Archive - June 2010

1
What Return Can You Really Expect From Your Investments?
2
Ensuring Your Children Are Financially Intelligent
3
When it Makes Sense to Take Social Security Early
4
Post-Death Options for Directing a Retirement Plan to a Spouse
5
The Lost Decade and What it Means For Your Investments

What Return Can You Really Expect From Your Investments?

One of the things that I always ask clients (in fact it’s on my initial questionnaire that potential clients fill out) is “What is your expected return from your investments?”  It can be pretty insightful to see what people are thinking that they should be able to receive in returns from their investments – I’ve seen everything ranging from 2% up to 25%. In general, what I see in response to this question is high – much too high to be realistic.  If you look at the stock market over long periods of time, you’ll see that the… Read More

Ensuring Your Children Are Financially Intelligent

According to a survey commissioned by the American Psychological Association, money is the number one cause of stress for Americans. Data from a 2006 retirement confidence survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute indicated that your savings could make up as much as 66% of your retirement income, yet the reality is that financial illiteracy is widespread in the US. I was reminded of this when a client pointed out a Morningstar article entitled Improving Our Financial IQs: Why Managing Money Should Be a Lifetime Skill. In it, Knowledge@Wharton, an online publication for the University of Pennsylvania’s
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When it Makes Sense to Take Social Security Early

In the past, we’ve discussed how beneficial it can be to delay receiving Social Security benefits as long as you can.  You can see this discussion in the article Ah, Sweet Procrastination – it makes good financial sense to delay receiving your benefit to age 70 in many cases, but of course not all.

The reason this is such a great benefit is that this government-backed income stream is pretty much as good as you can get, in terms of longevity insurance.  When you start receiving the benefit, you’ll continue to receive it through your entire life – at least …

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Post-Death Options for Directing a Retirement Plan to a Spouse

couple by TobyotterThere are many cases where an IRA or other retirement plan owner has directed his or her account to someone other than his or her spouse – such as the estate, a trust, or other person(s), or – the owner may not have named a beneficiary at all.  It could be that the original owner simply forgot to make his or her beneficiary designation, or maybe she made him carry that picnic basket around more than he cared for… In a case like this, although the intent of the original owner could still be met by distributing the account as… Read More

The Lost Decade and What it Means For Your Investments

last decade of 1st century bc by MaulleighBy now you’ve likely heard plenty about the “lost decade” in the stock market:  On January 3, 2000, the S&P 500 index closed the day at 1,455.22, and on May 28, 2010, the index closed at 1,089.41 – for a negative return on the nearly 10 1/2 years… I’m sure you’ve noticed in your investment statements. But what does this mean?  There are plenty of folks out there (in the mass media) who will tell you that stock market investing is no longer a wise move… why, after all, if you’d had your money in a savings account you’d have… Read More

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