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Is it Smart to Borrow From Your 401(k)

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, in 2015, 20 percent of Americans have an  outstanding loan balance on their 401(k) and 37 percent have had loans in the past five years. Ten percent of those borrowers defaulted and a whopping 86 percent of borrowers left their company with an outstanding balance, according to…

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Emergency Budget

There are many Americans who are not saving and, for these people, even a small unexpected expense will likely cause a financial setback. A survey of 1,000 Americans by Bankrate said nearly 60 percent of Americans would not be able to pay an unexpected emergency expense from their savings. Forty-five percent of those surveyed said…

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Planning for Health Care expenses in Retirement

What’s the best way to wreck your retirement budget? How about unexpected medical expenses? Ask any financial planner and, he or she will likely say that most couples are not prepared for the financial disruption that could come with an expected or catastrophic illness. Twenty-eight percent of Americans said their greatest fear in retirement is…

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Retirement Income, 401(k) Withdrawals and the 4% Rule

You’ve done a great job stashing money in your 401(k) for the past 30 years. But now that retirement is approaching, you need to solidify a post-retirement income plan. Your small pension, if you have one, and social security payment won’t be enough on their own. Fortunately, that 401(k) can translate into a lot of…

Sep 3, 2015

Estate Equalization

I recently met with a long term client of mine, and both he and his wife are farmers/ranchers. Like most farmers the majority of their wealth was contained in the farm in the form of land, machinery, and livestock. They have three children: a son who has stayed on the farm and is taking over…

Sep 3, 2015

Beneficiary Update

I met John and Debbie Wolfe after they called into our radio show. They were in their 60s and had been married for over 25 years. They were using a family friend as a financial advisor but they also took advantage of my free second opinion offered on my radio show.  Our retirement review involves…

Sep 3, 2015

Reduced Risk and Increased Stability

I met the Wrights in November of 1998. If you think back to those times you’ll remember the markets were on a tear and that was reflected in the Wrights’ investments. Tom and Suzy were savers; they both worked for the same manufacturing company and had risen to management. They sacrificed while they were working…

Sep 3, 2015

Fee Analysis

Nathan and Jessica met me at one of our monthly workshops. They are in their early 70s and have been retired for several years now. Although they were happy with their retirement lifestyle; Nathan was skeptical about the amount of fees he was paying his broker. The market had been performing well and he didn’t feel…

Longevity Risk: The Financial Implications of a Long Life

Living longer is a good thing, right? Most people would probably agree with that. Living longer means more time to enjoy all the world has to offer and more time to spend with cherished family and friends. So what is longevity risk all about? The risk portion refers to the economic realities that may come…

Stock Market Risk: Too Much for Retirees to Handle?

I had lunch with my friend Peter recently. He and I are in different places financially and have very different experiences with stock market risk. I think part of that has to do with his corporate job and investing experience over the past four decades, which ultimately may help to ensure him a more financially…

Do Low Interest Rates Pose a Risk to Your Retirement?

Interest rates are at historically low levels. They have been that way for several years while the US Federal Reserve attempts to stimulate economic growth. Sounds ideal, right? Well, what’s good for some isn’t as good for others. Low rates may help a young family looking to buy their first home, but it may hurt…

Jul 28, 2015

Living Benefit Riders for Annuities: A Good Source Of Income Protection For Retirees?

A concern of many retirees and near-retirees is the possibility of not having enough income to last the rest of their lives. The concern is understandable, given increasing life spans and the rising cost of living which exists in many parts of the US. Another hurdle is trying to make assets last as long as…

Figuring Out What Income You Need In Retirement

Rodney Brooks The most recent retirement confidence survey from the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) in Washington, D.C. says only 21 percent of Americans are now very confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. Another 22 percent are somewhat confident.1 And the Transamerica Center for Retirement Research also says only…