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26Jul 17
Abysmal Financial Literacy Rates For Women Are Hurting Their Retirement Security

Abysmal Financial Literacy Rates For Women Are Hurting Their Retirement Security

A recent survey, the 2017 RICP® Retirement Income Literacy Report, by The American College of Financial Services, found that retirement age women lag significantly behind their male counterparts when it comes to retirement income literacy. While both pass rates were alarming, the lack of literacy among retirement age women was especially worrisome because the study found that effective retirement planning is, in fact, tied to literacy rates. Heightened retirement income risks, numerous financial and workplace challenges coupled with low levels of retirement planning literacy signals real concern about the future financial security of many women. What is different about The College’s study, however, is how it tied smart financial behaviors and retirement planning decisions to literacy rates to see if being more informed actually led to better planning. Those who could pass the retirement literacy quiz were more likely to have a formal retirement plan in place, have a plan to fund long-term care costs, have an estate plan in place, understand the importance of taking risk when investing, feel confident about their investments, and feel confident about their retirement. Respondents with a financial advisor actually performed worse on the literacy quiz than those without advisors. Individuals who feel knowledgeable and confident about planning for their own retirement tend to be do-it-yourselfers. They do not go looking for advice, and they learn more because they are the decision makers. Additionally, women tended to be more concerned about receiving education about investments and retirement planning risks from the advisor than were men. The desire for more information, education, and value from an advisor fits into what financial expert Dana Holt, CEO of Holt Planned Giving, has acknowledged in recent trends around women and money.
26Jul 17
How Acupuncture Can Help Make You Feel Better As You Age

How Acupuncture Can Help Make You Feel Better as You Age

How Acupuncture Can Help Make You Feel Better as You Age. By Danica Barr— Acupuncture is typically thought of something that can help with both aches and pains. Because the treatment itself can help you feel much more energized, reduce pains, and provide joint relief, it can truly help you feel better the older you get. Because we are typically exposed to more and more stress as we age, it can begin to impact our health negatively. Therefore, acupuncture has the inherent ability to release stress reducing and natural pain reducing chemicals into the brain which is commonly referred to as endorphins. By getting an acupuncture treatment, you will be able to successfully improve your sleep which can transform the way you feel alone. This reduction of pain alone is one of the biggest reasons a lot of people end up turning to acupuncture in the first place. This alone is going to keep you feeling much better as you age. By being able to minimize the amount of pain in your body and by helping to reduce overall stress levels, it is one of the best natural treatments for dealing with aging symptoms that are common there which can make you feel bad in a variety of ways. Acupuncture is a great treatment for anyone of any age.
25Jul 17
7 Reasons To Keep Cooking Healthy And Delicious Daily Meals At Home

7 Reasons to Keep Cooking Healthy and Delicious Daily Meals at Home

Are you still cooking meals at home? I have easily made more than 12,000 meals for my family, friends, guests and to take to potluck suppers. There are many reasons that I choose to cook at home, rather than eating at a restaurant or calling in a take-out order. However, most recipes serve four or more. A bag of lentils, a small onion, and a can of diced tomatoes along with a few spices makes a wonderful lentil soup. I have found that the more processed foods and sugar I eat, the more I crave them. My health dramatically improved when I started reading nutrition labels, avoiding processed foods and concentrating on whole foods. I love to make food, eat food, share food and talk about food. What do you do when you eat alone? Each of her recipe blog posts includes a nutrition label and a photo of the finished recipe.
25Jul 17
3 Dividend Stocks That Are Perfect For Retirement

3 Dividend Stocks That Are Perfect for Retirement

We asked three Motley Fool investors to identify stocks that fit that bill, and they chose Lowe's (NYSE:LOW), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Altria (NYSE:MO). Moreover, while Lowe's current 2.1% dividend yield slightly trails Home Depot's, Lowe's has only had to use 26% of its free cash flow over the past year to cover it. Big cash flow, little drama Keith Speights (Johnson & Johnson): I'm not at the point of retirement yet. When I do retire, though, there are two major things I'll look for in a stock: solid cash flow and low volatility. The cash flow is important for a company to keep those nice dividend checks flowing. That cash flow also allows Johnson & Johnson to invest for future growth. Based on its beta value, J&J is roughly a third less volatile than the broader market. And, with U.S. marketing rights for the MarkTen electronic cigarettes developed by its offspring, Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), as well as a collaborative agreement to market its new heat-not-burn (HNB) tobacco technology iQOS under the Marlboro brand, Altria can also cash in on Philip Morris' "smoke-free future." Forget Johnson & Johnson: These are the best dividend stocks to buy now If you're looking for solid income from dividend stocks, look no further. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, and Johnson & Johnson.
25Jul 17
8 Essential Principles Of Planning For Retirement (Part 3)

