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Stay Connected to Your Financial Goals

Life happens – family, work, school, fitness, illnesses and the list goes on. As you get tugged in many directions at once, how can you stay connected to your financial goals and dreams? In this brief video, Lupe Camargo explains the role a financial planner can play in helping you stay on track, even when your daily life tries to derail you.

By |November 6th, 2017|Financial Planning, Video Blog|

Retirement Age Rising

Legendary singer Tony Bennett, who at age 91 still tours and performs for live audiences, has quipped, “It’s too late to retire.” More and more, Americans seem to share Bennett’s sentiment; they are postponing retirement and spending their golden years on the job. Recent studies show the average retirement age rising.

Retirement Age Rising

For men, it is just shy of 65 years, up from 62 in 1985. For women, since 1985, average retirement age has increased from about 60 years to 62. Today, about 20 percent of people 65 or older work at least part-time – the highest rate in 55 years. Among 70- to 74-year-olds, 19 percent work – that’s an 11 percent gain since 1994. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts if current trends continue, by 2024 about 36 percent of 65- to 69-year-old American workers will still be in the labor force.

While some older workers who delay retirement do so because they need the money, others continue working because they remain healthy, highly-skilled and happy at their jobs. A recent study by Transamerica found that 44 percent of later-retirees continue to work by choice. In other words, many people are working longer not because they have to, but because they want to.

“By the time you’re in your 60s and 70s, you’ve probably worked yourself into something you enjoy doing,” explains Jacquelyn James, an expert on aging at Boston College.

In addition to improved health and longevity, factors contributing to later retirement include:

  • changes to social security have improved incentives to keep working;
  • fewer workers are covered by traditional pensions;
  • people with more education tend to work longer; and
  • many jobs today are less physically demanding than in the past.

Older workers also tend to thrive in knowledge-based jobs – such as finance, law or business – according to Stanford psychologist Laura Carstensen.

By |October 23rd, 2017|Current Affairs, Retirement|

Bank Account Boosts Financial Literacy

Does your child need a bank account? In a word, yes. Learning to manage money may just give her a global competitive advantage over her peers when she becomes a young adult. A recent study suggests that having a bank account boosts financial literacy in teens. This brief video provides interesting details.

 

 

Video Transcript

Does your child need a bank account? In a word, yes. Learning to manage money may just give her a global competitive advantage over her peers when she becomes a young adult. A recent study suggests that having a bank account boosts financial literacy in teens.

According to results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), one in five U.S. high school students (22 percent) lack basic financial literacy skills. The study evaluates the financial literacy of teens from 15 countries. China ranked number one overall, followed by Belgium and Canada. Chile, Brazil and Peru ranked as the bottom three.

American teenagers have made no appreciable gains in financial literacy in the three years since the previous PISA in 2012, when the U.S. ranked ninth among the countries studied. The Russian Federation and Italy showed measurable gains in average scores over that time, while Poland, the Slovak Republic, Australia and Spain showed measurable declines.

One data point of the study offers a potential bright spot for American parents. Among U.S. students, 53 percent reported that they have a bank account; and students with a bank account scored on average 42 points higher than students without a bank account. This suggests a simple and practical step parents can take to help boost financial literacy in their children, according to Ted Beck, CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education.

“Get your child involved with a bank or credit union by having an account and learning to manage it during their teenage years,” he suggests. “We shouldn’t assume kids receive this education in schools. We need to step up and involve our children in regular, meaningful interactions with money.”

If you’d like help setting up an account for your child, talk with your personal financial planner or give us a call at Perspective Financial Services.

By |October 9th, 2017|Current Affairs, Video Blog|

Common Estate Planning Pitfalls

Typical goals in creating an estate plan are to establish a legacy and create a straightforward guide for your heirs. Depending on how long ago you created your estate plan, it’s possible your wishes or priorities may have shifted. Your vision of your legacy and your directives may no longer be clear. That ambiguity can create additional stress and expenses for your loved ones and beneficiaries during an already difficult time. It’s wise to review your plan every three to five years. That way you can address and avoid common estate planning pitfalls in the transfer of your assets. In a recent article, Rande Spiegelman, vice president of financial planning at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, shared some potential obstacles.

Outdated Information

Review your accounts and beneficiary designations anytime there is a major change in your life, such as a birth, death or marriage in the family. Your heirs may not get the assets you intended when this information is incorrect. It may even override the wording of your will or trust in some cases.

Costly Probate

“A revocable living trust is one way to avoid the unwieldy and costly probate process, because your assets technically belong to the trust—even while you’re still alive,” Spiegelman noted. You should create what he calls a “pour-over will” after creating and funding the trust (by changing the title of your accounts and other assets into the name of the trust), he suggested. This states that assets not otherwise devised by your will should be transferred to the trust upon your death. Finally, be sure to name a successor trustee (in case you or another original trustee cannot fulfill the duties).

Misunderstandings

Dscussing your estate plan can be uncomfortable. Still, it’s wise to communicate as much as you can to your spouse, children or other heirs while you’re still living. Your openness about your intentions can help them manage their expectations and may reduce any confusion, conflicts or legal battles down the road.

By |September 25th, 2017|Estate Planning|