Buy or Rent – Retirement Dilemma

Buying or Renting Your Home In Retirement

The kids are gone, the house is paid for. You are ready for retirement. The question is whether keeping the house is the best idea. It’s a real retirement dilemma.

According to USA Today, as many as 46 percent of seniors aged 65 or older are deciding to rent a home rather than buy a new house or keep their previous one. There are pros and cons to each option.

Buy

For someone who already owns their own home with no mortgage payments, keeping the house might seem an obvious choice. According to the Motley Fool, this house can be used as a source of income in retirement through a line of credit or a reverse mortgage. This could be important if there is a sudden need for extra money.

On the other hand, annual upkeep eats up as much as 1 to 4 percent of the value of the house each year. These expenses can add up quickly on an older home. Then there are property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. It is also entirely possible that a housing market crash could erode the value of the home right when it is needed the most.

Rent

On the flip side, selling a home near or during retirement when the market is right could add a lot of cash flow and savings to draw from in the event of an emergency. The idea being, cash can be invested and might be worth more over time than the house’s appreciation.

Kiplinger’s took a look at several scenarios involving home ownership, selling, and renting. They wanted to decide which option made the most financial sense. The study determined that in the short run renting was the better choice. It also found that buying a new home was more profitable after ten years or more. Finally, they noted that it could be possible to pay yearly rent with interest gained from investing profits from the sale of a home.

Remember too, when considering this retirement dilemma, that this time of life is also about freedom. Separate from the financial aspects, renting a home could allow retirees to move around to different parts of the country. Renting can make travel easier than worrying about having to sell or maintain a house from a distance.

Never Use A Roth IRA As An Emergency Fund

Roth Withdrawal – Short Term Gain – Long Term Loss

Roth LossesRoth IRAs are unique retirement tools. They allow the owner of the account to withdraw their original deposits from the account at any time without penalty. Roth accounts are funded with after-tax money. Uncle Sam, therefore, doesn’t have to worry about getting a cut as money moves in and out of the IRA. This feature could lead some people to use their Roth IRA as a sort of emergency fund if they have no other savings to draw from.

According to The Simple Dollar, however, it is not a good idea to use the account in this way. Gains you’ve accumulated over time will be lost with a single withdrawal.  Since there are lifetime limits on contributions, the impact can be great. Say that a 25 year-old deposited the $5,000 yearly limit and wanted to see how much this would turn into when they retire in 40 years. At 7 percent interest compounded annually, there will be $74,872 when they turn 65. Taking that $5,000 back out when they are 30 to cover an emergency will result in only $21,489 over the same time frame. Taking money out early might sound good in the short term, but it will be disastrous for long-term financial security.

Read the full article here.

Real-World Retirement Planning

What I Should Have Said For Real-World Retirement Planning

Happy real-world retirementThe NY Times posted an article recently from Paul B. Brown. He’s a former advisor and author. When asked if he would change the advice he gave he said, ” No, I wouldn’t change any of the advice. I told people to start saving aggressively while they’re young and to diversify their holdings. — But I would have provided not only more empathy, but more real-world advice as well.”

The article goes on to detail 3 examples of things he would say now – in hindsight. He talks about the age of retirement, the reality of life and finances as well as those special expenses that come along. He actually even gives a percentage goal for how much you’ll need – which may surprise you.

You can read the full article here.

Credit Scores – How Much Can They Rise?

Credit Scores

Raising Your Credit Scores

Credit scores:  It is so incredibly important for a person’s financial well-being. So why is there is a surprising amount of mystery surrounding the FICO method of evaluating credit scores? According to FICO itself, after examining its own data, they revealed some solid information.  This can help explain how much a person could expect their credit score to rise after a delinquency falls off of their report.
What did they find? After one delinquency was removed from an account holder there was a rise. Over a three month period, it seems that it typically resulted in a 14-point rise in their credit score. A removal of all outstanding delinquencies over the same period showed a 33-point increase. Although this might not seem like a dramatic increase, they also point out that the penalty for major negatives on an account decreases over time, so the recovery after it actually falls off can be modest.

Radical New Strategy for Advisors in Asset Planning

asset planning

Family asset planning

Have you ever considered providing asset planning for the whole family when consulting with your clients?

Forbes October magazine has an interesting article about a pilot program from an advisor with Wells Fargo.

We probably all know of situations in which a family death began a feud over what money and possessions remain. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s great amounts of money or small. It always has the potential to get unpleasant.

