Year: 2015

Have You Reviewed Your Will Lately?

Take one moment and think about what your will says…  Who does your will leave your assets to if you were to die today?  If you are married and both of you died today, who would your estate go to?  Would it go outright to those beneficiaries or would it go into a trust?  And […]

Medicare & Social Security Decisions-Be Very Careful

Reader Question:  My wife and I are both elderly and she has dementia.  At some point, she will probably have to go into an assistance living facility.  Since I have her power of attorney, I changed the beneficiary on my IRA’s (3 traditional and 1 Roth) to my daughter.  She is our only child.  If […]

Energen Terminates Pension Plan

Over the past decade there has been a growing trend for companies to terminate defined benefit pension plans in favor of defined contribution retirement plans.  One Alabama company, Energen, terminated its pension plan this year.  Recently, employees of Energen received notice of their options regarding the terminated plan. With a defined benefit pension plan, a […]

EE Bonds: Hold or Sell?

Reader Question:  My question is about EE U.S. savings bonds. I have bonds purchased in the late 1980’s and all are due to mature in 2016-17. The rate on these bonds is 4% and needless to say the accumulated interest is more than the face value of the bonds.  My plan is to give these […]

Retirement Planning’s ‘Stealth’ Risks

In retirement planning people often fail to take into account what I call ‘stealth risks’.  Stealth risks are those risks that you don’t think of…risks that seem to pop up out of nowhere.  But the truth is you should be able to anticipate a number of these situations. Parents’ ill health. As we save for […]

Nervous About the Stock Market?

After four years of a strong bull market in stocks, we’ve finally experienced our first technical “correction”.  Monday’s stock market opened with a heart-stopping one thousand point drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  What was the cause and what should investors do in the wake of this stock market chaos? There appears to be […]

Social Security Trap?

Reader Question:  I understand the potential advantages of delaying social security past 66; one being that your spouse will have a higher benefit upon death of the primary earner.  I was planning to delay SS for this reason. However, there have been several recent articles that indicate premiums for Medicare Part B coverage will skyrocket […]

Emergency Fund- How Much is Enough?

We’ve all experienced Murphy’s Law at numerous points in our life and when it happens in our finances, it can be particularly painful.  Often, the best defense is an emergency reserve fund you can turn to in a time of financial crisis.  But, how much is enough and what’s the best way to set it […]

Social Security Strategy- A Closer Look

Reader comment:  In your recent column it really seems that you have had at least a sip of the proverbial cool aid in your advice against taking Social Security at 66.  A simple spread sheet shows that if you bank the after taxes SS benefits for four years you will not catch up with the […]

6 Secrets to Your Best Retirement Plan

Let’s face the facts…most people are not saving enough for their retirement.  If this is you (or someone you know), here are some tips for helping create the best retirement possible with the resources based on the resources you do accumulate: Trifecta Investment Strategy. At the center of our Trifecta Investment Strategy is post retirement […]