Evaluating Fixed Income Through the Lens of Your Goals

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The year 2020 saw stark differences in returns between fixed income categories—some of the largest in history.
  • This unprecedented return dispersion is a reminder that fixed income asset classes can behave very differently, so allocations should be tailored to an investor’s goals.
  • A one-size-fits-all approach to fixed income may lead to suboptimal results.

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The Power of Thinking About Retirement

Individuals and retirement planning experts alike are recognizing that a successful and satisfying retirement experience depends on more than a healthy nest egg.  In fact, retirement should be thought of as a major life transition that deserves thought and preparation in all areas of life.

Nonetheless, many approach this stage of life unprepared for the many social and emotional challenges they will likely experience.  One reason is that a great number of  individuals are unhappy in their work lives, and so focus more on what they are “retiring from” rather than what they are “retiring to.”  They see retirement as the finish line, and give little thought to what life will really be like once they quit working. (more…)

Changing Retirement Expectations

Over the past several years, many Americans have begun to question their ability to prepare for a financially secure retirement.  This awareness now begs the question, how will pre-retirees adjust their retirement expectations to match their economic realities?

The Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) is the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind in the United States.  It gauges the views, experiences, and attitudes of Americans regarding retirement preparation and related issues.  Results of a recent survey shed some light on how workers expect to adjust their retirement plans and expectations. (more…)

Reframing the Social Security Claiming Decision for Married Couples

By Jeffrey Levine, CPA/PFS, CFP®️, AIF®️, CWS®️

For many, correctly answering the question, “When should I begin to take my Social Security benefits?” is a critical step toward making sure their retirement income and savings last at least as long as they do. For others, who perhaps are lucky enough to have accumulated a more substantial nest-egg, the decision may have less of an impact on their ultimate chances of a “successful” retirement (as they may have enough income and/or other assets to overcome a poor choice). But let’s face it … nobody wants to leave Social Security dollars on the table because of a less-than-ideal claiming decision. (more…)

Holistic Planning for Later Life

We often equate preparing for old age with achieving the financial security needed to sustain us throughout life.  However, a truly successful and fulfilling aging experience requires planning and preparation in all areas of life.

Financial planning is indeed important, but money alone cannot “buy” happiness, good health, meaningful relationships, and purposeful activities.  In The Late-Start Investor, John Wasik wrote:

“Instead of absorbing an obsolete view of retirement, you should consider what I call your New Prosperity. This includes a flexible life plan that provides for your financial, vocational, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.  Unless you look at your future holistically, merely saving up a pile of money will be a meaningless act.” (more…)

Using Your Imagination Is the Key to Saving More for Retirement

By Tim Maurer, CFP® 

I have a proposition for you: I’d like to give you one of two gift certificates to your favorite restaurant. But first, please picture that inviting atmosphere, the thoughtful waitstaff, the right musical backdrop, and the perfect meal in front of you and your ideal dinner companion. Now, choose between a $100 gift certificate you would receive today or a $200 gift certificate you would receive 10 years from now. (more…)