DreamBridge Financial is pleased to announce the addition of Stephen Riley as Financial Advisor, he brings vast experience in serving relationships and serving his community, please join us in welcoming Stephen!
Stephen is a native resident of Lynnfield, MA where he attended Lynnfield High School. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Stephen has been serving individuals and small businesses for over 13 years in the Financial Services industry. Prior to joining DreamBridge Financial, Stephen served as Vice President and Investment Officer at First Financial Trust N.A., a subsidiary of First Financial Savings Bank. His industry experience also includes serving as Financial Advisor for 6 years at a local investment firm where he cared for over 200 client relationships. He spent the beginning of his career as a client service/relationship manager at Morgan Stanley in Middleton, MA and Fidelity Investments in Merrimack, NH.
Stephen serves on the Lynnfield Finance committee and is a member of the Lynnfield Rotary Club (A Paul Harris Fellow) associated with the Lynnfield -Wakefield Zetland Masonic lodge. He is a member of the Lynnfield -Wakefield lodge of Elk’s and serves as head coach in the Lynnfield youth sports program. He has a passion for serving people and giving back to the community and currently resides in Lynnfield, MA where he enjoys spending quality time with his wife Michelle and children Spencer and Vanessa.Continue reading
Now more than ever, people across the country are struggling to add to and maintain their retirement accounts. With inflation and the cost of living on the rise, however, this could prove disastrous. Here are three vitally important tips you should know if you want to retire richer without feeling the pain in the meantime.
#1 – Use Raises Wisely
There’s nothing quite like getting a raise at work. It’s a reward for remaining loyal to your employer, proving your worth as a valuable employee, and getting the job done. Though it can be tempting to improve your means with each raise, this will serve you well now, but it will do very little for you once retirement comes along. Instead of spending, try saving half the amount of your raise with each paycheck. For example, if your raise will increase your biweekly paycheck by $100, save $50. Logically, you were making it before the raise, and you should continue to make it after. Saving half still gives you half to spend, but it also cushions your retirement rather nicely at the same time.
The easiest way to do this involves boosting your 401(k) contributions so the funds are pulled from your paychecks automatically. This way, you’ll never even miss it.
#2 – Use Your Tax Refund Wisely, Too
Many people use their tax refunds to make big purchases, facilitate repairs, or even buy luxuries they wouldn’t be able to really afford otherwise. Rather than spending your tax refund in this way, consider investing half of it. Big chunks of money every single year are nice, and they’re even nicer when they’re earning interest. If you make $100,000 a year and you get a $2000 tax refund, then saving half of that refund is the equivalent of increasing your 401(k) contributions by an entire percentage point.
If you want to invest your whole refund, go for it, but don’t feel compelled to do so. It’s nice to have an immediate reward for all your hard work. Invest half and use the other half as you see fit.
#3 – Grab a Side Job and Invest the Earnings
Last, but most certainly not least, in today’s day and age, there are plenty of Americans out there who work second jobs or “side jobs”. Some people don’t do this out of necessity; for many, they’ve managed to turn their hobbies and passions into a paying gig. If this is the case for you as it is for millions of Americans, you can use this to your advantage and invest half the income into a high-yield savings account.
Arguably, not everyone working a second job can afford to do this; some work extra to make ends meet. If this does not apply to you, remember that working a second job and saving diligently could result in a much earlier retirement date.
The goal, as always, is to save money without feeling the pinch. You have to be 100% committed to putting money away for your retirement years in order to make it happen. The three tips above will undoubtedly boost your savings, and the best part is that you will still get to enjoy your raises, your tax refunds, and your earnings from your second job or hobby at the same time.Continue reading
Saving for retirement is a necessity, but many of today’s consumers have found that saving enough is more difficult than they expected. You have to be motivated to save that money, and you have to be certain about your goals, too. Once you do this, there’s no end to what you might accomplish. Here, you will learn about two very important ways in which you can boost your savings over time and ensure a happy retirement.
Save as Much as You Can
It may seem a little obvious at first but saving as much as you can is one of the two best ways to improve your retirement funds. EBRI, a retirement research organization, found that nearly 43% of Americans today will not reach their retirement savings goals. This is about the same number of people who don’t have access to things like 401(k) plans and retirement pensions, and it poses a significant issue.
Many of today’s consumers think they are saving enough money, but they simply are not. The biggest culprit? Failing to account for inflation. In the US, monthly inflation rates range from 0.25% to about 0.5%, which is sizeable and significant. As of 2016, the United States ranked tenth in the world for yearly inflation, too. When you think about the amount of money you need to save, it’s important to consider inflation as you do the math. Without it, you might find yourself significantly short when retirement day comes.
Don’t Touch the Funds Until You Retire
The other way that you can save the money you need (and then some) is to avoid touching your retirement savings before you retire. Again, it may seem like a no brainer, but a surprising number of people tap into their retirement funds early – and they pay the price. Millions of people all across the country are continuing to cash out their 401(k) savings, and the penalties for doing so are severe. People are also cashing in their life insurance policies, cancelling CDs and IRAs, and otherwise failing to leave their savings alone.
