Important Retirement Savings – Age 59 1/2

Do you have 90 seconds to enhance your retirement savings?

If you have 90 seconds to spare, I found some awesome information that can enhance your retirement savings if you are at least age 59 1/2!

There may be times in your life where you feel like you need to dip into that retirement savings, but by waiting until age 59 1/2, you can avoid hefty penalties when you include the taxes also due on the withdrawal. There are some exceptions though.

Check out this video from US News and World Reports for more details. The video is literally 1 minute and 14 seconds. That’s about how long it takes to ride the escalator to your office! 1 minute and 14 seconds that could save you a bunch of money – knowledge is power!

Important Retirement Savings – Age 50

Do you have 90 seconds to enhance your retirement savings?

If you have 90 seconds to spare, I found some awesome information that can enhance your retirement savings if you are at least age 50!

Did you know that the closer you get to retiring, there are changes in rules regarding contributions and withdrawals from  your IRA and 401(k) accounts? Once you turn age 50 you can save more in your 401(k) account than younger coworkers. By maxing out your 401(k), you can save a significant amount in taxes. After age 50, IRA accounts also allow you to make larger catch up payments and to defer taxes on more money than younger investors.

US News and World Reports has a great recap of these rules in short video located here. It’s really just over a minute long.

 

Self Driving Cars for Retirement

Self Driving Cars – Good For the Elderly?

Is it really possible that self driving cars are within reach? Congress is even starting to expedite the introduction of these cars. The benefits could prove revolutionary to senior citizens as well as disabled individuals.

Melody Hahm of Yahoo Finance outlines how this could be a major win for the elderly as well as other benefits you could see. As our population is rapidly aging, more and more people could find themselves able to move about with freedom.

Check out the full article here.

Do You Need Insurance Changes In Retirement

Insurance Changes

Who doesn’t look forward to retirement and the greater freedom to choose your own schedule? Sounds great to someone who has worked for years. But with any change in life circumstances, you may need to make some insurance changes in retirement as well.

But with the tremendous changes that come with retirement come the need for changes in your spending and don’t forget – insurance. You may need more or less coverage than what you have now.

Barbara Marquand of NerdWallet suggests evaluating your needs in the following areas:

  1. Ask about car insurance discounts. The fact that you are no longer commuting to work may allow for a decrease in your car insurance. Many states require companies to give discounts to drivers age 55+. Other organizations such as AARP and AAA provide discount opportunities as do completing drivers ed courses. But, if you’re planning to travel in rental cars, you may want to evaluate the amount and type of insurance you will require.
  2. Contact your homeowners insurance. Because retirees are often home more, the likelihood of burglary is reduced which makes for a good reason to offer a reduction in homeowner insurance. However, if you’re planning to do a great deal of traveling, you may want to increase your spending in this area.
  3. Revisit life insurance and long term care. Seems obvious, but health changes come with age. Your personal health may allow for decreases or require increases to maintain financial health.
  4. Sign up for Medicare. There is a 7 month window where you are eligible to sign up for Medicare. It begins 3 months before your 65th birthday. Follow current regulations at medicare.gov.  Late enrollment may mean having to pay higher prices.

Everyone’s retirement will look different with the many factors in play. If you need assistance, please look for a reputable financial adviser in your area.

You can read the full article here.

 

Is Retirement Possible Without $1 Million?

Retirement$1 Million Retirement

Of course entering retirement with a million dollars makes things easier, but you can absolutely live well without having met that magical goal. Preparing ahead of time and making small changes – or big ones – can pay off big in the long run.

5 Strategies

There are a few things you can try to help meet your goals like boosting your Social Security payments. Here are 5 strategies, from our friends at USNews.com that  you can employ to make your (less than $1K 401(k)) retirement a joy!

We would love to know if any of these suggestions have worked for you or if you think any of these strategies might help. We would also love to hear what else might have made your less than $1K savings work for you.

 

Best Advice From 3 Former Advisers

One criticism of retirement planning.

If you had to find one problem with the whole business of retirement planning, it might be that it is staffed by advisers who have yet to retire!  That’s certainly not to say that professional advisers don’t know what they’re talking about. I happen to know there many top notch advisers out there. They work tirelessly to assist clients and to help them retire successfully.  I, quite often, hear them seeking solutions to improve the financial welfare of their clients. I talk to several of those great advisers almost every day here at Torrid Technologies!