The program highlighted in this article seeks to counsel families in how to plan for the inheritances – before death – so that everyone makes the best use of the assets. Parents are finding comfort through this program in discussing their financial standing openly and honestly with their children so that they can plan to make the best use of their inheritance. It also gives peace of mind to the parents that their gifts will be used appropriately and not be wasted on foolish gains and activities.

The clients noted in the article are, admittedly, dealing with massive amounts of money. Maybe you have some of those clients yourself. Maybe your clients with less money could benefit from a similar approach as well.

Take a look at the article and see what you think. This program is reporting huge success and say they have people beating down the doors to be involved. Could this work for you in your practice?

Inflation and Your Retirement

Inflation, death and taxes – all a sure thing.

InflationWhen you’re talking about your retirement, inflation is one of those unsure elements that can make or break your sound planning.

Many Americans identify inflation as one of their greatest concerns. You know it’s coming. Is your retirement plan such that it is able to handle the expected or unexpected jumps?

FoxBusiness.com published this article recently outlining the Facts v. Myths you may find interesting in light of your retirement goals. Many people expect to handle any lapses by being more frugal, but will that cover the possible shortfalls?

FoxBusiness.com quotes  Deb Repya, VP of Consumer Insights for Allianz Life; “Although it may be an option for managing expenses, frugality is not a financial strategy that will mindfully and effectively address the rising cost of living throughout retirement, especially one that could last 30 years or more. There are many factors to consider when planning a long, comfortable retirement and addressing inflation is a critical piece of that puzzle.”

For more information, check out the full article here.

Data Breach From – What Retirees Need To Know Today

Equifax data breach

Data BreachAs a sign of the times, there is another data breach, this time it is Equifax, affecting millions of people. There are numerous sources for what do do as a consumer in response to this latest breach, but what about retirees? Is there anything additional that you need to know to protect yourself?

Check out this article from MaketWatch.com for a couple of good suggestions. There are a couple of suggestions you should consider regarding your Social Security and Medicare numbers.

 

Final Installment – Important Retirement Savings – Age 70 1/2

Last but not least – age 70 1/2

Age 70 1/2We’ve reached the end of our series sharing important information you need to know for your retirement milestones. Here we are at age 70 1/2 – what’s left to know?

Required distributions? Yep! After age 70 1/2, your traditional IRA, ROTH 401(k) and traditional 401(k) require distributions each year with large tax penalties for missing those deadlines. What are those deadlines? How can you avoid taxes on IRA withdrawals? Can you delay withdrawals from your 401(k)? When are you no longer eligible for tax deductions on new IRA contributions? All important questions!

Check out this minute and a half video from US News and World Reports for more details.

If you missed any of the milestones in this series, you can link to those below

Age 50

Age 59 1/2

Age 65

Age 66

MORE Important Retirement Savings – Age 66

Continuing our series: Age 66 – What you need to know now.

Age 66This is the next to the last installment in our series. I hope you’ve learned a lot! Maybe it hasn’t applied to you to this point so you’re just joining us now. In either case, what do you need to know about your retirement planning at age 66?

Social Security! We all have been waiting – hoping it will be there when we finally are eligible to collect. Those of you who are baby boomers are indeed eligible to receive full benefits at age 66, however, there are increases in monthly benefits if you wait until age 70 to start claiming them. Claiming Social Security before age 66 can mean significant reductions in your monthly pay outs. The opposite is also true – if you wait – you will see a significant increase in those same monthly benefits.

What if you aren’t a baby boomer, but you are looking ahead – as a wise person should? The requirements are different for you! Check out this full video from US News and World Reports for all the details.

Missed one in the series? Just click below. Want to be sure you catch the last installment regarding important information for your retirement by age?  Watch for it on Thursday September 28th.

Age 50

Age 59 1/2

Age 60

MORE Important Retirement Savings – Age 65

What? Age 65 and I can still make a difference in my retirement savings?

Age 65With yet another installment in our series: if you have 90 seconds to spare, I found some awesome more important information that can enhance your retirement savings if you are turning age 65!

We’ve covered age 50 and 59 1/2 in previous posts. Now, what if you’ve reached the golden age of 65?  Yes, there are still important things you need to know regarding your retirement savings with this new birthday. Who said aging stinks? The benefits keep piling up!

Let’s talk Medicare: there is a window where you first become eligible for signup beginning 3 months before your 65th birthday and until 4 months after your 65th birthday. Signing up after that can mean permanent cost penalties can be added to your plan. There are a host of other deadlines you need to keep on your radar for the next few years.

Check out all the details in this short video from US News and World Reports.

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