I tend to think about Social Security as an asset to be managed. I am not sure that other people do, however, since it is impossible to call up Social Security and ask for a withdrawal. Still, the lifetime value of your Social Security benefit is likely to be substantial, and can be dramatically larger or smaller depending on your claiming strategy, timing, and longevity.
Would you rather have a dollar today or a dollar tomorrow? What about one dollar every month or twelve dollars at the end of the year? The majority of us would take the money as soon as possible. This is based on two old economic principles; opportunity cost and the time value of money. We know that having a dollar today rather than some time in the future is more valuable because it means we can use that dollar immediately. This could mean saving, paying off debt, or even investing it for the future. Therefore, as we evaluate something of equal value received in the future, we discount its worth and prefer that same value now. This is relevant to us as taxpayers as every month we are given the option to receive more now or more when we file our taxes (assuming we are withholding too much).
Almost all our engagements and recommendations with clients are Fiduciary. Why does that matter to you? Ironically, many advisors were not required or did not follow a Fiduciary standard. Under current regulations, all advisors are now required to act as Fiduciaries for new recommendations in retirement accounts (for example IRA accounts). However, they were not required to do that until very recently, and your account might be grandfathered under the old, weaker, “suitability” rules.
We had the chance to visit with Scott Stolz, Senior Vice President from Raymond James, and discuss something that is on many clients minds: Social Security. Scott chose to first take us through an understanding of how Social Security actually works. As you probably see, Social Security takes money from your paycheck.
In our prior videos (College Planning), we have talked about ways to reduce the cost of education through AP course, college selection, and scholarships. Assuming you have done that and still have a shortfall, you are probably moving on to methods of obtaining financial aid. Today we are going to talk about the $150 billion in federal aid that the US Department of Education offers to 15 million students each year. The aid is provided in the form of grants, work-study, and loans.
In our first college planning video, we highlighted advanced placement credits, college selection, and military scholarships. Today we are going to talk about other scholarships: athletic, academic, and community/specialty/employer scholarships.
Does the potential cost of college have you worried? Today we are going to talk about ways to plan for college costs. There are several ways, but we are going to focus on 3 that I think you can control. This is near and dear to me as I have 6 kids, with the first one just entering her 2nd year of college. Possibly 5 more to go, so I appreciate any avenue to save money while still getting a good value in this area.
We work with clients through all stages of life and through multiple generations. From going to college, paying off debt, getting married, saving for a house and of course, planning for retirement. And while accomplishing these important financial and life goals is critical, it can all go up in smoke in an instant if you haven’t planned properly. Premature death, disability, and an inability to handle one’s own affairs can leave you and your loved ones in a difficult position. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to plan for the unforeseen and protect your loved ones and your financial legacy.
Would you like to know how investment managers are selected for your portfolio? It certainly is not a case of “we like this guy,” or “who has the best return.” There is a very clear and defined due diligence process. But because our team of advisors recognize that this many not be visible for you, it seemed valuable to share more about it.
UK citizens’ decision to exit the European Union really caught the world off guard. Last Thursday, traders thought the vote would fail and that sent values higher. On Friday, we got new information and stocks fell. Partly as a correction to what people had assumed and partly over fear as to what the future holds. Since the announcement, global stock markets have been down. And as often happens when markets go down on a Friday, traders return on Monday in “selling mode”. But we believe this will prove to be a short-term reaction to an unexpected event rather than a protracted downturn.
Would you like to watch and listen firsthand to the person responsible for overall portfolio strategy for about $30 billion of investment assets? If you do, this video is for you. A few weeks ago, we had Nick Lacy with us in our office. Nick is the Chief Portfolio Strategist for Asset Management Services within Raymond James. It is safe to say that he is slightly smart.
Let’s be frank; no one likes to pay for insurance. It’s one of those things we do because we’re “responsible adults”. But in many cases we’re paying to protect ourselves against something that isn’t likely to happen. Most people don’t totally destroy their cars. Most houses don’t burn down. But when those things do happen, they can have catastrophic financial effects on those who are ill-prepared. While this is true for things like houses and cars, it’s also true when it comes to planning your financial future. Let’s take a quick dive into three areas we think are critically important to address when thinking about your financial plan.
Last week, Mike and I were at the 2016 Raymond James National Conference for Professional Development. It was a very enriching week with literally hundreds of courses available for us to attend and a tremendous variety of topics. We picked the courses to attend with you in mind. We thought you might want to hear a bit about some of these. If so, keep reading!
Are more choices better? The makers of toothpaste certainly think so. But so many choices can lead to indecision and, worse, inaction. Thankfully, people find a way to cut through the noise, buy their toothpaste and, most importantly, actually brush their teeth frequently. Investors could learn from this. Read more about my quirky analogy.
Most people know that in order to have a secure online presence, you must have a strong password. By “strong”, we mean that it should be long, complex (letters, number & special characters) and unique (not the same password on every website). But this can be tough to do. So in addition to a password, or in the absence of a strong password, there is something you should do to protect your online accounts.