Sound and Practical Finance tips (SPF 15) for people in their 60’s

With retirement becoming a reality for many people in their sixties, decisions about how much and when to apply the protection becomes the driving force behind many of the financial decisions they make. The following Sound and Practical Financial (SPF 15) tips can help: Understand your full retirement age, which is currently 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954 and increases by phases each birth year after. If you were born anytime after 1960, your full retirement age is currently 67. Your benefits and any applicable spousal benefit will be reduced incrementally if you choose to begin taking Social Security before you hit your full retirement age (FRA). Know exactly what your Social Security monthly benefit will be before you turn it on, and factor this into your retirement budget. According to the Social Security Administration, the benefits an average wage earner will receive is designed to replace about 40% of pre-retirement income. The maximum monthly benefit in 2021 for someone who retires at FRA is $3,113 and the average benefit will be $1,522. Ask yourself if you are ready to retire if this will be your main source of income. It is important to understand that you don’t have to claim Social Security when you retire. If you retire before you reach your FRA, and have other resources that will allow you to do so, you should consider delaying your Social Security benefit to allow that money to grow. This will increase the size of the benefit you will receive each month for the rest of your life. Delaying your payments until your reach FRA will also mean you can leave a higher benefit for your surviving spouse once you pass away. If you are married, you can take one spouse’s benefit early while letting the other’s grow. Sit down with a fiduciary advisor who can run a Social Security analysis on your accounts and offer you some… | Read More »

15 Sound and Practical Finance (SPF) tips for people in their 40s

We have noticed that sunscreen application gets a little more rigorous as we age. People understand both from a vanity and medical standpoint that too much sun exposure can speed up the aging process and possibly lead to skin cancer. So, people in their forties use sunblock. Retirement also looms a little closer for people in that age group and they start wondering if they’ve done enough to make their money last their whole lives. Toward that goal, here are our SPF 15 (Sound and Practical Finance) tips for people in their forties. Evaluate your career. These are your peak earning years so make sure your paycheck reflects that. If you love your job and do it well, don’t be afraid to ask for a raise or to move to another company that offers better pay and benefits. Remember, your Social Security will be based on your top 30 earning years. Make the most of them. Toward that end… …Challenge yourself to achieve an advanced degree or certification in your field. This will not only add to your skillset, it will also likely increase your salary. Increase your contributions to your retirement accounts. Sit down with a fiduciary financial advisor to make sure your account allocations match your risk tolerance, which can change as we age. Do not dip into your retirement accounts to pay for things like weddings, vacations or even college tuitions. You can’t take a loan out to pay for your retirement. Define success your own way and don’t compare your life to anyone else’s. Such comparisons aren’t accurate anyway and they can lead you to overspend money and time fretting when you should be enjoying these years. Start thinking about specific retirement goals like a timeline and activities. It’s not enough to fund your retirement, you have to know how you will spend your time when you get there. Don’t panic if the market isn’t going… | Read More »

Advice from our grandparents

Our company began in a high school lunchroom as our founder, Christina Winch, realized her fellow educators needed help understanding their retirement account options. In the nearly 40 years since, Winch Financial has grown exponentially and our commitment to education continues. Today, we offer seminars and classes, post weekly market commentaries and blogs, and recommend books and podcasts all with the understanding that education equals empowerment. We want our clients and their families to understand their accounts and how we manage them, and to feel confident in the choices we make. As the world evolves, we intend to progress with it; we strive to maintain an innovative and effective approach to wealth management. Transcending all that sophistication, though, are the relationships we build with our clients and we know some of the best advice, financial or otherwise, comes from the heart. So, in honor of Grandparent’s Day, we’re sharing a few tips we’ve received from our own grandparents and we want you to know our ears and our hearts are always open to hearing some sound, sensible advice from you and yours. Please enjoy the following advice from our grandparents: From Aaron Bauer: I remember when I was about six my grandfather took me on a walk to a black walnut tree he had noticed on a country road near our home. Along the way he gently recounted lessons from the Bible, including that of Methuselah, who lived longer than any other man, to the age of 969. Learning this was a relief to me because although I knew my grandfather was old, I was pretty sure he wasn’t even near 600, which meant that my primary source of LEGOs should be intact for at least a few hundred years. When we reached the tree, we selected a few nuts and placed them in a plastic bag. Grandpa warned me that dropping them could leave a dark stain on my… | Read More »

10 million reasons to hire a fiduciary

Last week the SEC filed an injunction against the aptly named Cavalier Union Investments, LLC, and charged owners Merrill Robertson, Jr. and Sherman Vaughn, Jr. with defrauding investors of more than $10 million. The duo’s astounding audacity offers another example of how essential it is for investors to review their advisor’s credentials before handing over their lifesavings. One click on the SEC’s website would have shown that neither Robertson nor Vaughn held a license to sell securities. Although they promised a diversified portfolio that would yield as much as 20%, they never even sought to invest the money in securities. According to the SEC, the only investments made by Cavalier Union Investments were restaurants that failed in 2014. Yet, they continued to solicit investors. Robertson, a linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 to 2001, capitalized on the connections he’d made as an athlete coming up through the system. Many of his investors were former coaches and employees at the schools he’d attended. In what has the makings of a classic Ponzi scheme, the duo allegedly used the money they collected to fund their own lifestyle and to keep up the pretense that they were successfully investing the money. New money went to investors who wanted to withdraw from their accounts. We understand the nearly sacred relationship between a coach and his or her player and assume this mutual respect earned on the playing field contributed to the unlikely success of this scam. Still, we are surprised that it went on for as long as it did. Retirement accounts represent the single biggest investment of people’s lives, and the one they worked the hardest to achieve. We recommend a thorough vetting process before handing over any assets, beginning with confirming the advisor’s registration through the SEC website. Look for a fiduciary, one who is legally bound to act in your best interests. Ask for references from current clients. Understand… | Read More »