Do you have a 5/10/20 year Retirement Plan?

New Survey of Financial Advisors Identifies Top Advice for Retirement Planning 5, 10 and 20 Years Out. Advisors from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) Say Tax Planning and Emergency Savings Critical; Longevity Most Pressing Issue For Consumers and Policymakers Chicago, IL – To adequately prepare for retirement, Americans need to minimize taxes, save for emergencies and be prepared to live longer than their parents, according to NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors who ranked a comprehensive list of tried and true advice for people who are five, 10 and 20 years away from retirement. According to the Federal Reserve’s 2014 survey on the Economic Well-Being of American Households, 39 percent of Americans indicated that they have given little or no thought to financial planning for retirement. Furthermore, 31 percent of non-retirement respondents have no retirement savings or pensions whatsoever. To see highlights of the recommendations made by NAPFA Registered Advisors, click here.

2016 Tax and Plan Limits Announced

Based on recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers, the IRS and Social Security Administration have announced their 2016 limits. Social Security Social Security benefits will not see a cost-of-living increase for 2016. For those individuals receiving Social Security benefits prior to Full Retirement Age (FRA) for Social Security, the earnings limit remains at $15,720. For every $2 in earnings above the limit, $1 in SS benefits will be withheld. For new Medicare recipients, the cost of Medicare Part B is likely to be significantly higher. Because of the lack of a Cost-of-Living increase in existing SS benefits, many of those already on Medicare will not see an increase in their Part B premiums due to a long-standing hold harmless rule.   Therefore, the increase in Medicare costs will have to be shouldered primarily by new Medicare recipients and high income recipients, unless Congress takes additional action to control these increases. For employees, Social Security and Medicare tax withholding are as follows: Social Security taxes will be withheld at a rate of 6.2% for employees up to a wage base of $118,500, Read on! →

When Millennials Move Back Home

Cheryl J. Sherrard, CFP was quoted in a September 21st article in the Wall Street Journal, focused on what parents should know, and do, about the financial challenges of boomerang children. More millennials are spending early adulthood in the same place where they spent their formative years: in their parents’ homes. It’s crucial that both parties understand the financial implications of this homecoming. For parents, a child’s return often means a greater financial burden, just as the parents may be struggling to meet their own savings and retirement goals. It also can make it more difficult for the millennials to acquire the financial skills they’ll need later in life. According to a recent study by PEW Research Center, the percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds living with their parents is higher today than it has been in decades. Currently, 26% are back in the nest, up from 22% in 2007. The rise has occurred among both high-school and college graduates, and has continued since the recession’s end, despite the fact that millennials are earning more and have a lower unemployment rate than Read on! →

Is This Proposed Medicare Benefit Enough?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled End-of-Life Talk Proposed as New Medicare Benefit highlighted an issue encountered as patients approach the very end of their lives.  While there may be doctors who are willing to discuss end of life plans with their patients, they are not currently being reimbursed by Medicare for the time they spend in these important discussions.  Does this result in doctors opting out of these conversations altogether, or they are waiting until it is essentially too late to talk about it? A Frontline special a few months ago highlighted the fact that many doctors continue to pursue medical options to the very end of a patient’s life, even when there is no hope and when continued treatment creates additional physical trauma for patients and their families.  Obviously doctors have the ultimate goal of healing their patients, but when the end is inevitable, lack of training has been cited as one of the reasons many medical doctors never have end-of-life discussions with their patients. While we may not be able to control whether or not Read on! →

Add Life to your Retirement Years

A recent article in the Encore section of the WSJ, entitled “How to Add Life to Longer Lives” talks about the scientific advances which are extending our lives.  The point made by the article is that although these advances are being made and the first person in modern times who will live to 150 is alive today, as a society we are not prepared to deal with all the associated aspects that significantly longer lives will impact. The idea that we, as a society, are unprepared for longer lifespans is not something just for future generations to ponder and solve, it is a conversation that needs to be elevated and discussed today. Over the past 15 years, we have seen most large employers freeze pension plans for their employees, eliminate these plans for all newer employees, and put more of the responsibility for retirement savings on the employee themselves, through 401(k) only options.  The boomers who are retiring today are among the first who don’t have the safety net of an employer pension and in many cases did not adequately Read on! →