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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Decision-Making for the Long-Term Benefit of Your Company Business succession planning is an important process for ensuring the long-term success and viability of a company. It involves preparing for the future leadership of a business...

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

National Retirement Planning Week, observed from April 13-17, serves as a timely reminder of the importance of thoughtful retirement planning. This week emphasizes the need to reflect on our retirement goals and the steps necessary to...

Monday, April 8, 2024

Two weeks ago, we mentioned that one of the factors causing concern for us regarding the stock and bond markets in the US is the absence of volatility and the relatively low level of the VIX, which serves as somewhat of a fear...

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Spring ushers in a period of renewal and refreshment, extending an invitation not only to our physical spaces but to our financial lives as well. As the seasons transition, it presents an ideal moment to embark on decluttering your...

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Insurance often gets a bad rap, and life insurance, in particular, may not be on the top of your list of financial priorities. However, we believe it deserves a closer look for reasons beyond just covering funeral expenses. Life...

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Monday, March 25, 2024

The financial markets in the U.S. never stray very far away from the question of what the Federal Reserve is going to do with interest rates and this week is no different. Stock and bond markets are currently pricing in the Fed not...

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

As many approach our 60s and look forward to longer lives, it’s the perfect time to reassess retirement financial strategies. Consider these compelling reasons why annuities could positively impact your financial situation: Maximize...

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

To build the life in retirement that you envision, there are retirement planning steps that are important to begin early on. Retirement planning is a key part of any sound financial plan. Procrastinating because you feel there’s plenty...

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Many people find that being philanthropic with their money brings them joy. After all, being charitable can be a meaningful experience and is a way to put your core values into practice. Recent data confirms this, as The Philanthropy...

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

If you have a desire to build wealth for yourself and your loved ones and you are starting from ground zero, you are considered a first-generation wealth builder. Building generational wealth that will support you and your family now –...

Monday, February 19, 2024

The strength of the stock market has been surprising over the last few months. We mentioned a few months ago that we thought market conditions were pointing towards a Santa Claus rally. We got that and more and now we have to take a...

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Money conversations with your spouse are imperative when you want to achieve joint goals, and yet they don’t always come easily. Money is a very personal topic, and many people are not accustomed to discussing it. It can be downright...

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Facing a divorce after the age of 50, especially as you near retirement, can be especially fraught with financial implications you may not have considered. Even if you’ve been anticipating this significant life transition, often...

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Inflation is a ubiquitous economic concept that impacts the everyday lives of people around the world. It's a critical factor in understanding the rising prices of goods and services, affecting everything from the cost of groceries to...

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Building wealth is so much more than accumulating money for its own sake. When you have a solid wealth-building strategy, you can protect yourself from financial emergencies and ensure a comfortable retirement. Many people don’t...

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Many investors take a passive approach to their investment portfolios. They make few, if any, changes to their holdings over a year. While it’s smart to follow a long-term plan and not make changes on a whim, it’s also important to...

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Creating a budget is easy. Sticking to it is hard. Luckily, following savvy budgeting and saving tips can help. According to recent surveys, 74% of Americans have a monthly budget, but 84% of those with a budget fail to stick to it.1...

Monday, January 8, 2024

We have mentioned in the past how we are skeptical of the reliability of some government numbers relating to the economy that we have seen over the last few years. This is not a political statement. This is simply an opinion after...

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

The coming of a new year inspires much thinking and planning. You may be looking for ways to structure and organize your life to be prepared for a brand-new year, especially when it comes to your personal finances. As you plan your...

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

In a rapidly evolving world marked by the unpredictability of natural disasters, health crises, and economic fluctuations, being proactive about both emergency preparedness and financial security has never been more important. As we...

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

While we haven’t yet said goodbye to 2023, it’s not too early to begin thinking about any tax changes that may be on the horizon. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 was designed to overhaul the federal tax code by...

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

High-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) often find themselves facing complex tax situations due to their substantial wealth. As governments continue to evolve tax laws and regulations, it's imperative for HNWIs to explore advanced tax...

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Affluent individuals often turn to legacy planning for families to ensure that they protect not only their financial standing but also their values and missions. Some of the steps they may take include designating an executor to manage...

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

The Federal Reserve pivoted off of “higher for longer” with regard to interest rates at this week’s meeting. Chairman Powell came into the Fed meeting being quoted as recently as December 1 saying “We are...

Monday, December 11, 2023

Analyzing the current performance of the entire U.S. economy is clearly a subjective endeavor. There are some obviously very good things going on in some manufacturing and tech industry spaces. On the other side of the coin some...

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The journey to retirement spans a lifetime, marked by the pursuit of a fulfilling post-work life. Many Americans switch employers during their careers, resulting in the retention of 401(k) accounts from previous jobs. However, these...

Friday, December 1, 2023

Small businesses represent a crucial pillar of the U.S. economy, as they employ half of the nation’s private-sector workforce and are credited with roughly 63% of the new jobs that have been created from 1995 to 2021, as per federal...

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Some people avoid financial planning because they feel overwhelmed by all the numbers. Whether you suffer from the very real condition of arithmophobia or you simply don’t feel like you understand enough about finances to tackle your...

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The holiday season is often portrayed as a time of joy, togetherness, and celebration. However, for many people, it can also be a source of financial stress and anxiety. The pressure to buy gifts, host gatherings, and partake in...

Friday, November 10, 2023

Retirement is one of the most significant milestones in life. It represents the culmination of years of hard work and savings, but it also marks the beginning of a new financial chapter. Ensuring a comfortable and stable retirement...

