Market volatility can be frightening. Even the possibility of volatility scares some investors. Anxiety is a natural reaction to the hyperbolic headlines calling for the next major market downturn due to the latest world conflict or catastrophe. The important thing to remember is that the primary goal of your portfolio is long-term returns. Shift your focus away from short-term performance and readjust your sights on the big picture instead. Patience will win in the end. [Read more...]
If you’re concerned about the sustainability of Social Security, you’re not alone. Those who are far from retirement may wonder if Social Security benefits will be there for them at all. And, many people who are close to retirement or already retired are concerned about their benefits being cut when they need them most. But the reality may be less drastic than either of these scenarios. [Read more...]
Alarming headlines warn that a market correction is coming. Is there merit to their argument? Watch the 15-minute recorded webcast held October 9 for a clear picture of the current state of the market. > Watch webcast.
Most health insurance plans — including Medicare — don’t cover custodial care, the type of care that people most often need when they’re unable to live independently. Custodial care provides assistance to do everyday things such as bathing, getting dressed, eating and using the bathroom. [Read more...]
Business ownership can be very rewarding — but it can also be risky. If you’re an entrepreneur pursuing your dreams and forging your own success, it’s important to put some safeguards in place to ensure that your business doesn’t upend your personal financial plan. [Read more...]
Last year, a record 21.8 million students attended American colleges and universities, according to the Institute of Education Sciences. Incoming freshmen will take general courses at first, but will soon be expected to declare a major. Choosing a major greatly affects a student’s future career opportunities and earning ability. If you’re sending a child or grandchild to college this year, be sure they understand the importance of their decision. [Read more...]
When you hear the term “estate planning,” you may think it applies only to the very wealthy. But the truth is that everyone should have a basic plan — and the sooner you start thinking about it, the better. [Read more...]
Americans are starting to think differently about retirement. Factors such as longer life spans, new sources of retirement income and recent economic uncertainty have led to a shift in perception. As a result, some retirees have turned to working part time to provide both more fulfillment and financial confidence during retirement.
While employer-sponsored pension programs were common for previous generations, the percentage of all private-sector workers covered by a pension plan has dropped dramatically — from 45 percent in 1970 to 14 percent in 2011 — according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Many companies have replaced pensions with defined contribution programs, regularly contributing to employee retirement accounts rather than guaranteeing a certain retirement benefit.
Workers today are not only funding a larger part of their retirement themselves, they’ve also had to do so through the markets’ nosedive in 2008 and slow recovery over the last five years. On top of that, average life expectancy continues to increase and many people are enjoying up to three decades of retirement.
Some have responded by delaying retirement. In an April 2014 Gallup poll, retirees reported an average age of retirement of 62, two years older than the average age reported in 2012. However, it’s not uncommon for retired workers to enjoy a year or two of leisure upon retirement and then reenter the workforce after recharging. For many, retirement is not seen as a time of continuous and uninterrupted leisure, but rather another phase of life where one can focus on activities that bring more fulfillment, fun and flexibility — as well as additional income.
According to a Merrill Lynch 2014 study, nearly half (47 percent) of retirees have either worked or plan to work at some point during their retirement, and nearly three quarters (72 percent) of pre-retirees — defined as planning to retire within five years — plan to work in some form in retirement. Most retirees have some steady income from a combination of Social Security, retirement accounts and personal savings, allowing them more flexibility in the type of work they choose. In fact, 83 percent of those working in retirement work part time.
Interestingly, most retirees who continue to work — part time or full time — did not point to money as the most important reason to work. Sixty-two percent said the top reason they work in retirement is to stay mentally active, and only 31 percent cited money as the top reason. Many see working part time as a way to focus on their interests or hobbies, give back to the community or connect socially with others — all the while earning income to help meet expenses.
Make Working Work For You
If working during retirement is part of your plan, there are a lot of options to explore. Many retirees are self-employed, working as a part-time consultant or contract worker in their field of expertise. Others apply their skills acquired over a lifetime career to a new field of interest.
If you’d like to stay in your current field of work, one step is to let your former employer know you’re available for special projects or to help out during busy times. Joining a professional group may provide opportunities as well. You may be able to turn a hobby into an income-producing business. Photography, pottery, jewelry making, and woodworking — the possibilities are endless. You might also consider earning income by teaching your craft to others.
You can peruse existing part-time job opportunities on websites such as RetirementJobs.com, RetiredBrains.com and Indeed.com, among others. If you’re interested in exploring how working post-retirement could affect your finances, consult with a financial planner. The additional income, regardless of the source, may impact your financial goals, taxes and a variety of other factors.
An investment strategy to preserve and build your wealth is key to any financial plan. In this article, we outline four important steps for creating an investment strategy for optimal returns that can endure the risks of the market. [Read more...]
Investors often turn to dividend-paying stocks for downside protection when the stock market slows, or for increased income as they near retirement. However, dividend-paying stocks can have a place in your portfolio under any market conditions and at any life stage. [Read more...]