Getting caught up in catch up contributions

Are you in your 50s or 60s and thinking more about retirement? If so, and you’re still not completely comfortable with the size of your nest egg, don’t forget about “catch-up” contributions.  This windfall may be just what you need.  (Read Full Article)

Department of Labor's Fiduciary Rule

Since being confirmed to law in early 2016, this rule has been clouded with confusion for investors.  Scheduled to go into effect in April 2017, you may ask: "What Is It?  How Does It Impact Me?  What Will I Need to Do?"  This article summarizes three main points that impact most investors. (Read Full Article)

taking stock in retirement

Investing in retirement is very different than investing for retirement.  The search for fixed or consistent income is often the top priority when building a retirement portfolio.  However, many look only to bonds and market market instruments and forget about a source that also has upside potential...dividend stocks.  This article makes a case for dividend stocks in a retirement portfolio.  (Read Full Article)

Your retirement Plan; a behind the scenes heated debate

Most are unaware of the potential upheaval in the way financial intermediaries offer retirement plans to small and mid size business.  The brokerage industry, standing to lose revenues, is a staunch opponent to the Department of Labor proposal.  Supporters see the proposal a positive step in improving employer sponsored retirement plans.  So what is it all about? Here we summarize a behind the scenes heated debate. (Read Full Article)

Target date funds: three strikes

Target date funds, when listening to the soundbite, have immediate appeal for the investor who wishes to “set it and forget it”. The premise behind these types of funds is that you select the approximate date of your retirement and a portfolio manager will spend the next ten to thirty years balancing the risk in your mutual fund by decreasing your equity position and increasing your bond position as you near retirement. In theory this is a very attractive vehicle to place your assets. However, an investor should always look at the details and mechanics of any fund before investing.  Three fastballs coming your way.  (Read Full Article)

Target Date Funds: A Good Dish?

Part two of our expose' we discuss a missing ingredient to target date funds. Asset allocation, according to modern portfolio theory, accounts for over 98% of returns.  However, determining your personal asset allocation is more art than science.  Most financial planners agree that the recipe for a good asset allocation should be based on such factors as risk aversion, financial means, and age.  Do target date funds make a good dish?  (Read Full Article)

Target Date Funds: A look under the hood.

Part one of a three part expose' on target date funds we focus on expenses.  Choosing the right investment vehicle can be daunting.  Thousands of mutual funds, hundreds of ETFs, and a seemingly unlimited amount individual securities to try and look under the hood and understand expenses.  The benefits of a fully diversified and semi-customized asset allocation in a single investment (Target Date Fund) are obvious.  However, at what cost?  Do the unreasonably high expenses of target date funds prey on the typical investor or are they truly worth it?  This article takes a look under the hood: target date funds. (Read Full Article)

Municipal Bonds – Tax Free or Tax-ing?

When asked "What is a Municipal Bond?", the typical answer may be "Uhh, a tax free bond".  Municipal Bonds have been around just as long as their cousins, the corporate and government bond, but the average investor knows much less is know about them.  So what are they? Should I consider them in my investment portfolio?  What are some considerations I should be aware of?  This article explains.  (Read Full Article)

Should I pay off my mortgage when I retire?

"My (insert confidant here) told me when I was younger that I should have my mortgage paid off before I retire," some say. As retirement then approaches, "I'll pay off with savings when I retire" some may reason. Is that a sound financial move? The odds of carrying a mortgage into retirement has increased dramatically in recent years. The question needs examined: should I pay off my mortgage when I retire? (Read Full Article)

when over-saving is a problem

Hard to believe that it is possible to be penalized for over-saving for retirement.  However, the IRS has shown much favor towards Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and wants to balance encouraging saving for retirement with not losing tax revenue .  Sometimes our zeal for saving may not match our prudence in evaluating the most appropriate way to do so.  This article shows the common pitfalls and, more so,  that it is possible to over-save in one retirement vehicle; an IRA.  (Read Full Article)

your ira rollover just got "ran over"

Navigating the retirement planning landscape requires some difficult decisions: when to retire, how much to save, what investments are best, etc.  However, the myriads of IRS and ERISA rules as you save and plan for retirement can turn this landscape into a minefield.  One such IRS rule, the so called "60 day rule",  has recent guidance by the IRS that could spell catastrophe for unsuspecting DIYers.  When planning your next IRA rollover, make sure it doesn't get "ran over" by taxes and penalties.  (Read Full Article)

Three Steps to investing through retirement

Many people of pre-retirement age approach retirement saving as if; on the day they retire, they will cash out of all investments, put the money in a stack, and use it to live on for the rest of their lives.  Others fail to modify their earlier investment approach and unwittingly enter retirement with an unduly volatile portfolio.  Neither of these is a good idea! What should I be doing to I ensure my retirement investments outlive me. (Read Full Article)

THE LOADED "WHEN SHOULD i TAKE SOCIAL SECURITY" QUESTION

It should be an easy question, right?  After all, many “experts” on Social Security say that you will receive the most benefit dollars by waiting…and waiting…and waiting.   Well, not so fast.  There are some other considerations before answering.  How will this decision affect your entire retirement plan?  Let’s take a look at a common situation that makes a case for collecting benefits early. (Read Full Article)