September 19, 2014

Free medical & dental clinic, Cache Valley, Utah


Cache Valley Community Health Clinic
272 1/2 North Main Street
Logan, UT 84341

(435) 716-5410
week days/business hours

(435) 752-7060
Tue/Thur Evenings
The Cache Valley Community Health Clinic provides medical assistance for local residents without access to health insurance. This service is possible thanks to dedicated volunteers and generous financial support. Each year, on average, clinic providers see more than 2,100 patients, and volunteers collectively give over 1,600 hours of service.

September 16, 2014

THe ABCs of 401(k)s



401(k) Plans 101: A Guide to Saving for Retirement by Steve Nicastro. From tax advantages to company matches, here's everything you should know about 401(k)s. http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2014/09/15/401-k-plans-101-a-guide-to-saving-for-retirement

Taxation of non-retirement mutual funds

Investors in mutual funds held outside of qualified retirement accounts can be surprised by the income taxes they owe. "If the fund sells investments that have gone up in value since they were acquired, the resulting gains will be passed out to you in the form of dividend distributions. If you hold your fund shares in a taxable brokerage firm account, those distributions will be taxable. The tax rate you will pay depends on your income level and whether the gains were short-term or long-term." Learn the details in this article by Bill Bischoff: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-mutual-fund-profits-can-get-you-in-tax-trouble-2014-09-15

Social Security: File & Suspend Strategy



“The Social Security file-and-suspend strategy has been used primarily for couples to coordinate the delay of individual retirement benefits (earning delayed retirement credits) while making a spouse eligible to begin his/her spousal benefits. It can also be used as a partial form of "undo" for a retiree who started benefits early, and later wishes to suspend them (at full retirement age) to earn delayed retirement credits (a benefits increase that can partially or fully offset the decrease triggered by electing benefits early in the first place).”
“However, the strategy to file and suspend can also be used as a proactive planning strategy for individuals, because it creates an opportunity for the retiree to subsequently "undo" the decision to delay and "retroactively" claim benefits back to the date they chose to file and suspend (e.g., full retirement age). Thus, for someone who is approaching age 66 and isn't certain about whether it's a good idea to delay or not, choosing to file and suspend allows them to wait until age 70 to make the final decision, enjoying the benefits of the delay if it still makes sense to do so, but having the opportunity to go back and claim benefits at 66 if there's a change in health or circumstances.”
Financial planner Michael Kitces is one of the most brilliant minds in the industry. Read the details of this SS claiming strategy on his Nerd’s Eye View blog: http://www.kitces.com/blog/why-individuals-should-file-and-suspend-their-social-security-benefits-reinstatement-of-voluntary-suspension-versus-retroactive-benefits/

How to throw away a fortune

My favorite personal finance writer, Jonathan Clements, explains how to throw away a fortune in 7 easy steps:
1. Delay savings
2. Shun retirement accounts.
3. Forfeit the employer match.
4. Buy active mutual funds
5. Carry a credit card balance.
6. Buy a new car every 3 years.
7. Remodel your home.
Read the details at: http://online.wsj.com/articles/throw-away-a-fortune-in-seven-easy-steps-1410653131?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_yourmoney

September 11, 2014

Planning to work longer to solve your retirement funding deficit? Don't count on it.

A "new research paper published by the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School says that there’s a substantial disconnect between what people say they’re going to do and what they actually end up doing — and that they should plan for their plans to be thwarted.
According to “The Changing Nature of Retirement,” by Julia Coronado of Graham Capital Management, although many survey respondents say they intend to postpone retirement past age 65 and two-thirds intend to work for pay after retirement, in actuality statistics reveal a different picture.
What they show is that many retire earlier than planned (nearly half) and fewer (only about 25 percent) work for pay." Read more at: http://www.benefitspro.com/2014/09/10/retirement-comes-early-plans-to-work-aside

September 10, 2014

5 Simple steps to perfect portfolio

These 5 simple rules will help you build the right asset mix and avoid a hodgepodge that won't achieve your retirement goals. Walter Updegrave recommends these five questions to help you assess your portfolio. Keep it Simple!
1. Do you need the fingers of both hands to count your investments?
2. Do you own investments you don’t really understand? 
3. Can you explain exactly why you bought each investment you own? 
4. Do you own investments that you’ve never touched after buying?
5. Do you regularly add new investments to your portfolio?  
For details: http://time.com/money/3263186/diversifying-portfolio-5-rules/

Women & Investment Risk

"Why (retired) women need to take more investment risk." Although focusing on retired women, Eleanor Blayney's advice to women on the need to take a modest amount of investment risk applies to women of all ages. You could never keep up with inflation by putting all your money in federally insured savings vehicles. Blayney is consumer advocate for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Read her short, succinct article at: http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2014/09/09/why-retired-women-need-to-take-more-investment-risks/

September 9, 2014

Questions to ask a financial adviser

Start by identifying your investment goals.
Consider the types of advice you are seeking: i.e., how to get out of debt, save more, invest for retirement, spending during retirement, a complete all-encompassing financial plan?
Do you want a one or two-time consultation or an on-going relationship?
"After identifying your investment goals, you should interview investment advisers to decide which one would best be suited to help you achieve your goals." (Investment Adviser Association)
The first questions you should ask are:
  1. Are you a fiduciary, i.e., are you required by law to place my interests ahead of your own at all times? Are you willing to acknowledge your fiduciary duty in writing?
  2. How are you paid? Do you make more money if I buy a particular stock, bond, or mutual fund over another investment? If so, would you still recommend this investment and why? Does your firm hold prize contests for sales?
To learn more and see a list of other essential questions, go to the IAA website:  https://www.investmentadviser.org/eweb/dynamicpage.aspx?webcode=Selecting

September 4, 2014

When to enroll in Medicare

"Failing to meet one of Medicare’s many enrollment deadlines can be costly to new or imminent 65 year olds." Enroll durin gthe 3 months prior to your 65th birthday! Get the details on the Squared Away Blog: http://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/squared-away/sorting-out-medicare-enrollment-dates/

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