on October 30, 2018 Comments Off on Why Your Retirement Is Uncertain
The retirement question most of us have to face is, “when should I retire?” And for most of us, that is not an extremely clear answer. There are so many factors to consider: social security, pension, health care costs, just to name a few. Let alone considering the factors like the mental, social, physical and spiritual aspects of your retirement to consider.
From purely a numbers stand point, meaning will the money I have saved be enough to allow me to accomplish my goals, that can be dialed in by determining key strategies and goals in the financial piece of your retirement puzzle. Some important keys to success include:
Matching your retirement to your preretirement lifestyle to minimize drop off in living standards.
Maximizing your income so that social security is no more than 40%, your max preretirement income value, of your retirement income.
Placing retirement savings ahead of other goals, like paying for your children’s college or a vacation home, to make sure you stay on track.
Don’t be totally exposed to stock market fluctuations. Having steady income from several sources will help to minimize the impact of market change.
The are just a few of the strategies to consider, but when it comes down to the formula, it takes a partner to help you accomplish your goals. We’re here to help. Independent, customer focuses and driven to serve, we want you to succeed. To find out more, let’s talk.
on March 6, 2018 Comments Off on Optimizing Your Retirement By Maximizing Your Social Security Claims
When considering their retirement strategy many people focus on their investments, retirement plans and their assets. Social security is one of those components of retirement that can be overlooked, but that could be a mistake.
Social Security is a very important component of retirement income for many retirees. It can also be confusing. Does it make sense to begin drawing Social Security as soon as you are eligible? Should you wait until your Full Retirement Age? Is it best to wait until 70 to begin claiming Social Security? Can my spouse begin their social security even if I don’t begin taking mine?
In addition to these questions there could be many more. The reality is that the right retirement strategy for you is determined on a case-by-case basis. We have worked with many families facing these questions and through a planning process we explore the options available to them and provide guidance on their social security claiming strategy.
If you want to learn more about your retirement strategy and how to maximize your social security, contact our team. We’re here to help!
on January 23, 2018 Comments Off on When Saving Money Matters In Your Retirement Plan
To save or to invest? Or do we do both?
There can sometimes be a misconception that by simply investing in the markets, you will be able to accumulate enough savings for retirement. The unfortunate reality is that the growth that can be achieved from investing is extremely important, but there must be an adequate amount of savings set aside over time for it to work.
The following example can show you exactly how critical the savings process is. A portfolio that grows at an average rate of 7% over time for 20 years will have approximately 50% of its ending balance due to the savings added over the years and the other 50% due to the investment growth. The image shows how the growth portion of the portfolio (the green part of each bar) increases over time. This portfolio assumes an average growth rate of 7% and a recurring addition of $5,000 at the end of each year. After 20 years, the portfolio value is worth over $200,000. It is critical to save and begin saving early.
If you have questions about your current retirement plan and how you can best maximize your return, contact us to day to schedule a meeting.
on December 19, 2017 Comments Off on How Much Money Have You Lost In Your Lifetime?
How much money have you lost in your lifetime based on financial illiteracy? If you had to assign a dollar figure to the decisions made from lack of knowledge, would it be more or less than $30,000?
According to an article published by the National Financial Educators Council there was a online survey conducted in March of 2017 where they asked over 3,000 people about decisions they’ve made relative to the value of personal finance education and the education they receive in high school. Of those surveyed, 33% of people have felt that they have lost at least $15,000 in their lifetime. Similarly, 25% of people believe that they have lost at least $30,000 in their lifetime due to lack of financial knowledge.
The noticeable trend was that as people get older they feel they lose more money due to lack of financial literacy. Mostly attributable to the increase in income as we age.
So, we ask again, how much money have you lost? If you feel that you are missing out on the personal financial knowledge you need to provide today, contact us. We’re here to help!
on November 21, 2017 Comments Off on Should I Pay My House Off Early?
In today’s financial climate, there are many different options and strategies that can result in personal success. Often times when we hear of a new strategy or trend, there are often as many “cons” as there are “pros”. That’s not to say that you should or should not try a new strategy, it’s just to say that you should do your research and best see how that strategy would benefit you.
In that vein, one question we get asked often is, “Should I pay off my house early?”
Our advice would not be to pay your home off early or don’t pay your home off early. Since mortgage loans are amortized with interest being front loaded because mortgages have an equal payment for the life of the loan, it is important to understand where you are on the spectrum of the loan. If you have already paid a significant portion of the interest, it may be more beneficial to direct extra money into a savings account. If you still have a significant amount of time on the loan, it can make sense to get principal paid down to alleviate the significant interest burden that exists on long loans.
Additionally, if you are in a high tax bracket, some of the interest burden is offset with a tax deduction. For the highest earners, this can be very favorable because a federal bracket of 33% or higher means that this is a deduction that needs to be considered for taxes.
Rarely do we view finances as purely black and white. Our goal is to help families make better financial decisions based on their personal situation through analysis.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Courage Miller Partners can help you, contact us today!
Hard work is at the core of everything we do. We pride ourselves on our dedication to service and strive everyday to embody the motto of our founders’ alma mater Virginia Tech, “Ut Prosim” – That I may serve.