4 - The Secret to Estate Planning Header Image

The Secret to Family Estate Planning

Most of us don’t really like the topic of estate planning. Even when you feel that it is necessary to raise the issue, it can be difficult to initiate the conversation once your loved ones are sitting right there. We have seen this firsthand in our office on numerous occasions and spoken about it privately with many clients who share these feelings. But the fact is that more families need to have estate planning conversations, and that requires accepting the reality of what an estate plan is and who it’s for. At any time, your family’s primary breadwinner, head honcho, undisputed matriarch, class clown, or emotional center could become incapacitated or even die. Whatever your role in the family, is to the benefit of everyone else that they know what to do when faced with this kind of situation. Here’s how to start.
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5 Things You Should Not Do if Recently Widowed

You don’t need us to tell you that widowhood is a difficult time. The reality is that losing a spouse is one of the hardest things a married person will ever go through. Unfortunately, it’s also a time that makes people vulnerable to poor financial decisions or even financial trouble. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common mistakes that widows make in the aftermath of their loss and how they can be avoided. For more, please download our free eBook series, The Most Overlooked Retirement Risk Facing Women, which covers a number of important aspects of widowhood, both personally and financially.
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How to Make Sure Your Family's Financial Plan Includes You

Estate planning can be difficult at the best of times. Thinking about what will happen to your family, your possessions, and your wealth after death isn’t easy – even as a theoretical exercise. That’s part of the reason why it’s so easy to overlook important matters or even make serious planning mistakes. One common one? Failing to address the very real likelihood that a female spouse will outlive her husband. In fact, one survey found that 80% of women die single, while 80% of men die married. Because women tend to outlive men on average, it’s a very common experience. That’s why it’s so important for your family’s financial plan to consider the possibility of widowhood. Here’s how.
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The Single Biggest Retirement Risk Women Face

In discussions about retirement planning, much is made of issues like longevity risk, asset allocation, and dealing with unexpected costs like long-term care. And that makes sense: these are serious and important considerations. But there is another risk out there that is just as important, if not more so, and it overwhelmingly faces women: widowhood. Most of us don’t like to talk about these things, much less think about them. But this is urgent, and we need to. The reality of widowhood Among people over the age of 65, you’ll find that widowhood affects just 15% of men. By comparison, 45% of women over the age of 65 are widows. Seventy percent of Boomer wives will experience widowhood, and 80% will die single. These are sad and staggering statistics, but we don’t share them to terrify or depress you. Like the possibility of needing long-term care or encountering a chronic illness in retirement, widowhood is a potential outcome that needs to be included in your retirement plan.
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The Biggest Budgeting Mistake You’re Making

If you’ve been reading our educational articles regularly, you have already heard about the importance of retirement savings many times. But it’s important enough to say it again: if you’re not allocating part of your budget to retirement savings, now would be a good time to start. And if you’re not saving or planning to start “someday,” you could be making a big mistake. Here’s what you need to know.
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The Secret to Long-Term Investment Results

Investing can seem complicated, but the hardest part isn’t the numbers or the asset allocation. It’s the psychology. In fact, the secret to being a good investor isn’t to be smarter than everyone else or to have the best ideas. It’s to have a plan and to exercise discipline and control. In other words, one of the big secrets to investing is to simply get out of your own way.
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The 5 Keys to Your Social Security Benefits

Social Security is a given for most people – we’ve all heard of it, and most of us probably expect it to be part of our lives at some point. But many people walk around without any real idea of how Social Security works, or how it can help you in retirement. Read on for a brief intro into how Social Security can be a significant part of your retirement income plan – and how to get started in making it so.
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How to Pick the IRA That’s Right for You

Are you a masterful retirement savings maximizer? Or maybe just getting started with retirement planning? No matter what your retirement savings experience, you might benefit from an IRA. These retirement savings vehicles are highly flexible and can give you greater latitude to plan for the future. But choosing one can be tough – there are many options out there, and finding the one that works best for you can take some research. In this basic guide, we’ll cover some special situations that might make one IRA stand out more than the others. This basic guide will help you get started in finding the IRA that suits your needs and your lifestyle. As always, before making any decisions, please consult your financial advisor or conduct some due diligence on your choice.
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Do I Go On Vacation…Or Save More for Retirement?

Money is a funny thing. On the one hand, many people feel stress and fear about their financial future; on the other, we collectively tend to spend and splurge on decidedly short-term pleasures. Two studies, both published around the same time in 2014, illustrate the point. An American Psychological Association survey found that money was the leading source of stress among survey respondents. But an Edward Jones study released around the same time found that, among financial topics, more people prioritized their vacation over their retirement planning.
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Don’t Forget to Enjoy Your Honeymoon – Responsibly!

If you’ve been trying to plan a wedding, you know very well how difficult it can be to keep expenses under control. From place settings to tuxedo rentals, you’ve probably learned more than you ever wanted to about the potential price tags involved in creating the perfect day. As a result, you might really be looking forward to a relaxing honeymoon. In fact, at this point you may really need a relaxing honeymoon! But how can you make it just as perfect as your wedding without breaking the bank? Read on for a few great tips about planning the perfect getaway – responsibly.