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Living Past 100

The oldest living American, Delphine Gibson, died May, 2018 at the age of 114.

Delphine was born at the beginning of the 20th century and probably never thought that she would live past 110, but for those of the Millennial Generation, the possibility of living more than a century has dramatically increased.

Are we prepared for such extended life spans?  What can we do to make sure both our health and our prosperity meet the demands of 100 years of living?

Today, in America statistics project that 25% of 65 year olds will live past 90 and 10% will make it past aged 95. (If you are interested in life expectancy, the Social Security Administration offers a life expectancy calculator.)

Much, of course, depends on factors of heredity, lifestyle, health maintenance, and finances.  Yes, finances, since financial planning for a longer life can extend life expectancy.  Clearly, having the funds available for healthcare is a factor in maintaining good health.

The Stanford Center on Longevity on their website – Redesigning Long Life – offers readers ideas about keeping “Mentally Sharp, Physically Fit and Financially Secure.”

Currently, pensions and company- funded health care programs are going the way of the dodo bird. Routinely, employees are expected to be ‘self-funded’ when it comes to retirement benefits and certain healthcare initiatives (where out-of-pocket expenses have risen dramatically.)  For this reason, it is critical to have a plan for the future…a plan that includes realistic projections into retirement.

Planning for the future soon could mean that we plan for a “normal” lifespan of 100+ years.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website:  www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for over 275 articles and printable infographics

 

 

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Retirement Savings – A Wobbly Stool

In the past, a comfortable retirement was supposed to be supported (mainly) by three factors (the three-legged stool): Social Security; a pension; and individual retirement savings.

Enter the current era…Social Security is under economic pressure; defined pensions (those that a company offered its employees) are headed for extinction; and personal savings for retirement are almost non-existent for many Americans.

This is indeed a wobbly three-legged stool that people contemplating retirement are perched upon.

Add to the mix is that statistics show that our retirement years are likely to span a much longer period than ever before…people are just living longer.

According to some statistics, less than half of Americans who are approaching retirement have any estimate of how many years their assets will last.  Less than 40% have a plan as to how they will generate additional income, so that they will not outlive their money.

The first step might be to face the realities of the three legged stool.

If you have a decade or more before retirement, you will need a financial plan to increase individual IRA contributions and retirement savings accounts.

If you are closer to retirement, putting a plan in place to stretch your retirement dollars:  by downsizing; delaying retirement; delaying Social Security benefits; finding post-retirement part-time employment are all methods to cope with the realities of maintaining a happy retirement.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website:  www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for over 270 articles in printable infographics

 

The State of Retiree Finances

Many of my readers know that I often quote from the research of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.  One of the reasons that I recommend the articles is that although they are based on research protocols, the articles are easy to read and to apply in certain life situations.

Each research brief is often accompanied with graphics and charts to emphasize key points.

The Center puts their research ‘briefs’ into useful perspective.  It is an institution doing excellent research into the retirement issues of today.

Our friends at the Center for Retirement Research have again come up with an excellent piece of research about how current retirees are coping with their financial obligations.

The research brief is titled: WILL THE FINANCIAL FRAGILITY OF RETIREES INCREASE?  By Steven A. Sass. (February, 2018)

While the picture is not ‘rosy’ for current retirees, the bottom line is that current retirees are coping better than future retirees will be able to cope.  “While most of today’s elderly seem able to withstand shocks, changes in the retirement landscape suggest that future retirees will face more difficulty…”

About 80% of a retiree’s income is spent on basics such as food, healthcare, housing.  The biggest jump in expenditure for those over 75 is in healthcare.  There is an excellent graphic/table in the full pdf. format of the 6 page research brief/article that shows the percentile changes between the over and under 75 age groups of retirees.

The article notes that: “The two major shocks that hit the elderly today are a spike in medical expenses and a sharp drop in income upon becoming a widow.” And …”The study found that health declines were a clear predictor of (financial) hardship.”

There will be, for future retirees, a growing reliance on savings versus the social security system and retirement plans. – called “the drawdown challenge”.

One conclusion of the research: “Downsizing is the most effective way to reduce fixed expenses and could also increase the household’s financial assets.”

I recommend the 6 pages of the research brief/article to those who are concerned with what the future retiree landscape will look like.

 Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website – www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for over 250 articles and printable infographics

Colorado In Second Place

According to Wallet Hub (www.wallethub.com) ,Colorado is now in second place in the race for “best state to retire”.

It now ranks one step behind……..(drumroll please)…….Florida!

Also, in the 2018 sweepstakes, according to Wallet Hub’s listing of “2018 Healthiest and Unhealthiest Cities in America”..  Denver Colorado made it into the top ten of healthiest cities (with a ranking of #10).

The ranking data is done according to several factors: availability of healthcare; (healthy) food; fitness; and green space.

Congratulations to Colorado!

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

 Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website – www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for over 250 articles and printable infographics

The Scoop on Health Savings Accounts

As we move into 2018, those who are self-employed (or those with a high deductible health plan) continue to be concerned about their healthcare costs.

Individuals who have health savings accounts (and particularly those who do not) will benefit from the article by our friends at Investopedia.  The article is titled:  “How to Use Your HSA for Retirement” and is an excellent synopsis of the advantages of health savings accounts (HSA’s).

