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Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Saving for large expenses, whether in retirement or during your working years, is a tall task. It often requires you to cut back on spending and find ways to maximize your income. However, in retirement, there are some key differences...

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

If you search the Internet for tips on financial strategies, you’ll see many general rules and broad advice that may apply to an “average” retirement saver or retiree. But the truth is, those general pieces of advice rarely apply to...

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

For many, the turn of the new year is a time to self-reflect and make resolutions. There’s no better time to assess your financial goals for the new year and beyond by following proper financial goal-setting practices. Setting...

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The 2020 pandemic put the spotlight on the in-facility long-term care (LTC) industry. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities experienced woeful staffing shortages and unsafe practices that put people’s loved ones at high risk of...

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Considering a nursing home for long-term care or elder care is one of the most difficult decisions you and your family can encounter. Whether you have a health risk and planning for a future in a nursing home or are considering a...

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Government assistance programs are a common option for people looking for healthcare coverage, especially over the age of 65. However, while Medicare covers a lot, even covering emergency hospital visits at no cost, it doesn’t cover...

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

This month marks Long-Term Care Awareness Month. We have the knowledge and tools these days to live healthily and happily throughout our lives. But as we age, we need to invest more in our health. That’s why it’s crucial to understand...

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

When the winter seasons come around, you’ll likely have to adjust your routines and prepare. If you’re in colder states you may be looking to purchase a new winter coat or snow boots, skiing equipment for your winter holidays, or you...

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

This Halloween season, you may be thinking about spending time with friends and family and planning fun Halloween events with them. You may not be thinking about all the nuances of your retirement strategy, but when you think about the...

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Healthcare is one of the largest expenses for people in retirement, but it’s not easy to budget for them. Sometimes, accidents happen, or certain health-related concerns can come out of nowhere. Because of how difficult it can be to...

Friday, October 7, 2022

With all this market volatility and inflation, talk about investment strategies and portfolio longevity seems to dominate the discussion on retirement. But one of the most important aspects of retirement is often overlooked: Medicare...

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Saving for retirement is a long-term endeavor. It’s not about finding the next hottest stock or getting rich quickly. This means that retirement requires a perspective on your wealth and income that accounts for your needs at different stages of your life, from the beginning of your working years through your retirement.
 
The Bucket Strategy is an investment strategy that separates your savings and investments into three buckets: the Risk Bucket, the Safe Bucket, and the Spend Bucket. Together, these buckets provide diversification of risk, but the key to the bucket strategy is the Risk Bucket funnels to the Safe Bucket, and then to the Spend Bucket over the course of your life as you age, and your risk tolerance decreases.
The Risk Bucket is for high-growth assets that may grow in value but could see significant pullbacks during a downturn. This bucket is usually favored when you have many years to recover from a downturn before utilizing your savings to cover your costs of living.
 
The Safe Bucket often refers to the assets you hold that may not have as great of an upside, but don’t have as much of a downside either. Depending on what your income goals and risk tolerance are, this bucket can provide you with dividend income or interest income that can supplement other forms of retirement income.
The Spend Bucket is the pool of money you use to pay for your costs of living. This usually consists of cash held in checking accounts, savings accounts, or short-term Certificate Deposit accounts (CDs). Social Security payments are also used in this bucket. During working years, this bucket is less of a concern, but come retirement, planning your income sources to fund this bucket is important.
To do the Bucket Strategy, gains from your Risk Bucket assets are withdrawn to your Safe Bucket assets at a rate that fits with your retirement timeline and risk tolerance. This allows you to build up your income-earning assets over time as your risk tolerance shifts.
The reason the Bucket Strategy may work well for retirement is that it’s built to weather downturns that are likely to happen throughout your life using diversification and timeline strategy. When a downturn occurs, it might affect your Risk Bucket the most, but because you either have time to recover or you’ve already built up a sizable Safe Bucket, the effects of a downturn are less than if you tried to time the market with one big transition from a risky strategy to a safe one. In addition, if you play it too safe and forgo your Risk Bucket, your savings can erode over time, not providing enough to retire on.

The Bucket Strategy is built to account for your needs at different stages of your life. But putting it into action is easier said than done. If you’re looking to build a retirement plan that’s structured to protect your savings and grow your savings over time, the Bucket Strategy might be for you. Get connected with our team today!

Friday, September 16, 2022

You’re probably familiar with the classic retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions. But did you know there is a financial product out there that is customizable and can be tailored to your specific risks and financial goals?

An annuity is an insurance-based financial product that takes in payments from individuals and pays them back usually over a long period of time in a flow of payments or a lump sum when a certain event occurs, such as a specific time, age, or if an illness occurs. The insurance company can accept payments over time or in one lump sum as well. The money in it is invested by the financial institution and grows until the date that the payments are to be distributed to the beneficiary or account owner.

An annuity can provide regular payments from a fixed-rate, variable, or indexed annuity.

