash; and sometimes the investment will buy fewer shares because each share costs more. This strategy helps to reduce the risk of losing a large lump sum of money in a downturn. And since you're investing gradually, it may be a way to ease any nervousness you have about getting into the stock market. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-dollar-cost-averaging-the-right-strategy-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Dollar Cost Averaging the Right Strategy for You?</a>)</p> <h3>Value vs. growth trading</h3> <p>Value traders try to identify stocks that are undervalued, and therefore have the potential to rise once the market catches on to their worth. Value stocks tend to pay dividends. Growth traders, on the other hand, are looking at companies that are growing faster than others. They offer a higher upside potential, but are also riskier than value stocks and don't usually pay dividends.</p> <h3>What to do</h3> <p>Even if you are not sure of your own investment philosophy, it's a good idea to ask any prospective planners to explain what they consider to be important in investing. Not only will this help you to determine if you are a good fit with the adviser, it can also help you better understand the reasoning behind various investment strategies. If any aspect of the adviser's answer to this question is unclear, ask them to explain. Better to feel foolish because you are asking questions than to feel foolish because you lost your shirt.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F3%2520Reasons%2520to%2520Be%2520Picky%2520When%2520Hiring%2520a%2520Financial%2520Planner.jpg&amp;description=3%20Reasons%20to%20Be%20Picky%20When%20Hiring%20a%20Financial%20Planner"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/3%20Reasons%20to%20Be%20Picky%20When%20Hiring%20a%20Financial%20Planner.jpg" alt="3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring">5 Details Your Financial Adviser May Be Ignoring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-should-ask-your-financial-adviser-at-your-annual-meeting">What You Should Ask Your Financial Adviser at Your Annual Meeting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you">5 Questions Your Financial Adviser Should Ask You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-5-questions-before-deciding-on-a-financial-advisor">Ask These 5 Questions Before Deciding On a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-your-financial-planner-isnt-telling-you-about-retirement">5 Things Your Financial Planner Isn&#039;t Telling You About Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance brokers commissions conflict of interest fee-based fiduciary financial advisers financial planners insurance agents investment philosophy vetting Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:30:09 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2064403 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Details Your Financial Adviser May Be Ignoring http://www.wisebread.com/5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mature_couple_meeting_with_financial_advisor.jpg" alt="Mature Couple Meeting with Financial Advisor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>All financial advisers are not created equal. And all financial advice &mdash; including advice recommended by top economists and financial experts &mdash; may not be the best advice for you.</p> <p>Your financial plan should encompass your complete financial picture, including your goals and priorities. It should include planning for your children, your spouse, aging parents, long-term care, death, loss of income, and so much more. But just because these things <em>should</em> be included in your plan doesn't mean your adviser is automatically doing so.</p> <p>Here are five key things your financial adviser may ignore or omit telling you.</p> <h2>1. He or she is not a financial fiduciary</h2> <p>The term financial adviser is becoming increasingly ambiguous. Due to the complex rules that determine who can call themselves a &quot;financial adviser,&quot; many professionals who are unqualified to give financial advice are unfairly operating under this label.</p> <p>Benjamin Brandt, a North Dakota financial adviser and host of the podcast <em>Retirement Starts Today Radio</em>, recommends that you only take advice from and follow a financial plan created by a qualified fee-only financial fiduciary. Fee-only fiduciaries are paid a flat fee that ensures they don't earn commissions on investment sales. Since they don't depend on commissions from sales, you won't have to question whether a fiduciary adviser is operating with your best interest at heart.</p> <p>To ensure you are working with a true financial fiduciary, Brandt recommends checking the adviser's credentials using the Paladin Registry, which offers a <a href="http://www.paladinregistry.com/research/credentials-financial-certifications" target="_blank">database of financial adviser designations</a> that can help determine if the adviser holds a professional designation (CFP, CPA, ChFC, and CFA) versus one they may have purchased online. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/investment-advice-you-should-never-hear-from-your-financial-advisor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Investment Advice You Should Never Hear From Your Financial Adviser</a>)</p> <h2>2. Your complete financial picture</h2> <p>Understanding your complete financial picture &mdash; including where you are currently and your future aspirations &mdash; is key in developing a true financial plan that is beneficial.</p> <p>According to Brandt, if a financial adviser shows you a glossy sales brochure and offers you investment products before ever looking at your budget, net worth statement, or written financial goals, you are not working with a fiduciary and should ignore his or her financial advice.</p> <p>Before sitting down with an adviser, it helps to take a good look at your finances. Things like calculating your net worth, setting your financial goals, and creating an informal budget before your first visit with an adviser can help you start off on the right foot.</p> <p>And while your calculations and budget may not be entirely accurate (hence the need for a financial adviser), you will have a better idea of where you are and what you have. It will provide your adviser with a more comprehensive financial picture. It will also allow you to discuss your liabilities and other investments that may not be profitable, as well as help to avoid duplicate investments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Secrets You Need to Tell Your Financial Adviser</a>)</p> <h2>3. Your personal and financial goals</h2> <p>A financial adviser who fails to ask about your financial goals as it relates to your children, your spouse, and your lifestyle is doing you an injustice. An adviser who merely wants to sell and manage your investments can actually set you up to lose more money long-term than if they include your financial priorities in the plan up front.</p> <p>Take, for example, a parent who wants to send their children to school without student loans. That parent would need to explore options that help in saving specifically for college. This could be done through traditional methods or less conventional saving vehicles such as a 529 plan. There are many factors that can shape that decision and a good financial adviser should work with that parent to determine the best savings vehicle to suit the needs of that family.</p> <p>Your financial adviser should understand and respect your financial goals and find the best avenues to help you achieve those goals. Things they should know and consider are:</p> <ul> <li> <p>If you are working to reduce or eliminate debt.</p> </li> <li> <p>Your plans for one-time expenses such as paying for a wedding or taking a large vacation.</p> </li> <li> <p>Education planning for you or your children (private school, college, continuing education programs, or advanced degrees).</p> </li> <li> <p>A possible career change by you or your spouse.</p> </li> <li> <p>If you are planning to start a business.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>4. Preparations for long-term care</h2> <p>According to LongTermCare.gov, 70 percent of people turning 65 will require long-term care services sometime in their lives. And of that number, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that 18 percent will have to live in a long-term care facility.</p> <p>According to insurance firm Genworth, the average annual cost of a stay in an assisted living facility is $45,000, while a stay in a nursing home with a private room costs an average $97,455 per year. And avoiding a stay in a facility isn't necessarily the answer to saving money on long-term care; an individual receiving 44 hours of in-home health care weekly can expect to pay close to $50,000 per year.</p> <p>Long-term care services come with significant costs that often impact retirement plans, savings and assets, and the level of care one receives. If your adviser doesn't account for these expenses in your financial plan, they are putting you at risk of financial turmoil later in life.</p> <p>This means that for some, considering their age, family history, and potential health risks, a health savings account (HSA) may make more sense than a traditional IRA. With a traditional IRA, you contribute pretax dollars to the plan and the money grows tax-deferred. You pay taxes when you withdraw the money when you retire.</p> <p>To enroll in an HSA, you must have a high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP). With an HSA, you get the same pretax contribution benefit, but the difference is that when you withdraw money to pay for qualified health insurance premiums or medical expenses (including nursing home stays and in-home care), it comes out tax-free. And the funds rollover from year to year, so you don't lose what you don't spend.</p> <p>But again, the decision on whether or not to invest in an HSA can only be determined on a case-by-case basis. What may make sense for one situation could be detrimental in another. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-an-hsa-is-actually-worth-having?