Entries Tagged as 'retirement'

Financial Stress Coping Guide for Seniors

Financial Stress Coping Guide for Seniors

Financial Stress Coping Guide for Seniors

Last year in August, I wrote an article titled The Retirement Savings Crisis: What Will Fix It?  Jenny Holt read that article and let me know about her eBook:

“Recently, I came across movermike.com while researching a piece inspired by my own family.  A combination of my father being downsized in his 60s and my mother falling ill have combined to seriously affect their financial planning for retirement and has exacerbated their health problems. They have inspired me to write a guide for seniors and their families about the most common causes of financial stress, how it affects the person, and provide some coping strategies. You can read it here:

Financial Stress Coping Guide for Seniors

I thought you might be interested in it after reading your blog post”

The Retirement Savings Crisis: What Will Fix It?

The Retirement Savings Crisis: What Will Fix It?

The Retirement Savings Crisis: What Will Fix It?

The numbers are staggering. An astounding $14 trillion retirement crisis is looming for millions of Americans. Nearly a third of the workforce does not own a single retirement account – not a 401(k), not an individual retirement account (IRA). Of those who do own a retirement account, the median account balance is a mere $3,000. Rising costs, longer lives and the very human tendency to not worry about it because it’ll all turn out OK in the end is driving the numbers. There are ways to fix the retirement savings crisis before it’s too late. Here’s how.

No Retirement Plan? Get One

If you think your Social Security check will be enough to live on during retirement, think again. The Social Security board of trustees anticipates that by the year 2035, all excess cash reserves will be gone. Benefits could be cut as well. Even if neither of these events occur, Social Security benefits will barely touch your living expenses. You need more.

If you don’t participate in an employer-sponsored IRA or 401(k)plan, sign up if your company offers one. You have to start somewhere and automatic contributions are a great way to do just that.

Consult a Professional Retirement Planner – Now

One 401(k) or IRA is not enough to live a comfortable retirement. Investment portfolio management, retirement savings management and strategy development are all services a professional provides to help you achieve your financial goals. A professional looks at where you are now, what you have to do to live a comfortable retirement and develops a plan to get you there. Professionals recommend the investments that work best for you, no matter what your age or financial picture. A retirement manager creates a customized solution that may include mutual funds, ETFs, annuities and other types of investments. If you’re older and starting to save late in the game, you may be reluctant to seek the help of a professional. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed, but there’s no need. Retirement planners are there to help and many have successfully helped clients in your situation – or, at least the financial planner you work with should be experienced in helping others in your situation. In fact, if you’re starting late, you need the expert advice a professional retirement planner brings to the table.

Living Longer Means Working Longer

One of the biggest reasons for the retirement savings crisis is the longer and overall healthier lives of today’s population. The amount of savings needed now far outpaces what used to be the norm. What’s a great way to improve your own retirement outlook? By working longer. There are potential problems with working harder, however. Economist David Neumark’s research indicates that employers tend to discriminate against older workers. And, there’s the problem of health issues as people age. Still, if at all possible, working longer ensures a more comfortable retirement when the time comes.

Don’t Wait

It’s much easier to do nothing and hope it all comes together in the end. But, the longer you put off, the less you’ll have later on. If you take steps now to increase your savings and reduce spending, you can avoid becoming part of the retirement savings crisis.

Gabby Revel, Founder, writer, editor & administrator at Fertile Content, is a freelance writer who specializes in lifestyle topics, as well as science and technology, investing, and personal finance. She also has a passion for adorable dogs of all kinds. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

There is A Place for Precious Metals

Rosland Capital, a premier precious metals asset firm, is your go-to gold, silver, platinum and palladium resource. Founded on honesty, high-quality customer service and public education, Rosland Capital exists to educate you on the benefits of strengthening your assets and diversifying your portfolio.

Whether you are looking to safeguard your retirement savings, hedge against inflation or against potential stock market volatility, Rosland Capital offers precious metals in physical form, precious metal-backed IRAs, and the knowledge base you need to realize the benefits of precious metals.

