Category Archives: Tips

4 Easy Ways to Plan Your Retirement Voyage

Posted in Financial Planning, Goals, Retirement Planning, Tips on by .

You often hear that people spend more time planning a trip than they do planning for retirement.  Why not bring the vacation mindset to your financial life?  Here are 4 ways to make your retirement planning more successful and more fun.

  1. Use the power of time – By booking a beach house or plane tickets early in the season, you save money and have many more choices on timing and locations.   The same concept applies to retirement planning.  Those who take the voyage seriously by starting to save early typically have more flexibility, more money, freedom, and fun in retirement.
  2. Decide how you will spend your days – Will your beach stay be about relaxation, exploration, adventure, or a mixture of all three? Similarly in retirement, how will you spend your days? Will you unwind, pursue your passion, care for family or even work part-time?  Understanding the type of retirement you desire increases your chances of achieving your dream.
  3. Take stock of what you have before you go – Do you have everything you need for your trip?  Do you have the right clothes, bathing suits, suntan lotion, beach chairs, etc.?  Likewise for retirement, is your portfolio fully diversified?  Do you have a sufficient amount of large, mid, and small cap stocks.  Do you have adequate exposure to international stocks and bonds?  Does your asset allocation match your tolerance for risk? Are you saving enough?
  4. Remember it’s about the journey not the destination – Many times people will say that it is more fun planning the vacation than going on the trip.  This true for retirement as well.  It’s not about getting to the end of our working lives. It’s about enjoying the journey of life that gets us to retirement.  A life filled with memories, twists, turns, and laughter along the way.

So plan for your ideal retirement, prepare for the ups and downs of life, and focus on enjoying the journey!

Five Ways to Save More

Posted in Financial Planning, Goals, Spending Plans, Tips on by .

Many of our clients want to save more.   These 5 tips will inspire you save more for retirement and other goals while minimizing your anxiety!

  1. Understand that there are only two ways to increase savings Earn more or Spend less.   Enough said…no fairy dust.
  2. Understand the concept of Retirement  It’s important to know why you are saving.  Think about it…if you start working and saving at 30 and you plan to retire at 65 and you live till 95 you have 35 years to save enough money to live on for 30 years.  Social Security is designed to provide about a third of your need in retirement, the rest comes from pensions and/or savings.
  3. Have an Emergency Fund Having 3-6 months of expenses in a savings account helps you save for the long-term and protects you and your family in case of emergencies.  Without an emergency fund, small problems like a lost job, a car breaking down, a tree falling on your house, or an illness, can become major life setbacks.
  4. Create a Real Spending Plan Monitor your actual spending and saving for 3 months and create a monthly and annual spending plan using these actual numbers. You may not like these numbers but this is your reality.  By studying where you spend you can make changes that have real impact instead of wondering where your money is going.
  5. Accrue funds for large non-monthly expenses Put money aside each month for your non-monthly large expenses.  Vacations, holiday spending, home improvements and summer camp are large expenses that seem like unwelcome shocks to many people.  Instead of being surprised and eating ramen noodles the months after your vacation, calculate your annual spending on vacations and transfer 1/12 of that amount out of your pay every month to a separate savings account.

We hope these tips help.  Good Luck!

Carolyn and Beth