Each year in its annual Retirement Confidence Survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute reiterates that goal setting is a key factor influencing overall retirement confidence. But for many, a retirement savings goal that could reach $1 million or more may seem like a daunting, even impossible mountain to climb. What if you’re investing as much as you can, but still feel that you’ll never reach the summit? As with many of life’s toughest challenges, it may help to focus less on the big picture and more on the details.* Start by reviewing the following points.
Retirement goals are based on assumptions
Whether you use a simple online calculator or run a detailed analysis, your retirement savings goal is based on certain assumptions that will, in all likelihood, change. Inflation, rates of return, life expectancies, salary adjustments, retirement expenses, Social Security benefits–all of these factors are estimates. That’s why it’s so important to review your retirement savings goal and its underlying assumptions regularly–at least once per year and when life events occur. This will help ensure that your goal continues to reflect your changing life circumstances as well as market and economic conditions.
Break it down
Instead of viewing your goal as ONE BIG NUMBER, try to break it down into an anticipated monthly income need. That way you can view this monthly need alongside your estimated monthly Social Security benefit, income from your retirement savings, and any pension or other income you expect. This can help the planning process seem less daunting, more realistic, and most important, more manageable. It can be far less overwhelming to brainstorm ways to close a gap of, say, a few hundred dollars a month than a few hundred thousand dollars over the duration of your retirement.
With higher interest rates a distinct possibility in 2015, you may want to think about whether the bond portion of your portfolio is positioned appropriately given your time horizon and risk tolerance. One factor you might consider is which types of bonds may be most vulnerable to a rate hike.
Some investors forget that a bond’s principal value may fluctuate with market conditions. When interest rates rise, longer-term bonds may feel a greater impact than those with shorter maturities. When interest rates are rising, bond buyers may be reluctant to tie up their money for longer periods if they anticipate higher yields in the future. The longer a bond’s term, the greater the risk that its yield may eventually be superseded by that of newer bonds.
After years of record-low interest rates, at some point this year the Federal Reserve is expected to begin raising its target federal funds interest rate (the rate at which banks lend to one another funds they’ve deposited at the Fed). Because bond prices typically fall when interest rates rise, any rate hike is likely to affect the value of bond investments.
However, higher rates aren’t all bad news. For those who have been diligent about saving and/or have kept a substantial portion of their portfolios in cash alternatives, higher rates could be a boon. For example, higher rates could mean that savings accounts and CDs are likely to do better at providing income than they have in recent years.
Most of us think of life insurance as protection against financial loss should we die prematurely. But if and when we reach retirement and the kids are all self-sufficient, do we still need life insurance? The answer is maybe–or maybe not. Here are some situations where life insurance may make sense for retirees, or those close to retirement.
Benefits at death
Provide for a dependent family member
Sometimes, even in retirement, there are family members who’ll depend on you for financial and/or custodial support. Should you die unexpectedly, life insurance may help provide funds needed to support dependent family members who are physically or mentally challenged.
Income replacement for surviving spouse
Generally, Social Security retirement benefits are paid to both spouses, either based on their individual work records or on the work record of one spouse, with spousal benefits available for the other spouse. At the death of a spouse, his or her benefits end, reducing the total benefits available to the surviving spouse. Life insurance can be used to replace the loss of income for the surviving spouse.
Tradewinds Credit Union of Comstock Park, MI Signs Agreement with Money Concepts Capital Corp. to offer Financial Planning Services
Independent broker-dealer Money Concepts is pleased to announce a new strategic relationship with Tradewinds Credit Union.
(PRWEB) January 29, 2015
Wealth Management and Financial Planning firm Money Concepts signed a new agreement with Tradewinds Credit Union a $17.5 million asset credit union based in Comstock Park, MI.
Mary Sullivan, President & CEO of Tradewinds Credit Union has been serving the West Michigan building trades and community since 1956. “I am excited about our partnership with Money Concepts International Inc. and the financial planning service it will provide for our members. Money Concepts like Tradewinds Credit Union will offer the unique combination of friendly and professional service and attention to our member’s individual financial needs.”