Long term care needs – the wild card of financial planning

Nothing is going to send a financial plan into a “crash & burn” faster than a disabling sickness or accident.  Even when you have medical insurance, you still have to worry about the costs of nursing homes, assisted care facilities and home health care — none of which are covered by most medical insurance policies, including Medicare.
READ MORE

When’s the right time to refinance your mortgage?

That seems like a question with an obvious answer, right?  You refinance when the interest rate on the new loan is lower than your rate on the current loan.  But  how much lower?  And is it really as simple as subtracting one rate from another and signing on the dotted line? READ MORE

What a difference a retirement plan and a reverse mortgage can make!

“I can’t afford to retire!” That’s the fear expressed by many of my new clients. In fact, it’s often the reason that my clients come to me in the first place.
While I can’t wave a magic wand to create the necessary retirement savings, I can help you to stretch the savings you already have.
Let me give you an example. READ MORE

Checking the health of your pension – mandatory or optional?

Checking the Health of Your Pension – Mandatory or Optional?  
I don’t mean to spoil your sleep, but while you slumber peacefully in the early dawn, the United States Senate is proposing a change that could affect the required contributions to your pension.  Should you be concerned?   Ask the American Airline employees who found their plans underfunded when their employer declared bankruptcy.   READ MORE

When small change is hardly chump change

Since budgeting counseling is an important part of my financial planning practice, I get a kick out of finding easy ways to save money.  So, when I read that there was an update on the Department of Labor’s progress toward their 401(k) fee disclosure laws, I was curious.  After all, with better disclosure  more transparency, and increased competition, it should be easier for every 401(k) participant to save on the fees that they pay for the administration and management of their accounts.
So far, Wall Street has claimed that disclosure is “too complicated,” READ MORE

Question: when is education NOT the key to success?

Answer: When the burden of debt acts as an anchor to your personal finances

When I heard the concept “education debt relief”, I was all ears.  It’s not just homeowners that are catching a break with loan modifications. New government programs allow students or former students to benefit from programs that do not require that the borrowers negotiate with their lenders. READ MORE

Almost like found money

It’s my hope that no one needs to access their retirement plans prior to age 59 1/2. And with a 10% premature penalty, it makes it a very unattractive option if funds are necessary. And I would like to remind you, or inform you, that there are exceptions to this penalty. IRS Section 72 (t) allows the following exceptions: READ MORE