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Reasons an HSA Is Actually Worth Having</a>)</p> <h2>5. Tax efficiency</h2> <p>Unfortunately, a lot of financial advisers fail to take the time to comb through your tax returns to check for tax efficiency. And tax efficiency is one area where a good financial adviser can be the most helpful.</p> <p>An adviser who only focuses on managing your portfolio may not have the expertise to accurately analyze your tax situation and understand how to maximize your income assets. A financial adviser who holds a CPA or CFP designation, on the other hand, would most likely be qualified to provide sound tax advice.</p> <p>Financial planner Charles Scott recently told <em>USA Today</em> that if the only tax advice your adviser gives is to put your money in tax-deferred investments such as an IRA or 401(k), you may want to get a second opinion. Because even though you'll be in a lower tax bracket when you retire than you are currently, there are so many other factors that must be considered. He advises that you diversify your tax load now <em>and </em>in the future.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Details%2520Your%2520Financial%2520Adviser%2520May%2520Be%2520Ignoring.jpg&amp;description=5%20Details%20Your%20Financial%20Adviser%20May%20Be%20Ignoring"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Details%20Your%20Financial%20Adviser%20May%20Be%20Ignoring.jpg" alt="5 Details Your Financial Adviser May Be Ignoring" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-should-ask-your-financial-adviser-at-your-annual-meeting">What You Should Ask Your Financial Adviser at Your Annual Meeting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner">3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you">5 Questions Your Financial Adviser Should Ask You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-a-financial-planner">Do You Need a Financial Planner?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-estate-planning-questions-everyone-should-ask">5 Estate Planning Questions Everyone Should Ask</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance children dependents fiduciary financial advisers financial goals financial planners ignoring investments long term care retirement taxes Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:30:10 +0000 Denise Hill 2055199 at http://www.wisebread.com The Secret to Successful Investing Is Trusting the Process http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-successful-investing-is-trusting-the-process <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-secret-to-successful-investing-is-trusting-the-process" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/financial_chart_on_chalkboard.jpg" alt="Financial chart on chalkboard" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>To a great degree, the biggest threat to your success as an investor is <em>you</em>. Making investment decisions based on fear, greed, a hot tip from your brother-in-law, the headline of the day, or any of many other flawed inputs can wreak havoc on your results. What's needed instead is a trustworthy investment <em>process. </em></p> <p>It should be rules-based, time-tested, easy to understand and execute, and it should be one you have enough confidence in to stick with in good markets and bad.</p> <p>Here are three broad types of investment processes to consider making your own.</p> <h2>1. DIY</h2> <p>You can absolutely invest on your own. The recommended process involves following traditional rules of asset allocation, using an online calculator or questionnaire to determine your optimal stock/bond mix, choosing investments accordingly (index funds that represent each desired asset class are the easiest way to go), and rebalancing annually. Or, you could choose an appropriate target-date fund, which would simplify the asset allocation process.</p> <p>DIY is the least expensive investment process, but also the one that leaves you most vulnerable to emotion-driven portfolio tinkering. After all, the process I just described, whether you choose your own index funds or use a target-date fund, is essentially a buy-and-hold strategy. That means you need to have a strong enough stomach to handle the losses that will come with a bear market, trusting that the process will deliver respectable gains over the long haul. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-mistakes-diy-investors-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Costly Mistakes DIY Investors Make</a>)</p> <h2>2. DIY with help</h2> <p>You could subscribe to an investment newsletter that takes a rules-based approach to implementing an investment style you agree with (value, momentum, etc.). This process is DIY in that you maintain your own account at the broker of your choice and you make the trades, but it's &quot;with help&quot; in that the newsletter tells you exactly what to buy or sell.</p> <p>This is more expensive than a pure DIY approach because you have to pay for a subscription to the newsletter (from as little as $100 to more than $1,000 per year). Newsletters typically aim to beat the market through a more active process, providing buy and sell recommendations based on objective, rules-based criteria designed to identify undervalued, high-momentum, or otherwise attractive investments. They can also better protect you from being swayed by emotion because a trusted outside authority is guiding your decisions.</p> <h2>3. Work with an adviser</h2> <p>Here the key is understanding the <em>adviser's </em>process. First, does he or she work as a fiduciary? That means the adviser has formally agreed to only recommend investments that are in <em>your </em>best interest and to disclose all fees and commissions. Next, how does he or she make investment decisions? Again, you're looking for objective rules you understand and agree with and the adviser's discipline to follow the rules.</p> <p>Working with an adviser is usually the most expensive process you could employ (typically, you'll pay 1 percent of the value of the portfolio they manage for you). However, it <em>may</em> also provide the best protection from yourself. For one thing, a good adviser acts as a therapist during times of market stress, talking clients out of emotional buy or sell decisions. For another, the adviser typically has direct control over your portfolio; you don't. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-5-questions-before-deciding-on-a-financial-advisor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Ask These 5 Questions Before Deciding On a Financial Adviser</a>)</p> <p>Each of these processes could guide you through any market. But you have a role to play as well. Here are two ways you can tip the scales further in your favor:</p> <h3>Manage your expectations</h3> <p>The market ebbs and flows and so will the performance generated by even the best investment process. Your willingness to accept some down months, and even some down years, will go a long way toward helping you stick with your chosen process.</p> <p>Having some sense of what to expect will help. If you're taking a DIY approach, you can see how various allocations have performed over the years (see Vanguard's <a href="https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/saving-investing/model-portfolio-allocations" target="_blank">portfolio allocation models</a>). By the same token, you should understand how a newsletter's strategy, or an adviser's, has performed during past bull and bear markets.</p> <p>While past performance won't tell you exactly how each process will perform in the future, it can help manage your expectations. That may not make riding out a downturn <em>easy</em>, but it should make it <em>easier</em>.</p> <h3>Tune out the noise</h3> <p>Adopting a trustworthy investment process will not silence the headline writers, investment analysts, or your coworkers who like to brag about their latest investment conquest. However, it should help you turn down their volume and keep you focused on following your chosen process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-your-investments-to-do-better-stop-watching-the-news?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Want Your Investments to Do Better? Stop Watching the News</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-secret-to-successful-investing-is-trusting-the-process&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Secret%2520to%2520Successful%2520Investing%2520Is%2520Trusting%2520the%2520Process.jpg&amp;description=The%20Secret%20to%20Successful%20Investing%20Is%20Trusting%20the%20Process"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Secret%20to%20Successful%20Investing%20Is%20Trusting%20the%20Process.jpg" alt="The Secret to Successful Investing Is Trusting the Process" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-successful-investing-is-trusting-the-process">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio">5 Essentials for Building a Profitable Portfolio</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-mistakes-diy-investors-make">9 Costly Mistakes DIY Investors Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment decisions diy investor expectations financial advisers gains portfolio stock market strategy Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Matt Bell 2038342 at http://www.wisebread.com This One Thing Could Be the Key to Retiring Rich http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-thing-could-be-the-key-to-retiring-rich <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-one-thing-could-be-the-key-to-retiring-rich" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_young_woman_at_home_0.jpg" alt="Beautiful young woman at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Writing things down is a powerful exercise. Productivity experts and personal growth coaches have long known this truth, and frequently promote writing down goals and priorities as a way to take control of life and achieve more. Does the power of writing apply to your financial life, as well? Turns out that it does in a very significant way.