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Tag Archives: retirement

Retirees Lose $3.4 Trillion By Claiming Social Security Too Early

For years now, there’s been lots of talk about what happens if you claim Social Security benefits before full retirement age (FRA) or even waiting until the maximum age of 70. Claiming early means you’ll receive less money, permanently, than if you waited. In spite of the warnings, only 4% of retirees wait until 70 to claim benefits and that costs trillions of dollars of potential retirement income. Every year, the Social Security Administration pays more than $1 trillion to more than 65...

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5-Things Your Broker Will Ignore – Part 3

At our extensive Retirement Right Lane Classes which fill seats all over Houston, our planning group spend hours with a wide demographic of attendees who give up their Saturdays to tackle head on, the challenging topics that are crucial to financial survival in retirement. An important goal of the class is to rewire the years of bad advice consumers have been given from an industry which thrives on outdated theories. From “pre-tax investment vehicles are the greatest invention since...

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Investors Dilemma: Pavlov’s Dogs & The Ringing Of The Bell

Classical conditioning (also known as Pavlovian or respondent conditioning) refers to a learning procedure in which a potent stimulus (e.g. food) is paired with a previously neutral stimulus (e.g. a bell). What Pavlov discovered is that when the neutral stimulus was introduced, the dogs would begin to salivate in anticipation of the potent stimulus, even though it was not currently present. This learning process results from the psychological “pairing” of the stimuli. What does this have to...

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5-Things Your Broker Wont Tell You – Part 2

Valuations Matter. As I mentioned briefly in Part 1 of the series,  investors about to the enter the retirement distribution phase of their lives or seeking to extract money from a basket of variable assets like stocks and bonds to re-create a retirement paycheck, must be keenly aware of portfolio risk and prepare for a cycle of muted portfolio returns. Newbies to the retirement experience and those who aspire to retire within the next 3-5 years must seriously consider comprehensive financial...

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The Lump Sum Distribution Monster

It’s the end of an era, at least for Baby Boomers. Some have already retired; many more can see the finish line of their working years. For Boomers with highly appreciated company stock in their 401(k) a major decision is whether to do an IRA rollover, leave the money in the employer plan, or use the lump-sum distribution tax break for net unrealized appreciation (NUA) on employer stock. A lump sum distribution (LSD) is a one-time payment for an entire amount, rather than payments broken into...

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SPECIAL REPORT: The Definitive Guide to Medicare

There’s a common misconception that Medicare is a simple, automatic process when you turn 65. Nothing could be further from the truth. The responsibility to enroll is on your shoulders, and if you miss deadlines or don’t enroll in just the right way, you can incur penalties that will consume chunks of your retirement income for the rest of your life. Medicare is made up of Part A (Hospital Insurance), and Part B (Medical Insurance). There is generally no cost for Part A, but there is a...

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5-Things Your Broker Will Ignore – Part 1

Investors mistakenly believe their financial partners are students of holistic financial planning. Outside of sell-side biased market information pumped out daily by an employer’s research department, there are several areas of study that many brokers would prefer to avoid. Worse are the practitioners who confidently communicate erroneous Medicare and Social Security advice which results in consumers leaving thousands of lifetime income dollars on the table. Then, there are the brokers who...

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When A Bond Bull Becomes A Raving Stock Bull

Over the last few years, I have continually battled the “bond bears” about calls for higher rates simply because rates were low.  Here is a short list of some of the more prominent calls for higher rates: Those are just a few, and certainly, there were many other calls for higher rates from every corner of Wall Street. One of the biggest issues with the predictions of rising 10-year bond yields, which started in earnest in 2013, is they have been consistently wrong. For a bit of history, you...

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The Most Important Trait To Look For In A Financial Advisor

Daniel R. Solin, a New York Times best-selling author who penned a series of popular books with the overarching theme of how to be the ‘smartest,’ with money, recently wrote an article where he shared what he believes is The One Trait That Predicts Advisor Success. Mr. Solin makes a convincing case for curiosity as the dominating trait that separates a great advisor from a marginal one. I agree curiosity is critical to success not only to prosper in a chosen vocation, but for success...

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Technically Speaking: The Lessons Poker Can Teach You About Investing

Over the last couple of weeks, I have laid out the bull and bear case for the S&P 500 rising to 3300, and the case for the Fed to cut rates. In summary, the basic driver of the “bull market thesis” has essentially come down to Central Bank policy. This reliance on the Fed has led to a marked rise in “complacency” by investors in recent weeks despite a burgeoning list of issues. As shown in the chart below, the ratio of the “volatility index” as compared to the S&P 500 index is...

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