Member Advantage Articles

Retirement in Sight – July 2018

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Monthly News and Information for Current and Future Retirees Presented by UPAL – JULY 2018 QUOTE OF THE MONTH “Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” Auguste Rodin WHY TAKE ON DEBT TO HELP YOUR KIDS WITH COLLEGE? An unsettling trend is emerging among pre-retirees and retirees. Parents are picking up a greater share of college education costs, and in doing so, they may risk damaging their retirement prospects. A new analysis of higher education debt patterns by SavingforCollege.com finds that the average college loan…

Retirement in Sight – June 2018

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When It Comes to Retirement Savings, How Much Is Enough? While it is hard for any pre-retiree to determine an exact answer to that question, it seems some are just stumped. A Bankrate survey just asked working-age Americans how much they should save to have a comfortable retirement, and the most common answer (61%) was “Don’t know.” The average estimate of those 39% who ventured a guess was $650,000. One average, members of Generation X felt they would need $1 million, while baby boomers and those age 73 and older…

Tuning Out the Noise

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May 2018 For investors, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the relentless stream of news about markets. Being bombarded with data and headlines presented as impactful to your financial well-being can evoke strong emotional responses from even the most experienced investors. Headlines from the “lost decade”[1] can help illustrate several periods that may have led market participants to question their approach. May 1999: Dow Jones Industrial Average Closes Above 11,000 for the First Time March 2000: Nasdaq Stock Exchange Index Reaches an All-Time High of 5,048 April 2000:…

Set Goals as You Save & Invest

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Turn your intent into a commitment. June 11, 2018 Goals give you focus. To find and establish your investing and saving goals, first ask yourself what you want to accomplish. Do you want to build an emergency fund? Build college savings for your child? Have a large retirement fund by age 60? Once you have a defined motivation, a monetary goal can arise. It can be easier to dedicate yourself to a goal rather than a hope or a wish. That level of dedication is important, as saving and investing…

What Women Shouldn’t Retire Without

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A practical financial checklist for the future. June 11, 2018 When our parents retired, living to 75 amounted to a nice long life, and Social Security was often supplemented by a pension. The Social Security Administration estimates that today’s average 65-year-old female will live to age 86.6. Given these projections, it appears that a retirement of 20 years or longer might be in your future.1,2 Are you prepared for a 20-year retirement? How about a 30- or 40-year retirement? Don’t laugh; it could happen. The SSA projects that about 25%…

Including Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

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What should you know? What should your executor know? June 11, 2018 When people think about estate planning, they may think in terms of personal property, real estate, and investments. Digital assets might seem like a lesser concern, perhaps no concern at all. But it is something that many are now considering.1 Your digital assets should not disappear into a void when you die. You can direct that they be transferred, preserved, or destroyed per your instructions. Your digital assets may include information on your phone and computer, content that…

Why Medicare Should Be Part of Your Retirement Planning

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The premiums and coverages vary, and you must realize the differences. June 11, 2018 Medicare takes a little time to understand. As you approach age 65, familiarize yourself with its coverage options and their costs and limitations. Certain features of Medicare can affect health care costs and coverage. Some retirees may do okay with original Medicare (Parts A and B), others might find it lacking and decide to supplement original Medicare with Part C, Part D, or Medigap coverage. In some cases, that may mean paying more for senior health…

Retirement in Sight – May 2018

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Would You Pay More for a Better Employee Retirement Plan? If that trade-off sounds worthwhile, rest assured you are not the only one who feels that way. Sixty-six percent of the working Americans surveyed late last year by consulting firm Willis Towers Watson said that they would defer a greater percentage of salary than they currently do if their potential retirement benefits were upgraded, and 61% said that they would increase their plan contributions if they were offered a guaranteed benefit, in the manner of a traditional pension. The quality…

Retirement Planning Weak Spots

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They are all too common.  May 17, 2018 Many households think they are planning carefully for retirement. In many cases, they are not. Weak spots in their retirement planning and saving may go unnoticed. Couples should recognize that they may face major medical expenses. Each year, Fidelity Investments estimates how much a pair of newly retired 65-year-olds will spend on health care throughout the rest of their lives. Fidelity says that on average, retiring men will need $133,000 to fund health care in retirement; retiring women, $147,000. Even baby boomers…

Adjusting Your Portfolio as You Age

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As you approach retirement, it may be time to pay more attention to investment risk. April 27, 2018 If you are an experienced investor, you have probably fine-tuned your portfolio through the years in response to market cycles or in pursuit of a better return. As you approach or enter retirement, is another adjustment necessary? Some investors may think they can approach retirement without looking at their portfolios. Their investment allocations may be little changed from what they were 10 or 15 years ago. Because of that inattention (and this…