Interesting perspective

I ran across this article today about three former advisers sharing the things they’ve learned in their own retirement.  I found it especially relevant.  Since I enjoyed it, I just had to pass it along.  Most noteworthy – one of them even hired 2 advisers for himself. Check out the article from Marketwatch to see why he uses two different folks. Maybe what they’ve learned can help you make a plan for your own retirement.

Can we hear from you?

So hey all you retired advisers out there, please give us your insight. Share the best lesson you learned in retirement that could help other advisers?

If you used one of those awesome advisors out there, please share the best advise you received?

June Newsletter

June Newsletter

Take a look at our June newsletter for 2017.

A few features in this issue

Check out this follow up article in our June Newsletter on Cutting Trees, why small business optimism is heightened, in addition to a report the the retirement planning status of young Americans. This issue of our newsletter also includes our usual games, puzzles, comics and more.

Just click here for the full June newsletter:  June17

Also, please be aware that we have released an update (2017.4b) If you are not running that edition then you may update from the links below. To determine which version you are currently operating, open your software and look in the upper right side of your splash screen. What new features do you love? Share  some features that might be added to make this software more valuable to you.

Download Mac version

Download Windows version

 

Economic Growth – Optimism Heightened

Optimism Heightened

Small business owners continue to be very optimistic about future economic growth, according to a recent survey. It shows that optimism heightened but with some mixed reviews.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released its February Small Business Optimism Index in March. The reading was the highest it has been in 43 years. The NFIB, however, noted that evidence on the economy is mixed. The New York Federal Reserve puts first quarter growth at 3.1% while the Atlanta Federal Reserve is looking at only 1.8%. Both can look to the same data.

The gulf between liberals and conservatives, however is large. The University of Michigan/Reuters poll in February illustrated this, with the Expectations Index at 55 among Democrats, 120 for Republicans and 89 for Independents. The Democrats expect the worst, the Republicans the best. Spontaneous positive references to economic policy were made by a record 28% of consumers, 26% made negative references. Reality will resolve the gap.

Small businesses are optimism heightened in hopes that there will be a new health care law, tax reform, and relief from regulations.

“It is clear from our data that optimism skyrocketed after the election because small business owners anticipated a change in policy”, said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “The sustainability of this surge and whether it will lead to actual economic growth depends on Washington’s ability to deliver on the agenda that small business voted for in November. If the health care and tax policy discussions continue without action, optimism will fade”.

The index fell in February, but still is considered very high.

The NFIB noted that the slight decline follows the largest month-over-month increase in the survey’s history in December. It showed another rise in January.  Despite a small decrease, nearly half of owners expect better business conditions in the coming months.

The elephant in the room remains to be whether the Trump administration will be able to deliver on the many policies small business owners are counting on. The health care legislation stalled in March. Tax reform may not be dealt with until the end of the year. It remains to be seen what other major regulations will be dismantled.

We are feeling optimism heightened here at Torrid! You are reporting to us that business is picking up for many of our customers and that their clients are feeling more hopeful overall. Check out our June newsletter here.

Cutting Trees

What does cutting trees have to do with RetirementView?

Well, it’s an analogy really. If you read my previous post (and April newsletter article), you would have seen the saga of cutting trees down in my yard. The cycle we’ve seen seems to represent the cycle of business – Torrid’s to be specific. Maybe it sounds familiar to your business as well.

Problems: Limited Growth

Scorched Earth: Cutting Trees

In case you missed it, the tree in my yard had been struck by lightening. While it had survived, it looked sort of deformed with a chunk blown out of it in the hit PLUS it had gotten so big that no grass could grow around and/or under it. It just really needed to go.

Actions: Cutting Trees

Cutting trees is an expensive endeavor! We asked all our friends if they had anyone they would recommend who was licensed, bonded and reasonably priced. Well, we found just the right guy and he brought out his crew to do the job. They had that thing down, chopped up and hauled away in no time at all. Now that the tree was down, it amplified how truly awful the yard looked.

