Retirement Planning

Biz Owners’ Succession Plans

What happens to your business when you retire? Whether you pass it on to your child or sell it to support your retirement, you need a succession plan.

Building a small business is somewhat like being a parent. You start with an infant enterprise that needs constant attention and often deprives you of sleep. You foster it through various stages of growth, including some rocky times, and help it stand on its own. Eventually, you may rely on it to carry on your legacy and take care of you financially.

Figuring Monthly Benefits

Many people file for Social Security right at retirement and soon see a statement showing potential benefits at various stages of life. What if you don’t file at age 62 or 66? Here’s the math to compute your monthly benefit no matter when you file.

How Target Date Funds Miss

Simplicity is the biggest advantages of target date funds. But simpler is not better. Many of these funds, designed to grow more conservative as investors age, still are too risky. And too often, they fall short as a financial planning tool because they don’t take into account individuals’ needs.

10 Key Pre-Retirement Steps

Retirement takes a lot of planning and decades of preparation. You’ve gathered assets, set up a home and perhaps raised children. Now is the time to enjoy all you have achieved. But as you move from the world of work into retirement, here are 10 key steps to take first.

They are:

1. Prepare a budget that takes into consideration typical monthly costs and your plan for big potential expenses (e.g., travel, home renovations, moving).

You’re a Millionaire? Big Deal

For many, millionaire status is a pipe dream. But to be reasonably comfortable in your golden years, a million dollars is only the threshold.

Celebrated in song, literature, movie plots and motivational seminars, becoming a millionaire status was a sign of financial independence. In the past, perhaps. Today, not so much.

Grow Savings or Trim Debt?

If you’re like most young adults, you juggle many financial priorities at once. With only so much cash to go around each month, how do you know what to put at the top of your money list? Should you build a nest egg or pay off debt?

Most personal financial advice focuses on one or the other but doesn’t explain how to decide if you want to accomplish both. Here’s what to consider:

Take stock of your savings. The size of your savings plays a big role in deciding whether to sock away more or whittle your debt.

$ Decisions: Small Is Better

I spend a lot of time helping people make financial choices, sometimes about business and sometimes about personal life. In both cases and in many more, breaking huge issues and questions into smaller choices makes problems much easier to manage.

Review Money in Early Fall

After summer’s fun and before the frenzy of end-of-year holidays marks the perfect time to review your finances.

First off, this point almost any year sees asset classes that outperformed or underperformed to expectations. So far in 2014:

Social Security: When to Start

Your Social Security can be worth more in golden years’ income than your 401(k) or individual retirement account. The trick: Know at what age to best file for benefits.

How to Be Independent

The major objective in comprehensive wealth planning is financial independence. But true independence in life means not only good finances, but health and relationships.

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