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Reinventing Retirement Blog


New FAFSA Deadlines Help College Financial Aid Application Process

03

Oct 2016

New FAFSA Deadlines Help College Financial Aid Application Process

Applying for financial aid for college is becoming less stressful after President Obama changed the earliest FAFSA filing date from January 1st to October 1st. This means that the FAFSA can be submitted on October 1st for the 2017-2018 academic year, whereas in the past the earliest date to submit it was on January 1st. This is huge for high school seniors. Typically, high-school seniors…

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Identity Theft-5 Things You Need to Know

06

Sep 2016

Identity Theft-5 Things You Need to Know

Identity theft is on the rise. The most recent statistics come from 2014, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an estimated 17.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft. That is nearly 7% of US residents. Most victims experienced the misuse of credit cards; those are the most easily rectified. Consumers are only at risk for $50.00 due to fraud on a credit card….

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Practical Advice on When to Take Social Security

23

May 2016

Practical Advice on When to Take Social Security

The topic of when to take Social Security receives much attention, for good reason.  It may be the single largest resource for many people retiring today. Unfortunately, some of the strategies to maximize benefits were taken away this year.  The file and suspend strategy, available to couples, was eliminated as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (hard not to chuckle at the name…

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View of San Diego skyline from Coronado Island, with roses in the foreground.  Focus on the skyline.

21

Mar 2016

Why are brokerage firms 1099’s always so late? I need to do my taxes!

It’s that time of the year again – tax season. It is time to gather all your documents and either prepare your own return or meet with your accountant.  Yet you haven’t received your 1099 form, the report that summarizes your financial gains and losses for the previous tax year. Prior to the year 2011 these forms always arrived on a timely basis, often by…

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The historic Wall Street in New York York City. July 12, 2010.

14

Jan 2016

Practical thoughts on Bear Markets and Corrections

Not if, but when.  Bear Markets are part of investing in the stock market.  This is a fact, you must know to be ready for the worst.  It helps you prepare mentally. These events should not be a surprise, they should be expected.  They are a normal part of investing.  If so, you must have a strategy to deal with Bear Markets. Market timing is…

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Christmas Tree at Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA

16

Dec 2015

How Long Will Your Retirement Last?

One of the greatest worry’s for anyone who is retired, is running out of money.  Of course, if we knew how long we would live it would make the process much less stressful.  We could simply spend down our assets so they would run out, when we did. Much has been written about life expectancy gains over the last century.  Now with advances in science,…

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red autumn nature in the czech park

18

Nov 2015

Reverse Mortgages- Do they have a place in your Financial Plan?

Many people have heard about reverse mortgages.  They are hyped on TV, radio, magazines and many brokers recommend them aggressively. As a financial planners we have considered them as a possible solution for those who are concerned about outliving their resources. The primary issue we saw as a negative was the very high cost.  Typically fees to acquire a mortgage were often well over $10,000. …

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Savings to Spend…Help for Those with Budgeting Challenges

26

Aug 2015

Savings to Spend…Help for Those with Budgeting Challenges

Perhaps the single most important factor in reducing financial stress is managing cash flow. In their book The Millionaire Next Door, Dr. Thomas Stanley and William Danko explained this financial principal as “I make plenty of money but there is too much month!” This is a common refrain for many people.  This is especially true in California where the cost of housing is quite high,…

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An abstract closeup of two gold cast statuettes depicting a stylized bull and a bear in dramatic contrasting light representing a financial market trends on an isolated dark background

30

Jul 2015

Market Top? Worried?

Is the Bull market over?  Are rising interest rates going to hurt bonds?  What about the volatility in the Chinese stock market? Markets seem so shaky! Many people are worrying if they should do something with their investments. What should they do? I have some bad news, no one knows the answers.  Timing markets (reacting to short-term developments) does not work.  It has never worked…

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Stop-Loss The Hidden Key to Health Insurance Savings?

06

Jul 2015

Stop-Loss The Hidden Key to Health Insurance Savings?

Many employers provide or share the cost of health insurance, for their employees.  This is a wonderful benefit.  Since many receive it as part of their benefits package they often are not knowledgeable about plan provisions, costs and benefits. For people contemplating retirement, prior to age 65, the cost of health care and insurance can be a big obstacle.  This process also continues once they…

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Secrets of How Boomers Can Retire Comfortably!

27

Apr 2015

Secrets of How Boomers Can Retire Comfortably!

Much has been written about the inadequate level of saving by Baby Boomers in America.  Not a day goes by when you don’t see an article on the difficult road faced by aging boomers, who have not saved enough for retirement As a certified financial planner who works with people approaching retirement I am familiar with the challenges.  I also am aware of some excellent…

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Evaluating Investment Performance

13

Mar 2015

Evaluating Investment Performance

One of the most challenging aspects of investing is evaluating investment performance. There is a never ending cornucopia of information about the stock market and the various investment products that are available. People spend a good deal of time comparing their investments to benchmarks such as the S&P 500, the price of gold, or the performance of other investors such as family members or co-workers…

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Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Distributions

14

Jan 2015

Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Distributions

Many company officers and other highly-compensated executives receive a whole host of employer retirement benefits, including not only a 401(k) plan and a pension plan, but a non-qualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan as well. Like 401(k) plans, NQDC plans offer tax-deferred growth. However, NQDC plans are much riskier than a 401(k) plan, in that a creditor may be able to seize the assets . . .


Why did my Mutual Fund Crash and Burn?

31

Dec 2014

Why did my Mutual Fund Crash and Burn?

Today’s post is inspired by Charlemagne, who writes in to ask about a sudden drop in value of one of his investments. Concerned about his holding Super-short Duration Debentures mutual fund (ticker: SSDD), Charlemagne writes in to say . . .


Fee-Only Financial Planning

19

Dec 2014

Fee-Only Financial Planning

To iron out his retirement plan, Temüjin meets with a financial advisor. Temüjin’s plan is ambitious, with a travel itinerary spanning from China to Bulgaria. Undoubtedly, such a vacation will be expensive. To help save for this coming expense, Temüjin’s financial advisor suggests . . .


What is Financial Planning?

12

Dec 2014

What is Financial Planning?

With financial planning, not only do you map out your dreams. Even better, you create a plan for making those dreams a reality. Have you always wanted to visit South America? Let’s set a time to make that happen! Is your fantasy a patio balcony, where you can read, enjoy a glass of wine, and watch the sunset every evening? We’ll figure . . .


Should I Get Out of My Variable Whole Life Insurance Policy?

05

Dec 2014

Should I Get Out of My Variable Whole Life Insurance Policy?

Meet Marcus. Marcus has poured tens of thousands of dollars into his whole life insurance policy. He’s sick of paying the expensive premiums – only to see the value of his policy decline! So, what’s Marcus to do – should he stop paying into the life insurance policy despite the risk of facing a massive tax bill? To find the answer as to whether (and how) Marcus should get out of his whole life insurance, first count how much money has . . .


Can I Get a 30% Stock Market Return?

21

Nov 2014

Can I Get a 30% Stock Market Return?

This week’s blog post is inspired by Mark, who asks, “How much stock should I hold in my portfolio to get an investment return of 30% a year?” The answer isn’t what you think it may be, because investment returns fluctuate from year to year, with averages around . . .


Caution: Robo-Advisor Ahead

07

Nov 2014

Caution: Robo-Advisor Ahead

Considering how much risk (a lot) is required for a given return (a little), there may be better investment opportunities available. This is especially important for clients in retirement – where risk management is paramount to investment return.



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