What to do when you are dealt the early retirement card.

While most people dream of retiring at age 65 or even earlier, sometimes people are dealt the card of retiring before they are ready to.  This article explores the issues of leaving the workforce before you planned to.  It looks at issues such as the cost of health care which in a lot of cases is the first or second largest expense during retirement.  It always talks about taking a hard look at your savings.  Most Americans will need about 70% to 80% of their working income to cover each year of retirement.  Social Security will fund about 40% of that amount leaving a large gap to fill. 03.26.19

5 NCAA Tournament Bracket Busters

March Madness is here and games start up on Wednesday.  There are over 100 million entries on a yearly basis and nobody ever gets a perfect bracket.  There have been some years where a person had had a perfect bracket through the Sweet 16 but there luck ended soon after that.  The reason this is so hard is that there is always at least one or two “Cinderella” teams.  In 2018 it was Loyola of Chicago.  We all remember Sister Jean last year when the cameras went to her after every made basket.  This article takes a look a little deeper than the normal 5 versus 12 seed upset.  This article gives 5 possible teams to consider for these upsets as well as a few honorable mentions.  Good luck !!! 03.18.19

Stop falling for these 4 traps

A lot of our family, friends and clients love to travel and we found this article that may help when you are booking airfare for your next trip.  Airfare tends to rise by approximately $229 per round trip once summer arrives and this article looks at 4 myths when booking your airfare.  The first myth is centered around convenience.  Most people think that adding layovers to their flight will save them money when in fact there are a lot of direct flights available that are cheaper than flights with layovers.  The remaining 3 myths are centered around when to book your flight or travel.  Believe it or not, booking too early could actually cost you money.  We hope this article helps you with booking your next trip. 03.13.19

$1.5 Billion Lottery Winner

Well it finally happened 5 months later – somebody came forward in South Carolina with the winning $1.5 Billion Mega Millions ticket.  Imagine this – they remained anonymous!!  This was the second largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history and has a one-time payment of nearly $878 Million.  The other beneficiaries of this lottery win are the convenience store that sold the ticket – they will get $50,000 and the State of South Carolina will receive $61 Million.  Not a bad haul for a lottery ticket. 03.05.19


Netflix Phishing Scam

Please take the time to read this important article.  It seems that on a weekly basis there are different scams coming from firms that appear to come from businesses that we know.  It usually comes in the form of an email from a company – in this case Netflix – and they say that there is a problem with your account – an address change, an expired credit card or something of that nature.  They provide you with an easy link to their website to go and correct the situation.  The problem is, it is not their website.  It is a website that looks identical to the company you think it is.  Once you enter your account information and password, the scammer has it.  They can then go to your Netflix account and login and get your credit card information.  In addition to that, they will also go to Amazon, Wal Mart, Gmail, any other popular place and try to use the exact same user id and password to try to get into additional accounts.  Never click a link in an email like this.  Go directly to the website yourself and then login. 02.28.19

Everything you need to do before retirement

Retiring is a huge transition in a person’s life and there are many things that need to be considered before taking the plunge.  This article talks about preperations for retirement such as budgeting, setting up your Social Security benefits, health care choices, lifestyle and relationship issues.  Going into retirement without a plan or inadequate savings can send a person into a tailspin and give them the feeling that they have lost their purpose or identity.  Of all of the things mentioned, budgeting takes the top priority.  In your budget, be sure to be honest and put in realistic spending amounts.  Make sure to add in hobbies and entertainment because you won’t want to be sitting around your home all day. 02.14.19

Married Couples now Have Roommates

Back in 2008, before the collapse of real estate, we thought home prices were high.  This article talks about West Coast real estate – especially in California and Seattle.  It is so expensive to buy a home in California that married couples are having to take on roommates to help with the costs of home ownership.   The article states that the number of married couples living with roommates has doubled since 1995.  Approximately 280,000 married couples now live with a roommate.  The one thing that most people agree on is that you must set ground rules that everybody agrees on and to keep the communication open.   We are a bit concerned that housing prices have increased so fast.  We do believe that the quality of buyers is better than it was pre-2008, but a downturn in home prices can still have a devastating effect on people’s financial situation. 02.12.19


IRS Red Flags

While a lot of people use a CPA to prepare their tax returns, many people prepare their tax returns themselves.  With the new tax codes enacted in 2018, it looks to be even easier for families to quickly file their taxes.  However, taxes can be complicated and a simple mistake or slight exaggeration may warrant an audit from the Internal Revenue Service.  This article looks at some common mistakes and exaggerations that could lead to a person or family to be audited.  The IRS has up to 3 years to go back and audit a tax return and penalties could lead to amounts as high as 20% of the disallowed amount for filing an erroneous claim for a refund or credit.  Make sure your returns are on the up and up and if you have questions, please consult a tax specialist for help.  You will find that many cities have programs that help people file returns for little or no fee.  Check your local library for such programs. 01.29.19