Are all financial advisors the same?

Posted by Creekmur Staff on 3:01 PM on October 19, 2020

One of the misconceptions we are faced with in the financial services industry is the idea that all “financial people” the same. We sometimes hear the question,

"What is the difference between the advisors at Creekmur Wealth and the insurance agent or broker's office down the street?"

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Topics: Wealth Advisor, Wealth Management, Financial Planning, Investment Advisor, Certified Financial Planner, CFP

October Is Financial Planning Month

Posted by Creekmur Wealth Advisors on 10:15 AM on October 15, 2020

Six areas of personal finance to review.

When training to become a financial professional, much of our course work centers on the six critical areas of creating a financial strategy. Some recognize October as Financial Planning Month, so it's an excellent opportunity to review those six personal finance areas.1

Cash Management: This is a broad topic that can address many issues. One area is creating an emergency fund, which is money that's set aside for unplanned expenses. Cash management also can include looking at your "sources and uses" of money. Financial Planning Month focuses mainly on cash management and spending habits.1

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Topics: Wealth Advisor, Wealth Management, Financial Planning

Where $100k will last the longest in Retirement

Posted by Creekmur Staff on 8:30 AM on March 26, 2020

How much should you really be saving for the retirement future you envision?

Making sure you have enough money saved for retirement is one of the top concerns for those of us not independently wealthy. In a perfect world, we will figure out how much we need to live on by calculating our monthly and yearly retirement expenses, factoring in inflation, and computing any additional income like Social Security.

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Topics: Wealth Management, Financial Planning, Investments and risk, market risks, Retirement

The Major Retirement Planning Mistakes

Posted by Creekmur Wealth Advisors on 11:45 AM on February 6, 2020

Why are they made again and again?

Much is out there about the classic financial mistakes that plague start-ups, family businesses, corporations, and charities. Aside from these blunders, some classic financial missteps plague retirees.   

Calling them “mistakes” may be a bit harsh, as not all of them represent errors in judgment. Yet whether they result from ignorance or fate, we need to be aware of them as we plan for and enter retirement.        

Leaving work too early. As Social Security benefits rise about 8% for every year you delay receiving them, waiting a few years to apply for benefits can position you for higher retirement income. Filing for your monthly benefits before you reach Social Security’s Full Retirement Age (FRA) can mean comparatively smaller monthly payments. Meanwhile, if you can delay claiming Social Security, that positions you for more significant monthly benefits.1       

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Topics: Wealth Management, Financial Planning, Investments and risk, market risks, Retirement

A Retirement Fact Sheet

Posted by Creekmur Staff on 11:45 AM on January 30, 2020

Some specifics about the "second act."

Does your vision of retirement align with the facts? Here are some noteworthy financial and lifestyle facts about life after 50 that might surprise you. 

Up to 85% of a retiree’s Social Security income can be taxed. Some retirees are taken aback when they discover this. In addition to the Internal Revenue Service, 13 states currently levy taxes on some or all Social Security retirement benefits: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia. (West Virginia, incidentally, is phasing out such taxation.)1

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Topics: Wealth Management, Financial Planning, IRA, Retirement, Saving, Social Security, Tax on Social Security Income, Taxes in Retirment

2019 IRA Deadlines Are Approaching

Posted by Creekmur Wealth Advisors on 7:45 AM on January 23, 2020

Here is what you need to know.

Financially, many of us associate April with taxes – but we should also associate April with important IRA deadlines.

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Topics: Wealth Management, Financial Planning, Investments and risk, market risks, Retirement

Your Changing Definition of Risk in Retirement

Posted by Creekmur Wealth Advisors on 5:45 AM on January 16, 2020

Some things to consider.

During your accumulation years, you may have categorized your risk as “conservative,” “moderate,” or “aggressive,” and that guided how your portfolio was built. Maybe you concerned yourself with finding the “best-performing funds,” even though you knew past performance does not guarantee future results.

 

What occurs with many retirees is a change in mindset – it’s less about finding the “best-performing fund” and more about consistent performance. It may be less about a risk continuum – that stretches from conservative to aggressive – and more about balancing the objectives of maximizing your income and sustaining it for a lifetime.

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Topics: Wealth Management, Financial Planning, Investments and risk, market risks, Retirement

That First RMD from Your IRA

Posted by Creekmur Staff on 12:30 PM on October 22, 2019

What you need to know.

When you reach age 70½, the Internal Revenue Service instructs you to start making withdrawals from your traditional IRA(s).These withdrawals are also called Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). You will make them, annually, from now on.1

If you fail to take your annual RMD or take out less than the required amount, the I.R.S. will notice. You will not only owe income taxes on the amount not withdrawn, you will owe 50% more. (The 50% penalty can be waived if you can show the I.R.S. that the shortfall resulted from a “reasonable error” instead of negligence.)1

Many IRA owners have questions about the rules related to their initial RMDs, so let’s answer a few.

