April 29, 2016

Future stock market returns will be low than past history

Be careful of projecting future stock (and bond) returns based on historical averages. According to Bloomberg Businessweek reporting on a study by McKinsey & Co, market returns will be much lower over the next 20 years compared with the past 30. The report predicts average annual returns of 4% to 6.5% over the next 20 years, compared with an annual average of 7.9% in the past 30 years. Check out the graphic "Lowering your sights" at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-27/be-afraid-be-very-afraid-if-you-re-investing-for-the-long-run#media-1
For a more detailed discussion see: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-27/be-afraid-be-very-afraid-if-you-re-investing-for-the-long-run
The report's conclusions confirm academic research that projects lower domestic and international stock and bond returns in the coming decades. So, bottom line, we need to save and invest more to ensure a secure retirement. 

Ignore hidden investment fees at your peril

Too often investors ignore the hidden fees in their retirement accounts, assuming that their employer or financial salesperson has their best interests at heart. Don't be so naive!  "Most people understand the basics of retirement planning. You set aside money to invest and save every month, and you keep daily expenses in check. Sounds pretty simple, right?
Not exactly. Even with a plan in place and the best intentions, you could be one of millions of Americans giving up hundreds of thousands of dollars in hidden fees. But how do you know? If you're saving for retirement with one of the leading brokerage firms, the answer is that you're probably losing retirement income to fees." Read the details by Bill Harris at: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/26/how-hidden-fees-can-crack-that-nest-egg.html
Cracked eggs

Presidential candidates: Where is the discussion on aging and retirement security?

In this sad, pathetic election season where so much of the rhetoric is juvenile and meaningless, where is the discussion on aging and retirement security? "There probably has been more discussion about the size of Donald Trump’s hands than about how to secure guaranteed lifetime income, the kind of topic that is top of mind with just about all boomers" according to Dan Kadlec in "The Money Megatrend That the Presidential Candidates Are Missing."  Read the analysis of the critical topics the candidates are ignoring at: http://time.com/money/4307241/presidential-candidates-ignoring-aging-retirement/

Mom deserves an IRA for Mother's Day

Forget the usual gifts of flowers, a restaurant meal, or another kitchen appliance. What stay-at home moms really need for Mother's Day is an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Non-paid spouses can have their own IRA as long as their spouse earns an income. Homemakers do not earn Social Security retirement credit for their hard work and contributions to families. While that policy oversight may not be remedied in the near future, families should contribute to the retirement security of full-time homemakers, mostly women who are likely to outlive their spouses, by regular contributions to an IRA. For details simply search for retirement and IRA on this blog. For more thoughts on this topic read:Retirement Planning for Stay-at-Home Moms.  Here’s how parents who aren’t earning an income can prepare for retirement. http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/articles/2016-04-27/retirement-planning-for-stay-at-home-moms
Come to the June 8 Financial Planning for Women program on selecting mutual funds for IRAs and other goals; details at http://www.usu.edu/fpw/

April 24, 2016

Cache County, Utah Solar Discount Program


Great news! The Cache Solar Discount Program is being extended another year.  The program was a great success in 2015, with 52 residential installations for a total of 776 panels and 215 kW total system capacity. Our first workshop will be held on April 21 at 6:30 P.M. in the City Hall main floor conference room.
An investment in solar panels can be both affordable and profitable, in addition to being a contribution to a more sustainable energy future. But the initial upfront cost can be a big barrier to many. Did you know that by financing your solar purchase, you can set up your monthly payments to approximate your current electricity billing, creating no additional monthly burden? And at the point when your system is paid off in approximately 8-10 years, the electricity is virtually free. For a typical system, that could represent up to $20,000 back into your pocket over a 30 year period.

The Cache Solar Discount Program is a program sponsored by local non-profit Cache Clean Air Consortium and supported by the City of Logan and Utah State University. The goal of the program is to help bring clean, renewable solar energy to more homes in Cache Valley by simplifying the purchasing process and provide competitive bulk purchase pricing on high-quality PV systems and installation services for homeowners in Cache Valley.

April 19, 2016

How To Save Money When Traveling

8 Money Saving Travel Tips
1) Avoid traveling to developed markets.
2) Use points or miles for airfare.
3) Take a road trip.
4) Look beyond traditional hotels.
5) Collect and use hotel points.
6) Do as locals do to save money.
7) Get the company to pay.
8) Take a really long trip.

April 13, 2016

Disasters and financial planning A guide for planning and recovery

Learn how to prepare for the unexpected and how to deal with the consequences with this website:

Disasters and financial planning: A guide for planning and recovery
Armageddon Online - Natural Disaster Scenarios
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