Discomforts: Not So Pretty

Our yard was really more dirt than grass and with the tree gone, that was never more obvious. This giant ugly bald spot in the yard was horrifying. On top of that, it’s been raining here all summer. The good – things are growing and it hasn’t been so hot – the down side – the dogs come in muddy every time they have to go out. Since we’re hoping to grow new grass, the rain was welcome and Resolve Carpet Cleaner has never been happier! Ha!

Due to all the rain, they were unable to get the stump grinder in here for a couple of weeks and once they ground it down, all the rain kept us from getting the shavings cleaned up as quickly as we would have liked.

Results: Getting Better

New Growth: Cutting TreesIt’s been almost 2 months now since the cutting of the tree. Things are looking much better and it’s difficult to believe this is even the same yard! The grass is spreading rapidly across the bald spots now that the sun can reach the ground. We still need to do a little clean up and some more growth is needed but things are definitely on the upturn!

So what about Torrid?

We’ve done some cutting trees through growing and changing this year. Technology changes quickly these days – I’m sure you know. Some of the elements in our program, while they worked fine, weren’t as aesthetically pleasing as we would like. There were some elements that needed to change PLUS we’re experimenting with a web based version as well.

It’s taken some pruning and “tree cutting” of the software and some of the backend programming and working with you to fix some small bugs and inconveniences . We appreciate your assistance and patience as we work through those! Our programmers have spent some LONG hours fine tuning countless details and figures as well as millions of lines of programming. BUT, in the end, we believe we’ve made strides to a better product. A product that, after some of the difficulties in the building process, you will notice to be better and make your user experience better – which makes a better experience for your clients as well.

Since technology is ever changing, so are we – always looking for what could make a better software. Our earnest desire is that you notice that too…and please let us know when you encounter something that would be helpful to you. The best way to submit suggestions is by emailing us at support@torrid-tech.com.

What about your business?

Are their places that you need to prune? Do you need to dig out some decaying roots? Does the soil need tending – fertilizing or watering? Once you make the decision to change and go through the discomfort that inevitably comes with that, ideally you see growth and THEN you can sit back and reap the benefits of all your hard work.

How we can help!

You will notice that one of the biggest changes we’ve made this year is that now you can open all files on both Mac and Windows computers.  Some of our advisors purchase the Couples Edition ($249) and the Personal Editions ($149) and sell that back to their clients. Then their clients can keep up with some of the changes in their financial picture during the year. Then, when they are due for an annual review, they can email you the file prior to that meeting. You can then both come to the meeting better prepared and informed to make some decisions. If that is of interest to you, please give us a call and we can give you more details on the discounted prices available to advisors for the Personal and Couples Edition packages.

We hope you have a wonderful summer and if your plans include a vacation, we wish you safe travel!

 

Small Business Community Optimism – All Time High

Small business owners continue to show optimism about future economic growth, according to a recent industry survey. 

 

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released its February Small Business Optimism Index in March. The reading was at its highest in 43 years.  But the NFIB noted that evidence on the economy is mixed. The New York Federal Reserve puts first quarter growth at 3.1 percent while the Atlanta Federal Reserve is looking for 1.8 percent. Both have access to the same data.

The gulf between liberals and conservatives is large. The University of Michigan/Reuters poll in February illustrated this, with the Expectations Index at 55 among Democrats, 120 for Republicans and 89 for Independents. The Democrats expect the worst, the Republicans the best. Spontaneous positive references to economic policy were made by a record 28 percent of consumers, 26 percent made negative references. Reality will resolve the gap. Small businesses are optimistic that there will be a new health care law, tax reform, and relief from regulations.

“It is clear from our data that optimism skyrocketed after the election because small business owners anticipated a change in policy”, said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “The sustainability of this surge and whether it will lead to actual economic growth depends on Washington’s ability to deliver on the agenda that small business voted for in November. If the health care and tax policy discussions continue without action, optimism will fade,” Duggan said.

The index fell in February, but still is considered very high. The NFIB noted that the slight decline follows the largest month-over-month increase in the survey’s history in December and another uptick in January.  Despite a small decrease, nearly half of owners expect better business conditions in the coming months.

The elephant in the room remains to be whether the Trump administration will be able to deliver on the many policies small business owners are counting on. The health care legislation stalled in March. Tax reform may not be dealt with until the end of the year. It remains to be seen what major regulations will be dismantled.  

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