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

As the final quarter of the year approaches, investors are faced with a unique set of opportunities and challenges. The fourth quarter, often marked by increased market volatility and potential year-end considerations, requires a...

Thursday, October 26, 2023

As a financial professional, I often find myself discussing retirement plans with couples who are contemplating the idea of retiring simultaneously. The notion of embarking on a shared retirement journey, free to pursue dreams, travel,...

Monday, October 23, 2023

Welcome to October – as happens quite often this time of year, the last couple weeks have brought quite a lot of uneasiness to financial markets. The war in Ukraine continues and now the world has added a second “war”...

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Tips for this Season of Preparation and Cultivation With the transformation of the leaves and a cool, refreshing breeze, fall offers more than just Pumpkin Spice everything. It's an annual opportunity to contemplate your financial...

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Estate planning is not just about managing your assets or distributing wealth; it’s about leaving a legacy that lasts for generations. It’s a way to ensure that your hard-earned assets – and values – are preserved and passed down to...

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Use This Annual Reminder as an Opportunity to Strengthen Your Financial Future. Saving money isn't just a smart financial habit; it's an important step toward securing a prosperous and secure future. Mark your calendars! National...

Monday, October 2, 2023

Negativity continues to circulate in the financial media and recently some well known economists at Morgan Stanley have focused their antagonism toward the US consumer. Some of the news we have already commented on in this weekly post...

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

With the final quarter of the year on the horizon, it's time to gear up for Q4 financial planning. The end of the year provides a unique opportunity to assess your financial landscape, recalibrate your goals, and set a course for a...

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Weekly we try to come up with topics from the financial media that we find interesting and feel our job to share our analysis with our readers. If you have been reading our writings for any length of time, you know that we are...

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The concept of wellness is used often, generally when referring to a balanced and fulfilling life overall. But what does it mean when someone refers to their financial wellness? Financial wellness encompasses all aspects of an...

Monday, September 18, 2023

In 2023 more than 400 publicly traded corporations have filed for bankruptcy protection. This is double the rate seen last year at this time. Fears are that the true negative effects of higher interest haven't filtered into the economy yet.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

As the seasons transition and we enter fall, it’s a great time to reflect on the importance of securing your loved ones’ future. September is primarily recognized as Life Insurance Awareness Month, a season dedicated to highlighting...

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) plans are powerful tools for securing a financially stable retirement. However, misconceptions and myths can hinder individuals from making informed decisions about these essential...

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Your age significantly affects how much money you'll have during your retirement years, and different retirement benefits have different eligibility ages. Over the course of 23 years, from age 49 to 72, you'll need a financial...

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Retirement planning is essential to financial security in the latter half of life. An area that usually gets overlooked is healthcare expenses. While healthcare is necessary for retirees, it can often be the most significant unknown....

Monday, August 21, 2023

There are plenty of financial doomsdayers out there that write ad nauseam about the imminent demise of the U.S. dollar and how everyone needs to pile all of their assets into Bitcoin or gold or some foreign currency as a life raft to...

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

On August 16, 1977, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Elvis Presley, died of cardiac arrest. While many famous icons fail to plan for their estate properly, Elvis thankfully did so just five months before his sudden passing. However,...

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

As the anniversary of the Social Security bill being signed into law (August 14, 1935)[i] approaches, we’re reminded of the intricate workings of the U.S. tax system. Social Security, a vital program designed to provide financial...

Monday, August 7, 2023

Strange economic numbers continue to show up in our post-Covid world and the most consistently surprising of these numbers has to do with employment… “If every unemployed person in the country found a job, we would still...

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

On August 4, 1862, the U.S. collected income tax for the first time[i]. You may be ready to bid farewell to income tax obligations once you retire, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple. While the dynamics may shift, understanding...

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Retirement is a time when most people expect to enjoy the fruits of their labor, with financial security and a steady income from investments or savings. However, for some individuals, this period can present a unique financial...

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Long-term care planning is an important aspect of retirement planning that is often overlooked. As people are living longer and healthcare costs are increasing, it is crucial to consider the cost of long-term care in retirement...

Monday, July 10, 2023

Most every week we begin this post talking about the lack of consensus that financial markets and financial pundits are presenting. In addition to that most of our posts involve complaining about the Federal Reserve and their creation...

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

A recent study by Investopedia found that Generation X’s biggest worry is retirement. The survey found that although many members of Gen X feel like they understand their finances, they are still concerned about transitioning into...

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Whether you’ve learned about annuities before or it’s your first time hearing about them, it’s important to first understand the basic concept and one of its simplest forms. In general, an annuity is a financial product that provides...

Monday, June 26, 2023

As we have mentioned repeatedly in this weekly post, the resilience of the U.S. stock market considering aggressive interest rate hikes from the FED has been quite impressive. The driving force behind this strength could be a...

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Annuities can be an excellent addition to your financial and retirement portfolio, but it's essential to determine whether they're the right fit for you and your financial goals. Here are some ways to know if annuities are right for...

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

An annuity is an investment product that is designed to provide a guaranteed income stream for a predetermined period, often for the rest of one’s life. An annuity is typically purchased from an insurance company, and the purchaser...

Monday, June 12, 2023

If you have been paying attention to the financial press over the last week then you are probably familiar with the news that the S&P 500 is in a new bull market. This is of course, an arbitrary label that really doesn’t mean...

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

June is Annuity Awareness Month, a time to educate individuals on the benefits and importance of annuities. If you’re new to annuities or need a refresher, keep reading to understand the basics of annuities.Basically, an annuity is a...

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Retirement is a major milestone in the life of every individual, and it is no different for high-net-worth individuals. If you’re one of these individuals, you may think that being comfortable means you can worry less about retirement...

