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"A Goal Without a Plan Is Just a Wish"
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

   

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Did E-Commerce Kill the Category Killers?

Toys "R" Us filed for bankruptcy last week. This was amazing to me. I remember going there 15 years ago and finding the parking lot jam-packed, the lines at the checkout lanes long with people trying to go through with two or more shopping carts full of goodies. It was the place to go to buy supplies for toddlers and gifts for special occasions.

Is the Fed Disrupting the Bond Market?

I've seen a lot of headlines recently about investors worrying about what will happen when the Federal Reserve starts selling off this massive portfolio of bonds and mortgages they've bought over the last nine years. J.P. Morgan says it could be "disruptive", Investment News says we are "bracing" for these bond sales.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Equifax recently announced a massive data security breach, exposing personal identification information on as many as 143 million Americans. They have set up a website (equifaxsecurity2017.com) where you can check to see if you've been affected and enroll in one free year of credit monitoring and identity theft protection.

Enhance Lifetime Income with These Essential Steps Before Retirement

Regardless of your planning method or process, it would be a mistake to succumb to standard formulas or a generalized approach to retirement planning.  Right now, your retirement vision is based on your specific needs, wants, attitudes and beliefs, and it will undoubtedly change as your outlook and priorities change, but you should always base your income needs on realistic assum

Get Realistic About Retirement Spending Assumptions

For many years, financial planners had general rules of thumb for determining the amount of income retirees will need, the most popular being the “70 percent rule” which suggests that retirees will need to replace just 70 percent of their pre-retirement income to provide for their living needs in retirement.  That may have been an effective guideline a few decades ago when the

RMDs: Requirement Not Choice

RMDs or Required Minimum Distributions are the amounts that the federal government requires individuals to withdraw from their retirement accounts annually after they reach the age of 70½. You can take out more than the minimum from your retirement account, but if you take out less, you will be subject to a federal penalty.

Is There a Right Approach to Retirement Spending?

The solution to retirement spending isn’t easy. There isn't one perfect solution for everyone. Three potential approaches include immediate annuities, a total income approach or a total returns approach. While each of these solutions have their pros and cons, we strongly favor the total returns approach in most situations.

"The Dirty Dozen"

Top Retirement Planning Mistakes

Here is a list of what I'd consider the top mistakes people make for their retirement planning:

Retirement Planning Challenges

To follow up on my latest post regarding retirement and the importance of planning ahead, there are a number of things to consider. The biggest challenge is to create a lifelong paycheck, one that allows you to live the lifestyle you envision for yourself in retirement.

Are You Ready to Spend?

One of the most difficult aspects of retirement, is the mental switch required to go from a saving mentality to a spending plan. After a lifetime of putting aside money for the future, it's not easy to start spending down that savings. When they're no longer receiving a regular paycheck, many retirees find it hard to transition from saving to spending.

Latest Blog Posts

Sep 29, 2017 by Structured Asset Management, Inc.

Toys "R" Us filed for bankruptcy last week. This was amazing to me. I remember going there 15 years ago and finding the parking lot jam-packed, the lines at the checkout lanes long with people trying to go through with two or more shopping carts full of goodies. It was the place to go to buy supplies for toddlers and gifts for special occasions. In fact, Toys "R" Us and their companion store, Babies "R" Us, were once considered category killers. No one...

Sep 26, 2017 by Structured Asset Management, Inc.

I've seen a lot of headlines recently about investors worrying about what will happen when the Federal Reserve starts selling off this massive portfolio of bonds and mortgages they've bought over the last nine years. J.P. Morgan says it could be "disruptive", Investment News says we are "bracing" for these bond sales. My view is that the people at the Federal Reserve are a lot smarter than that.

Many people have the misconception that when...

Sep 15, 2017 by Structured Asset Management, Inc.

Equifax recently announced a massive data security breach, exposing personal identification information on as many as 143 million Americans. They have set up a website (equifaxsecurity2017.com) where you can check to see if you've been affected and enroll in one free year of credit monitoring and identity theft protection.

What other steps can I take?

It is always a good idea to monitor your own personal information and be...

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