What is your number?

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I recently saw an article that emphasized that you should have some magic number of assets saved up for retirement. While I agree that the assets play an important part in retirement planning, often they are underfunded and other saving objectives throughout life have a higher priority. What is missed in articles like this is that people often fail to take advantage of the elements of retirement that they can control. The timing of the coordination of these resources will have a significant impact on the longevity of your assets. For example, if someone chooses to retire at 62 and has insufficient assets for retirement they may be better off taking Social Security early, but if they live a long time will still run out of liquid assets. On the other hand, if they delay Social Security until 70 they will deplete assets even sooner to cover the gap while delaying Social Security. This delaying of Social Security may lead to greater cash flow later in life, but the problem of running out of liquid assets still exists. So, in this case, taking Social Security early is not a good option and delaying Social Security is not a good option and in either case, they do not have enough liquid assets to last a lifetime. What can they do? The third an often overlooked resource is to continue working. Then they can match the Social Security strategy with the assets  to meet or exceed the expected mortality. While there is a number that will comfortably provide enough income to last a lifetime, it is not the norm and the majority of people will have to figure out how to get the most out of what they have and be strategic about using all their resources to their fullest potential. The reason I created Retirement Resource Management is to help people put all these resources together and educate them on the best path for retirement. Retirement is not a number but a plan of using what you have to the greatest potential. We are here to help.

Rocky Mount Educational Event

We had a great event at Benvenue Country Club in Rocky Mount NC. At a lunch meeting, I had the opportunity to share how to get more out of Social Security benefits for a group of about 15 people. Special thanks to Jolley Asset Management for hosting this event. We discussed the common myths of Social Security, recent rule changes, how to use the remaining rules to their advantage, and how Social Security can impact their other resources in retirement. At the conclusion, we discussed the value of having the facts before they make a decision on when to take benefits. We let them know that we were available to run a custom analysis for them and most took us up on our offer. This is why I provide the education, so people can understand why haveing all the facts is so important for their future. If you would like to host an event in your area, just click on the tab on our website. We would love to help.

New Social Security SCAM

I was sent an article that recently appeared in the McDowell News, a local paper in the mountains of NC, that details a new scam meant to first scare people about Social Security and falsely uses a reputable source in the community as a source of the information. The end goal is for people to send small amounts to them in which they use for their own purposes. Just want everyone to be aware of this as there are too many people trying to take advantage of Senior Citizens. Here is the link to the article. McDowell News

What to expect when you are expecting… a cost of living increase.

No doubt about it. One of the best features of Social Security is the Cost of Living Adjustment or COLA. This past year came as a surprise for many as there was no COLA and thus no increase. Now I know what you are thinking that my grocery bill went up, my health care went up, my homeowner’s insurance went up. In fact, most things did increase in price, but what you actually pay has little to do with how the COLA is figured. COLA is based on what is known as CPI-W or Consumer Price Index for Urban workers. This index is very beneficial for the government to use as it is below CPI as a whole and it does impact retirees income. In fact, some experts estimate that Seniors have lost 23% of their purchasing power since 2000. This is not good news for retirees. To add to the pain medicare premiums have increased for some too and are expected to continue to increase above the COLA. For retirees, that means less in your pocket. There is a little good news for those currently receiving benefits. The law provides some protection for you. If there is no cost of living increase, the premiums for those who are receiving benefits does not increase. This does not apply to those that have chosen to delay benefits. Now this might seem like taking benefits earlier might be a good move. In reality, it does not. You trade off the increase of 8% increase per year delayed for a short term gain in income. Also when COLA’s are reinstituted you play catch up until you pay the same as those that had the initial increase. The last time this happened, retirees were back to the same level in three years. So imagine you made an emotional decision without evaluating the long-term effect on your income. Now for the rest of your life, you get less money, all to get a short term gain for a couple of years. So why the bad news? My goal with education is to keep you from making mistakes that way too many people make. In  this case, we may have another year with no COLA and while that is not the best situation, I hope that you will look at the long-term picture and make an educated decision based on the facts and your long term income. If you have questions give us a call. We are here to help.

Educational Seminar in Raleigh

Thanks to Tim Tucker and World Builders for affording me the opportunity to share my expertise on Social Security and Retirement Resource Management. With the gas shortage, I realize that some of the people from Eastern NC that planned to attend were not able, but we will do it again. Many good questions were asked and many myths were dispelled. One of the reasons I love to provide the education is to set the record straight on Social Security. With the recent changes, there is still quite a bit of misinformation out there. The openness of the group and willingness to ask questions made for an enjoyable evening. If you are interested in learning more about Social Security please look at our upcoming events for details.