According to AARP, couples age 65 who retired in 2017 were estimated to pay $275,000 for health care over the course of their retirement. This is a 6% increase over 2016’s projections, and over a 70% increase since annual research began in 2002. The majority of retirees will enroll in Medicare to help cover medical costs during retirement. However, there are several things you need to know about how Medicare works, and how to enroll in order to avoid penalties. Read the rest of this entry »
Callahan Financial Planning Company is proud to announce that the company has adopted the CFA Institute’s Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct.
Callahan Financial Planning joins approximately 1,400 firms worldwide that have adopted this professional conduct code.
The Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct outlines the ethical and professional responsibilities of companies that manage assets for clients. This code serves as a point of reference for investors, establishing clear policies on what investors can expect by working with a firm that has claimed compliance with the code. Read the rest of this entry »
(Congress Plans to Close Social Security “Loopholes”)
This week, budget legislation (Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015) passed in Congress to remove the ability for spouses to take advantage of the Social Security strategy commonly known as file and suspend. Previously, the file and suspend strategy allowed Spouse A, at full retirement age, to file and suspend their own retirement benefits to earn delayed retirement credits. This also allowed Spouse B to begin receiving a spousal Social Security benefit at that time (while earning delayed retirement credits on Spouse B’s benefits as well). The new law prevents a spouse from claiming a spousal benefit and later switching to their own benefit.
This strategy, often debated as a “loophole” by some, became possible in 2000, when Congress passed the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act. This allowed voluntary suspension of Social Security benefits for people who had already claimed, and then changed their mind and wanted to suspend them later.
Retirement portfolios are generally intended to have withdrawals made regularly. These withdrawals provide the regular income necessary for a retiree’s living (and other) needs. However, when a multi-year downturn in the markets is combined with regular withdrawals, a retirement portfolio can deplete at a rapid pace.
The S&P 500 (a broad measure of large American business stocks) averaged a compound annual return over the last century of more than 9% (made up of the change in stock prices plus dividends). This long-term average has been remarkably consistent over long periods of time, but it is a poor predictor of returns over shorter periods of time. Let’s look at some examples to see why. Read the rest of this entry »
The employer retirement plan (commonly known as a 401k/403b) is an essential savings and investment vehicle available to many individuals today. These plans provide significant benefits to employees, such as tax deferral on employee contributions, employer matching contributions, Roth contribution and greater annual deferral limits than an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
However, a 401(k)’s features, investment choices and service providers are determined by the employer and offer employees little flexibility. Investors must choose among the investment vehicles offered and work within established rules and limits within their respective plan(s). Choosing the right investments within your plan can be difficult as plan data is not always readily available, and many HR departments often do not understand their own plans well enough to provide guidance to plan participants regarding their investment decisions.
What does the financial news media mean when they say, “brace for more market volatility”?
Over several decades in the investment business, I have consumed many thousands of hours of financial news from the likes of CNBC and Fox Business News. Over that same time period I have heard the term “market volatility” used ad nauseam by news anchors and Wall Street analysts in reference to every kind of investing situation. I would guess you have, too.
Here are several recent examples from a CNBC print article on their website Brace for More Market Volatility in the Second Half of 2013. http://www.cnbc.com/id/100848558
“Investors, buckle your seat belts. Markets in the second half could be driven by more volatility, though most strategists expect equities to ultimately end the year higher than their current levels.” Read the rest of this entry »
The U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service have just established that several key income tax benefits previously only available to opposite-sex marriages are now available to those in a same-sex marriages as well.
Under the announcement (U.S. Treasury) and the rule (IRS), benefits now available include the ability to file a joint income tax return (which may cut your tax cost), but also increase the tax-free part of a couple’s estate for transfer to heirs (double an individual’s lifetime limit). Additionally, all the same income tax benefits that may come from filing a household income tax return are available, including deductions, exemptions and credits. Read the rest of this entry »