After working and saving their hard-earned money for many years, many individuals fully expect to be able to retire with a comfortable financial nest egg on hand. If anything unexpected were to happen to their savings, it would be close to impossible for many people to recover their money in time for retirement – especially if they fall prey to a scam of any sort.
These days, several criminals focus their efforts on scamming the elderly and the best form of protecting your money against them is to ensure that you’re informed and suspicious of any unusual activity. Below are some of the most common financial scams that are aimed at senior citizens.
Phone Calls from the IRS Scam
When scammers call under the pretense of being IRS representatives, their main intention is to obtain as much of your personal information as possible. In this case, the information they are usually after is your last four digits of your Social Security Number and your debit card information.
Keep in mind that the IRS will never call you directly – even if you owe money to them. All forms of communication from the IRS will only ever be sent through the US Postal Service, so it’s imperative that you end the call as quickly as possible if a caller claims to be from this agency.
Over the past few years, a number of scammers have attempted to go door to door or directly call unsuspecting individuals in order to try and obtain Medicare insurance numbers from them. Once they have this information, it gets used to bill Medicare for services that have never been rendered.
As with the IRS, a Medicare representative will never arrive at your door or call you. In the event that they need to get in touch with you, it will be done through the mail – unless you need to contact them for any reason. If anyone call you directly or shows up at your door claiming to be from Medicare, end the call immediately or tell them to leave your property immediately.
Offers for Fake Prescription Medications
While you can save a substantial amount of money by purchasing your prescription medications online, always exercise extreme caution if a website claims to offer, ‘cheaper medication alternatives,’ – scams like these will usually operate from a totally fake website. After you’ve sent your payment through, you will most likely receive medications that won’t treat your condition because of fake ingredients.
It’s crucial to check that any online pharmacy is legitimate before you pay them for any medication. This can be done by verifying whether they are licensed in the state you live in or not and that they have a licensed, experienced and trained pharmacist to dispense medications.
Although it can seem tedious to verify information before parting with your hard-earned cash or giving out Social Security and banking details, doing so will save you a lot of heartache along the way. If you would like to learn more about making your money work for you, contact us today.Continue reading
COVID-19 has resulted in millions of families living under lockdown conditions in that they may only leave their homes to purchase groceries and medical supplies, or to seek medical attention in case of emergency. With so many businesses being forced to close during this time, several families are left without any form of income – resulting in soaring stress levels all round. Below are some tips that can help ensure that your mental health is not too badly affected.
Keep a Routine wherever Possible
For the first time in many years, more individuals than ever are working from home – or simply having to stay home because their employers have been forced to close during the pandemic. Parents have had to try and educate their children while also working from home, which has placed a tremendous amount of stress on many families.
Creating a routine, such as early morning exercise, mid morning homeschooling, lunchtime, afternoon chores and free time in the evenings will go a long way in helping to retain a sense of normalcy during these uncertain times.
Restrict Access to Social Media and News Sites
Two of the biggest sources of stress that can contribute to a decline of your mental health during lockdown are social media and news sites.
Experts recommend that you avoid social media channels that share speculative information, while also limiting your access to reputable news sites as much as possible. Try to set specific times of day for checking your social media accounts and news sites, as constant access can leave you feeling more overwhelmed than ever before.
Spend Some Time Outdoors
Several research studies have indicated that being able to spend time outdoors in nature provides a positive boost to mental as well as physical health.
Exposing your body to natural light will also increase serotonin and melatonin levels – both of which have positive effects on mental and physical health. Even going for a short walk around a few city blocks will help you feel better than if you stay cooped up indoors throughout the pandemic.
Consider De-cluttering your Home
Although you may be stuck at home indefinitely, this actually provides you and your family with an ideal opportunity to engage in a major de-cluttering and deep cleaning project.
Start by working on one room at a time and remove items that are no longer wanted or needed, and perform a deep clean on windows, walls and floors at the same time. Items that cannot be repaired should also be tossed at this time. After a week or two, you and your family will be able to enjoy spending time in a home that is not only clean, but properly organized as well.
Partaking in the above mentioned activities might not seem like the most exciting option while so many families are living under lockdown and not able to leave their homes, but they could help make the coping process a lot easier and less stressful for everyone concerned.Continue reading
If you have kids, chances are that they spend any money that is given to them without a thought for saving towards their future. However, the earlier good savings habits are taught to them, the better their futures will be with regards to finances. Below are some tips to help encourage your kids to save a portion of any money they receive.
Teach them to Set Goals
These days, there are costly items and tech gadgets that most kids would love to own. If this is the case, this could provide you with the ideal opportunity to get your children interested in saving some of their money.
For instance, if your child is keen to get the latest phone or gaming console, you can sit down with them and calculate how much money they will need to save and how long it will take them to obtain the desired amount of cash.
Offer Incentives for Achieving Savings Goals
Although many parents may view this as a form of bribery, providing incentives is one of the easiest ways to encourage kids to save more of their money. An example would be to offer your child a monetary reward that can be put towards what they are already saving. If you cannot afford to match dollar for dollar, you can provide them with an amount that will not destroy your budget in the process.