The graphic below is an additional resource developed to help guide those who are seeking insight on the various savings and investment options for retirement.”

rosland_capital_avenuetoretire_v05

Top 5 Senior Friendly Cities in USA

Senior Friendly Cities

Senior Friendly Cities

Retirement is an inevitable phase of life; one that requires decisions to be made in advance. Senior citizens look forward to spending this time in an enjoyable yet affordable location. Senior friendly cities should not only provide citizens with high quality of life but should also not put a strain on the budget. Here is a list of top 5 senior friendly cities to live in

1.Minneapolis – Minnesota

This city is ideal for citizens that are looking for health care facilities and safe environment. The city offers an excellent transportation system with low crime rates and a stable economy that offers ample job opportunities for senior citizens.

With a wide range of music and historic entertainment forums, this city provides an extremely gratifying social life to the citizens. Moreover, it offers several spiritual places that allow citizens to offer their religious prayers in sacred places.

2.Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

With highly efficient transportation system and low crime rates, this city is suitable for citizens that are looking for security and good housing faculties. The economy of the city is also stable and study reveals that it enjoys extremely low levels of unemployment rates and offers high quality health care facilities.

The city is also known as the hub of entertainment and therefore is suitable for citizens who are looking forward at spending an enjoyable yet affordable time in the old age.

3.Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH

Senior citizens who are looking forward to re-training or gaining further education would find this city full of opportunities as it offers more than hundred education institutes. Moreover, the city has a rich cultural heritage that allows senior citizens to visit music and historic venues and theatres that provide high quality entertainment.

The healthcare facilities within the city are of extremely high quality whereas the transportation system is also quite efficient. The city has an extremely alluring social life for citizens who want to engage with peers and friends and to visit various locations across the city. The crime rate within the city is also considerably low.

4.Provo-Orem, Utah

The city offers a healthy lifestyle to the citizens who want to age comfortably. The city offers high levels of security and safety while also provides the citizens with the ability to embark on new careers or start a business.

5.San Francisco, California

This city is ranked considerably high in the health and longevity continuum whereas the environment of the city is ranked as the best across the country and thus is ideal for citizens who want to enjoy extremely pleasant weather conditions around the year.

Apart from these factors, the city has one of the best transportation systems across the world and offers an extremely pleasing social life.  Moreover, the crime rate within the city is also not very high.

Author Bio
Andy is a keen and passionate blogger and he’s been doing it for almost five years now. His favorite topics include senior issues and healthcare. If Andy is not writing, his time is being consumed by distributing Patient Handling items and other merchandises regarding mobility.

I Wanted the Freedom

Mike Landfair freelance writer

Retirement

I started working at 15 years old, because my parents couldn’t afford the clothes I wanted to wear and I wanted the freedom my own money would bring. I started working  as a stock boy at Thom McAn shoes and then graduated to selling shoes. One summer while in college I sold shoes at Thom McAn, JC Penny and Nordstrom’s. I don’t recall saving any money for college, although my parents said I did. I spent all my money, as the song goes, on booze and women. The rest I just wasted.

The best thing I did was get a college education, Back then a private school cost about $5,000 a year including room and board, tuition and books. Public University was about $100 to $ 300 a term, if memory serves. I gave no thought to retirement what so ever.

I got married, got a job as a stock broker, bought a house and had kids. That was all the motivation I needed to be successful. If you were 30 and earned your age, you were doing well. This was the early 1970s. As I recall, to be in debt was the American way. We knew we would earn more money the next year than we did the past year.

There didn’t seem to be any worry about retirement. Companies had retirement plans. They offered were defined benefit plans with vesting and profit-sharing plans. There were no IRAs. There were Keogh plans for the self-employed like CPAs, doctors and dentists. Most of us continued to pile up debt, buying bigger houses and more expensive cars and toys and vacations. I don’t recall hearing about home equity loans. Only when I got a divorce after 17 years of marriage, did debt become a problem. I was still earning good money, but the cost of two households and child care was a giant burden.

