Category Archives: Financial

Planning decisions to make in retirement

If you’re in your 50s, retirement is on the horizon.  Here are some important financial planning decisions you need to keep an eye on. Don’t dip into retirement.  With the average employee having seven careers in a lifetime, there’s a possibility that you’ll experience seven or more temptations to cash out an IRA rather than…

Getting Social Security right when both of you want to retire

A lot of people make retirement plans based on the retirement age of the oldest spouse.  So for instance, a 65-year old man married to a 62-year old woman may decide to retire.  In lock step with his decision to retire, she does as well.  However, the end result may cost the couple more than…

Do you have too many retirement accounts?

Successful savers might have a problem.  That’s because over the course of one life, job and life changes might leave them with many pots of money.  There’s the IRA rollover from the last job, the pension plan from the current job, a life insurance policy and some company stock.  The problem with all those pots…

New this year: Tax season, the IRS and the Healthcare Marketplace

Like many of you, I’ve been receiving a steady trickle of tax information this month.  Now that everything I need is stacked neatly in my kitchen, I’ll be able to do my taxes and get them out of the way but I do have some questions about how my medical insurance will be handled which…

Timing the move: should you live in a retirement community for your own health

Mabel walks around the block in my neighborhood every day.  Her garden used to be a tribute to sustainable living and so she stops to chat with the neighbors about gardening if she finds them out in the yard.  Mabel’s always been an independent soul with a fierce determination.  She once stopped an abusive ex-husband…

Should your financial planning include choosing a health spending account?

Health spending accounts are a way for consumers to get tax savings for money put away to pay for medical expenses.  The point of these accounts from a government or business standpoint is to provide consumers the opportunity to make direct decisions on what kinds of health care they receive under the belief that by…

Financial planning after retirement

We hear that phrase “saving for retirement” so often that you might be tempted to believe that once you retire you’re done saving.  But retirement is a really long time.  For many people it will last decades so it shouldn’t be surprising that saving money shouldn’t stop just because you’ve stopped punching the clock.  For…

Divvying up the financial chores to avoid becoming a shoebox widow

My dad nearly died about 10 years ago.  He had several heart attacks in the space of a week and while the one we worried the most about was the first one they were all scary.  Even scarier however, was worrying about my mom.  That’s because while my mom had always been the financial genius…

Social Security changes for 2015

Here’s what Social Security changes to look for in 2015. In October, the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security was raised 1.7 percent, adding roughly $22 more each month for the average Social Security beneficiary. With that increase the average monthly retirement benefit for all recipients rose to $1,328. Workers taking retirement benefits…

Giving gifts that don’t make you feel like Scrooge

I’m sure you’ve noticed but in case you haven’t, December is a month filled with holiday traditions including the giving of gifts.  Hard cash is the preferred gift for those between the ages of 10 and a million years of age but a part of me flinches to think that a week after Christmas, the…