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The long-anticipated stock bear market and economic recession just hasn’t materialized. The Federal Reserve has gone on the most aggressive raising of interest rates in more than a generation in an attempt to stamp out inflation....

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

529 Day is a holiday celebrated at the end of May, usually on May 29. It is a day dedicated to promoting and raising awareness for 529 college savings plans, a tax-advantaged way to save for college expenses, K-19 schooling expenses,...

Monday, May 22, 2023

There is a lot of bad news, political, economic and otherwise in the news right now. It probably isn’t a huge surprise when we tell you that the Fed’s recession risk indicator is now greater than it was in November 2007. If...

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

You may have noticed that the economy after the pandemic has been volatile. And while there has been talk of a possible recession for a few years, we have yet to enter a traditional recession. A recession is defined as a consistent,...

Thursday, May 11, 2023

One investment and income strategy that can be useful when it comes to setting yourself up for retirement is one involving dividends. Dividends are regular payouts to shareholders based on the profits of the company. If you own some...

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Come springtime, you might be thinking about doing some spring cleaning, whether it’s cleaning out your garage, throwing out old items, or rearranging your furniture. However, it’s important not to forget to do some spring cleaning on...

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Of course, businesspeople fear bankruptcy, but it is an essential part of the structure of capitalism.  Misallocated resources need to be reallocated and it can be a painful process. Up until the last year, we have been in a 30...

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The concept of financial literacy refers to knowing the basics of financial concepts to make smart decisions. Specifically, financial literacy can help prevent costly mistakes that could derail your life plans, prepare you for...

Monday, April 24, 2023

So far the month of April has been remarkably boring with regard to the financial markets including stocks, bonds and commodities. This is quite surprising especially when considering the extraordinary events happening around the globe...

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

In the world of retirement strategizing, the focus tends to be on 401(k)s, IRAs, pensions, or other retirement investment accounts. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about the traditional savings account.Savings accounts can have...

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

As an adult, you may have had tough learning moments when it comes to financial management. It could have been when you failed to pay your rent on time or got too deep in credit card debt. To keep your children or grandchildren from...

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Crypto currencies have become quite the enigma in the modern financial world. Many people are fashioning careers off the crypto industry – some getting wildly rich and some losing entire fortunes or even getting murdered for...

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Financial Literacy Month is not only a celebration, it’s a challenge to take care of your finances as best you can. This month can be your opportunity to review your finances and take a concerted approach to improve them. But what’s...

Monday, April 3, 2023

The first quarter is now in the books and we start into the second quarter and earnings season. The stock market finished the first quarter on a strong note and many money managers are scratching their heads. There is a lot of negative...

Thursday, March 30, 2023

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “what if there’s a way to reduce the taxes I owe when I sell stocks or rebalance my portfolio?” then you should know about the tax-minimization strategy called tax-loss harvesting. It’s important to know...

Monday, March 27, 2023

The famous American financier J.P. Morgan famously said in his testimony in front of Congress in 1912 “Gold is money. Everything else is credit.” It’s interesting how much the world of finance has changed and yet this...

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

You may not know it, but Social Security income is taxed! However, your tax burden isn’t simply a gross income tax, and there are unique factors that dictate your tax rate and overall tax liability. First, not all Social Security...

Monday, March 20, 2023

The last couple weeks of financial market news have been high anxiety considering the second and third largest bank failures in U.S. history. Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank have both been taken into receivership by the Federal...

Thursday, March 16, 2023

In retirement, it’s not about receiving as much income as possible. During your working years, it might be, but when you’re the one paying yourself, it’s important not to turn your hard-earned savings into a large pile of income that’s...

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Thinking about investment strategy may conjure thoughts of stock trading, ticker symbols, brokerage accounts, and investment theses. But one of the most important factors in developing an investment strategy is the tax aspect.There are...

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

We have repeatedly mentioned in our weekly posts that the resilience of the stock and bond markets over the last several months has actually been quite impressive. Interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve have completely changed the...

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Don’t wait until April to prepare your taxes! Tax filing preparation is an important process for individuals and businesses. It is the process of gathering, organizing, and submitting tax documents to the relevant tax authorities. The...

Monday, February 27, 2023

Regular readers of our post are familiar with our dislike of the Federal Reserve and their policies in general. Their “mandates” from Congress of shepherding the economy into full employment with inflation stability and...

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

As the cost of higher education rises and the competition for spots at top colleges and universities steepens, you might wonder if it’s even worth it to make such a large investment in a college degree. The value of a college degree...

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Budgeting is one of, if not the most important life skill one can learn. As they grow up, you may have been able to teach them valuable budgeting and saving skills, but when they leave home for the first time, often to go to college,...

Monday, February 13, 2023

Crypto currencies have been an enigma to the vast majority of the investing public – the public in general for that matter since their inception a decade plus ago. The meltdown of multiple online cryptocurrency trading exchanges...

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Financial aid is a key piece of the college puzzle for many families. The sticker price of college in the US has gone up in the past decades, virtually across the board. What that means is financial aid is an increasingly important...

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

This month, the education community celebrates Financial Aid Awareness Month often by sharing information with students and families about access to federal, state, and institutional student aid. College and higher education costs can...

Monday, January 30, 2023

Last week we talked about the Debt Ceiling and alluded to what an amazing mass of debt has been piled up by specifically the U.S. government– but also the world’s governments, businesses and individuals in general. Some of...

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

When you started out saving for retirement, you may have contributed to an IRA or 401(k) through your employer. In addition, you heard that your contributions were tax-deferred, and you’d have to pay taxes when you reached your 70s....

