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Active & Passive
Investment Management

What do each of these terms really mean? Investment management can be active or passive. Sometimes, that simple, fundamental choice can make a difference in portfolio performance. During a particular market climate, one of these two methods may be widely praised, while the other is derided and dismissed. In truth, both approaches have merit, and all investors should understand their principles. How does passive asset management work? A passive asset management strategy employs investment vehicles mirroring market benchmarks. In their composition, these funds match an index – such as the S&P 500 or the Russell 2000 – component for component. As a result, the return from a passively managed fund precisely matches the return of the index it replicates. The glass-half-full aspect of this is that the investment will never underperform that benchmark. The glass-half-empty aspect is that it will never outperform it, either.

Why Retirees Need
Good Credit Scores

Careers & businesses end, but the need to borrow remains. We spend much of our adult lives working, borrowing, and buying. A good credit score is our ally along the way. It retains its importance when we retire. Retirees should do everything they can to maintain their credit rating. A FICO score of 700 or higher is useful whether an individual works or not. For example, some retirees will decide to refinance their home loans. A recently published study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

How Will You Spend
Your Retirement Savings?

Keep an eye on where it goes, as some destinations may be better than others. You can probably envision how most of your retirement money will be spent. Much of it will be used on living expenses, health care expenses, and, perhaps, debt reduction. Beyond the basics, you will unquestionably reserve some of those dollars for grand adventures and great experiences. If your financial situation permits, you may also contribute to charity. You just have to remember that your retirement fund is not a bottomless well. If outflows begin to exceed inflows (that is, you repeatedly withdraw more than you make back), you will face a serious financial problem. With that hazard in mind, be wary of these four spending sieves. Some retirees fall prey to them, and all four can potentially reduce a

Ways the Middle Class Can
Make a Difference for Charity

You don’t need to be wealthy to make an impact & get a win-win. Do you have to make a multimillion-dollar gift to a charity to receive immediate or future financial benefits? No. Consider the following options, which may bring you immediate or future tax deduction Partnership gifts. These gifts are made via long-term arrangements between donors and recipient charities or non-profits, usually with income resulting for the donor and an eventual transfer of the principal to the charity at the donor’s death. For example, a charitable remainder trust allows you to pay yourself a dependable income (perhaps for life) derived from assets placed within the trust. When you die or the trust term ends, the remaining trust principal can go to charity. A charitable lead trust works the opposite way. It makes annual, charitable gifts, giving you the potential to reduce gift and estate taxes; your beneficiaries get the leftover...

Should the Self-Employed
Plan to Work Past 65

Some solopreneurs think they will “work forever,” but that perception may be flawed. About 20% of Americans aged 65-74 are still working. A 2016 Pew Research Center study put the precise figure at 18.8%, and Pew estimates that it will reach 31.9% in 2022. That estimate seems reasonable: people are living longer, and the labor force participation rate for Americans aged 65-74 has been rising since the early 1990s.1,2 It may be unreasonable, though, for a pre-retiree to blindly assume he or she will be working at that age. Census Bureau data indicates that the average retirement age in this country is 63.3

How Millennials Can Get a
Good Start on Retirement Planning

Some simple steps may make a major financial difference over time. If you are younger than 35, saving for retirement may not feel like a priority. After all, retirement may be 30 years away; if your employer does not sponsor a retirement plan, there may be less incentive for you to start. Even so, you must save and invest for retirement as soon as you can. Time is your greatest ally. The earlier you begin, the more years your invested assets have to grow and compound. If you put off retirement planning until your fifties, you may end up having to devote huge chunks of your income just to catch up, at a time when you may have to care for elderly parents, fund college educations, and pay off a mortgage. Do your part to reject the financial stereotype that the media places on millennials. Are you familiar with it...

Comprehensive Financial Planning:
What It Is, Why It Matters

Your approach to building wealth should be built around your goals & values. Just what is “comprehensive financial planning?” As you invest and save for retirement, you will no doubt hear or read about it – but what does that phrase really mean? Just what does comprehensive financial planning entail, and why do knowledgeable investors request this kind of approach? While the phrase may seem ambiguous to some, it can be simply defined. Comprehensive financial planning is about

Money Habits That May
Help You Become Wealthier

Financially speaking, what do some households do right? Why do some households tread water financially while others make progress? Does it come down to habits? Sometimes the difference starts there. A household that prioritizes paying itself first may end up in much better financial shape in the long run than other households. Some families see themselves as savers, others as spenders. The spenders may enjoy affluence now, but they also may be setting themselves up for financial struggles down the road. The savers better position themselves for financial emergencies and the creation of wealth.