October 27, 2010

Retirement Readiness Rating

What Is Your R3?

"So you think you're preparing well for your retirement, but are you really? Use this quiz to determine your Retirement Readiness Rating (R3). Your R3 is an indicator of how good a job you're actually doing in financial preparation for retirement. It may help you flag some action items that, up to now, you may have neglected or overlooked. And if you have, it provides some resources to point you in the right direction and help you get started!" (Employee Benefit Research Institute)
Answer each question (truthfully!) and click on the "What is my RRR?" button at the end of the quiz to calculate your Retirement Readiness Rating.

Retirement Resources

“Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business” (www.choosingaretirementsolution.org), presents employers with a number of retirement plan options, and describes the advantages and features of each; from a simpler IRA-based plan to the more sophisticated automatic enrollment 401(k) plan. Even businesses with as few as two employees will find options using this new online tool.

For additional resources on retirement plan options, visit the EBSA Website at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa.

Individuals seeking more information about retirement planning can find assistance at the AICPA’s website, www.360financialliteracy.org. The 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy campaign teaches financial literacy to Americans in every stage of life. The site’s “Retirees” section under “Life Stages” provides guidance on retirement planning and related topics.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Reverse Mortgages for older homeonwers

Many older homeowners are "house rich and cash poor." A reverse mortgage can help turn their home into a stream of income once they are age 62 or older. the mandatory reverse mortgage counseling is provided free by the USU Family Life Center HUD-approved RM counselors. For an appointment or more info call: 435-797-7224.

For trustworthy information on reverse mortgages from the National Council on Aging, read: Use your home to stay at home: A Guide for Older Homeowners Who Need Help Now http://www.ncoa.org/news-ncoa-publications/publications/ncoa_reverse_mortgage_booklet_073109.pdf

October 26, 2010

Check your credit report & protect your identity

Opt out of credit and insurance offers to protect against someone stealing your identity by stealing your mail. Save paper and trees, too. 

How can I exclude my name from nationwide consumer credit reporting company lists for unsolicited credit and insurance offers?

You may request that consumer credit reporting companies exclude your name from lists for pre-approved, unsolicited credit and insurance offers. To find out more, please call 1–888–5OPTOUT (1–888–567–8688).
Don't forget to get your free credit reports each year from https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
Order a report from one of the 3 agencies once every 4 months (encourage spouse/partner, adult kids to do the same). It’s a good way to monitor your report to be sure info is accurate and to catch ID theft early in the event someone else gets credit in your name or steals your identity. 

“This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.”

October 25, 2010

Book of the month: Women's Worth

Women's Worth: Finding your financial confidence

"In Women's Worth, CFP Eleanor Blayney breaks through the traditionally male-dominated field of financial advice to offer informtation you-- as a woman--can really use. Her frank approach intersperses practical advice with easy-to-do exercises that will help you understand your beliefs about money, learn the fundamentals of financial planning, and gain confidence in your financial know-how."

More info online at: http://www.directionsforwomen.com/

October 22, 2010

Stop mail delivery of advertising flyers

While some people may look forward to them, others would like to stop the endless flow of advertising in their mailboxes (yes, the newsprint can be recycled but it is better to stop the flow if you don't use them).

Write to the address printed on the outside of the packet of flyers requesting that they stop sending to your address. In Logan the advertisements come from: Red Plum, One Targeting Centre, Windsor, CT 06095 (this may differ depending on where you live).

Stock volatility- stay the course

'Stay the course investors' move ahead of panic sellers (Fidelity analysis with graph). Although we hope the worst of the dramatic stock market losses are behind us, it's a good time to remember the irrational investor behavior that guarantees losses.

Key Take Aways:

  • U.S. investors withdrew a record $70 billion from the stock market during the peak of the financial crisis in October 2008, and another $50 billion near the market low during Feb/March of 2009.
  • As of Oct. 16, 2009—one year after the peak in liquidations—investors who remained in the stock market had fared better than those who exited at the peak of the crisis and stayed on the sidelines.

Halloween Retirement Planning

Halloween is a great time to get motivated to plan for retirement by watching this 30 second video


October 20, 2010

Great resource: Nolo Press website & sale

Nolo Press is a trusty source of excellent legal and personal finance information. I've been using their books and web site as a resource for years. You can be sure the info is accurate and up to date. Many of their books have free chapters on the site so you can check them out before buying (paper or e-versions). You can buy & download legal documents from the site, including resources for landlords and small business owners, wills, parenting agreements and much more.

You can locate attorneys near your zip code on their website; for example there is a female estate planning attorney in SLC. FPW attendees often prefer to work with women professionals. Yes, there are female attorneys in Cache Valley so you don't have to travel to SLC, but the feature is worth perusing.

Personal finance & retirement
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