Estate and Tax Planning
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Medical Bill Forum

April 26, 2011 | Filed Under Finance, Insurance | Comments Off

I found a unique online forum on questions and solutions to medical billing issues, I’d like to share.   The forum was created in response to a new book,  The Medical Bill Survival Guide: Easy, Effective Strategies for People Experiencing Financial Hardship by Nicholas Newsad M.H.S.. Mr. Newsad states that “he hopes the forum will serve as a repository of knowledge for those that have overcome medical bill problems to share their stories and advise those needing help with medical bills.”  It’s my wish you don’t ever need it, but in case you do, take at look at

http://www.medicalbillsurvivalguide.com/forum1/

I have definitely bookmarked this resource!

Planning for Retirement

April 19, 2011 | Filed Under Finance, Insurance, Investment, Retirement Savings | Comments Off

The National Retirement Planning Coalition, a group of prominent financial industry, educational and advocacy organizations, is working to raise public awareness of the need for comprehensive retirement planning.    The members of the Coalition believe it is still possible to “Retire on Your Terms” if comprehensive retirement plans are properly developed and managed. This week the Coalition sponsored the National Retirement Planning Week to help raise awareness and educate Americans.

Cathy Weatherford, CEO and President for the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), which heads the Coalition, said, “ Planning for retirement can be a daunting task, especially given the recent economic climate. And while by most accounts the financial forecast appears to be improving, millions of Americans have yet to begin preparing for their retirement.  Wanting to spend their later years content, secure and financially sound is the goal of anyone thinking about retirement.”  The IRI has developed a consumer guide to aid in planning for one’s retirement.  Their “Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement” are useful tips to map out a course for a secure financial future.

Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement:

  • Select a target date for when you want to retire.
  • Calculate how much money you need to accumulate by the time you want to retire.
  • Find out how to maximize your Social Security benefits.
  • Take full advantage of tax-advantaged plans such as employer retirement plans, individual retirement accounts and annuities.
  • If you employer doesn’t have a pension or retirement plan, ask that one be started.
  • Don’t touch our savings for anything but retirement.
  • Diversify your assets and be sure to include guaranteed income for life.
  • Ask questions.  Get help.  Seek the assistance of a professional financial advisor.
  • Start now, set goals.
  • Do a retirement plan and monitor your progress.

Just a few short years ago millions of Americans relied up their employer sponsored retirement plan to achieve their future financial goals.  But with more than 2.4 million active 401(k) participants affected by employers suspending their savings match at the beginning of the market decline, along with so many others who have lost jobs or have had their employer benefits reduced, it is even more vital now that people meet with an ethical, and competent financial advisor to start a retirement plan today.

Please contact Shari Mattingly-Bevan & Associates for additional information on retirement planning solutions at 864-283-6906.

Financial Wisdom from Benjamin Franklin

April 14, 2011 | Filed Under Finance, Investment, Retirement Savings | Comments Off

“Buy what thou hast no need of and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessities.”

Quote-Benjamin Franklin lived from 1706 until 1790. He was one of the most well-known Founding Fathers of the United States, an author, printer, scientist, politician, publisher, inventor, philosopher, civic activist, and diplomat.


Fixed Indexed Annuities Ideal in Today’s Market

April 8, 2011 | Filed Under Finance, Investment, Retirement Savings | Comments Off

Between 2007 and early 2009, variable and traditional fixed annuities have been the leaders in the annuity market.  Since mid 2009, however, fixed indexed annuities have led the way.  An indexed annuity is a product that allows the owner to have the advantages of gains linked to the stock market without the risk of loss to principal.

Why the shift, what does fixed indexed annuities have over the traditional or variable annuity? According to Joseph Montminy, assistant vice-president and head of annuity research at the Windsor, Conn.-based insurance industry group LIMRA, is that, “Equity market volatility and the ability of Fixed Indexed Annuities to partially shield policyholders from that volatility, while also affording them a measure of upside participation, is a major selling point.”

Insurance companies are also working to simplify and fortify their Fixed Indexed Annuity products to attract more clients.  Products with shorter surrender periods, and optional guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits, similar to those available with variable annuities, make fixed indexed annuities highly competitive with their counterparts.

Time for a Financial Check-Up

April 1, 2011 | Filed Under Finance, Insurance, Investment, Retirement Savings | Comments Off

We’re coming to the end of the first quarter of 2011, and if you haven’t taken time to examine your financial plans, now is a perfect time to take a fresh look at where you are heading financially.

I encourage you to meet with your qualified planner or contact our office to assess the current state of your finances.  Your advisor should help you to re-evaluate your financial plans and show you how to make any necessary changes that move you closer to your goals.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Are your plans still providing comfort, confidence and security?
  • Are they keeping track to fund your retirement or do you see yourself outliving your money?
  • Is your desire to leave a financial legacy behind for your loved ones still possible?
  • Be sure that you are living within your means.
  • Communicate your plans with loved ones so they can follow through with your wishes in the event of the unexpected.

The future is as uncertain today as it was last year, or 80 years ago.  Reviewing your financial plans every year with a trusted financial advisor, will help you face the challenges in the future.

“Change is only painful if you lack knowledge about how to prepare for its consequences.”  [1]

[1] Van Mueller, LUTCF