Member Advantage Articles

Retirement in Sight – March 2019

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Monthly News and Information for Current and Future Retirees Presented by UPAL – MARCH 2019 QUOTE OF THE MONTH “You must do the things you think you cannot do.” ELEANOR ROOSEVELT DEALING WITH A “surprise” RETIREMENT For years, you have imagined the way your “second act” will unfold: when it will start, what you will do, and where you will be. Then life hands you a wild card. You are forced to retire years earlier than you planned and with little notice. How do you adjust? This turn of events…

Is America Prepared to Retire?

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A look at some ways to get ready. February 26, 2019 Are Americans saving enough? Only 19% of U.S. adults describe themselves as “very confident” when asked about their savings. Worry spots include retiring without enough money saved (16%) and anxiety about having a “rainy day” emergency fund (14%). These findings come from the 2018 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. (The survey collected data from 2,017 U.S. adults.)1 Only 41% of us keep a regular budget. If you are one of those roughly…

Social Security by the Numbers

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Facts about the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program. February 26, 2019 Social Security has been a pillar of retirement life for several decades, but how much do you really know about it? Here are some facts that might surprise you: The Social Security trust fund exceeds the gross domestic product of every major economy in the world, except the nine largest: China, the European Union, the United States, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, and Brazil.1 For 61% of retirees, Social Security is a major source of income.1…

Value vs. Growth Investing

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There are those who favor value and those who favor growth. February 26, 2019 You might be initially confused by these terms or even suspect they aren’t that different in terms of what each model offers you as an investor, but they are very distinct approaches, and it’s good to understand these two schools of thought as you invest. This understanding could help you make important investment decisions, both now and in the future.1 At first glance, some of the advantages to each approach may not be immediately obvious, depending…

Succession Planning

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Preparing a smoother transition. February 11, 2019 A successful finale. If you are an entrepreneur, what is the final act for you and your business? If you have been successful, you likely want the company you created to be able to continue once you are no longer at the helm. For that reason, many people in your position create a succession plan to implement when the time comes. What do you need to think about? It may be helpful to start with the end – that is, visualize how you…

Your Emergency Fund: How Much is Enough?

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An emergency fund may help alleviate the stress associated with a financial crisis. February 11, 2019 Have you ever had one of those months? The water heater stops heating, the dishwasher stops washing, and your family ends up on a first-name basis with the nurse at urgent care. Then, as you’re driving to work, giving yourself your best, “You can make it!” pep talk, you see smoke seeping out from under your hood. Bad things happen to the best of us, and instead of conveniently spacing themselves out, they almost…

Certain Uncertainties in Retirement

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Two financial unknowns may erode our degree of confidence. February 11, 2019 The financial uncertainties we face in retirement may risk reducing our sense of confidence, potentially undermining our outlook during those years. Indeed, according to the 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, only 17% of pre-retirees said they are “very confident” about having enough assets to live comfortably in retirement. In addition, just 32% of retirees were “very confident” in their prospects for doing so.1 Today, retirees face two overarching uncertainties. While each one can…

Retirement in Sight – February 2019

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MONTHLY NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE RETIREES PRESENTED BY UPAL – February 2019 QUOTE OF THE MONTH “What I know for sure is that what you give comes back to you.” OPRAH WINFREY HOW CAN A WOMAN TRY TO PREVENT OUTLIVING HER MONEY? Certain financial decisions may help a woman grow and sustain her retirement assets across the decades to make up for time out of the workforce and the prevalent earnings gender gap. Obviously, one fundamental move would be to start saving and investing for retirement as early…

The Anatomy of an Index

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The S&P 500 represents a large portion of the value of the U.S. equity market January 17, 2019 Did you know that nearly $10 trillion in assets are benchmarked to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Index, including about $3.5 trillion in index assets?1 The S&P 500 is ubiquitous. It is constantly referenced in financial and non-financial media, and we may compare the return of our own investments to its performance. As the index represents approximately 80% of the value of the U.S. equity market (or about 80% of market…

Retirement in Sight – January 2019

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MONTHLY NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE RETIREES PRESENTED BY UPAL – JANUARY 2019 QUOTE OF THE MONTH “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” Lord Byron Think of these factors AS YOU think about retirement income If retirement is drawing closer, you will want to ask yourself some key questions relating to your future income. Answering these fundamental questions may help to give you a better picture of the monthly cash flow needs of your retiree household. The first two questions concern time. One, when do you…