Sometime in the 1980s, I learned about compound interest. Einstein called compound interest the ninth wonder of the world.

Here’s an illustration of how compound interest works. Suppose at 19 years old you invested $2,000 each year for seven years into an IRA. You put in $14,000 and then never invested in that IRA again. Then suppose your best friend waited until he was 26 and started putting $2,000 every year until he was 65. That would be 40 years and $80,000. Each received a 10% compounded return (meaning that each year you get interest on last year’s interest).

In the year when they were 65 they sat down and compared nest eggs. The friend who invested $2,000 a year until 65, had a nice retirement nest egg of $893,704. The smart kid who stated at 19, invested for seven years and quit, had a retirement nest egg of $930,641.

Here’s what I wished I had done with my money.

I wish had utilized compound interest to get rich in real estate. Suppose you buy a house for $300,000 and put down $30,000. At 7% the house doubles to $600,000. Assuming you didn’t take out a bunch of home equity loans to buy toys, your equity in your home would be $330,000, an eleven-fold increase not counting any reduction in your mortgage.

If it was a rental, and I’d used the income to pay down the mortgage, I could have paid down the mortgage rapidly and bought another rental and so on. I could have retired with rentals throwing off income. Hopefully the property would have appreciated.

One thing I don’t do is look back and say, “If only I’d a. If only I’d a bought Microsoft at $50 in the IPO. The decisions I made got me here to San Miguel de Allende as an expat, retired, writing as a freelance writer, loving a foreign country, happily married for 23 years, wonderful girls and two wonderful grand kids. I could be wealthier, but I could be poorer, too. One thing I’ve learned is to be grateful for whatever I have and value my health. Do things in moderation and don’t put poisons in your body; that includes your mind, too.

Personal Capital has a free net worth tool that can bring all of your accounts together in one place so you can monitor your income, spending, and investments on a single, easy-to-read screen. Once you have linked all your accounts, you can use their tools to manage every aspect of your finances.

The Next Currency Crisis Has Begun

According to Graham Summers of Phoenix Capital Research The Next Currency Crisis Has Begun. 

Stocks have been boring for months now. They’ve gone almost nowhere since the start of the year.
The REAL action is in the currency markets.
The biggest news is the breakdown of the Japanese Yen. Normally it’s a big deal if a currency breaks a trendline that is over five years long.
The Yen just broke a 30 year trendline.

Image

The significance of this cannot be overstated… one of the major world currencies has broken support dating back to the mid-80s. This sets the stage for a collapse to 60 if not 40 in the coming months.
The Yen collapse represents a 33%-50% currency collapse. It is nothing short of a hyperinflationary event.
The impact will be felt around the globe, most notably in Asia where other currencies will be in absolute chaos.
However, the Yen also is a major currency partner with the US Dollar and the Euro… and a Japanese currency collapse will be felt in those regions as well. Stocks will be the last asset class to “get it.”

What Brought You to Portland?

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Portland State University is conducting a survey to find out What brought you to Portland?  What has kept you here?  They want to read your story.

They say:

  • Roughly two-thirds of the region’s (and state’s) population growth is the result of net in-migration.  Given that migration brings together people of various backgrounds, including different political viewpoints, age, race/ethnicity, and culture, improving our understanding of who is moving here today will better prepare us for understanding what Portland will look like tomorrow.
  • Portland migrants place strong value on the region’s natural amenities (e.g. climate, access to the gorge), bicycle and regional transit infrastructure, and economic opportunity, but also consistently cite opportunities for social/community engagement as important factors as well. 

Multnomah County is a very liberal city. The county was over 72% for Kerry. I wonder if the immigrants will change the mix or propel it even further to the left. It would be nice to see more of a balance and make politicians compete for our vote.

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and is completely confidential.  Our survey asks why people chose to move to Portland, why they have stayed, and what they value most in place to live and work.

