October 31, 2013

When Unmarried Couples Split

Breaking up is never easy but it may be even more complicated for live-in unmarried partners. “You put your heart into your live-in relationship, but you didn't put your name on a marriage license. Now, you and your partner have separated. And while you may be glad to see your erstwhile mate leave, you'd like to hold onto your money.” Check out the advice of Holly Smith in this CNBC article: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101118532

October 29, 2013

Social Security Benefits for Ex-spouses

If you are divorced and unmarried, check out Mary Beth Franklin's article and video on claiming Social Security retirement benefits based on an ex-spouse's earnings record. The marriage must have last fore at least 10 years. http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20131029/BLOG05/131029920

October 27, 2013

Financial Strategies for Single Parents

“There is one positive point about being a single parent and facing down a mountain of bills and a slew of budgetary choices: You don't have a partner to bicker with. You can make your own money decisions.  But otherwise, being a single parenting and budgeting can be a long slog,” according to Geoff Williams. His article in USNWR taps the expertise of parents and advisors for financial management tips for single moms and dads with a full house of kids – and bills. See: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/10/17/the-best-budgeting-strategies-for-single-parents

October 23, 2013

Why There's No Financial Advice for Most Americans

“America's middle class needs a lot of help managing its finances. The financial industry isn't providing much.”
“The latest failed experiment in bringing affordable financial advice to the masses is online platform Nestwise. The startup was shut down on Sept. 1, despite backing by the U.S.’s largest independent broker-dealer, LPL Financial Holdings Inc.”
“In May 2012, then-LPL senior executive Esther Stearns, 53, launched Nestwise; she left the company last month. Stearns, who says she can’t discuss the decision to close Nestwise, agreed to talk about the lessons learned from the startup and whether eventually there will be cost-effective ways to get advice to those who arguably need it most.” Read the interview bat: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-10-22/why-theres-no-financial-advice-for-most-americans

Social Security’s Real Retirement Age Is 70

By Alicia H. Munnell, Center for Retirement Research
“The brief’s key findings are:
  • Due to increases in Social Security’s Delayed Retirement Credit, the effective retirement age is now 70, with monthly benefits reduced for earlier claiming.
  • Benefit levels at 70 appear appropriate given that rising deductions for Medicare and greater benefit taxation have reduced Social Security’s net replacement rates.
  • The shift to 70 should be feasible for many workers given increases in lifespans, health, and education.
  • But vulnerable workers forced to claim early will have low benefits and will be particularly harmed by any further cuts.
  • Policymakers need to inform those who can work that 70 is the new retirement age and devise ways to protect those who cannot work.”
Bottom line, regardless of your Full Retirement Age, the reality is that your benefits will be reduced if you claim Social Security before age 70. Munnell is co-author of a book entitled Working Longer.

October 22, 2013

New Research: Increase stock holdings during retirement

"A new study challenges the long-held idea that workers should seek increasingly conservative investments for their nest egg as they approach retirement, saying the opposite approach -- gradually increasing investments in riskier equities such as stocks -- might be better." Read Laura Shin's summary in Forbes of the latest research (published in the Journal of Financial Planning) from two rising stars in financial planning research at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2013/10/21/the-counterintuitive-investing-trick-that-could-make-or-break-your-retirement/.

October 15, 2013

Ready to learn more about Retirement Planning?

“In an ideal world, a master class available to everyone would reveal all the secrets to retirement planning, telling you how much to save, where to invest and what to do when the stock market crashes,” writes Tara Bernard for the New York Times about Stanford University’s free online retirement finance class.  Check out the video lectures at: https://novoed.com/rauh-finance. According to Stanford professor Joshua Rauh, “In this eight-week course, you will learn the financial concepts behind sound retirement plan investment and pension fund management.” http://online.stanford.edu/course/rauh-finance

Get help applying for Health Insurance

Starting October 1, 2013, you can apply for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov and CuidadoDeSalud.gov with coverage starting as early as January 1, 2014.
The Marketplace offers different types of health plans to meet a variety of needs and budgets. Through the Marketplace you can apply, compare your options, and find out if you can get free or low-cost coverage.
Go to http://takecareutah.org/ type in your zip code and find help

When Relatives Ask for Money

“Some of the toughest financial situations occur when relatives ask for money. It's common for elderly parents to run out of funds. Now that we're living longer, it's equally common for our adult children to ask for support. The question is how to respond,” writes Henry Hebeler. Sound familiar? Read on: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/when-relatives-ask-for-money-2013-10-14
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