</p> <h2>Written plans lead to more retirement savings</h2> <p>A recent report from Charles Schwab makes it clear that writing down your financial goals can have a huge effect on how well you do in reaching them. According to the report, people with a written retirement plan are almost twice as likely to increase their 401(k) contributions and rebalance their portfolio. And that's not all a written plan can do for you: You're also twice as likely to stick to your savings goals if you've written down your plan.</p> <p>Despite the obvious power of a written financial plan, most people don't have one. According to the Schwab report, even though about two-thirds of Americans have a financial plan, only a quarter of us have that plan in writing.</p> <p>Is it really a plan if it's not in writing? Maybe, but it's certainly not as powerful.</p> <p>Writing things down makes them seem more real and helps you understand clearly how to reach the goals you're setting. A survey from Wells Fargo found that folks with a <a href="https://newsroom.wf.com/press-release/wells-fargogallup-survey-us-investor-optimism-rises-highest-level-16-years" target="_blank">written retirement plan</a> felt much more secure about reaching their financial goals for retirement. It isn't that the amount needed for retirement changes, but that a written plan helped these individuals understand exactly what they needed to do to reach their retirement goals.</p> <h2>Start getting your plan on paper</h2> <p>How do you get your financial plan written down? Start simple and start right now: Get a piece of paper or open up a computer document, and start writing down your goals. Focus on three main areas: an income goal, a budget goal, and a long-term savings goal.</p> <p>The key is to just get started and remember that you can adjust your plan as you gain more information. Until you have everything written down, you don't really know what you're aiming for or if your goals are even possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/half-of-americans-are-wrong-about-their-retirement-savings?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Half of Americans Are Wrong About Their Retirement Savings</a>)</p> <h2>Get some professional help to improve your plan</h2> <p>Once you've gotten some basic ideas down on the page, consult a professional financial adviser to help you turn those basic thoughts into a viable financial plan. Over two-thirds of the people who do have a written financial plan got help from a financial professional.</p> <p>Getting professional help is a good idea for two reasons: First, it helps you to actually finish that plan you started. Second, having professional advice will result in a better financial plan. An adviser can help you ask questions, look at issues, and develop solutions you might have missed on your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-financial-advisers-wish-you-knew-about-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things Financial Advisers Wish You Knew About Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>Turn your plan into actions</h2> <p>Once you have your plan written down, you need to translate it into regular actions.</p> <p>For example, if you set a savings goal that you want to meet in five years, you'll divide that into a monthly savings amount. Now you have a monthly savings target (and we know that, with a written plan, you're much more likely to reach it). When you turn the goals on your plan into actions, you can quickly assess whether you're making progress or not.</p> <h2>Automate your financial actions</h2> <p>As much as possible, automate the actions that you derive from your financial plan. Set up automatic transfers into your savings account, for example, or have a certain percentage of your paycheck deposited into your savings account rather than your checking account.</p> <p>Those small automations take the work out of reaching your financial plan. The easier you make it on yourself, the more likely you are to stick to your plan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Automate Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>Review your financial plan regularly</h2> <p>A written plan is not a static thing, so you need to review it regularly and adjust it as needed. Perhaps you get a salary increase or an unexpected windfall; how will you apply it? Review your plan, decide where to apply your wealth increase, and adjust your plan as needed.</p> <p>It's a great idea to set an annual appointment with your financial adviser; you can use that time to review your plan together. Then you can apply that professional insight to any adjustments you make to your plan, and move forward with even greater financial efficiency.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthis-one-thing-could-be-the-key-to-retiring-rich&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThis%2520One%2520Thing%2520Could%2520Be%2520the%2520Key%2520to%2520Retiring%2520Rich.jpg&amp;description=This%20One%20Thing%20Could%20Be%20the%20Key%20to%20Retiring%20Rich"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/This%20One%20Thing%20Could%20Be%20the%20Key%20to%20Retiring%20Rich.jpg" alt="This One Thing Could Be the Key to Retiring Rich" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-thing-could-be-the-key-to-retiring-rich">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-financial-advisers-wish-you-knew-about-retirement">7 Things Financial Advisers Wish You Knew About Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-moves-for-retirement">8 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Moves for Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-financial-advisers-hear-most-often">8 Questions Financial Advisers Hear Most Often</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-actions-women-can-take-right-now-to-get-their-retirement-on-track">5 Actions Women Can Take Right Now to Get Their Retirement On Track</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easiest-ways-to-catch-up-on-retirement-savings-later-in-life">7 Easiest Ways to Catch Up on Retirement Savings Later in Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement advice contributions financial advisers money goals saving money strategy writing things down written plan Fri, 29 Sep 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Annie Mueller 2028009 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Actions Women Can Take Right Now to Get Their Retirement On Track http://www.wisebread.com/5-actions-women-can-take-right-now-to-get-their-retirement-on-track <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-actions-women-can-take-right-now-to-get-their-retirement-on-track" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/portrait_of_three_young_adult_female_friends_in_the_street.jpg" alt="Portrait of three young adult female friends in the street" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have female friends who range in age from their 20s to their 70s. When I talk to them about retirement, most of them share a striking similarity: They don't think about it until they have to think about it.</p> <p>Truthfully, we <em>must</em> think about and actively plan for retirement long before we actually retire &mdash; decades before, actually. This is true for everyone and it's especially true for women. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-things-women-should-know-about-retirement-planning?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Surprising Things Women Should Know About Retirement Planning</a>)</p> <p>As a woman, there are several actions you can take right now to get your retirement on track.</p> <h2>1. Plan for a long life</h2> <p>There are a number of retirement factors that women must consider more seriously than men. For example, the average life span for men in the U.S. is about 78 years. The average life span for women in the U.S. is 81 years. Since women tend to live longer, they must account for this and plan to have more money saved for retirement. Because of this longer average life span, it's also important for women to consider long-term care, the likelihood of chronic conditions and illnesses related to aging, and disability in their retirement planning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Don't procrastinate</h2> <p>Several unfortunate facts for working women also increase the urgency and need for deliberate planning in retirement. There is no denying that a wage gap exists for women. Simply stated, women <a href="http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/" target="_blank">earn an average 20 percent less</a> than men, and this gap exists in nearly every professional field. The gap is wider for women of color and working mothers. In some states, the gap is higher still.</p> <p>Apart from dealing with a wage gap, women also often leave the workforce early, whether to raise a family or act as caregivers for an aging spouse or relative. These combined factors mean that women quite literally can't afford to waste time in their approach to retirement planning. They must work harder to match the retirement savings of men &mdash; in addition to having to save more money overall to support a longer life span. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-you-cant-postpone-planning-for-your-retirement-and-how-to-start?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Is Why You Can't Postpone Planning for Your Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>3. Take control</h2> <p>Retirement can be, and often is, a complicated subject &mdash; so don't feel badly about not having all the answers about what you need to do and when you need to do it. There are people who spend their entire careers learning the ins and outs of retirement planning, and helping people toward a brighter future. The right adviser can be exceedingly helpful and supportive. No matter who you turn to for retirement planning advice, make sure you feel comfortable asking them questions and feel confident in their responses. The important step is to decide to take control of your financial planning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-basic-intro-to-having-a-retirement-fund-that-everyone-needs-to-read?