Click here to take the survey: What Moves You? Tell Your Portland Story.

I would be interested in hearing what would drive you away, as we prepare to move to Mexico.

Two Months After The Fall

falling690x400-330x275

It was a beautiful, warm fall, sunny day. I was on my almost daily walk from our home on NE 32nd ave, east on NE Knott, then up NE Wisteria to almost Alameda. I turned down NE 49th to the stairs that would take me down to 50th. I was about to take my regular stairs down when I spotted another set of stairs I had never gone down. I could see they were little used halfway down, no hand rail and many spider webs. I hurried down the stairs, brushing at the webs when two steps from the bottom, I caught my toe and flew through the air. I saw the 50th street pavement coming at me and landed with a sickening thump; like a fist slammed into a piece of meat in Rocky.

I lay there longer than normal after a fall. My elbow hurt and the bottle of water I had carried rolled down the street. Slowly, I gather myself and managed to stand. My hip hurt and I held my elbow. Somehow I walked down the street to my water and sat down on the front steps to a house nearby. I sat there for some time sipping water. I checked my Map My Walk on my phone. I had gone over a mile and a half in 17 minutes. One of my fastest times ever. That meant I was about a mile and a half from home. Finally, I got up and started slowly walking. My body hurt so much, I knew I was not going to be walking home. So I called my wife to come pick me up.

I told her, “I think my elbow is broken.” We went to the emergency room. After xrays, the doctors determined I had broken my elbow in two places and my pelvis in two places. When we returned from the hospital to our house, it took my wife and me 45 minutes to get out of the car and up three steps into the house. Most painful thing I’ve ever done.

Almost two months later I can walk without pain. I am up to one and half miles walking and my elbow has healed. Unless it bothers me, the metal and screws in my elbow will be permanent. I was lucky I didn’t fall on my head. I was lucky the breaks weren’t worse.

The NY Times today carries an article that says, An Aging Nation Braces for More Deadly Falls

“As the American population ages, the number of older people who fall and suffer serious, even fatal, injuries is soaring. So retirement communities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes where millions of older Americans live are trying to balance safety and their residents’ desire to live as they choose.

“They are hiring architects and interior designers, some of whom wear special glasses that show the building as an old person would see it. Some have begun to install floor lighting, much like that on airplanes, that automatically illuminates a pathway to the bathroom when a resident gets out of bed.

“The number of people over 65 who died after a fall reached nearly 24,000 in 2012, almost double the number 10 years earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“More than 200,000 Americans over 65 died after falls in the decade from 2002 to 2012. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in that age group.

“And more than 2.4 million people over 65 were treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls in 2012 alone, an increase of 50 percent over a decade.”

For awhile, during those two months I fought depression. I sat in the backyard in the sun and just closed my eyes and thought of little. I slept more and thought about the sound of my body hitting the street. I feel vulnerable.

I thank my wife Bev and my sister Cheryl and daughters Erica and Gilyn for all their help when I was down. I thank all my friends and acquaintances for their good thoughts and prayers. I also thank God that my fall wasn’t permanently worse.

THERE’S A STORM COMING

I received this email from a respected friend:
I’ll try to make this short and simple, but you know better. I really hope some of you argue with me, because if we all agree I’m more likely wrong.

THERE’S A STORM COMING!!!!! AND WE NEED TO PREPARE.

Is it Katrina, or a polar vortex, an average winter storm, or the perfect storm?

Don’t know. I don’t need to predict or know what winter will be like in detail to believe that winter is coming.

Why do I think this? And plan to get prepared.

First, history. Bear markets ALWAYS follow bull markets. Are we in the 1st or 2nd inning of the current bull? Seems unlikely. Are we in the 7th or 8th? Don’t know, but I’m pretty sure the game will end – in 9 innings, or extra innings, or due to rain.

Second, look around, at geopolitics, at valuations, at rate spreads and bond covenants, at the omnipotence of central bankers (the Fed is leveraged almost 80 to one), at IPO’s, and on and on. Do you see an environment of bottoms or tops?