Monday, January 23, 2023

Happy Chinese New Year and welcome to the year of the rabbit!Even a decade ago, not one reasonable individual would have said that it was even possible – but here we are…The U.S. government is bumping up against its...

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Achieving a comfortable retirement often comes down to investment performance and tax burden. However, it’s a tricky task to balance investment gains with a tax-minimization plan. If you expect your investments to perform well, you may...

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Taxes may be one of your biggest concerns when it comes to retirement. Whether you’re well into your retirement or just starting to think about it, taxes can be one of the main factors in maximizing your savings to stretch all the way...

Monday, January 9, 2023

Happy New Year everyone!! Welcome to 2023 and our weekly financial market updates!!Anyone paying attention to the Federal Reserve’s emergency COVID-19 policies knew that they were WAAAY too loose with financial conditions...

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

You may assume that there are no more tax minimization strategies to engage in after December 31. While most of your tax-lowering strategies do come before the new year, there are still steps you can take now, and all the way up until...

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

For some, especially during these tough market conditions, their retirement investments and savings may have declined. Due to this setback, your retirement timeline may have been pushed back, tightening your budget, making you work...

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Saving for large expenses, whether in retirement or during your working years, is a tall task. It often requires you to cut back on spending and find ways to maximize your income. However, in retirement, there are some key differences...

Monday, December 19, 2022

The Federal Reserve is raising short term interest rates at a furious pace – faster than they have done in decades in an effort to stave off inflation. The discount rate – or the rate that commercial banks pay for overnight...

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

If you search the Internet for tips on financial strategies, you’ll see many general rules and broad advice that may apply to an “average” retirement saver or retiree. But the truth is, those general pieces of advice rarely apply to...

Monday, December 12, 2022

The last full trading week of the year is going to be really busy! Today, the UK GDP monthly estimate is published. Tuesday will be a huge number in the CPI (Consumer Price Index) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Then the Federal...

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

For many, the turn of the new year is a time to self-reflect and make resolutions. There’s no better time to assess your financial goals for the new year and beyond by following proper financial goal-setting practices. Setting...

Monday, December 5, 2022

It was a chaotic week of news headlines and most economists and investors watching economic data are expecting more inconsistencies going forward. The Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates in order to “fight...

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The 2020 pandemic put the spotlight on the in-facility long-term care (LTC) industry. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities experienced woeful staffing shortages and unsafe practices that put people’s loved ones at high risk of...

Monday, November 28, 2022

For most of 2022 the economic numbers haven’t been so great. We had two consecutive quarters of declining GDP which is, by definition, a recession. Although we haven’t had the sort of slow down we had in 2020, many people...

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Considering a nursing home for long-term care or elder care is one of the most difficult decisions you and your family can encounter. Whether you have a health risk and planning for a future in a nursing home or are considering a...

Monday, November 21, 2022

In recent posts we wrote repeatedly about all of the conflicting forces acting on our asset markets as we try to transition out of the Covid disaster. A year ago, the Fed was aggressively dovish and pouring trillions of dollars onto...

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Government assistance programs are a common option for people looking for healthcare coverage, especially over the age of 65. However, while Medicare covers a lot, even covering emergency hospital visits at no cost, it doesn’t cover...

Monday, November 14, 2022

Inflation data came out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics this week and initiated a fierce rally in asset markets –the biggest rally by some measures since just after the Covid selloff in 2020. Some of the rally was...

Monday, November 7, 2022

There have been some wild trading days recently in U.S. stocks and bonds both up and down driven by the news du jour. We have had earnings reports, inflation reports, employment reports, wild weather reports, war reports,...

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

This month marks Long-Term Care Awareness Month. We have the knowledge and tools these days to live healthily and happily throughout our lives. But as we age, we need to invest more in our health. That’s why it’s crucial to understand...

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

When the winter seasons come around, you’ll likely have to adjust your routines and prepare. If you’re in colder states you may be looking to purchase a new winter coat or snow boots, skiing equipment for your winter holidays, or you...

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

This Halloween season, you may be thinking about spending time with friends and family and planning fun Halloween events with them. You may not be thinking about all the nuances of your retirement strategy, but when you think about the...

Monday, October 17, 2022

Volatility is still the norm in financial markets as the S&P puts together one of its biggest reversal moves in history. The CPI inflation numbers came out last week (Thursday) and surprised to the upside – meaning the...

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Healthcare is one of the largest expenses for people in retirement, but it’s not easy to budget for them. Sometimes, accidents happen, or certain health-related concerns can come out of nowhere. Because of how difficult it can be to...

Friday, October 7, 2022

With all this market volatility and inflation, talk about investment strategies and portfolio longevity seems to dominate the discussion on retirement. But one of the most important aspects of retirement is often overlooked: Medicare...

Monday, October 3, 2022

Central bankers around the world speak frequently and try to coordinate their activities. The raising of interest rates in an attempt to stave off inflation is consistent among central banks of the world’s developed economies....

Monday, September 26, 2022

We have had two very rough weeks in the world’s financial markets. The stocks and bonds have sold off aggressively in the U.S. and across the globe. The S&P 500 went after its 2022 low that was set in June. Overseas rumors of a...

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Saving for retirement is a long-term endeavor. It’s not about finding the next hottest stock or getting rich quickly. This means that retirement requires a perspective on your wealth and income that accounts for your needs at different stages of your life, from the beginning of your working years through your retirement.
 