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Is the Basic Intro to Having a Retirement Fund That Everyone Needs to Read</a>)</p> <h2>4. Create a plan</h2> <p>Now it's time to put an actionable plan in place. Your advising firm can help you set up the best retirement savings strategy, including finding the best possible tax advantages for you. Your workplace may be able to help, too. Some advisement companies also have online portals that give you a snapshot of your accounts, telling you if you're on track or not. These tools are invaluable in your retirement planning. Take advantage of all of them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-face-4-ugly-truths-about-retirement-planning?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Face 4 Ugly Truths About Retirement Planning</a>)</p> <h2>5. Track your progress</h2> <p>In an effort to begin your retirement savings early, and to save as much as you can for all the reasons mentioned above, you want to automate your retirement savings whenever possible. For example, your workplace may offer Bi-Weekly deductions from your paycheck that go directly into your retirement accounts. You can personally set regular contributions from your bank account.</p> <p>To stay motivated, it's important to track your progress. Take a look at your accounts once a month or once a quarter to see your savings growing. What gets measured gets done, and seeing your accounts grow will give you the confidence and encouragement to stay on your plan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-your-retirement-is-on-track?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs Your Retirement Is on Track</a>)</p> <p>There's no denying that women face an uphill battle when it comes to retirement savings. With the gender-based wage gap, fewer years in the workforce, and a longer average life span, it's critical for women to start their retirement savings as early as possible and to put away as much money as they can. With careful planning, focus, and diligence, women can rise and meet their goal of a healthy, happy retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-every-woman-can-take-control-of-her-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Every Woman Can Take Control of Her Finances</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-actions-women-can-take-right-now-to-get-their-retirement-on-track&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Actions%2520Women%2520Can%2520Take%2520Right%2520Now%2520to%2520Get%2520Their%2520Retirement%2520On%2520Track.jpg&amp;description=5%20Actions%20Women%20Can%20Take%20Right%20Now%20to%20Get%20Their%20Retirement%20On%20Track"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Actions%20Women%20Can%20Take%20Right%20Now%20to%20Get%20Their%20Retirement%20On%20Track.jpg" alt="5 Actions Women Can Take Right Now to Get Their Retirement On Track" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-actions-women-can-take-right-now-to-get-their-retirement-on-track">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-for-a-forced-early-retirement">How to Plan for a Forced Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-financial-advisers-hear-most-often">8 Questions Financial Advisers Hear Most Often</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-handle-a-forced-early-retirement">5 Ways to Handle a Forced Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement disability early retirement financial advisers forced retirement life span long-term care longevity saving money wage gap women Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Christa Avampato 2006371 at http://www.wisebread.com You Should Ignore These 4 Kinds of Money Advice http://www.wisebread.com/you-should-ignore-these-4-kinds-of-money-advice <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-should-ignore-these-4-kinds-of-money-advice" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/megafon_and_dollar_sign_on_blackboard.jpg" alt="Megafon and Dollar Sign on Blackboard" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was growing up, my father taught me to embrace my paranoia, especially when it came to finance.</p> <p>Because of Dad's tutelage, I have always been skeptical of people who offer me money advice, and cautious of their possible ulterior motive. What's more, embracing this paranoia (which Dad would call plain old good sense) has never steered me wrong. I've never fallen victim to bad money advice, nor have I ever regretted passing up an opportunity because of Dad's wisdom.</p> <p>Even if you were not brought up with such a healthy sense of financial skepticism, you can learn some of the warning signs of untrustworthy money advice. Here are four times when money advice is probably not being offered with your best interests in mind.</p> <h2>When they don't disclose what's in it for them</h2> <p>If you're listening to fast food restaurants as a source of healthy eating advice, you are probably a little skeptical. These tips are not so much good advice given to improve your life, but more of a marketing ploy. As long as you are showing up to your favorite burger chain, they will make those profits whether you order a salad or a double cheeseburger. Your health is not really their concern.</p> <p>This is the same thing that happens with corporations that offer financial advice. Credit card companies offer advice on the best way to improve your credit score, student loan servicers give you tips on how to budget better, and banks suggest ways to save money.</p> <p>The advice that these companies proffer is not necessarily wrong. But these companies aren't really invested in improving your life. They are invested in getting your money &mdash; which means they will give the advice that is most beneficial to their bottom line, whether or not it is the best advice for you.</p> <p>Similarly, individuals generally don't give you advice out of the goodness of their hearts. Unless you happen to be related to someone who is a financial professional, it's unlikely that anyone will offer money advice to you without there being some sort of compensation. The question is whether or not it is clear what that compensation is and who will be paying it.</p> <p>It is OK to ask someone who is giving you advice how they are compensated. Their reaction will likely tell you what you need to know about how far you should trust their advice. Many so-called financial advisers are actually <em>salespeople </em>who have an incentive to sell products. If your adviser tells you not to worry your pretty little head about it, then their advice is probably not geared for your benefit.</p> <h2>When the advice is unsolicited</h2> <p>While unsolicited advice about other parts of your life is generally greeted with an eye roll, unsolicited financial advice can often have a different effect. If someone were to approach you with the solution to a money problem, you would be much more likely to hear them out than if they were offering a solution to a relationship problem.</p> <p>And scammers, con artists, and salespeople are well aware of our relative willingness to take unsolicited financial advice. Sometimes they'll invite you to a &quot;free lunch seminar&quot; in order to offer it, and sometimes they'll just give you a call on the phone or phish you over email.</p> <p>It's important to remember that any unsolicited financial advice is basically a sales pitch. Just as you wouldn't take the &quot;advice&quot; of a late-night infomercial, there is no reason to accept the financial advice of someone who offers it unsolicited. There is something in it for them, or else they wouldn't go to the trouble of seeking you out.</p> <h2>When you don't understand the advice</h2> <p>One of the dirty little secrets of finance is the fact that it is in the industry's best interests to make money seem confusing. As long as money seems as complex as advanced Calculus, then you feel like you have to hire a financial pro to help you navigate it.</p> <p>But best practices in finance are not difficult to understand, and you should be able to not only comprehend but also explain to someone else any advice you are given. If your &quot;adviser&quot; talks or writes in jargon that you just don't get, and balks at explaining it to you, then your adviser doesn't really care about you. Swindlers want you to feel confused, but true advisers want you to understand.</p> <p>The best way to deal with this is to ask a lot of questions. Con artists hate dealing with questions since it gets in the way of their scam. If you're in a one-on-one situation when you start asking questions, scammers generally back away to protect themselves. If you're in a group setting (such as a free lunch seminar or the like), you will likely get the hairy eyeball or otherwise be silenced so you don't mess up the pitch for the rest of the group.</p> <h2>When there is a time limit</h2> <p>Humans are not able to think rationally when we are hurried. This is one of the reasons why everyone from salespeople to online ticket sales will put artificial time limits on decision making. You are much more likely to act if you feel like you might miss out on a good deal.</p> <p>Good advice should not be something that you have to act on &quot;NOW!&quot; In general, the kinds of actions you need to take for good financial health fall into the &quot;important but not urgent&quot; category of activities. Something that is a good idea today will generally still be a good idea tomorrow or next week. While there are some financial decisions that you need to make more quickly than others, having an adviser hurry you to make a decision generally means that you are dealing with a salesperson rather than an adviser.</p> <h2>Embrace the power of your paranoia</h2> <p>It may not feel comfortable to think that everyone is out to get your money, but it sure does save you a great deal of heartache, not to mention the bruises where you'd otherwise kick yourself for trusting the wrong person.</p> <p>Embracing your money skepticism also has the added benefit of forcing you to become more self-sufficient about handling your own money and educating yourself about finance. That's a pretty good trade-off for a little bit of paranoia.