Fixed-rate annuities often take the form of a singular lump sum that is structured to provide you a set amount of income periodically. It’s not exposed to any market risk, its payout rates are fixed, and its principal value does not grow or decline.

Variable annuities are market-exposed annuities. These annuities have more risk involved and their payout amounts usually factor in the portfolio performance. The amount invested in a variable annuity can grow or decline.

Index annuities are market-exposed annuities but track a diversified index of stocks or equities. These types of annuities are a middle ground between some of the riskier assets that go into a variable annuity and the risk-averse, non-market-exposed fixed annuity.

Though annuities may seem complicated, the basic idea is simple. An insurance company receives a fixed or variable income stream for a predetermined period, or for life, in exchange for money in return.

With your retirement accounts, such as your 401(k)s, IRAs, or Roth IRAs, there are annual contribution limits and age restrictions that are meant to have your money used in a specific way regardless of your unique circumstance. With an annuity, the main benefit is that it is structured to be tailored to your unique needs.

It’s important to know that any guarantees, like interest or market protection, are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Taxes are one of the most important things to consider when it comes to your retirement. You’ll likely have several sources of income in retirement that can be taxed, such as IRA distributions and Social Security benefits. But is your...

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Ever wonder what type of life insurance is best for you? It depends on various factors, including how long you want the policy to last, how much you're willing to pay, and if you wish to use the policy as an investment vehicle. Let's...

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Long-term care is generally the most significant question mark when saving the optimal amount for your retirement years. According to Financial Professional Barry Bigelow, “statistically, if you're a married couple, there's a 25%...

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Let’s talk about tax brackets. They aren’t straight across the board but graduated based on income, meaning most taxpayers fall into more than one bracket. Current tax brackets are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%, and you could...

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Have you ever considered that saving for college is different than saving for your long-term retirement?Let’s start with the fact that, when saving for college, you’re saving for a specific year (the year of high school graduation)....

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Investopedia conducted a survey of 4,000 US adults in January and February of 2022 which included 1,000 individuals from each generation to better understand their financial literacy by generation. Side note: Seeing other generations’...

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The average couple retiring today needs a whopping $315,000 to cover the cost of health care throughout their retirement.1 You’ll want to plan for those future health costs. Have you considered that your HSA (Health Savings Account)...

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

ForbesAdvisor.com recently reported, “According to a 2020 survey from Allianz, nearly half of Americans are worried that rising prices in retirement will cause basic expenses to be unaffordable once they stop working. But there’s an...

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Every generation views their situation differently, from fashion to food to finance, and currently, there are seven defined generations. Let’s see how their views differ on finances and if you line up with your generation.1910-1927 The...

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

For young couples just getting started, new commitments, such as buying their first home or having children, bring with them the responsibility of making sure their loved ones are financially covered. Life insurance can help loved ones...

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Are you considering retiring before your full retirement age? Then you’re a part of the FIRE Movement, also known in long-form as "Financial Independence, Retire Early.” The Movement requires you to accumulate enough wealth to support...

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Many Americans underestimate the impact that caring for a loved one can have on their lives, marriage, work, and finances. In a column by Michelle Singletary, a Washington Post columnist, an “AARP study found that three-quarters of...

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

A 401(k) is a common savings tool for many working Americans. It’s an easy way to save and generally comes with the benefit of employer matching. But are you really clear on where your money is invested and if it’s the optimal place...

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

We’ve all seen the commercials for checking your credit score, and some even talk about ways to boost it, but if you’re over 50 and well established, does the number really matter that much? According to the FICO® Score model, the...

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

According to Annuity.org, there are multiple reasons Americans are investing billions into annuities. There’s much talk around annuities regarding retirement planning, which leaves the conversation open to a lot of questions and...

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

If the fear of outliving your retirement savings haunts you, then looking into income sources that can keep going as long as you do may not be such a bad idea. One way to potentially alleviate this financial anxiety is to consider an...

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

After a partial recovery from bouts of volatility in mid-January, markets have turned bumpy again over the past few weeks.  Several concerns have contributed to these movements. These include recent Russia-Ukraine events........

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Dear Client: As the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) sunset provisions (generally 12/31/2025) get closer every day, many tax and fiscal issues remain uncertain. Today, it appears that tax legislation may be in the offing once again...

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Recent market movements, events and thoughts on investing Market performance Markets have advanced so far this year, as vaccination numbers grew and new infections stabilized. U.S. stocks, as well as developed foreign and emerging...

Saturday, February 27, 2021

You may have seen news reports about recent interest rate movements in the media. We want to keep you informed as to what is going on in the markets and offer our perspective on what that means for you and your portfolio....

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Getting remarried includes merging two well-established financial and emotional lives. Both partners bring accumulated assets, debts, forged spending habits, obligations and perhaps children to the relationship. Determining how to...

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Why People Want Independent Financial Advisors In some cases, “independent” is better. Times have changed – and so have financial advisors. Today, people don’t want financial advice from a salesman. Instead,...