Though it can be difficult to struggle financially when you know you have thousands of dollars tucked away in a retirement account, per the experts, its best to pretend like your retirement money simply does not exist. If you tap into it once, there’s a very good chance you’ll tap into it again – and again, and again. Before you know it, your retirement savings has been eaten away in withdrawals and penalties, and you are left with little to no nest egg to help facilitate your lifestyle once you retire.
If you want to truly give your savings a boost, you need to do two things. First, save as much as you can. Rather than taking a frivolous trip or buying something you don’t need, put it in your retirement savings, and consider inflation when setting goals. Second, no matter how tempted you might be, never touch your retirement accounts before you actually retire. These two things will ensure that once your retirement date comes and goes, you’ll be able to live happily ever after.Continue reading
Retirement is the time in your life when you enjoy the fruits of your many years of labor. It’s when your student debts have been paid, you’ve been successful in your career, and you can finally take the time to do all the things you have planned. Early retirement is, by and large, everyone’s dream, and as a recent study suggests, it may just help you live longer, too.
A Unique Study
A study conducted in the Netherlands in 2017 and published in the prestigious journal Health Economics may have some significant implications for American workers. Per the study, men who retired early were 2.6% less likely to die within the five years after retirement than those who waited until retirement age. The female sample was too small to be conclusive.
This is in line with an earlier study conducted at the University of Wisconsin that found that retired people had more time for leisure, and as a result, they often adopted healthy habits. Things like quitting smoking, increased exercise, and more balanced diets were common, and this led to longevity. This sample included thousands of men and women and showed that retirement could, in fact, have a tremendous impact on health.
A Conflicting Study
Despite this evidence, yet another study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found quite the opposite. Researchers said that people who worked a year longer than their counterparts were 11% less likely to die. Again, the sample size was small and focused almost exclusively on men, which doesn’t provide much in the way of information about women.
A study similar to the one at the University of Wisconsin and published in the Journal of Health Economics back in 2016 found that retirement had a negative effect on one’s health – namely men. Per the study, retired men had 12% higher chances of becoming obese within a period of two to four years following their retirement. Obesity leads to a variety of conditions which could have a negative effect on longevity.
Finding One’s Purpose
Overall, when looking at these various studies, there is one thing that is very clear. It’s important for individuals who retire to find some kind of purpose. For some, leaving their careers and embarking on a new life is exciting, but for others, they feel lost and like they have nothing more to offer to the world. Hobbies are vital and ensuring a healthy retirement nest egg is also important to avoiding stress and depression that often comes along with financial worry. Finally, and most importantly, everyone retires differently, and it is important to remember that another individual’s retirement should not be compared to your own.
Whether or not early retirement increases or decreases your lifespan is still unknown as the studies and the evidence are conflicting. The goal, then, should be to make retirement as enjoyable as possible through ample savings, hobbies, new personal relationships and connections, and a drive to stay healthy – both physically and mentally – well into your golden years.Continue reading
The baby boomers – the generation of people born after WWII who are now somewhere between 50 and 70 years old – represent one of the largest generations alive today. As they age, they require care, including access to entitlement programs set aside for retirees. Is the vast population straining the system, and will this impact future generations? Some say it just might.
Fewer Workers to Provide Support
The biggest shift caused directly by the retirement of so many baby boomers is a lack of workers available to provide support to the elderly. Over the last 30 years or so, the number of people retiring as compared to the number of people still working hasn’t changed much. This number is referred to as the old age dependency ratio, and it shows just how many workers are out there caring for the elderly.
In 2017, things started shifting rapidly. For every 100 Americans in the prime of their working years, there were 25 people who were of retirement age or older. By 2030, the Census Bureau estimates that this number will climb to 35 for every 100, and by 2060, 42 for every 100. This age distribution will inevitably cause issues in the future, particularly when it comes to entitlement programs like pensions and Social Security.
The Surge of Retirees
We have known that there would be a huge surge of people retiring as the baby boomers aged, and this actually started in 2011 when the youngest of the generation started turning 65. Every day across the country, 10,000 new baby boomers reach this magical number. Thanks to low birth rates that started in the 70s, the working age population that supports the elderly continues to grow thinner. In fact, right now represents the lowest birth rates on record in the US, 2017 had the fewest births on record for more than 30 years. Though there was a boom of immigration, it did very little to help. Now, the US is faced with what very well could turn into a crisis.
Social Security and Entitlement Programs
There is also evidence to suggest that senior citizens in the US will continue to feel the financial strain associated with retirement for many years to come. In fact, the trustees responsible for the Social Security system said earlier in the year that they are dipping into their trust fund to pay benefits right now – the first time since 1982 this has happened. Employee pensions are also growing costlier, and this is causing states to cut out other funding for things like healthcare and education. In 2016, it was estimated that state liabilities were $4 trillion collectively. Unfortunately, those states only had $2.6 trillion in assets. This gap continues to widen, as well, and without a new budget in place, things will only worsen in the future.
The number of people actively contributing to entitlement programs today cannot keep up with the number of people retiring, and the age gap will continue to climb. Budgeting is in order, and without it, neither state nor federal governments will have the assets needed to provide today’s working Americans to the pensions and Social Security to which they are entitled.Continue reading