The Bucket Strategy is an investment strategy that separates your savings and investments into three buckets: the Risk Bucket, the Safe Bucket, and the Spend Bucket. Together, these buckets provide diversification of risk, but the key to the bucket strategy is the Risk Bucket funnels to the Safe Bucket, and then to the Spend Bucket over the course of your life as you age, and your risk tolerance decreases.
The Risk Bucket is for high-growth assets that may grow in value but could see significant pullbacks during a downturn. This bucket is usually favored when you have many years to recover from a downturn before utilizing your savings to cover your costs of living.
 
The Safe Bucket often refers to the assets you hold that may not have as great of an upside, but don’t have as much of a downside either. Depending on what your income goals and risk tolerance are, this bucket can provide you with dividend income or interest income that can supplement other forms of retirement income.
The Spend Bucket is the pool of money you use to pay for your costs of living. This usually consists of cash held in checking accounts, savings accounts, or short-term Certificate Deposit accounts (CDs). Social Security payments are also used in this bucket. During working years, this bucket is less of a concern, but come retirement, planning your income sources to fund this bucket is important.
To do the Bucket Strategy, gains from your Risk Bucket assets are withdrawn to your Safe Bucket assets at a rate that fits with your retirement timeline and risk tolerance. This allows you to build up your income-earning assets over time as your risk tolerance shifts.
The reason the Bucket Strategy may work well for retirement is that it’s built to weather downturns that are likely to happen throughout your life using diversification and timeline strategy. When a downturn occurs, it might affect your Risk Bucket the most, but because you either have time to recover or you’ve already built up a sizable Safe Bucket, the effects of a downturn are less than if you tried to time the market with one big transition from a risky strategy to a safe one. In addition, if you play it too safe and forgo your Risk Bucket, your savings can erode over time, not providing enough to retire on.

The Bucket Strategy is built to account for your needs at different stages of your life. But putting it into action is easier said than done. If you’re looking to build a retirement plan that’s structured to protect your savings and grow your savings over time, the Bucket Strategy might be for you. Get connected with our team today!

Monday, September 19, 2022

Financial markets had a rough week last week and there are indicators causing market participants to brace for another bad week coming up. Last week we talked about the inflation numbers that were to be released by the Department of...

Friday, September 16, 2022

You’re probably familiar with the classic retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions. But did you know there is a financial product out there that is customizable and can be tailored to your specific risks and financial goals?

An annuity is an insurance-based financial product that takes in payments from individuals and pays them back usually over a long period of time in a flow of payments or a lump sum when a certain event occurs, such as a specific time, age, or if an illness occurs. The insurance company can accept payments over time or in one lump sum as well. The money in it is invested by the financial institution and grows until the date that the payments are to be distributed to the beneficiary or account owner.

An annuity can provide regular payments from a fixed-rate, variable, or indexed annuity.

Fixed-rate annuities often take the form of a singular lump sum that is structured to provide you a set amount of income periodically. It’s not exposed to any market risk, its payout rates are fixed, and its principal value does not grow or decline.

Variable annuities are market-exposed annuities. These annuities have more risk involved and their payout amounts usually factor in the portfolio performance. The amount invested in a variable annuity can grow or decline.

Index annuities are market-exposed annuities but track a diversified index of stocks or equities. These types of annuities are a middle ground between some of the riskier assets that go into a variable annuity and the risk-averse, non-market-exposed fixed annuity.

Though annuities may seem complicated, the basic idea is simple. An insurance company receives a fixed or variable income stream for a predetermined period, or for life, in exchange for money in return.

With your retirement accounts, such as your 401(k)s, IRAs, or Roth IRAs, there are annual contribution limits and age restrictions that are meant to have your money used in a specific way regardless of your unique circumstance. With an annuity, the main benefit is that it is structured to be tailored to your unique needs.

It’s important to know that any guarantees, like interest or market protection, are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

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Monday, September 12, 2022

The energy situation plaguing Europe right now is no surprise to anyone as it has been front page news for months now being associated with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. From 20,000 feet, the reality of the situation is that Europe...

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Taxes are one of the most important things to consider when it comes to your retirement. You’ll likely have several sources of income in retirement that can be taxed, such as IRA distributions and Social Security benefits. But is your...

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Ever wonder what type of life insurance is best for you? It depends on various factors, including how long you want the policy to last, how much you're willing to pay, and if you wish to use the policy as an investment vehicle. Let's...

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Long-term care is generally the most significant question mark when saving the optimal amount for your retirement years. According to Financial Professional Barry Bigelow, “statistically, if you're a married couple, there's a 25%...

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Let’s talk about tax brackets. They aren’t straight across the board but graduated based on income, meaning most taxpayers fall into more than one bracket. Current tax brackets are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%, and you could...

Monday, August 15, 2022

A common theme in our weekly posts is haranguing about the financial profligacy of our monetary authorities – the Federal Reserve – and from time to time we will extend some extra criticism of the Bank of Japan. This week...

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Have you ever considered that saving for college is different than saving for your long-term retirement?Let’s start with the fact that, when saving for college, you’re saving for a specific year (the year of high school graduation)....

Monday, August 8, 2022

Distortions in financial markets continue as the Federal Reserve tries to engineer a normalization of interest rates. Of course, inflation gets the biggest headlines in the financial news out there with the latest Consumer Price Index...

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Investopedia conducted a survey of 4,000 US adults in January and February of 2022 which included 1,000 individuals from each generation to better understand their financial literacy by generation. Side note: Seeing other generations’...

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The average couple retiring today needs a whopping $315,000 to cover the cost of health care throughout their retirement.1 You’ll want to plan for those future health costs. Have you considered that your HSA (Health Savings Account)...

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

ForbesAdvisor.com recently reported, “According to a 2020 survey from Allianz, nearly half of Americans are worried that rising prices in retirement will cause basic expenses to be unaffordable once they stop working. But there’s an...

