Retirement may Last Longer than you Realize

By 2050, it’s estimated that close to 100 million Americans will be over the age of 65 – this is close to double the amount of older folk that are currently around. This will have severe implications on almost everything – from the amount of food that’s available to find skilled labor to allocating sufficient funds to provide a realistic level of healthcare for an aging population. 

A Social Shift has Taken Place

Doctors who were practicing in the 19th Century recommended that as individuals got older, it was necessary for them to slow down so that they could conserve their energy. However, several people started to live a lot longer after 1900, resulting in an increase in senior citizens overall. 

Over time, this caused business, industry, and government agencies to look for ways to justify removing older individuals from the workforce so that younger employees could be accommodated. Even though individuals are now healthier and living to older ages than ever, society, in general, appears to be doing everything possible to write off up to a quarter of the lifespan of anyone who is over the age of 65. 

A Prospective Goldmine for Marketers

A number of lawmakers and have voiced concern with regards to the fact that having higher numbers of senior citizens obtaining public benefits would negatively affect the economy. However, new research has suggested that the number of people that are now living to older ages than ever could actually present the economy with a potential marketing goldmine – in fact, goods and services that have been specifically tailored for the senior market are now worth more than $9 trillion a year. 

Planning Accordingly is Crucial

While several older people do have a definite plan in place with regards to how they would like to spend their golden years, it’s essential to remember that you will need a reasonable amount of money to live on – regardless of what those plans may involve. Continually rising inflation and the overall cost of living means that you will not be able to rely entirely on Social Security benefits upon retirement. 

If you’re fortunate enough to still be in your 20s, 30s or 40s, you may think there’s still ‘more than enough time’ to start saving, investing or setting funds aside that will help you survive during retirement. While time may still be on your side, starting to save money as soon as possible will allow you to set aside a smaller amount each month because of compounding interest

Our experienced and accredited financial planners can provide you with a lot of information about saving and investing in such a way that you’ll be able to enjoy your retirement and not have to worry about finances along the way. If you’d like to establish a savings plan that will cater for your needs during retirement, contact us to set up an appointment with one of our financial planners today. We look forward to helping you secure your financial future.

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Plan Ahead to Avoid Overspending this Festive Season

Various polls that were recently undertaken have revealed that the majority of Americans intend spending between $800 and $900 when purchasing Christmas gifts this year. With Christmas being the largest of the gift-giving holidays, it makes sense that more than 20% of retailer’s sales are made during November and December. 

When January rolls around, more than half of the shoppers surveyed noted that they had regrets about spending so much during December. However, this need not be the case if you plan ahead with regards to the financial side of your festive season shopping. Below are a few ways in which you can do this. 

  1. Determine how much you can Afford to Spend

Before setting foot in the mall or browsing any online shopping websites, establish a realistic budget for purchasing gifts and spending on other holiday-related products and services such as food, decorations, travel expenses if you’re visiting relatives and even gift wrap. 

Divide your budget into various categories to see whether you’ll have enough money available to pay for everything – without resorting to your credit card. If the numbers don’t add up, cuts may need to be made to some categories in your spending plan. 

  1. Establish Expectations Quickly

If your holiday budget is smaller than it has been in previous years, you’ll need to either cut down on the amount of gifts being purchased or spend less on each recipient’s gift – but it’s crucial that you make your intentions in this regard known as early as possible. For instance, if you usually purchase costly gifts for nieces and nephews, let your siblings and in-laws know that your gifts may not be as lavish as they have been in previous years. This will help prevent any ill feelings when the time comes to open gifts. 

  1. Don’t Fall Prey to Retail Tricks

Even the savviest shoppers are known to overspend during the holidays – especially when so-called special offers are being pushed at the end of every aisle. 

Although some retailers may have genuinely good offers on items you’re considering purchasing, many of them mark the items down that have been slow movers during the year. This allows them to make way for new stock when January rolls around. 

Offers such as Buy One get One Free (BOGOF), buy three and pay for two and xx% discount when spending more than a predetermined amount can all cause you to spend more than you’d initially budgeted. Always ensure that you shop with a list, and only purchase the items you’d initially intended adding to your cart in the first place. 

Once you’ve created your shopping list, ensure that you search online for any discounts or coupons that could help reduce the cost of your spending as well.

Although budgeting for the festive season can seem boring and overwhelming, you’ll be glad that you did so – especially when the New Year rolls around and you don’t have to spend the next few months paying off your Christmas debt. 


