Whoa—the New Year is already underway. Are you ready? Many of us have hurtled at warp speed through the holidays and are just now getting reset for the year. Maybe you’ve made some resolutions for this year. Maybe you’ve made them and they are already history. Uh oh. What are some ideas for starting the New Year off right—and realistically? Before it’s too late?
Wealthinking by Paula Hogan
This is a guest post from my friend and mentor Ed Jacobson, the author of Appreciative Moments from which this delectable Thanksgiving essay is excerpted Enjoy!
My mind’s been cooking lately about the rapidly-approaching Thanksgiving holiday and the piece I’ve wanted to write about having An Appreciative Thanksgiving Day. Then a new notion arose: Why not think about an Abundant Thanksgiving Day?
It’s that season again. Your employer is sending repeated emails exhorting you to make employee benefit decisions you don’t feel comfortable making, by a deadline that does not match your personal schedule. And, oh yes, where did you store the access information for the open enrollment site?
Open enrollment is a process that few enjoy and that won’t be going away. Employees are now in charge of securing their own financial wellbeing. Good bye pensions. Good bye living with your children in retirement. And as a society, we’ve never even said Hello to universal health insurance. The financial decisions you make for yourself matter.
Here are some big picture planning ideas to keep in mind along with some specific tips for this year’s open enrollment.
In the prior two posts we sketched out the details of how reverse mortgages work and how you might use them to your advantage in retirement. Let’s take a moment to consider some higher level considerations.
In the prior post, we described reverse mortgages as an emerging, multi-purpose planning tool for managing cash flow in the second half of your life. In this post, let’s take a look at some nitty gritty details on the costs and mechanics and history of reverse mortgages.
A fundamental strategy in financial planning is to create options and safety nets for an unknown future. Tools for doing so are highly valuable. Thanks to some recent and welcome regulatory changes and the continuing low interest rate environment, reverse mortgages are now another tool in that tool kit. They are worth a fresh look.
Key Take-Aways from the 17th Annual Meeting of the Retirement Research Consortium
Earlier this month I was pleased to attend the 17th Annual Meeting of the Retirement Research Consortium at the National Press Club in Washington DC. This annual conference brings together academics from three leading research centers to present and discuss current research in the area of retirement policy and design. The consortium is funded by the Social Security Administration, which then uses the resulting research when making policy decisions. As in prior years, I came home with new insights, useful information, and heightened appreciation for the connection between academic research, sound public policy, and individual financial planning.
Our prior post detailed how Steven Covey’s first three habits in his widely acclaimed book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People apply to your personal finances:
- Be Proactive: You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond.
- Begin With The End In Mind: Envision your mission. Articulate character (who do you want to “be”) and contribution (what do you want to do/achieve?) in each part of your life.
- Put First Things First: Move towards personal goals intentionally. Fill your calendar with what is important, not just urgent.
Financial planning is all about navigating personal change in a manner consistent with core personal values. In financial planning, wherever you start, you end up at this core idea, over and over again. My summer reading this year is focused on this idea. Let’s have some fun with it.
In fencing a duel, when the bout director commands "En Garde!" the opponents ready themselves to attack, defend, or otherwise survive.401(k) plans are important for your retirement -- and confusing. Figuring out the best way to engage with them—at the outset of employment, during employment, and at the end of employment-- can be tricky. Here are some tips.