October 24, 2014

Behind on investing for retirement? Check out the Late Savers Guidebook

Late Savers Guidebook by Barbara O’Neill
It’s Not Too Late
"This guidebook is for people who know they should have saved more when they were younger...but didn’t. Perhaps you simply spent everything you earned, lacked an employer retirement savings plan, or experienced a major financial setback such as illness, divorce, or unemployment. The good news is it’s not too late to take action to secure your future. If you believe you are behind in preparing for retirement, this guidebook can help you make adjustments that can compensate for lost time. More than a dozen financial catch-up strategies are described to provide you with options for planning your future."

Investing for a Lifetime

Wondering how much you need to invest for retirement and where/how to invest? Ready for retirement but wanting guidance on how to make your money last?  Look no further than this excellent new book: Investing for a Lifetime: Managing Wealth for the “New Normal” by University of Pennsylvania finance professor and adviser Richard. C. Marston. It’s available at the Logan Library (332.6 Marston) and as an e-book through the USU library. Although persons who are number phobic may have to take a few deep breaths before they start reading, this is a most comprehensive and comprehensible book on investing. Due to its 2014 publication date, the data and references to the 2007-09 financial debacle make it especially relevant. One aspect that I especially liked was the brevity of each chapter. Although each chapter is packed with information and cogent advice, one isn’t overwhelmed by too much data or detail. Professor Marston writes with clarity and illustrates with understandable graphs and tables. Find more information about the book, author, and additional resources at his website: http://www.richardcmarston.com.
Read the New York Times review which lauds “the simple, straightforward approach” and how Marston helps “you determine exactly how much money you need to put away” at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/13/business/mutfund/investing-for-a-lifetime-by-richard-c-marston.html?_r=0
According to the publisher’s (Wiley) website http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118900944.html “Investing for a Lifetime shows:
  • how younger investors can set savings goals
  • how both younger and older investors can choose investment portfolios to achieve these goals
  • how investors can sustain spending once reaching retirement.”

National Save for Retirement Week

The third week in October is National Save for Retirement Week. Commit to doing one thing this week to improve your retirement readiness. Need ideas? Search this blog! For college students, have the conversation with your parents to determine their retirement preparation... it's in your best interest as well as theirs!

October 23, 2014

How to Win the Loser’s Game: Making the case for evidence-based investing

This series of short videos, produced in 2014 in the UK (but virtually all the concepts apply here in the U.S. and Canada), “has been created to provide investors and investing professionals with clear, concise and independent information about investing and, specifically, the benefits of evidence-based (or passive) investing.” http://www.sensibleinvesting.tv/about-us
Based on solid research and including interviews with Nobel Prize winning economists, the videos speak plainly to the average investor. You can forget about making your financial advisor rich; skip the actively managed funds sold by commission-earning salespeople. Watch and apply this information to your own investing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXgzFDgdxJk

How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free!

This new book by Ernie J. Zelinski is NOT about money!. Even if you are sure you will have plenty to keep you busy in retirement, it’s an entertaining book about what to do with your time. http://retirementaction.com/2012/03/05/how-to-retire-happy-wild-and-free-by-ernie-j-zelinski/

Best time to buy plane tickets?

Although Tuesday used to be considered the best day to find airline fares, the latest research from The Wall Street Journal (10/23/14) indicates the weekend is the best time with Saturday slightly better than Sunday. As Scott McCartney reports: "Over a 19-month period ending in July, 130 million domestic and international round-trip tickets worth $94 billion showed the lowest average price, of $432, was on Sunday. At $439, Saturday’s average is also lower than Tuesday, which averages $497." Also, "the cheapest time to buy domestic trips was 57 days—about two months—before departure."

October 9, 2014

Home Deport Credit Card Hackers strike home!

When I opened my email today I was alerted to an international charge for 41 cents for "OFICINA INKJET" which was obviously a fraudulent charge. Having used the card at Home Depot a number of times in the last few months and knowing that their credit card system had been hacked, I immediately called my credit card company. They cancelled the card and will send me a new card (one reason to have 2 credit cards). So many retailers have been hacked and the pace is accelerating. One can choose to pay with cash or check in the future but that doesn't work for online transactions; PayPal may be the best option for online shopping. But one still must use credit cards for reserving airline tickets; it's hard to go credit card-free. So the moral of the story is: watch your credit card statements vigilantly and don't ignore small charges. Better yet, sign up for email notification of charges.

October 6, 2014

Time for boomers to play defense with retirement investments

Two of the most brilliant minds in financial planning, Wade Pfau & Michael Kitces, suggest that boomers approaching retirement or already retired should plan for a market correction after 5 years of a raging bull market. Ian McGugan, write in the Toronto Globe & Mail: "After five years of surging stock prices, many people are nearing the end of their working lives while sitting on big gains in the equity portion of their portfolios. A bear market now could tear a massive hole in their retirement plans.While that risk is always present to some degree, there's reason to think that the danger is particularly acute right now."McGugan explains:
"The first strategy consists simply of reducing your stock exposure in the early years of retirement then gradually increasing it as you age. This, of course, is precisely the opposite of the traditional strategy of paring back your equity holdings as you age."
"The second strategy consists of reducing your stock exposure at times – like now – when the market is seriously overpriced in terms of what is known as the cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings ratio."
Read the details:
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