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Every generation views their situation differently, from fashion to food to finance, and currently, there are seven defined generations. Let’s see how their views differ on finances and if you line up with your generation.1910-1927 The...

Monday, July 11, 2022

Contrary to popular belief the U.S. dollar is not losing its world reserve currency status. The demise of the U.S. dollar has been a popular in the financial media for more than a decade. That is understandable considering the creation...

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

For young couples just getting started, new commitments, such as buying their first home or having children, bring with them the responsibility of making sure their loved ones are financially covered. Life insurance can help loved ones...

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Thursday, June 30, 2022

We’ve all seen the commercials for checking your credit score, and some even talk about ways to boost it, but if you’re over 50 and well established, does the number really matter that much? According to the FICO® Score model, the...

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Are you considering retiring before your full retirement age? Then you’re a part of the FIRE Movement, also known in long-form as "Financial Independence, Retire Early.” The Movement requires you to accumulate enough wealth to support...

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Many Americans underestimate the impact that caring for a loved one can have on their lives, marriage, work, and finances. In a column by Michelle Singletary, a Washington Post columnist, an “AARP study found that three-quarters of...

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

A 401(k) is a common savings tool for many working Americans. It’s an easy way to save and generally comes with the benefit of employer matching. But are you really clear on where your money is invested and if it’s the optimal place...

Monday, June 13, 2022

Predicting the future price movement of actively traded commodity, bond, stock markets – really any market for that matter – can be very difficult endeavor. Indeed, sometimes it borders on a fool’s errand. However,...

Monday, June 6, 2022

One day the U.S. stock indexes are up big in a 2% rally and the next day they give it all back. The markets are watching the news and bad news is good and good news is bad. That is how backwards the whole situation is. If the economic...

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

According to Annuity.org, there are multiple reasons Americans are investing billions into annuities. There’s much talk around annuities regarding retirement planning, which leaves the conversation open to a lot of questions and...

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

If the fear of outliving your retirement savings haunts you, then looking into income sources that can keep going as long as you do may not be such a bad idea. One way to potentially alleviate this financial anxiety is to consider an...

Monday, May 23, 2022

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Insurance gets a bad rap and, as policies go, life insurance might be at the top of the list. But we’d like it to be on the top of your list for another reason. We often think of insurance as a means to paying for funeral expenses, but...

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Medical liability is a pervasive concern for physicians because of the potential effects of a settlement and the costs of fighting a prolonged and costly legal battle. While laws capping tort damages have been effective in some states,...

Monday, May 9, 2022

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Most of the nation’s teachers and K-12 educational employees are members of their state’s public pension plans. After years of service, these plans have promised a secure retirement for educators and support staff. Unfortunately, a...

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Your first line of defense against potential litigation will likely be insurance in the form of an “umbrella policy.” Your financial professional can help with the right coverage but be prepared for a policy that’s at least equal to...

Monday, April 25, 2022

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

An annuity is an insurance product that pays out guaranteed income and can be used as part of a retirement strategy. The income you receive from an annuity can come monthly, quarterly, annually, or even in a lump sum payment. But what...

Monday, April 18, 2022

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

According to IRS Revenue Procedure 2020-45, a couple age 70 or older who both have the right kind of long-term care insurance policy can deduct as much as $11,280 in 2021 an increase of $420 from the $10,860 limit for 2020. Essentially...

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

According to the US Census Bureau, there were 430,411 new business applications in January 2022.2 Starting a business sometimes comes with a learning curve that can trip you up, so it makes sense to get as many things as right as...

Monday, April 4, 2022

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

One of the most complex parts of preparing for retirement is thinking about life where working and building income isn’t the main focus. At times you may become so overwhelmed thinking about saving for an unknown future that you end up...

Monday, March 28, 2022

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

During the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, all 50 states and the District of Columbia transitioned to telemedicine, in part due to state emergency orders that mandated the coverage of telehealth visits and waived requirements...

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

It’s no surprise that couples disagree throughout their marriage. For the most part, those differences can be resolved relatively quickly, but common ground can feel very far off when it comes to estate planning. A few critical...

Monday, March 14, 2022

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Wills and trusts are both estate-planning tools that can help ensure your assets are protected and bequeathed to your heirs. However, the transfer process becomes more involved when passing wealth to a subsequent generation. We highly...

Monday, March 7, 2022

Monday, February 28, 2022

Monday, January 31, 2022

Monday, November 29, 2021

Here we go again… The Omicron Variant is reportedly spreading around the world from a starting point in South Africa and it may be resistant to all the vaccinations. On the Friday after Thanksgiving that sent a huge shockwave...

Monday, November 22, 2021

If you listen to radio adds encouraging you to refinance your mortgage, you may think that interest rates will be going higher imminently. You would get that same opinion from a lot of the financial market pundits who postulate that,...

Monday, November 8, 2021

There is a lot of talk in the economic/financial news about inflation – both what we are looking at today and expectations of future inflation. First let’s agree on the definition of inflation because we hear many different...

Monday, November 1, 2021

In case you missed our post last week, we discussed the policies of the world’s central banks – specifically the inflation of asset prices worldwide. https://andorracapital.com/historical-ratio-divergence/ We don’t...

Monday, October 25, 2021

Many strange things are permeating our financial markets even as hopes of a “return to normal” are still the goal – at least on surface level for reasonable participants. Of course, the more control of the financial...

Monday, October 11, 2021

The launch of cryptocurrencies began with Bitcoin in 2008 and at that point it had very little fanfare. The cost per Bitcoin was just over $.01. The origins of Bitcoin are still very mysterious even to this day. The “founder...