8 Essential Principles Of Planning For Retirement (Part 3)

8 Essential Principles Of Planning For Retirement (Part 3). You can read part two here. Rather than beginning at your savings, the starting point for building a retirement income strategy should be the household balance sheet. Distinguish between technical liquidity and true liquidity An important implication from the household balance sheet view is that the nature of liquidity in a retirement income plan must be carefully considered. In a sense, an investment portfolio is a liquid asset, but some of its liquidity may only be an illusion. As I stated in the last point, assets must be matched to liabilities. Some, or even all of the investment portfolio may be earmarked to meet future lifestyle spending goals. This is different from true liquidity, in which assets can be spent any way you want because they are not earmarked to meet existing liabilities. This distinction is important because there could be cases when tying up part of your assets in something illiquid, such as an income annuity, may allow for the household liabilities to be covered more cheaply than could be done when all assets are positioned to provide technical liquidity. Because risk pooling and mortality credits don’t require as much to be set aside to cover the spending goal, there is greater true liquidity and therefore more to cover other unexpected contingencies without jeopardizing core spending needs.
25Jul 17
Money Milestones: How To Manage Your Savings Once You Become A Parent’s Caregiver

Money Milestones: How to manage your savings once you become a parent’s caregiver

Money Milestones: How to manage your savings once you become a parent’s caregiver. Family caregivers spend an average of almost $7,000 a year in out-of-pocket costs. Caregiving can be a thankless job, but many family members just couldn’t think of saying no to their loved ones, although that can mean sacrificing their own needs. “The reality is, it becomes a retirement issue for that person caught in that position,” said Bob Phillips, a financial adviser and managing principal of Spectrum Management Group in Indianapolis. “What they may have planned on having for their own retirement is diminished and there’s no way to make it up.” The 50s, for example, is often the time most people catch up on retirement savings, but that usually means working for more years down the road and ramping up contributions to retirement accounts. The first thing caregivers should do when taking on the position is figure out what benefits are already available to the sick or disabled person, said Ellen Siegel, a financial adviser at Legacy Wealth Management in Miami, such as government benefits, any financial accounts or programs that help ill or disabled individuals. After determining the resources available, they and the one being cared for should sit down and look at the budget and spending plan. Fiello, for example, looks at his household spending and figures out what can or should be cut, or works with companies to find budget plans so that he can save more. If funds are available and family members need extra help, be cautious of who exactly is the one helping. If a sibling is being paid to take care of a parent, Personal Care Agreements are helpful binding agreements to clearly outline who is responsible for what support and how they will be compensated for it.
25Jul 17
4 Financial Milestones To Reach Before You Retire

4 Financial Milestones to Reach Before You Retire

Retirement is a period to look forward to for a countless number of working Americans, but it can be a financially stressful time, as well. Save enough to cover three months of living expenses Ideally, you'll have a healthy amount of retirement savings stashed away in an IRA or 401(k) by the time you stop working. But aside from your nest egg, you should also have a fully loaded emergency fund in time for retirement with enough cash to cover a solid three months of living expenses. Now, you may be thinking: "Why do I need emergency savings if I have money in a retirement account?" And although it's the good kind of debt to have, it can also become a source of financial stress when you're dealing with a limited income. If you manage to pay off your mortgage in time for retirement, you'll be better equipped to cover whatever additional upkeep becomes necessary. Otherwise, it might pay to work a few extra years, amass some more savings, and simultaneously cut down on the number of years you'll need those savings to pay for. So before you retire, make sure to have a decent chunk of emergency savings, pay off your home, get out of debt, and establish a respectable nest egg. The $16,122 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after.
25Jul 17
Forget 10% — Here’s Why You Should Be Saving 15% Or More Of Your Income For Retirement

Forget 10% — Here’s Why You Should Be Saving 15% or More of Your Income for Retirement

Forget 10% -- Here's Why You Should Be Saving 15% or More of Your Income for Retirement. Regardless of income level or projected retirement lifestyle, the typical senior can't live off Social Security alone. The latest estimates tell us that the average healthy 65-year-old couple today will need a whopping $400,000 or more for medical costs in retirement, and that doesn't include long-term care. Keep in mind that the above calculations are based on an average yearly 7% return, which is just below the stock market's average. Let's total up the costs we discussed above. Let's also assume that you'll end up living in a nursing home for five years, which is reasonable, given that 70% of seniors wind up requiring some form of long-term care during retirement. Over a 20-year retirement, that's $552,000 of income. If we take that $552,000 and add in the $755,000 from above, which is based on a 10% savings rate, we arrive at $1.307 million -- which would leave you with roughly $5,000 a year, or just over $400 a month, to spend on utilities, cable, phone service, gifts, charity, home improvements, travel, and entertainment, assuming that money doesn't get eaten up by an unforeseen medical need. If that sounds like enough for you, then by all means, keep saving 10% of your income for the future. Based on the table above, saving 15% of your salary consistently would mostly leave you with enough money to cover your basic expenses without having to factor in Social Security.
24Jul 17
Does Divorce Derail Retirement?

