Member Advantage Articles

Retirement in Sight – November 2018

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MONTHLY NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE RETIREES Presented by UPAL – NOVEMBER 2018 QUOTE OF THE MONTH “Live life to the fullest.” ERNEST HEMINGWAY RETIREMENT PLANNING CONTINUES AFTER YOU RETIRE It can be easy to think of retirement planning as a means to an end: a series of purposeful meetings leading up to a life transition. This transition is not the end of retirement planning. Think of this transition (and the steps preceding it) as the first phase. The second phase focuses on managing your spending, plus enhancing your…

Do Fixed-Income Investments Belong in Your Portfolio?

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 Unappealing or too conservative for you? Think again. They have their place. December 3, 2018 When stocks soar, fixed-income investments have comparatively little allure. Investors hungry for double-digit returns may regard them as bland, vanilla securities saddled with an opportunity cost, geared to risk-averse retirees who are “playing not to lose.” An investment earning a consistent rate of return on a fixed schedule is not a negative. Fixed-income investments are something you may want as part of your portfolio, particularly when stocks fall. Fixed-income investments have a steadiness that stocks…

Ways to Ease the Cost of College

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A look at grants, scholarships, 529 plans, and other methods. December 3, 2018 How much could a college education cost in the 2030s? You may want to take a deep breath and sit down before reading the next paragraph. A MassMutual analysis projects that four years of tuition, room, and board at a private college will cost nearly $369,000 in 2031. An article at CNBC offers a slightly cheaper estimate, putting the total expense at $303,000 for a freshman setting foot on campus in 2036. (Today, the cost of four…

No, That Is Not the I.R.S. Calling

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Watch out for crooks impersonating I.R.S. agents (and financial industry professionals). December 3, 2018 Do you know how the Internal Revenue Service contacts taxpayers to resolve a problem? The first step is almost always to send a letter through the U.S. Postal Service to the taxpayer.1 It is very rare for the I.R.S. to make the first contact through a call or a personal visit. This happens in two circumstances: when taxes are notably delinquent or overdue or when the agency feels an audit or criminal investigation is necessary. Furthermore,…

Is Generation X Preparing Adequately for Retirement?

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Future financial needs may be underestimated. November 14, 2018 If you were born during 1965-80, you belong to “Generation X.” Ten or twenty years ago, you may have thought of retirement as an event in the lives of your parents or grandparents; within the next 10-15 years, you will probably be thinking about how your own retirement will unfold.1 According to the most recent annual retirement survey from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, the average Gen Xer has saved only about $72,000 for retirement. Hypothetically, how much would that…

How Medigap Choices Are Changing

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Plan F is fading away, and Plan G may become the most selected option. November 14, 2018 Soon, the most popular Medigap policy will no longer be sold. Seniors will lose the chance to buy Plan F in 2020 as well as the less popular Plan C.1,2 These policies cover Medicare’s Part B deductible, which is currently $183. A new federal law prevents the sale of any Medigap policies that cover this deductible once the 2020s begin.2 Be assured, if you already have Plan F (or Plan C) coverage, you…

When You Retire Without Enough

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Start your “second act” with inadequate assets, and your vision of the future may be revised. November 14, 2018 How much have you saved for retirement? Are you on pace to amass a retirement fund of $1 million by age 65? More than a few retirement counselors urge pre-retirees to strive for that goal. If you have $1 million in invested assets when you retire, you can withdraw 4% a year from your retirement funds and receive $40,000 in annual income to go along with Social Security benefits (in ballpark…

The Holiday Wrap Up

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A look back at 2018 thus far Presented by UPAL The year in brief. Last December, market prognosticators polled by Barron’s forecast a 7% advance for the S&P 500 in 2018. That prediction may come true. By early November, the S&P was up only about 5% for the year. Wall Street began 2018 in rally mode: happy to see large tax cuts for corporations, anxious to see whether a booming economy would lead to rising inflation pressure and recurring interest rate hikes. What Wall Street did not see coming late…

Tolerate the Turbulence

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Look beyond this moment and stay focused on your long-term objectives. Volatility will always be around on Wall Street, and as you invest for the long term, you must learn to tolerate it. Rocky moments, fortunately, are not the norm. Since the end of World War II, there have been dozens of Wall Street shocks. Wall Street has seen 56 pullbacks (retreats of 5-9.99%) in the past 73 years; the S&P index dipped 6.9% in this last one. On average, the benchmark fully rebounded from these pullbacks within two months….

HIPAA Risk Analysis and MACRA/MIPS: What you need to know.

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Did you know that having a HIPAA Security Risk Analysis accounts for half of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) “Promoting Interoperability” category base score? *   Did you know that your HIPAA Risk Analysis needs to be completed no later than December 31, 2018 in order to attest? If you are concerned that your organization doesn’t have a HIPAA Security Risk Analysis, LayerCompliance can help. HOW LAYERCOMPLIANCE WORKS The LayerCompliance platform provides an online, easy-to-follow checklist-driven HIPAA module that includes: An annual assessment HIPAA Security Risk Analysis (required for…