Monday, September 27, 2021

With the worst of the Covid issue seeming to be in the rear-view mirror, and the Federal Reserve (and the rest of the world’s central banks) continuing to provide more “liquidity” than is reasonably necessary, we...

Monday, September 20, 2021

After a summer hiatus and without posting our weekly writeup, we are back after it and preparing for the fall. Hopefully all readers are healthy and happy and ready for the holiday season – of course Covid-free as the weather...

Monday, June 28, 2021

When we are describing conditions in the financial markets, interest rates are of very high concern and commonly mentioned at the forefront. We need to understand that there are many different interest rates in the world economy, but...

Monday, June 14, 2021

There has been much discussion and debate in recent weeks whether the current blast of inflation is permanent – or as the Fed has intimated, transitory because of Covid-19 supply chain disruptions. Surprisingly, there has been a...

Monday, June 7, 2021

In our weekly post, we do our best to make sense of the complex world of the financial markets we are all invested in between stocks, bonds, real estate and commodities. The financial world is immensely complex with billions of...

Monday, April 26, 2021

We are obviously in interesting times whether we are talking about political turmoil, weather extremes or the “pandemic” that doesn’t seem to be going away. If we are talking about national debt in financial terms we...

Monday, April 19, 2021

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K… We know that this is not a perfect time to reference a second rate 80s comedy movie - Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure – we are supposed to be serious when writing about...

Monday, April 12, 2021

Earnings season begins this week, and the world markets are trying to balance the enthusiasm of a post-covid recovery and the reported data of lingering “pandemic.” In the week ending last Friday April 9, the numbers...

Monday, April 5, 2021

The most important price in the entire world is the price of money as defined by U.S. interest rates. We continually talk about the manipulation of the world’s asset markets by central banks and ground zero of that market...

Monday, March 29, 2021

In this weekly post, we have repeatedly discussed our concerns about our Federal Reserve buying assets in the open market (mostly bonds) and keeping interest rates artificially low for years now. Historically low interest rates have...

Monday, March 15, 2021

The speed with which the U.S. economy has recovered after the Covid-19 shock has surprised most observers. According to Morgan Stanley estimates, the U.S. will reach pre-crisis output levels by the end of the current quarter. They...

Monday, March 1, 2021

The Treasury yield curve has steepened significantly in the last couple weeks, as bond investors sold because of fears of higher inflation in the future. The Federal Reserve continues to pump an excess of “stimulus” into...

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The biggest news in the financial markets recently comes from an unusual situation in the stock of Gamestop. A week ago, this was a $40 stock, with the company losing well over $4 a share which is pretty typical in the retail world...

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

With about 25% of the S&P 500 companies having reported 4th quarter earnings so far this month, we have had some good news and some bad news. According to Bank of America, the good news is that 73% of companies have beaten expectations...

Monday, January 4, 2021

From all walks of life all around the world, most people were happy to close the books on 2020. The pandemic, international military saber rattling, wild asset market gyrations and a crazy U.S. presidential election are just the tip of...

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

A consistent theme in our weekly post has been a concern over potential weakness in the U.S. Dollar. This anxiety is largely due to the performance of the Federal Reserve which has been dismal for decades. They have simply provided...

Monday, December 7, 2020

Worldwide stock and bond markets continue to defy gravity in the wake of a resurgence of the Corona virus. Economic numbers are mixed to weak and as government stimulus has waned in recent months – but the stock indexes are full...

Monday, November 30, 2020

We all have financial responsibilities that can become a balancing act. Some that are significant to us while others aren’t. With competing financial obligations, there never seems to be enough money to go around and retirement...

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

We have the Thanksgiving holiday this week and many market observers seem ready for the break. We have seen such outrageous political headlines for quite some time now, that we are certainly not the only investors tired of reading that...

Monday, November 16, 2020

Pfizer has hit the headlines over the last two weeks with news of a vaccine for the corona virus. The effectiveness of the vaccine for the “general population” appears to be 90-95% which is a grand-slam home run....

Monday, November 2, 2020

Of course, the election is first and foremost on the minds of most Americans and especially investors. However, the coming week will be much more than just the election. It is a "huge week" for investors with a Fed decision, 128...

Monday, October 26, 2020

The numbers of infected cases across the globe is coming back in another wave as the Northern Hemisphere starts to turn cold. This isn’t a surprise, of course. When looking at historical pandemics often subsequent waves turned...

Monday, October 12, 2020

Right now, the stock market is ping-ponging up and down on the news of whether or not the White House and Congress can agree on the next stimulus package. While the future of the economy being dependent upon more “stimulus”...

Monday, October 5, 2020

The upcoming week should be fairly quiet for the financial markets with China on holiday until Friday and the Vice-Presidential debate on Wednesday being the highlight event in the U.S. The only interest rate decision from the G20...

Monday, September 28, 2020

The stock market as defined by the S&P 500 has pulled back 10% recently, the NASDAQ more like 14%. Many regard this as a well overdue pullback and now staring at a number of challenges, the markets may have a difficult time rallying to...

Monday, August 31, 2020

Last week at the Federal Reserve “meeting” in Jackson Hole (actually done remotely via Zoom) much of the discussion revolved around the Fed “mandate” of institution/initiating/managing 2% inflation. We put...

Monday, August 24, 2020

If the fear of outliving your retirement savings really haunts you, then looking into income sources that will keep going as long as you do may not be such a bad idea. You can potentially alleviate this financial anxiety by considering...

Monday, August 17, 2020

Election years historically bring uncertainty to the stock market, and uncertainty often translates to economic volatility. While the changing of the guard will have an impact on your retirement, changes you make today can determine if...