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Make those Financial New Year’s Resolutions Now

Regardless of whether you’ve started to put a dedicated financial plan into place or not, it’s possible to get on track with this at virtually any age while you and your spouse are still earning an income. Below are a few financial New Year’s resolutions that you should consider making – and sticking to – when 2021 rolls around. 

  1. Set up an Appointment with a Financial Planner

If you’ve never worked with a financial planner yet, enlisting the help of one who is reputable should be your first priority as soon as the New Year starts – the sooner you can make that first appointment and keep it, the better. 

Getting your financial affairs in order can be daunting, especially if you have no idea where to start. You’ll need the services of a professional, especially where taxes, investing and other forms of saving are concerned. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense at first, you’ll certainly be glad you hired a professional – especially if you’ve never dealt with these aspects before.

  1. Set Up Retirement Savings Accounts

If you don’t have an IRA or 401(k) set up with your employer, now is the time to gather everything you’ll need to do so – your financial planner will be more than happy to assist you here. 

A 401(k) and/or IRA are among the best and easiest ways to start saving for your retirement, and the sooner these are set up, the better. Keep in mind that contributions to these accounts are pre-tax, so you probably won’t notice the small deduction being made from your wages at the time. However, you’ll certainly notice the lump sum of money that has accumulated by the time you’re ready to retire though.

  1. Pay Debts Off

One of your ultimate goals should be to remain free from consumer debt as far as possible. 

Many individuals don’t prioritize repaying consumer debts because they think they’ll still have a good few years left to do so. However, the quicker consumer debts are repaid, the more money you’ll save on interest and finance charges as the years go by – money that can rather be put into some form of savings instead.

  1. Look for Ways to Save Extra Cash

After setting up retirement, savings and/or investment accounts, many individuals quickly discover that they aren’t setting aside as much money as they’d hoped. If you find that this applies to you, it’s time to start looking for practical ways to trim your budget or increase your income as soon as possible. 

Some options for cutting spending can include switching to more affordable internet service providers, cell service companies and even eliminating physical newspaper subscription services – many news sites offer greatly reduced options for viewing their content online instead. 

While everyone dreams of becoming financially secure, this will only happen if you take the necessary steps to start saving and investing as soon as possible. If you’d like to learn more about making your money work for you, contact us today. 

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Don’t Let Adult Kids Destroy your Retirement

Research has revealed that nearly 70% of parents older than 50 have provided their adult kids with some form of financial assistance over the past few years, with amounts for this assistance totaling an average of just over $7,000 per year. If invested or saved in a tax-deferred account that provides an annual return of just 6%, this could amount to as much as $100,000 extra that these parents could have saved for their retirement years. 

Here are a few practical ways in which parents can offer help and support to their kids:

Ensure that they Trim their Budgets

If there’s a genuine reason for your adult kids to not be fully supporting themselves financially yet, lending a hand to cover aspects such as utility bills or rent is quite acceptable – for example, if your adult kids are doing everything they can, but still aren’t able to make ends meet due to a low paying job.

Funding a lavish lifestyle, paying rent on a costly apartment or condo or enabling your adult kids to pay for fancy restaurant meals will not help them learn to support themselves over time.

Establish a Practical System

More than 65% of parents have provided financial assistance to their adult kids at some point to help cover the cost of a utility bill or an unexpected emergency expense. However, an alternative approach is also recommended.

Start by determining ahead of time how much your adult child will require to supplement his or her existing income and then set up automatic transfers to them totaling the amount needed. After a few months, it’s recommended that you review this arrangement and consider reducing the amount systematically until you reach a mutually agreed upon timeline for stopping your financial support. 

Establishing an arrangement like this will mimic the situation of receiving a steady paycheck. However, there may still be instances where genuine emergencies will arise, such as dealing with unexpected vehicle repairs. If cases like this occur, don’t feel bad about stepping in and providing your adult child with the amount of financial assistance you can comfortably afford. 

Become your Child’s Financial Advisor instead of their Provider

When it’s time to stop providing your adult child with financial help, it doesn’t mean that you should stop giving them appropriate financial advice. Information you should provide them with can involve teaching them how to budget effectively, how to choose the right healthcare plan to suit their finances and how to opt into the best 401(k) plan to prepare for retirement. 

Another option you can use to provide adult kids with financial guidance and advice is to introduce them to the numerous budgeting apps that are available these days, such as Mint and Digit. It’s also recommended that they be informed about the various financial blogs that can be accessed, as this will provide them with valuable information regarding financial responsibility and security. 

If you would like to learn more about securing your retirement nest egg and preventing it from being eroded by your adult kids over time, contact our financial advisors today. 

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