Establish an Allowance System
When kids don’t receive money regularly, they aren’t provided with much of an opportunity to save anything. As such, it’s a good idea to implement an allowance system in your home that suits your budget and is age-appropriate for your kids.
When introducing your allowance system, it’s essential to reinforce the fact that your child will need to earn his or her money. This can be done by providing them with various chores to complete that are over and above those that they usually do.
Help them Open a Savings Account
Although it’s possible to open a savings account for kids of all ages, those who are eight years and older will probably benefit the most from them.
It’s a good idea to have your child accompany you to the bank when their account is being opened. This will not only allow them to see how the process works; you may find that they’ll be more enthusiastic than ever to put some of their earnings into their very own savings account. Some banks offer a range of incentives for kids who save beyond a specified amount of money as well.
Children who are taught the importance of saving money from a young age tend to be more financially responsible after becoming adults. This is why it’s crucial to teach them about the benefits of saving money as early as possible in life. If you would like to obtain advice regarding teaching your children to save a portion of the money they receive, contact our team today.Continue reading
Although you may not have started planning for retirement yet, or you’ve experienced personal circumstances that resulted in you delaying contributing to existing savings and retirement plans, this doesn’t mean that all is lost in this regard. In fact, there are a few financial new year’s resolutions you can make that will help get your savings plans right back on track again.
Enlist the Help of a Financial Adviser
If you aren’t working with an accredited and reputable financial adviser yet, now is the time to add this to your list of resolutions. Although retirement planning may seem relatively simple, the truth is that it can be quite complex – especially where tax laws and economic changes are concerned. Hiring a financial adviser will help ensure that you get your retirement planning on the right path from the beginning.
Find New Ways to Save Money
Although you may already have a 401(k) or some form of IRA account, you might find that you aren’t contributing as much as you want to them yet. If this is the case, start searching for ways to cut on expenses. For instance, could you get by with a cheaper phone or internet plan? (The answer to this in most cases would be yes). Are you paying for cable TV that you never watch? Even reducing the amount of times you purchase takeout in a month could make quite a big difference to the amount of money that you could be setting aside for retirement.
Start Contributing to Dedicated Retirement Plans
If you don’t have an IRA or 401(k) in place with your employer yet, be sure to get this started as soon as possible in the new year. These are by far the two best options when it comes to saving for retirement, so the sooner you can set them up, the better. Keep in mind as well that these contributions are pre-tax, meaning that you will probably not even notice these amounts being deducted from your paycheck at this time – but you’ll definitely notice the difference when it’s time to retire.
Repay Outstanding Debts
Your goal should be that you will be completely debt-free when you retire. Too many individuals make the mistake of thinking that there is still a lot of time to get their debts repaid, so they don’t treat them with any form of urgency. Unfortunately, this can result in them still having large mortgages to pay – while no longer earning a decent income. As a result, it’s strongly recommended that you start strategizing now to get all of your debt repaid as quickly as realistically possible.
Although everyone looks forward to the day that they will no longer need to report at the office, you will only be able to truly enjoy your golden years if you have planned ahead with regards to your finances. If you would like to find out more about hiring a financial adviser or setting financial goals, contact us today.Continue reading
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
When he founded DreamBridge Financial, Charlie Roberts had a goal to provide a holistic approach to financial planning. With his 19 years in the business and certification in pension planning, he has certainly changed plenty of lives during his career. Recently, he received the
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™certification, a prestigious designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
Although most people think that any financial planner they hire is certified, this is not at all the case. In order to attain the CFP® one must be rigorously tested and meet all of the requirements for certification and renewal in order to use the CFP® trademark and title. To pass the examination and become certified, an individual must demonstrate a high level of ethics, professionalism, and knowledge. These individuals are also held to strict standards for maintaining their designations, which means you can rest assured that Charlie Roberts will exercise the fiduciary care required by the CFP® board of standards when it comes to working with individuals and small businesses.
Charlie Roberts demonstrated the “Four Es”, which are characteristics set forth by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards: Education, Examination, Experience, and Ethics. Not only has he obtained the required education for this designation, but he has also passed a rigorous examination and proved his many years of experience in delivering financial planning services. With the designation, he is bound to uphold a Code of Ethics, which includes fairness, confidentiality, professionalism, and diligence.
About Charlie Roberts: Charlie is a native of Haverhill, MA and lives in Windham, New Hampshire with his wife, Melissa, and two children, Chase and Gianna. He has nearly 20 years’ experience in delivering quality financial planning advice, and he is also certified in pension planning by Bentley College. Charlie plays drums, works out, skis, and listens to music in his spare time, and he serves his community by volunteering with the youth baseball league and the Shephard’s Pantry food pantry, located in Windham.
About DreamBridge Financial: DreamBridge Financial serves individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized businesses both locally and across the country. The company first works to better understand the lives of their clients and then help provide the direction their clients need to achieve their dreams.Continue reading