Do you see an environment of sustainability, or an environment of complacency?

Third, the world has not de-leveraged in the last five years. Debt to GDP has grown. It has been shifted around with some sectors reducing debt and others increasing, but the world’s debt load is greater today than it was before the ’08/’09 crisis, and the cost to carry that debt has probably never been lower. Crisis and bear markets tend to clean out the previous excesses and produce a more robust, sound, and conservative economic environment. I suspect that has not happened.

Fourth, I think the theory that “economic and financial stability creates instability, and instability creates stability” has merit. The financial markets have been remarkably stable for more than two years. This could go on and on, but you get the point.

This is NOT a panic call to sell everything and get short, or run to gold, or cash. This is a call to get PREPARED; professionally and personally. (My wife) and I plan to review our budget and balance sheet over the next few weeks. (My assistant) and I will continue our strategies and disciplines, but with additional attention to preparation for what will eventually come next; what are the best and most secure places to store cash, what asset classes may be diverging from the markets, are we seeing a deflationary or inflationary environment developing. If one wishes to plan for the inevitable, whenever it comes, there are only three time periods one has available; before, during, or after. “After” is not terribly useful or effective. “During” is quite difficult. Now is “before”.

(My wife) asked me, “What brought this on?” Why today and not a week ago? The best answer I have is the culmination of many, many pieces of input that have finally tipped the scale to say PREPARE. Maybe it was the “alerts”, or the chart on world debt levels, or the Fed’s leverage ratio, or continued reading of “The Fourth Turning”, or the complacency of both investors and voters, or Ben Hunt’s call for a peak in central bank influence and credibility, or watching Putin play his game, or a hundred other things. It might be that I see so much benefit to preparation, and very little downside – or so much downside to not preparing. For now, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Four final thoughts:

1. I learned long ago that governments and large institutions can delay seemingly huge problems almost indefinitely. They may never fix it, but they can delay for what seems like forever. Theirs is a long game, but our game is the markets – and they do cycle.

2. When things go wrong, they often go wrong fast, but the inflection point may be long in coming. Hemmingway’s quote about going bankrupt two ways comes to mind.

3. The last few weeks seems likely to be setting up for a typical excellent buying opportunity in October, or the next bear market. I’m completely open to both possibilities.

4. Over thousands of years we humans have evolved primarily to react immediately to threats to our survival. If we didn’t act immediately we were often dead. These hard wired reactions are more often than not quite unhelpful in the markets. If one plans and prepares when there is no immediate threat, the prepared reaction is likely to be more useful – not always right, but it has a better chance of being appropriate.

Please heed my friend’s message. He takes longer than I do to reach a conclusion such as this, but his thinking is well thought out and he is risk averse.

When Real Interest Rates Fall, Gold Rises

Mike Burnick writing for Money and Markets has this informative piece:

Real Yields Sink

Historically, real interest rates (long term bond yields minus the inflation rate) have always had a very close, inverse correlation with the price of gold. In fact, it’s the single most predictive factor for gold prices.

When real rates fall, gold inevitably rises, and vice versa. As you can see in the chart below, real interest rates declined steadily after the financial crisis and Great Recession in 2008, and gold rose every step of the way.


Click for larger version

But as you can see above, real yields began rising again in 2012, which continued last year. This corresponds almost perfectly with a sharp decline in gold prices, but recently real rates stopped rising and are now rolling over again, as you can see at the far right.

While interest rates around the world are declining steadily this year, inflation is beginning to edge higher.

This is pushing real (inflation adjusted) interest rates down again … which is precisely when gold shines!

Forget the Consumer Price Index. We all know this flawed gauge of inflation is way behind the curve in measuring the true cost of living and it’s a backwards-looking indicator. Instead, focus on leading indicators of future inflation pressure: Higher commodity prices, rising wages, higher rental rates and soaring health-care and education costs … these are all pointing to higher inflation down the road.


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