Member Advantage Articles

How Much Should You Save By Age 30, 40, 50, or 60?

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What number should you strive to reach? October 5, 2017 It is agreed that the earlier you start saving for retirement, the better. The big question on the minds of many savers, however, is: “How am I doing?” This article will show you some rough milestones to try and reach. (Keep in mind that you may need to save more or less than these amounts based on your objectives and lifestyle and income needs.)  At age 30, can you have the equivalent of a year’s salary saved? Some 30-year-olds have…

Will Debt Spoil Too Many Retirements?

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What pre-retirees owe could compromise their future quality of life. October 5, 2017 The key points of retirement planning are easily stated. Start saving and investing early in life. Save and invest consistently. Avoid drawing down your savings along the way. Another possible point for that list: pay off as much debt as you can before your “second act” begins. Some baby boomers risk paying themselves last. Thanks to lingering mortgage, credit card, and student loan debt, they are challenged to make financial progress in the years before and after…

Health Care Costs Are Cutting into Retirement Preparations

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This is happening in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. October 5, 2017 You may have seen this statistic before or one resembling it: the average 65-year-old retiring couple can now expect to pay more than $250,000 in health care expenses during the rest of their lives. In fact, Fidelity Investments now projects this cost at $275,000, up 70% from its initial estimate in 2002. The effort to prepare for these potential expenses is changing the big picture of retirement planning.1  Individual retirement savings strategies have been altered. How many people retire…

Retirement in Sight – September 2017

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September 18, 2017 Retirement Calculators May Not Add in Everything  You may turn to an online retirement calculator for a simple snapshot of your retirement income needs and your retirement savings progress. These calculators are everywhere and so easy to use – but just how realistic are their projections? In truth, not very. They fail to consider many variables. While they may have you enter your present salary, the percentage of income you want to replace in retirement, your estimated retirement date, and the rate of return for your investments,…

Are You Really Saving Enough for Retirement?

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Why an early start (and accepting some risk) matters. August 29, 2017 Are you on track to save $1 million or more for retirement? If you are 50 or younger, you may need that much in savings to generate the kind of retirement income you prefer. Personal finance website NerdWallet recently did some math concerning this very objective. What kind of sustained savings effort would a 30-year-old with nothing invested need to make to amass $1 million in retirement savings by age 67, assuming a consistent 6% annual return? (Keep…

Why You Should Stay Invested Through Tense Times

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Crises pass, and markets eventually regain equilibrium. August 29, 2017 We have seen some uneasy times lately. Uneasiness impacts the financial markets. When it does, we all need to keep some long-term perspective in mind. Those who race to the sidelines and exit equities may regret the choice when crises pass. Wall Street loves calm. Traders literally want “business as usual,” every day. If breaking news disrupts that calm, it can rattle the market – but every investor must realize that these disruptive events are exceptions to the norm. (If…

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…