Are You Ready to Spend?

by Mary Suplee on Aug 2, 2017

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. The biggest concern is making sure they don't outlive their savings. Fear of other outside factors also play into this concern like investment risk, health issues, medical expenses and caring for family members.

Spending Within Their Means?

by Mary Suplee on Jul 17, 2017

 I find it fascinating to watch the Illinois budget fiasco being played out like a game of chicken between the Governor and the Senate. The Senate just overrode the Governor's veto of a tax increase. While this is good to stave off a downgrade to junk status, it is not so good for the citizens of the state. While yes, more money is available to pay for services, there is also less money that people can spend on what they need.

Pension Funding Gets Worse

by Mary Suplee on Jul 3, 2017

Wilshire Consulting calculates the funding ratio for State sponsored retirement plans every year. For the year ending June 30, 2016 (the most recent) the average funding ratio, or the amount of pensions that have the money to pay, dropped to 69%.  What this means is that either taxes will need to be raised dramatically to make this up or future pension benefits dramatically curtailed.

Management by Crisis

by Mary Suplee on Jun 30, 2017

Underfunded state pensions are a threat to taxpayers everywhere in terms of probable higher future tax burdens and lower future services. In California, they talk about a "service bankruptcy". That is where all the tax dollars at some future point go to paying benefits for retirees with no money left over to spend on any of the services government provides. All of the future taxes will have to go to pay for promised pensions if nothing changes.

Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule

by Mary Suplee on Jun 26, 2017

best interests of client, fees, fiduciary rule

The new rule going into effect with the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule gives brokers and insurance agents till January 1, 2018 to come into compliance with the rules we have been following for decades.

This is huge news for 401(k) plan participants. Now advisors will have to consider the fees, the benefits and the services provided before they recommend a rollover from a corporate plan to an IRA. Imagine that, a rule that makes these people have to actually work in someone's best interests. I wonder why they fought so hard against it?

Good News for 401(K) Plans

by Mary Suplee on Jun 22, 2017

best interests of client, fees, fiduciary rule, retirement, readiness, social security, Medicare, planning for retirement

Good news for 401(K) plan sponsors and participants! Under the new Fiduciary Standard of Care rule, all advisors that give investment advice to 401(k) sponsors and their employees (participants) now have to comply with the ERISA standard for fiduciary care.

Before this happened, only advisors who, like us, were subject to the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 were held to the fiduciary standard. Others had what's called the suitability standard. Brokers and insurance agents had a lower standard and could earn big payouts from investments with very high fees, but not anymore.

Know the Difference between Fee-only and Fee-based Advisors

by Mary Suplee on Jun 20, 2017

best interests of client, fees, fiduciary rule

There’s a lot of lingo in the financial planning and investment areas that may be clear to the professional but isn’t always truly understood by most individuals. Take, for example, compensation models for financial advisors that are categorized as fee-based or fee-only. Yes, they both charge fees but fee-based advisors may also receive commissions for products that they sell you. This can lead to a conflict of interest when their compensation influences the type of product they recommend.

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck.