Business & Finance

Does Your Wife Have a Secure Retirement?

Ephesians 5:25 instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. This love is displayed by sacrificial acts of caring, giving and provision. It is the highest calling for husbands. Statistics show that 8 out of 10 wives outlive their husbands on average by 14 years. Studies also show that a widow not only faces the grief of the loss of her spouse, but also takes on financial obligations that her husband previously supported (2009 Retirement Confidence Survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute). The physical care of the house, car and other functions we husbands many […]

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How Much is Enough?

When we ask the question, “How much is enough?” it seems almost un-American. We often want more than we have now. More money, upgraded technology, better furniture, better house, better car, more success and more security. It doesn’t matter how much we have invested, we want it to grow to become more. “More” is woven into our psyche, and is the very default of our nature. But what happens when we get more, or reach our goals and aspirations? We still are not satisfied, because there are always new and better attractions; the next goal and level of achievement. It […]

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Social Security Insecurity

After paying into the Social Security system for their entire career, many Americans on the edge of retirement suddenly realize they don’t understand how the system works. They have heard conflicting strategies of when to start taking their benefits. Some say it is best to start collecting a reduced benefit at age 62, others recommend that it is best to delay collection as long as possible because the delayed benefit will be much larger. Other arguments exist about when couples and surviving spouses should claim benefits, and whether or not to take benefits while you are still working. Social Security […]

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9 Principles for Young Professionals

It’s a tough and competitive world out there, and with unemployment statistics as they are, many of us in our 20s are happy to take work where we can find it. Others are already working in their desired fields but, in either case, we are all trying to move forward and build our futures as we go. With that in mind, here are a number of principles for young professionals that will help you grow and serve you well in any industry. Time management Many people have an idea that staying later than everyone else in the office will prove […]

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Investing 101 for Women

It is a harsh truth that many women either leave money matters to the men in their lives or ignore the importance of financial planning altogether. Couple this with the fact that women face different challenges and financial risks than men, and it becomes clear why women must take charge of planning their financial futures. Women worry with good reason: they outlive men. According to the National Center for Women and Retirement Research, at age 60, a man has a life expectancy of 19 years, but a woman has a life expectancy of 24 years. Those 5 extra years of […]

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401K Advice

According to a recent survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, only 13% of workers are “very confident” about having enough savings for a comfortable retirement (confidence study, EBRI March 2011). The demise of traditional pensions or other employer-sponsored retirement plans has caused workers to rely solely on their 401K to build a retirement nest egg. Labor statistics show that the average American will hold 11 jobs between the ages of 18 and 44, and many sadly fritter away their retirement savings in between jobs. According to a Hewitt Associates survey of employees who changed jobs, 46 percent cashed their […]

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The Psychology of Investing

Investing should be easy; just buy low and sell high, right? But most of us have trouble following that simple piece of advice. Why is it so hard? It has to do with fear, greed and something called the “Investment Psychology Cycle.” As the market cycles upward, it draws investors in, but they may pay too high a price. When the market cycles downward, fear sets in and investors may sell, often at a loss. Want a real world example? Between September 1, 2008 and February 28, 2009 the stock market lost over 40 percent of its value.* The drop […]

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The Benefits of a Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that offers a valuable future benefit: tax-free income in retirement. Although there is no up-front tax deduction for Roth IRA contributions as there is with a traditional IRA, Roth distributions are tax-free in retirement… when you follow the rules. Imagine saving the maximum into a Roth IRA of $5500/year ($458/month) from age 25 to age 60, successfully saving $192,500. Now imagine that the account was invested and earned an average of 8 percent annually… that account would have grown to $1,023,563. Wow, that is $831,063 more than you invested, and it is […]

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The Challenges of Retirement

In a recent North American survey by Allianz Life, more than 3 of 5 people between the ages of 44 and 75 said they worry more about running out of assets than about dying. Funding a 30 year retirement will take financial planning prowess as you juggle the effects of longevity, inflation, healthcare costs, taxes, market volatility, and regular living expenditures. Your retirement could last longer than you think. Since 1950, life expectancies have increased by more than 10 years (kclirary.lonestar.edu). According to estimates, if you are 65 and married, there is a 50 percent chance that either you or […]

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Planning for College

With college costs increasing at twice the rate of inflation each year, most American families now intentionally view a college savings plan as a fiscal necessity, not an option. Today’s low cost four-year college will be $60,000 or more and a private school education will be $160,000. If you compound today’s price by the 8 percent amount that tuition has increased annually in the last 25 years, by 2023 your first grader will be paying $100,000 per year for education at a public institution (The College Board, Trends 2010). The future holds more for college graduates A college education is […]

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