Member Advantage Articles

Financial Priorities Young Families Should Address

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Wise money moves for parents under 40. August 16, 2017 As you start a family, you start to think about certain financial matters. Before you became a mom or dad, you may not have thought about them much, but so much changes when you have kids. Parenting presents you with definite, sudden, financial needs to address. By focusing on those needs today, you may give yourself a head start on meeting some crucial family financial objectives tomorrow. The to-do list should include: Life & disability insurance coverage. If one or…

Retirement in Sight – August 2017

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August 16, 2017 Address These Retirement Planning Priorities After 50 When you turn 50, you start to think practically about the steps of your retirement transition. A to-do list emerges of tasks to try and accomplish, as well as things to consider. Now is the time to pour all you can into your retirement savings. As an example, say you direct $15,000 annually into your workplace retirement account from age 55 to 65. If it returns 6%, you’ll see $48,000 growth off those $150,000 in salary deferrals. An additional $198,000…

Will You Really Be Able to Work Longer?

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You may assume you will. That assumption could be a retirement planning risk. July 17, 2017 How long do you think you will work? Are you one of those baby boomers (or Gen Xers) who believes he or she can work past 65? Some pre-retirees are basing their entire retirement transition on that belief, and that could be financially perilous.  In a new survey on retirement age, the gap between perception and reality stands out. The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) recently published its 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey, and the…

Having the Money Talk with Your Children

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How much financial knowledge do they have?  July 17, 2017 Some young adults manage to acquire a fair amount of financial literacy. In the classroom or the workplace, they learn a great deal about financial principles. Others lack such knowledge and learn money lessons by paying, to reference William Blake, “the price of experience.” Broadly speaking, how much financial literacy do young people have today? At this writing, some of the most recent data appears in U.S. Bank’s 2016 Student and Personal Finance Study. After surveying more than 1,600 American…

Retirement in Sight – July 2017

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  July 17, 2017 When Baby Boomers Become Elders, Will Their Kids Provide Care? Right now, millions of baby boomers provide informal, unpaid eldercare to parents in their eighties and nineties. This obligation has led some boomers to retire earlier. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College says that men who play these caregiving roles are 2.4% less likely to stay in the workforce than their peers. Women are more likely to leave the office under such stress, and the CRR estimates that those who do balance a career…

Will You Be Prepared When the Market Cools Off?

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Markets have cycles, and at some point, the major indices will descend. June 27, 2017 We have seen a tremendous rally on Wall Street, nearly nine months long, with the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite, and Dow Jones Industrial Average repeatedly settling at all-time peaks. Investors are delighted by what they have witnessed. Have they become irrationally exuberant?     The major indices do not always rise. That obvious fact risks becoming “back of mind” these days. On June 15, the Nasdaq Composite was up 27.16% year-over-year and 12.67% in the past six…

A Primer for Estate Planning

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Things to check and double-check. June 8, 2017 Estate planning is a task that people tend to put off, as any discussion of “the end” tends to be off-putting. However, people without their financial affairs in good order risk leaving their heirs some significant problems along with their legacies. No matter what your age, here are some things you may want to accomplish this year regarding estate planning. Create a will if you don’t have one. Many people never get around to creating a will, not even buying a will-in-a-box…

Retirement in Sight – May 2017

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June 8, 2017 Is Social Security Coming Up Short for Retirees? The non-partisan Senior Citizens League says yes, charging that the wrong metric is being used to determine cost of living adjustments (COLAs) to retiree benefits. The federal government uses the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) to figure various COLAs. Younger, employed people usually have lower medical expenses than older people; they also spend more money on gasoline and transportation than retirees do. Senior advocates argue that the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E)…

Should You Apply for Social Security Now or Later?

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When should you apply for benefits? Consider a few factors first. May 8, 2017 Now or later? When it comes to the question of Social Security income, the choice looms large. Should you apply now to get earlier payments? Or wait for a few years to get larger checks? Consider what you know (and don’t know). You know how much retirement money you have; you may have a clear projection of retirement income from other potential sources. Other factors aren’t as foreseeable. You don’t know exactly how long you will…

401(k) Plans for Healthcare Practice Employees

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This may be one of the best things you can do for your financial health. Provided by UPAL May 8, 2017 If you had a chance to save hundreds of thousands of dollars over time at no great cost to your lifestyle or your monthly budget, would you take it? An easy-to-use retirement savings option that might go a long way to giving your retirement savings a boost? Look at what the standard 401(k) can offer you. Tax-deferred growth. The money you save and invest in a traditional 401(k) grows…