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-should-ignore-these-4-kinds-of-money-advice">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-be-picky-when-hiring-a-financial-planner">3 Reasons to Be Picky When Hiring a Financial Planner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200">5 Ways to Safeguard Your Financial Future With Just $200</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-details-your-financial-adviser-may-be-ignoring">5 Details Your Financial Adviser May Be Ignoring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-should-ask-your-financial-adviser-at-your-annual-meeting">What You Should Ask Your Financial Adviser at Your Annual Meeting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-your-financial-adviser-should-ask-you">5 Questions Your Financial Adviser Should Ask You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bad advice compensation financial advisers paranoia predatory ulterior motives unsolicited Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:00:18 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1962381 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Questions Financial Advisers Hear Most Often http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-financial-advisers-hear-most-often <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-financial-advisers-hear-most-often" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_communication_connection_people_concept.jpg" alt="Business Communication Connection People Concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No one goes to a financial adviser if they already know everything there is to know about retirement planning and investing. So most people will, logically, come armed with a variety of questions when they meet with an adviser, especially if it is for the first time.</p> <p>Financial advisers say they hear many of the same questions repeatedly from clients looking to build their retirement savings or live large in retirement. Most of the questions center around the ability of clients to retire, or the information needed to build wealth in the hopes of retiring comfortably.</p> <p>This list of common questions for financial advisers was compiled with the help of Greg Hammer of Hammer Financial Group in Northwest Indiana, and Willie Schuette, financial coach with JL Smith Group in Ohio.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Can I retire?&quot;</h2> <p>This is really the ultimate question posed to most financial advisers. Clients want to know if they can afford to stop working. And if not now, when?</p> <p>A financial adviser will help you determine how much money you have and how much more you'll need, based on your life expectancy and retirement plans. Both Hammer and Schuette said they often have to break the news to clients that they need to keep working, but that's better than telling them after they&rsquo;ve retired that their money is likely to run out.</p> <h2>2. &quot;Can you help me avoid paying taxes?&quot;</h2> <p>The Internal Revenue Service can take a chunk out of your earnings, and often leave you with less cash than you originally planned. Financial advisers say they get a lot of questions about how to avoid a big tax hit, especially from retirees looking to preserve every dollar they have.</p> <p>Advisers field many questions about Roth IRAs, which allow investors to invest money and withdraw it tax-free upon retirement. Many investors turn to financial advisers for advice on the tax implications of converting traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs. There are also a multitude of other tax questions relating to municipal bonds, inheritance taxes, and tax deductions.</p> <h2>3. &quot;How can I preserve my money?&quot;</h2> <p>Financial advisers say clients are generally aware that they need to invest more conservatively as they get older to protect against market downturns, but aren't quite sure how. What's the right investment mix based on their age, their money saved, and retirement date? What's the best way to go about shifting away from stocks to cash and bonds?</p> <p>Hammer and Schuette say they get questions like this all the time, and are happy to walk clients through the best approach to keeping their retirement nest eggs secure.</p> <h2>4. &quot;When should I collect Social Security?&quot;</h2> <p>Retirees can begin collecting Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but will get larger monthly payments the longer they wait. Financial advisers will usually work with retirees to develop income sources that will allow them to delay collecting Social Security. But both Hammer and Schuette said their recommendations depend on the individual client's circumstances and financial needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-social-security-you-shouldnt-panic-over?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Sobering Facts About Social Security You Shouldn't Panic Over</a>)</p> <h2>5. &quot;What's the deal with health care?&quot;</h2> <p>With Congress working to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, many clients are wondering how their health care may be affected. Financial advisers have received this question from retirees who are not old enough to collect Medicare, as well as younger clients who don't get insurance through an employer. Advisers say they will walk clients through the cost of health care and the proper plans, as well as assist with setting up things like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-saves-you-money" target="_blank">health savings accounts</a> and emergency funds.</p> <h2>6. &quot;I know I need life insurance, but what kind? And how much?&quot;</h2> <p>Financial advisers say clients usually know they need some sort of life insurance to protect their families, but are often bewildered by the offerings. There's whole and term life insurance, and policies with varying sizes, lengths, and premiums. An adviser can help find the right kind of insurance for each person and their unique situation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-group-life-insurance-is-not-enough?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Your Group Life Insurance Is Not Enough</a>)</p> <h2>7. &quot;My spouse just died. What do I do?&quot;</h2> <p>Many people feel confident in their financial planning, until something changes in their life that throws things out of whack. A loss of a spouse or other major change cannot only be challenging emotionally, but it can drastically change a person's financial needs. There may be a sudden loss of income when a spouse dies, and there are endless concerns about taxes, life insurance, and even real estate.</p> <h2>8. &quot;How do I take care of my heirs?&quot;</h2> <p>For most people, the main financial goal is amassing enough wealth to last their full retirement, and there's not much consideration for the next generation. After all, saving for your own several decades of life after retirement is hard enough.</p> <p>But Hammer and Schuette say there is a segment of clients seeking the best approach to passing wealth onto to their children and other relatives. Financial advisers say that in these cases, the conversation centers not only on amassing wealth, but taking into account things like inheritance taxes, and performing full, in-depth estate planning.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-financial-advisers-hear-most-often">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-retirees-can-spring-clean-their-finances">8 Ways Retirees Can Spring Clean Their Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-money-in-retirement">5 Myths About Money in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-to-know-before-retiring-abroad">9 Things to Know Before Retiring Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-for-a-forced-early-retirement">How to Plan for a Forced Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-struggles-nobody-talks-about-and-how-to-beat-them">5 Retirement Struggles Nobody Talks About — And How to Beat Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Retirement estate planning financial advisers financial planning health care life insurance questions saving money social security taxes Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Tim Lemke 1957430 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things Financial Advisers Wish You Knew About Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-financial-advisers-wish-you-knew-about-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-financial-advisers-wish-you-knew-about-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/men_tablet_work_579235928.jpg" alt="Men learning what financial advisers wish they knew about retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Wish you had a crystal ball for retirement planning? Most of us do, and for good reason. Even if you're sure you'll have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-need-to-retire?ref=internal">enough money to retire</a>, there are no guarantees until you get there. If your nest egg runs short, it will be far too late for a do-over.</p> <p>This is where a financial adviser can help. A financial adviser will know if you're heavy on risk, not diversified enough, failing to maximize tax advantages, or simply not saving enough. They will also make sure to take into account your lifestyle and preferences to ensure you're on the right path to your ideal retirement, and not just following a cookie cutter plan that's not going to be the right fit.</p> <p>We asked financial advisers for some of the most important ideas they wish their clients understood when it comes to money, retirement, and the future.</p> <h2>1. Social Security will be around in some form</h2> <p>]Andrew McFadden, a financial adviser for physicians, says many clients refuse to accept that Social Security will still be around when they retire. This is especially true if they are part of Gen X or Gen Y, he says, since they are decades away from receiving benefits.</p> <p>However short on funds we may be, the Social Security Administration projects the ability to pay around 75 percent of current benefits after the fund is depleted in 2034. This is a key detail, notes McFadden, since many people hear Social Security is going bankrupt and refuse to acknowledge any benefits in their own retirement planning.