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Topics: Wealth Management, Roth IRA, Taxes and retirees, taxes

Why Do People Put Off Saving For Retirement?

Posted by Creekmur Wealth Advisors on 9:15 AM on June 26, 2018

A lack of money is but one answer.

Common wisdom says that you should start saving for retirement as soon as you can. Why do some people wait decades to begin?

Nearly everyone can save something. Even small cash savings may be the start of something big if they are invested wisely.

Sometimes, the immediate wins out over the distant. To young adults, retirement can seem so far away. Instead of directing X dollars a month toward some far-off financial objective, why not use it for something here and now, like a payment on a student loan or a car? This is indeed practical, and it may be necessary. Even so, paying yourself first should be as much of a priority as paying today’s bills or paying your creditors.

Some workers fail to enroll in retirement plans because they anticipate leaving. They start a job with an assumption that it may only be short term, so they avoid signing up, even though human resources encourages them. Time passes. Six months turn into six years. Still, they are unenrolled. (Speaking of short-term or transitory work, many people in the gig economy never get such encouragement; they have no access to a workplace retirement plan at all.)

Other young adults feel they have too little to start saving or investing. Maybe when they are further along in their careers, the time will be right – but not now. Currently, they cannot contribute big monthly or quarterly amounts to retirement accounts, so what is the point of starting today?

The point can be expressed in two words: compound interest. Even small retirement account contributions have potential to snowball into much larger sums with time. Suppose a 25-year-old puts just $100 in a retirement plan earning 8% a year. Suppose they keep doing that every month for 35 years. How much money is in the account at age 60? $100 x 12 x 35, or $42,000? No, $217,114, thanks to annual compounded growth. As their salary grows, the monthly contributions can increase, thereby positioning the account to grow even larger. Another important thing to remember is that the longer a sum has been left to compound, the greater the annual compounding becomes. The takeaway here: get an early start.1

Any retirement saver should strive to get an employer match. Some companies will match a percentage of a worker’s retirement plan contribution once it exceeds a certain level. This is literally free money. Who would turn down free money?

Just how many Americans are not yet saving for retirement? Earlier this year, an Edward Jones survey put the figure at 51%. If you are reading this, you are likely in the other 49% and have been for some time. Keep up the good work.2
Download our complimentary e-book on 5 retirement planning missteps to dodge

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Topics: Uncategorized, Wealth Management, Build True Wealth, Financial Freedom, Financial Planning, Investing, Investments, Money, Retirement, Saving

Wealth Management With Memory Disorders

Posted by Creekmur Wealth Advisors on 8:00 AM on May 22, 2018

What steps can a family take?

Besides impacting lives and relationships, dementia can also impact family finances. It may call for another family member to assume money management responsibilities for a parent, grandparent, or sibling. It may increase the risk of financial exploitation, even as we do our best to guard against it.

Just how many older adults have memory disorders? Well, here are two recent estimates. The Chicago Health and Aging Project figures that nearly a third of Americans 85 and older have Alzheimer’s disease. The National Institute on Aging sponsored a study, which concluded that 14% of Americans age 71 and older have dementia to some degree.1

Older women may be the most vulnerable to all this. A new Merrill Lynch and Age Wave study notes that after age 65, women have twice the projected risk of Alzheimer’s that men do.2

In the best-case scenario, parents or grandparents acknowledge the risk. They lay out financial maps and instructions, telling adult children or grandchildren who love them dearly about the details of their finances. They involve the financial professional they have long known and trusted and introduce them to the next generation. All this communication occurs while the elder still has a sound mind.

Absent that kind of communication and foresight, some catching up will be in order. The kids will have two learning curves in front of them: one to understand the finances of their elders and another one in which they discover the degree of care they can capably provide. The stress of these two learning curves can be overwhelming. Asking professionals for help is only reasonable.

The earlier the basic estate planning elements are in place, the better. This means a will, a durable power of attorney, a health care proxy, and possibly a revocable living trust. In cases of significant wealth or a complex personal history, more sophisticated estate planning vehicles may be needed. If a durable power of attorney is in place, another person has the ability to act financially in the best interest of the person with dementia.1

Children and grandchildren must also confer about major decisions. What kind of assisted living facility would be best for dad? How much of moms retirement savings should be used for her eldercare? How do we convince dad that he should not manage his investments day-to-day anymore? What do we do now that mom seems totally unaware she has to make an IRA withdrawal? These will be hard conversations, trying decisions. If they never occur, however, the household financial damage may grow worse.1,3

Financial inattention or incompetence may be one of the first signals of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. The National Institute on Aging explains that difficulty paying for an item in a store or figuring out a tip at a restaurant could amount to early warning signs; trouble counting change or reading a bank or investment statement may also reflect cognitive impairment. These instances may be harbingers of problems to come – unpaid bills, impulsive and questionable investment decisions, and unwise credit card purchases.4

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Topics: Aging, Uncategorized, Wealth Management, Estate Planning, Memory Disorders, risk of Alzheimers

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