April 16, 2014

April 16 is TWOKAM “Talk with our kids about money” day

"There are all sorts of ideas to get the conversation started from books you can read together or crafts like making a piggy bank," says Massey-Wiebe, who is a financial counsellor at Community Financial Counselling Services, which helps individuals facing financial difficulties.  "One of the most common things I will hear from people who come in to talk to me is 'I never learned this at home' and 'I was never taught this at school.' " www.talkwithourkidsaboutmoney.com  

9 ways pre-retirees crash their retirement

By Kenn Tacchino
1.      Retire too soon (read: Checklist of Retirement-Date Considerations)
2.      Carry debt into retirement
3.      Claim Social Security too soon
4.      Underestimate your life expectancy
5.      Underestimate health-care costs and needs
6.      Using a life-only annuity instead of a joint and survivor annuity for a married couple
7.      Counting on continued work or part-time employment
8.      Underestimating inflation.
9.      Choosing to age in place

April 14, 2014

Is your adviser working in your best interests? Understanding fiduciary responsibilities

“A fiduciary is a person… who has been placed in a high standard of trust. A financial adviser fiduciary has the legal responsibility and liability to place your interests first — ahead of their own. Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) are fiduciaries and are legally bound to place a client's best interest above the firm's. While you might think all financial service providers are fiduciaries, most aren't. For example Brokers are not.” “Some financial advisers say that they are ‘fee-based.’ This is also not the same as ‘fee-only.’ These semantics can lead to the false conclusion that advisers are fee-only fiduciaries when they are not.” For more details read Lisa Hay’s advice at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-your-adviser-working-in-your-best-interests-2014-04-10

5 Simple Things to Prepare Now for Your Estate

These documents are easy to assemble and will be helpful to your loved ones when you pass on.
"An account list. Prepare a simple document that lists all of your financial accounts, your account numbers and contact information for those accounts. If the accounts have stated beneficiaries, include those as well.
A folder containing proof of ownership documents. In a single folder, you should include the deeds to any property you own, including land and vehicles. You should also include a statement of any accounts with significant assets – your retirement accounts, investment accounts, savings accounts and so on.
An advance directive form for your state. This document will help your family assess how to handle your medical needs should you be unable to do so.
Marriage and divorce paperwork. Make sure you have an easy-to-locate copy of your marriage certificate if you’re currently married. If you’re divorced, include copies of your divorce decree from those marriages. 
A letter to each of your loved ones. Spend some time writing a letter to each of your closest loved ones, telling them how much they mean to you and reflecting on some of the moments you shared."

High fees eat up investment returns

“401(k) fees of just 1% per year could eat up $70,000 of an average account over a 40-year working life, compared with lower-cost investments. The Center for American Progress report says that to make up the loss, workers would have to stay on the job three years longer than planned.” SO… pay attention to the fees you are being charged for your investments, whether in an employer sponsored plan, an IRA or other investments, including the management fees charged by advisors. Get the details at: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101578597
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