</p> <p>&quot;It's not all roses, but that's still a far cry from those bankruptcy rumors,&quot; says McFadden. &quot;So lower your expectations, but don't get rid of them altogether.&quot;</p> <h2>2. It's ok to &quot;live a little&quot; while you save for retirement</h2> <p>Russ Thornton, founder of Wealthcare for Women, says too many future retirees sacrifice living now for their &quot;pie in the sky&quot; dream of retirement. Unfortunately, tomorrow isn't promised, and many people never get to live out the dreams they plan all along.</p> <p>&quot;So many people assume they can't really live until they're retired and not working full-time,&quot; says Thornton. &quot;Nothing could be further from the truth. Find ways to experience aspects of your dream life now, whether you're in your 30s, 40s, or 50s.&quot;</p> <p>With a solid savings and retirement plan, you should be able to do both &mdash; save and invest adequately, and try some new experiences that make life adventurous and satisfying now.</p> <p>&quot;Don't accept the deferred life plan,&quot; he says. That future you dream about and plan for may never come.</p> <h2>3. The 4 percent rule isn't perfect for everybody</h2> <p>Born in the 90s, the 4 percent rule stated retirees could stretch their funds by withdrawing 4 percent per year. The catch was, a good portion of those investments had to remain in equities to make this work.</p> <p>The 4 percent rule lost traction between 2000 and 2010 when the market closed lower than where it started 10 years before, says Bellevue, WA financial adviser Josh Brein. As many retirement accounts suffered during this time, it was shown that the 4 percent rule doesn't always work for everybody.</p> <p>It doesn't mean the rule should be thrown out completely though, nor should it still be followed like gospel. In fact, in 2015, two-third of retirees following the 4 percent rule had double the amount of their starting principal after a 30-year stretch. These retirees could have benefited from taking out more than the limited 4 percent, which could have meant an extra vacation each year, or another luxury that they were indeed able to afford.</p> <p>There's absolutely no denying the importance of making your retirement dollars last. But, after a lifetime of working and saving, you also deserve to enjoy those dollars to their full capability.</p> <p>Bottom line, take time to re-evaluate your drawdown strategy every few years and make adjustments as necessary. While you don't want to go broke in retirement &mdash; you also don't want to miss out on all the incredible things this time in your life has to offer.</p> <h2>4. Retirement looks different for everyone</h2> <p>Minnesota financial adviser Jamie Pomeroy says he wishes people would abandon their preconceived notions on what retirement should look like. He blames the financial industry in part for perpetuating the idea that certain retirement planning accounts and products work for everyone. &quot;They don't,&quot; he says.</p> <p>&quot;Some enjoy retiring to the beach, some take mini-retirements before reaching a retirement age, some work part-time in retirement, and some just want to spend time with their grandkids,&quot; he says. &quot;The concept of retirement is dynamic, ever-changing, and defined very differently by lots of different people.&quot;</p> <p>To find the right retirement path and plan for your own life, you should sit down and decide what you really, truly want. Once you know what you want, you can craft a realistic plan to get there.</p> <h2>5. Investment returns aren't as important as you think</h2> <p>According to North Dakota financial adviser Benjamin Brandt, too many people focus too much energy on their investment returns &mdash; mostly because they are an immediate and tangible way to gauge the success or failure of our financial plans.</p> <p>Investment returns should only be judged in the proper scope of a long-term financial plan, and &quot;over decades,&quot; he says.</p> <p>In the meantime, our behavior can make a huge impact when it comes to reaching your retirement goals. By <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-quirky-ways-to-spend-less-and-kick-start-saving?ref=internal">spending less and saving more</a>, for example, we can avoid debt and potentially invest more money over the long haul. Those moves can help us retire earlier whether the market performs the way we hope or not.</p> <h2>6. Small changes add up</h2> <p>When it comes to retirement planning, many people feel overwhelmed right away. For example, some people may realize they need $1 million or more to retire and give up before they start.</p> <p>Financial adviser Jeff Rose of Good Financial Cents says this could change if everyone realized how small changes &mdash; and small amounts of savings &mdash; add up drastically over time.</p> <p>&quot;Someone who invests just $200 per month for 30 years and earns 7 percent would have more than $218,000 in the end,&quot; says Rose. &quot;Now imagine both spouses are saving, or that they boost their investments incrementally over the years.&quot;</p> <p>As Rose points out, a couple who invests $500 per month combined and earns 7 percent would have more than $566,000 after 30 years.</p> <p>Looking for ways to save money and invest more will obviously make this number surge. If you boost your contributions each time you get a raise, for example, you'll have considerably more for retirement. Remember even the smallest contributions can greatly add up over the years.</p> <h2>7. Don't forget about long-term care</h2> <p>Joseph Carbone, founder and wealth adviser of Focus Planning Group, says many future retirees are missing one key piece of the puzzle, and that piece could cost them dearly.</p> <p>&quot;I wish many of my clients understood the biggest hurdle from passing wealth on to their heirs is long-term care costs,&quot; says Carbone. &quot;Whether it is home health care, assisted living, or the dreaded nursing home. It is real and it is scary.&quot;</p> <p>According to Carbone, most people have no idea how much long-term care costs and fail to plan as a result. &quot;Even though the average stay is only 2.7 years in a nursing home, the total cost for those 2.7 years could be well over $400,000,&quot; he says</p> <p>To help in this respect, Carbone and his associates suggest working with an attorney who specializes in elder law. With a few smart money moves, families can prepare for the real possibility of using a nursing home at some point. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>One more thing advisers wish you knew</h2> <p>While financial advisers don't know everything, their years of experience make them painfully aware of what lies ahead for those of us who fail to plan. And, if there's one thing financial planners can agree on, it's this: The sooner we all start planning, the better off we'll be.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-financial-advisers-wish-you-knew-about-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-struggles-nobody-talks-about-and-how-to-beat-them">5 Retirement Struggles Nobody Talks About — And How to Beat Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-thing-could-be-the-key-to-retiring-rich">This One Thing Could Be the Key to Retiring Rich</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-money-in-retirement">5 Myths About Money in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-expensive-mistakes-of-the-newly-retired">9 Expensive Mistakes of the Newly Retired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-steps-to-take-before-retiring-abroad">13 Financial Steps to Take Before Retiring Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 4 percent rule advice contributions financial advisers investments long term care planning social security Wed, 05 Apr 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Holly Johnson 1921765 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Secrets You Need to Tell Your Financial Adviser http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-165869622.jpg" alt="Couple sharing secrets they need to tell their financial adviser" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you've made an appointment to sit down with a financial adviser and formulate a plan for your future. Are you prepared to talk about your full money situation? In order to truly help you, your financial adviser needs to look at the big picture. That means there can be no major money secrets.</p> <p>Financial advisers will often begin each session by asking a lot of questions that may seem personal. But they'd be negligent if they didn't. In fact, it's their fiduciary duty to learn as much about you as they can in order to advise you properly.</p> <p>Here's a list of secrets you'll need to share with your financial planner if you want the best advice.</p> <h2>1. All of your debt</h2> <p>When you're being crushed under a mountain of debt, you may not want to talk about it. But a financial adviser is perhaps the best person to discuss it with. Your adviser can't craft a sound financial plan for you if they're unaware that a good chunk of your income is going to pay off debt. If you let them know about your full debt situation, however, they may be able to assist you in climbing out of the hole and onto the path toward financial freedom.</p> <h2>2. Any job loss</h2> <p>It's not always easy to admit you are out of work. But a financial adviser can't help you properly if you don't provide a full picture of your income situation. If you're out of work now, let your adviser know. If you were out of work for a long stretch in the past, let them know that as well. Financial advisers can also help you navigate what to do when your income has been cut, as well as advise you on what to do with old 401(k) accounts and pension money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do?ref=seealso" target="_blank">If You're Lucky Enough to Receive a Pension, Here Are 6 Things You Need to Do</a>)</p> <h2>3. Family members you support</h2> <p>Do you pay child support? Do you regularly send money to your brother up in Buffalo? Do you have an elderly parent living with you? Your financial adviser will want to know about any money you spend to support other people, even if it's only occasionally or informally. These are expenses that have an impact on your overall financial picture, and are not the kinds of costs that you can easily eliminate.