Does Divorce Derail Retirement?

Whether you’re currently going through a divorce or seriously considering the option, make sure you have a complete understanding of how the transition could affect your retirement plans. When you were married, you likely planned for a retirement scenario that included sharing a home with your spouse, as well as expenses, medical insurance coverage and long-term care. Now that you are divorced, you have to think about your retirement plans in a different way, as you may be on your own — which can be more expensive. Dividing Assets Retirement assets are usually considered to be “community property,” equitably divided by divorcing spouses depending on the length of the marriage and other factors. You may need to take time off from your job to manage these emotional and mental health matters (and perhaps the emotional impact of your divorce on your children) — which, of course, will affect your income and your ability to save for retirement. The older you are when you divorce, the less time you will have to replenish your retirement savings prior to your planned retirement time frame. Take the time to negotiate for your share of the marital retirement assets. Always consider the tax implications of the various options for dividing marital retirement assets, both in the near term and the long term. Make sure you obtain a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) for any qualified retirement plans that will be divided between you and your ex-spouse, such as defined benefit or pension plans or a 401(k) plan. Therefore, it is crucial that you work with a qualified financial advisor to help ensure you’re making informed and unemotional financial decisions prior to finalizing your divorce.
24Jul 17
How Much Do You Need To Retire: Three Quick Hacks

How Much Do You Need To Retire: Three Quick Hacks

figuring out how much to save for retirement is a hopeless quest. Although there are no shortcuts to saving -- you just need to get on an automatic program and save as much as possible -- there are some quick routes to finding out the right numbers. I've always liked retirement calculators. The Center surveyed several online calculators and identified three and what they do well: -- Ask Deep Questions About Anticipated Expenses. On the other hand, estimating monthly medical expenses will require some research – but it’s a crucial cost consideration, and the website offers tips." Keep in mind that nearly every tax vehicle outside of Roths will require that you pay income taxes on withdrawals. It is also unique in asking where its user lives, presumably to more precisely estimate living expenses." "When the results are presented at the end, users have the option of comparing the added benefits of downsizing to a less-expensive house or using a reverse mortgage to tap home equity. A bonus with this tool is that it lets the user slide a button from ages 62 to 70 to gauge the beneficial financial impact of working longer, which increases one’s monthly Social Security income and savings." At the very least, try one of these calculators to see how much you can save over time.
24Jul 17
4 Stocks To Keep You Invested After Retirement

4 Stocks to Keep You Invested After Retirement

4 Stocks to Keep You Invested After Retirement. Retire from your career, not from investing Since 1970, the average life expectancy in the U.S. has increased by eight years to 78.8 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are four stocks to keep you invested after retirement. HCP shareholders are currently collecting 4.7% annually on their investment, which is more than double the yield of the S&P 500. First, like HCP, Paychex should be able to take advantage of the numbers game. As the Federal Reserve moves forward with its tightening policy, interest rates and yields are rising, which should lead to higher interest income for a company like Paychex. In particular, NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) is a company that retired folks might want to give a serious look. While most electric utilities offer little differentiation from one another, NextEra Energy is in a class of its own thanks to its reliance on alternative energies for electricity generation. In 2015, no company generated more power from wind or solar than NextEra Energy. Whirlpool A final stock that could keep retirees in the game is the leading appliance manufacturer in the world, Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR).
24Jul 17
3 Expenses That May Go Down In Retirement — And 1 That’s Almost Guaranteed To Go Up

3 Expenses That May Go Down in Retirement — and 1 That’s Almost Guaranteed to Go Up

Although certain costs of yours might go down in retirement, they may not be enough to compensate for what could be the one expense that really throws your senior self for a loop: healthcare. According to the Citi ThankYou Premier Commuter Index, the average American spends $2,600 a year on commuting costs. But let's say you pay off your mortgage right before you retire and shave $1,200 off your monthly bills. On the other hand, because you probably won't be earning as much per year as you did back when you were working, there's a good chance your overall tax bill will go down. But then there's healthcare As we just saw, your expenses might go down by thousands of dollars per year in retirement when we take commuting, housing, and taxes into account. The latest estimates show that it'll cost $82,125 a year, on average, to reside in a nursing home with a roommate. Depending on your circumstances, you may wind up needing 90% of your former income, or even 100%, to cover your retirement expenses completely, so don't get too comfortable with the fact that seniors tend to spend less on a whole. The better you prepare and save during your working years, the more likely you'll be to withstand whatever expenses come your way as a senior. The $16,122 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. You can't go back and buy Amazon 20 years ago… but we've uncovered what our analysts think is the next-best thing: A special stock with mind-boggling growth potential.