Monday, August 10, 2020

Stephanie Kelton, a professor at Stony Brook University recently turned up the apple cart in normal economic/monetary thinking with her book The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy. Kelton...

Monday, August 3, 2020

Individual states have all begun to reopen to some degree or the after the coronavirus thrust the country into lockdown starting in March. Nothing moves in a straight line, so now some states are pausing plans to re-open and a few are...

Monday, July 27, 2020

Everyone knows that there is a disconnect between the positioning of the major U.S. stock indexes and the performance of the economy. The question is whether that gap is going to be corrected by an economic rebound or by the stock...

Monday, July 20, 2020

We are now entering 2nd quarter earnings season for all publicly traded companies. This is where the rubber will meet the road for an answer to the dichotomy of tepid economic numbers along with a strong stock market that has launched...

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The impact of COVID-19 is colossal and everyone is feeling the impact. We all know someone who needs extra care during this pandemic. Do you have the financial resources and peace of mind in place to help? Perhaps you are a child...

Monday, June 15, 2020

The roller coaster in the stock market continues with volatility last week returning to the type of panic moves as we had in March. Trying to make sense of markets with economic numbers in full out depression territory and a...

Monday, June 8, 2020

For years we have been writing about the expansion of debt that has been taken on world-wide by countries, companies, and individuals. That trend of debt accumulation has exploded higher in the last few months in response to the...

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The shortened week, which began with a powerful two-day rally of trading, was enough to drive the markets into another week of solid gains.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.75%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced...

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Risk on is the name of the investing game right now with the S&P 500 back above the 3000 level and the ten-year treasury yields sneaking back up over .7%. Bad economic reports and flare-ups political between the U.S. and China have...

Monday, May 11, 2020

If you are looking at a chart of the U.S. stock market indexes, you may think that the Corona Virus challenges are behind us and we are back to a full-steam-ahead sort of economy. The fundamentals of the economy, however, show a...

Monday, April 27, 2020

Tumultuous market trading has settled down over the last couple weeks with the VIX (volatility index) settling well back below forty. However, this week we will be bombarded with the peak week of Q1 earnings as well as announcements...

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The turmoil in financial markets has been epic to say the least over the last two months. The coronavirus has effectively halted the world economy – and after the longest expansion in U.S. economic history, U.S. banks are...

Monday, April 13, 2020

After a torrid week of gravity defying gains in the world’s stock indexes last week, we see a dose of reality hit the markets for open this week. That reality will be the earnings season that is kicking off and the question is...

Monday, April 6, 2020

With news organizations reporting nearly nothing save the coronavirus updates, most of the world is on hold waiting for indications of a timeline for the pandemic to subside. India, China, France, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, and the UK...

Monday, March 30, 2020

The rollercoaster ride of the stock market has hit some unprecedented levels recently. From the high print of late February, U.S. stock indexes sold off 30 something percent – in one month. The situation overseas has been worse...

Monday, March 16, 2020

The world has seen asset market turmoil over the last few weeks fueled by panic over the coronavirus situation. The fear is largely driven by the virus’ capacity to transmit quickly with little person to person contact as neither...

Monday, March 9, 2020

As of the writing of this article the world-wide numbers on the Corona Virus aren’t pretty. The total number infected has risen to 100,034 and the death total stands at 3,825. Schools are closing, companies are cancelling travel...

Monday, March 2, 2020

One week has turned the entire financial world upside down and now everyone is scratching their heads wondering – what’s next?Coming immediately off an all-time high, in rough numbers the S&P 500 sold off 15% in about a...

Monday, January 27, 2020

Monetary authorities across the world have slashed interest rates 80 times over the last 12 months and printed upwards of $1 trillion over four months to counter the economic slowdown that is plaguing especially the developed world. As...

Monday, January 6, 2020

The new year is rolling in with a lot of changes both in the economic/pollical world and with us as commentators on it! First and foremost, we at SES Services just moved offices – although within the same building. We moved from...

Monday, December 16, 2019

Interest rates have been coming down in America – and worldwide for that matter – since 1981 when Fed Chair Paul Volcker rocketed the Federal Funds Rate to 20%. As interest rates are, in essence the cost of money, things...

Monday, December 2, 2019

Artificially low interest rates for the last decade, as we have written repeatedly have been one of the driving forces of asset prices going higher. One of the mechanisms through which these low rates drive stock prices higher is...

Monday, November 18, 2019

The stock market surged to new all-time highs this week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing over 28,000 for the first time. Economic numbers this week, however, were actually quite dismal including poor retail sales numbers...

Monday, November 4, 2019

The stock market is surging to new highs at least partially because of a positive update on the Chinese trade conflict. A senior White House official says the deal is almost done – but talks continue on tech transfer and IP...

Monday, October 28, 2019

Federal Reserve Chairman Powell is expected to deliver another U.S. interest rate cut at the FED meeting on Wednesday this week. Recent U.S. economic data has been mixed, with weakness among manufacturers contrasting with resilient...

Monday, October 14, 2019

The month of September set the new all-time record in world-wide corporate bond issuance – topping $300 billion for the first time. Issuance for the entire year is on pace for a new all-time record of about $2 trillion. Even...

Monday, September 16, 2019

Mario Draghi, president of the ECB announced a massive new bond-buying program last Thursday in a bid to stimulate the ailing euro zone economy. The central bank’s quantitative easing (QE) program will entail 20 billion euros per...

Monday, August 26, 2019

Until last month, the Federal Reserve has been on a tightening strategy since late 2015. The Fed was decreasing the size of its balance sheet and the Fed Funds rate was increased from essentially zero to the 2.25%-2.5% range. The...