</p> <h2>4. Sizable gifts</h2> <p>You're fortunate enough to be given $25,000 from your generous Uncle Steve, but you feel like it's really not something you want people to know about. After all, who might come knocking on your door now that you have this extra cash on hand? That's understandable, but it's important to tell your financial adviser, because they can offer advice on what to do with the new funds. An unexpected influx of cash, even if it's just a one-time gift, can have a ripple effect on your overall saving strategy.</p> <h2>5. Tax troubles</h2> <p>Have you been diligent about paying your taxes? If not, this is something you'll want to tell your adviser. This goes for late taxes, tax liens on properties, and past audits. The longer you wait to take care of tax problems, the more you may end up paying in penalties and fees. Your financial adviser can help you clean up your tax issues, and will be in a better position to help you plan your future.</p> <h2>6. The status of your marriage</h2> <p>If you're meeting with an adviser, it helps to let them know if you're about to get married, or if your marriage is about to end. Marriage and divorce have all kinds of financial implications on everything from income to taxes to planning for retirement.</p> <h2>7. Your vices</h2> <p>Gambling. Alcoholism. A shopping addiction. We all have our bad habits, but it's important to be aware of those vices that impact your finances. Are you at risk of incurring debt due to a major gambling binge? Is alcohol preventing you from landing steady work? Your financial adviser can't accurately assess your finances if they don't know the situation.</p> <p>According to Doug Amis, a CFP with Cardinal Retirement Planning in Cary, NC, even casual marijuana use is something clients should disclose to planners, because many life insurance companies still test for it.</p> <h2>8. Anything that your kids need to know</h2> <p>Hans Scheil, CEO and owner of Cardinal Retirement Planning, says that his most challenging clients are those who have kept important information from family members. This secrecy can create difficulty in later years, when facing important estate decisions.</p> <p>&quot;What happens with people now is that they develop dementia, or some sort of chronic illness, and they end up needing care,&quot; Scheil said. &quot;This is when all of the family scandals come out.&quot;</p> <p>Scheil says it's important to anticipate what your children and grandchildren may need to know about your estate to avoid strife down the road.</p> <h2>9. Charitable giving</h2> <p>It may seem odd to think of this as something you'd hide, but financial advisers say they've met with clients who have quietly been giving to a cause that their spouse or other loved ones might not agree with. Your donations to charity may not seem like anyone's business, but they can impact your overall savings if you give a substantial amount. A financial adviser can also walk you through getting tax deductions for your charitable donations.</p> <h2>10. Your own lack of financial knowledge</h2> <p>Are you the type who doesn't know an IRA from an IPA? Are you mystified by mutual funds and baffled by bonds? It's OK, your financial adviser is not there to judge you and will likely be more annoyed by any attempt to bluff your way through a meeting. Financial advisers can help you understand the ins and outs of investing and estate planning, so it's useless to pretend to know more than you do.</p> <h2>11. All of your side hustles</h2> <p>When your financial adviser asks you about your income, they want to hear about everything. Not just your day job, but your side work giving piano lessons, your freelance writing, your pottery sales, and even your gambling winnings. You may be hiding this income because you don't want to pay taxes. But your adviser needs to know about this extra income, or else any financial plan they create will be flawed. Moreover, your financial adviser can often give you advice on how to turn a quiet side hustle into a legitimate, profitable business.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-taking-a-loan-for-your-wedding-is-a-bad-idea">3 Reasons Taking a Loan For Your Wedding Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked">4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-divorce-and-credit">What You Need to Know About Divorce and Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt divorce financial advisers financial planning gambling honesty job loss marriage Secrets taxes Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:01:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1915280 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Spot Lousy Investment Advisers http://www.wisebread.com/a-field-guide-to-lousy-investment-advisers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-field-guide-to-lousy-investment-advisers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-482448336.jpg" alt="Learning about lousy investment advisers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can easily hire people who claim to be good investment advisers. They hardly ever are. But there are several different kinds of downright lousy investment advisers, and it's worth learning how to identify them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-truth-of-investing-mediocre-advice-is-best?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Mediocre Advice Is Best for Investing</a>)</p> <p>I group them into three categories: The delusional, the liar, and the secretly mediocre.</p> <h2>The Delusional</h2> <p>The most common sign of the delusional financial adviser is that they can tell you about all the winning trades they've made, but they don't know the average annual return of their portfolio as a whole.</p> <p>You'll find this same trait in a lot of ordinary investors, as well &mdash; they're full of stories of their investing successes. They may also have a few self-deprecating stories of investments that went wrong. But they simply don't know what their all-in return actually is.</p> <p>For the ordinary investor, this is no big deal. But for someone selling their investment expertise, not knowing whether their advice beats what you can get following mediocre advice should disqualify them completely.</p> <p>There is one important subcategory of lousy investment adviser that might not show this sign. I call them the &quot;lucky so far.&quot; They're usually young with a pretty new track record. Typically, they're people who have a strong sense that one sector of the market &mdash; financial stocks, say, or precious metals &mdash; is the right choice for long-term investing. If they happen to get into the investment advising game right when their sector gets hot, they can produce outstanding investment returns, sometimes for a long time. Eventually the market turns against them and they lose a whole lot of their clients' money.</p> <p>Of course there are a few <em>legitimately</em> superior investment advisers out there. It's really impossible to tell one of them from one of the &quot;lucky so far,&quot; except that once they establish a record of shifting from this year's hot sector into next year's hot sector for several years in a row, somebody rich will notice and pay up to get their advice. One pretty good indication is that you won't be able to afford them.</p> <h2>The Liar</h2> <p>Just like the delusional financial adviser, there are many kinds of lying financial advisers. (Note that I'm not talking about scammers or fraudsters, just ordinary financial advisers who know their advice doesn't produce superior results, but hold themselves out as superior anyway.)</p> <p>Probably the most common are the ones who used to be delusional, but eventually figured out that they weren't actually superior. Of course the honest thing to do then would be to find another career, but delusional financial advisers can make a lot of money, and that's hard to give up.</p> <p>It's pretty easy to slip gradually into lying about your performance &mdash; just talk about your successes, and don't mention your failures.</p> <p>The clearest sign of the liar is that they claim an &quot;average annual return,&quot; but can't point to the specific trades that they or their clients made that produced this return. Instead, they'll point to lists of suggested trades &mdash; but if you have access to all the suggestions, it'll turn out that some of the bad ones don't make the list.</p> <p>Another strong clue is vague advice, such as that you buy a stock &quot;on dips,&quot; without specific numbers attached. This will make it easy for them to leave out losing trades (on the grounds that the dips were never low enough for them to enter the trade). They will also suggest that you use peaks in the market to &quot;begin to lighten up&quot; your position. If the stock continues to outperform, you'll find that they still list it in their model portfolio. Once it starts to lag, you'll see that they exited their position at the last high point.</p> <p>Another common habit among the liars is to ignore trading costs &mdash; and the cost of their advice &mdash; when figuring the bottom line.</p> <h2>The Secretly Mediocre</h2> <p>When &quot;index investing&quot; first started getting big, financial magazines (and others who rated financial advisers) started comparing investment advisers' returns to the market averages. Lousy advisers often fell short, which was pretty embarrassing. A fair number reacted by shifting their advice to just the sort of mediocre advice I'm suggesting that you follow. That way, they'd at least match the market returns.</p> <p>These investment advisers are giving you perfectly good advice, they're just charging you money to achieve performance you could get for free on your own.</p> <p>You can spot the secretly mediocre advisers either by looking at their returns or by looking at their portfolio. In either case, it will end up looking a lot like the return or portfolio you could get from just following the indexes.