A quote from the article: “Thanks to its unique tax advantages, a Health Savings Account may be the best retirement option you never knew you had.”

One terrific advantage:  Your HSA contributions are tax-deductible before you turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare.

Also, keep in mind that some states have different tax laws regarding taxation of HSA accounts. (Consult your tax advisor)

And don’t forget those ‘catch-up’ contributions.. If you have an HSA and you are 55 or older, you can make an extra “catch-up” contribution of $1,000 per year and a spouse who is 55 or older can do the same… however each of you must have their own HSA account.

If you qualify for an HSA, decide to take advantage of this “best retirement option”.

It is not often that I highly recommend an article to my readers…but this is one time that I do.

Here is the entire link for the Investopedia article:   https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/091615/how-use-your-hsa-retirement.asp#ixzz55yDX2eus

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website:  www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for over 250 articles and printable infographics

 

Top 5 Retirement Challenges…

Our friends at Wiser Women (www.wiserwomen.org) posted their top 5 retirement challenges facing women in the United States.  Among the five challenges:  only 45% of women between 21 and 64 years of age participate in a retirement plan.

To view all five ‘top challenges” use their website.

The Wiser Women website also offers helpful advice about social security; financial scams; health care; caregiving; divorce and widowhood; and the very useful “Your Future Paycheck” calculator.

You can also subscribe for free to the Wiser Women newsletter.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website: www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for more than 250 articles and printable infographics

 

Infographic – Median Retirement Savings by Age Group

Most recent articles about retirement agree that American have fallen woefully behind on their retirement savings goals.

With the new year coming, now is a good time to review your end-of-year retirement and savings goals and make adjustments.

I have just posted on my website a helpful chart (printable infographic) titled: Median Retirement Savings by Age Group.  See how you compare with the “Recommended” Goals.

It is never too late to increase retirement savings, either through 401(K) or individual retirement accounts or through a change in lifestyle.

At the end of my infographic there are some suggestions about how to achieve an improvement in saving for retirement – whatever your age group.

For the ’20 Somethings’, this might mean setting realistic goals and establishing a new retirement account.

In your 30’s to 50’s, it is time to review your financial situation with an eye to having a more stable savings plan for retiring.

In your 60’s, it can be a time to review your investments and make lifestyle changes for a healthier lifestyle with an eye to reducing medical costs.

Each age group has a Recommended Retirement goal, and you can meet that goal through a disciplined savings plan.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website:  http://www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for over 200 articles and printable infographics

 

Expensive Cities to Live In (or avoid) When Retiring

Investopedia can always be depended on for some light reading and interesting factoids.

One article that arrived to my inbox… Top 10 Most Expensive Cities in the U.S. By Lisa Goetz ( June 13, 2017)

Luckily none of the ‘most expensive’ cities are in my state of Colorado.

No real surprise that New York and Honolulu made the list, along with several California cities.

Check out the Investopedia.com  website for the complete list.

If you live in one of these cities and are planning for retirement, be prepared for some higher bills than other cities.

If you are planning to relocate after retiring, check out the ‘vital stats’ on any city, town you are considering.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website:  www.attorneybarbaradalano.weebly.com for more than 200 articles and printable infographics

Social Security and Divorce

In the U.S. nearly 50% of first marriages end in divorce and a higher percentage of second marriages fail.

These are glum statistics, but perhaps the thing that people forget is that even in divorce the social security benefits for ex-spouses can live on – depending on circumstances.

Yes, even if you are divorced, you may be able to claim social security  benefits based on your ex-spouse record .

If the marriage was a long term (official) relationship that marriage still counts as far as social security is concerned even after divorce.

Visit the excellent government website:  Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html

Some information from that website:

“If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record (even if they have remarried) if:

  • You are unmarried;
  • You are age 62 or older;
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.”

Keep in mind that even if your marriage ended in divorce over a decade ago, you might still be eligible.

If you are approaching retirement, have been divorced, have not remarried (or your second marriage ended), visit the social security website or your social security office to find out more about your rights to claim.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

 Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website:  www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for more articles and printable infographics

 

Retirement Planners…Sample Some

I have written many articles about retirement and retirement planning. In most cases when people start to think about retirement, they begin to get serious about their estate planning needs as well.

There are many retirement planners on the market and on the internet. For those who want to get an idea of whether they are on track to reach their retirement goals, these retirement planners are helpful. Our friends at Squared Away have tested three free retirement planners that are available on the internet.

Although no one retirement planner is fool- proof, using such tools is better than just hoping that your goals are being met.

Here are the three picks from our friends at Squared Away (Why not try all three and compare them?)

Be forewarned, no one calculator from the internet will be ‘tailored’ to your exact circumstances.

The three picks from Squared Away are:

NewRetirement – newretirement.com

E$Planner Basic – esplanner.com

Target Your Retirement – available through the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Calculators use various assumptions to provide analyses. They all require (and rely on) estimates and financial data that you provide. If those estimates are inaccurate the results of the calculator may be also. Remember the old adage – garbage in, garbage out.

Also, many changing economic factors (interest rates; house valuations; medical costs, etc) make retirement calculations less than an exact science. However, retirement calculators are a good place to start, if you are willing to take the time to answer some detailed questions.

In the words of Squared Away: “A calculator is no substitute for a precise and detailed estimate by a financial planner. But it’s important to start somewhere.”

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website: www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for more articles and printable infographics