</p> <h2>My Mediocre Advice</h2> <p>Genuinely superior advice from (extremely rare) genuinely superior investment advisers is generally so expensive it makes no sense to pay for it, unless you have a portfolio of millions of dollars.</p> <p>Since Wise Bread is all about living large on a small budget, I figure it's pretty likely that you don't have the multimillion-dollar portfolio that would let superior financial advice pay for itself. In that case, I suggest that you just follow the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know?ref=internal" target="_blank">mediocre advice</a> I wrote about last time. Doing that, you'll get mediocre returns &mdash; which it turns out, are good enough.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-field-guide-to-lousy-investment-advisers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-truth-of-investing-mediocre-advice-is-best">The Surprising Truth of Investing: Mediocre Advice Is Best</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio">5 Essentials for Building a Profitable Portfolio</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-investing-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self">11 Investing Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-pick-your-first-stocks-and-funds">How to Pick Your First Stocks and Funds</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment advice delusional financial advisers liars mediocre returns success Mon, 06 Mar 2017 10:30:37 +0000 Philip Brewer 1902765 at http://www.wisebread.com If You're Lucky Enough to Receive a Pension, Here Are 6 Things You Need to Do http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/if-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-519505869.jpg" alt="Man receiving pension and doing these things" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Pensions are becoming a thing of the past &mdash; so if you're still entitled to one, consider yourself lucky. Once you have a pension, however, what will you do with it? How will you manage it? Here are a few suggestions on how to handle your well-earned windfall.</p> <h2>1. Request an Updated Pension Statement Annually</h2> <p>Call me crazy, but I check my bank account every morning when I wake up. It's all still there each day, but I don't like to take any chances. You need to keep an eye on your pension, too. Granted, you don't need to check in every day, but you should request an update once a year.</p> <p>&quot;Like your Social Security benefits, your pension benefit amounts can change,&quot; explains Brannon T. Lambert, owner of the investment firm Canvasback Wealth Management. &quot;Not only that, but pensions can have several options for payouts, survivor benefits, or cash out options. You want to know every option available to you especially if you are married or have dependents.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Weigh Your Payout Options Carefully<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Before the IRS passed a law in 1978 to make self-funded 401Ks possible, many companies provided employees pensions &mdash; a fund that accrued in value over time to ensure that their employees were at least modestly supported through their retirement. That's all but reversed nowadays. In 1979, 28% of all workers were <a href="https://www.ebri.org/publications/benfaq/index.cfm?fa=retfaq14" target="_blank">enrolled with pension plans</a>, whereas only 2% of today's workforce is enrolled. Conversely, between 95% and 98% of employers <a href="http://www.cheatsheet.com/personal-finance/5-best-ways-for-companies-to-improve-401k-plans.html/?a=viewall" target="_blank">offer 401K plans</a>. Go figure.</p> <p>When it's time to receive your pension, the first decision you'll need to make is how you want to receive the money&mdash; which, in turn, raises many important questions. Morgan Christen, CFA at Spinnaker Investment Group in Southern California, explains your options.</p> <p>&quot;Pension planning involves many decisions that are irrevocable; anyone that will receive a pension should learn about all of the payout options,&quot; he says. &quot;Do you want to receive income for your life? Do you want to make sure a spouse is covered should you pass away? If you want to cover a spouse, how much of your benefit do you want that person to receive &mdash; 100%, 75%, or 50%?&quot;</p> <p>These are all things to think about when it comes time to take your pension. Keep in mind that if you want to cover a spouse, you will be taking a reduced amount on a monthly basis &mdash; and if your spouse predeceases you, you may not be able to change course.</p> <h2>3. Investigate the Social Security Offset Provisions<strong> </strong></h2> <p>You may expect a certain dispersed dollar amount each month when your pension begins, but you could be caught off guard if it changes down the road. Your Social Security payments may be the culprit.</p> <p>&quot;Some pensions come with Social Security offset provisions,&quot; Lambert explains. &quot;This means that your pension benefit amount could be one dollar figure initially, but once Social Security benefits begin, your pension will be reduced somewhat depending how much they offset. It could possibly be dollar-for-dollar up to a preset limit. This can come as a big surprise if you are not aware of it.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Research Your Investment Opportunities<strong> </strong></h2> <p>If you want to roll the dice with your pension, that's your prerogative &mdash; but you need to go into any investment situation well-informed of what you're getting into. This is money that needs to last the rest of your life, and you don't want to squander it because of poor decision-making. Do you research and get level with expectations so you're not blindsided by bad news.</p> <p>&quot;When it comes to pensions, many people assume that the managers of the funds will do the investment on behalf of the participants, which is rarely true,&quot; says Justin Kumar, senior portfolio manager at investment firm Arlington Capital Management in Arlington Heights, Ill. &quot;Participants must elect their investment options from the lineup of available funds, but if they do not, they will often be invested in the default option. The problem is that the default is usually some type of cash or money market equivalent funds. Although these funds may be a safer option, they will not participate in market uptrends, leaving participants confused at the end about why they may not have more money.&quot;</p> <p>Furthermore, for those participants with limited investment options, there may be language in the pension plan documents that specifies an age &mdash; such as 55 or 59 1/2 years old &mdash; in which pension funds can be rolled over by a participant into an IRA, thus allowing access to a greater universe of investment possibilities. Participants should consult with their pension consultants and perhaps with an outside adviser to determine the best course of action when making these investment decisions.</p> <h2>5. Avoid Greedy Financial Advisers<strong> </strong></h2> <p>How do you know if a financial adviser has your best interest at heart? Mark Zoril, founder of the retirement-planning firm PlanVision, reveals how to spot the con artist.</p> <p>&quot;As someone evaluates and reviews their options, it is important to understand the pros and cons of taking the pension or transferring it to an IRA,&quot; he says. &quot;Unfortunately, far too many advisers' compensation is directly impacted by what someone does with their pension. Therefore, they are strongly incentivized to convince people of the benefits of cashing out their pension. In fact, a transfer from a pension can be a very strong payday for an adviser.&quot;</p> <p>This applies to so-called &quot;fiduciary&quot; advisers as well.</p> <p>&quot;Many of these advisers promote how they are 'fee only' and offer objective guidance,&quot; Zoril adds. &quot;However, if they charge their clients based upon assets under management &mdash; the most common model of advisers &mdash; they have a huge conflict of interest in providing guidance on this particular topic.&quot;</p> <p>It's important that you seek the guidance of a professional &mdash; perhaps someone you know well in that field, and not someone who's blinded by your potential investment &mdash; regarding your pension plan to fully understand whether or not the advice you're seeking will be influenced by their adviser's compensation. This presents a real risk to your evaluation process.</p> <h2>6. Plan for the Taxes You're Required to Pay<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Your pension is not tax-free. It will be taxed as regular income. You need to plan and save for that bill so you stay in good standing with the IRS. You don't want to spend your golden years in the slammer, do ya?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fif-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FIf%20Youre%20Lucky%20Enough%20to%20Receive%20a%20Pension%2C%20Here%20Are%206%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Do.jpg&amp;description=If%20Youre%20Lucky%20Enough%20to%20Receive%20a%20Pension%2C%20Here%20Are%206%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Do" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/If%20Youre%20Lucky%20Enough%20to%20Receive%20a%20Pension%2C%20Here%20Are%206%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Do.jpg" alt="If You're Lucky Enough to Receive a Pension, Here Are 6 Things You Need to Do" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-financial-advisers-hear-most-often">8 Questions Financial Advisers Hear Most Often</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-money-in-retirement">5 Myths About Money in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement">6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-financial-advisers-wish-you-knew-about-retirement">7 Things Financial Advisers Wish You Knew About Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-to-know-before-retiring-abroad">9 Things to Know Before Retiring Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement fiduciary financial advisers investment opportunities payout pensions social security taxes Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1894200 at http://www.wisebread.com