Total Return: A Modern Approach to Retirement Income

Geoff Zimmerman / Jul 19, 2018 / Retirement Planning / Investments

A common goal expressed by clients phasing into retirement is a desire to invest to generate income to live on while leaving their principal intact. Why? They probably saw it used successfully in the past.

When many of our parents invested, they lived off the interest and dividends from their portfolios, replacing bonds as they matured and leaving their stock holdings untouched.

Why is this approach, often referred to as investing for income, or income-only investing, not necessarily the best idea for modern-day portfolios? 

Why might your advisor suggest a different tactic, and what should you keep in mind when it comes to generating retirement income?


Strategies to protect your wealth at every stage of your life [INFOGRAPHIC]

Steve Branton / Jun 20, 2018 / Retirement Planning / Financial Planning

“How do I protect what I already have?”

It’s a wealth management question we hear every day.

After all, you’ve worked hard to gain what you have. You’d hate to see it frittered away.

Finalizing your wealth protection strategy is best accomplished when you and your financial advisor build a plan that reflects your risk tolerance and long-term financial goals. At the same time, there are things you can do to put yourself on the best possible path before that meeting. Thats where this article comes in.

Today I want to discuss the strategies you can use, loosely based on your age. We see folks every day that have addressed these issues at all ages; some are proactive twenty-somethings, others are later to the game, and some are addressing them at retirement.


6 Ways to Combat 'Bag Lady Syndrome'

Liz Revenko / Jun 7, 2018 / Retirement Planning / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Women's Issues / Life Balance / Financial Planning

Women worry more than men about their financial security, according to an annual nationwide survey by the American Psychological Association and Harris. Nearly a third of women polled say they worry about finances all or most of the time, and nearly half reported stress in struggling to pay for basics. In addition, in a 2013 study by Allianz, almost half of women reported that they “sometimes” or “often” fear losing all their money and becoming homeless.

Extreme anxiety over finances is common enough among women that it has been dubbed “bag lady syndrome.” What is bag lady syndrome? This definition represents the fear of running out of money, losing your home and ending up destitute and alone, save for some plastic shopping bags stuffed with whatever you can carry.

This anxiety can erode a woman’s mental and physical well-being, place strain on her relationships, affect her career and even create the very situation she fears, no matter how money-savvy she really is. It can make a woman feel alone.


Over 70 & Charitably-Minded? Here's How to Leverage the TCJA

Geoff Zimmerman / Apr 11, 2018 / Retirement Planning / Financial Planning

If you are a charitably-minded investor who is  age 70½ or older, and you have money in individual retirement accounts (IRAs),  the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) may provide some worthwhile planning opportunities to cut your tax bill more so than in prior years. 

How can charitably-minded seniors leverage the TCJA? Let's walk through a few scenarios.


Should high earners make nondeductible IRA contributions?

Stephen Kepler / Mar 8, 2018 / Retirement Planning

When planning for retirement, you need to find ways to maximize the amount of money you put aside for your future. Key to that is finding ways to minimize your tax burden now and down the road.

So if you’re a high earner who isn’t self-employed, beyond contributing as much as the government allows to your employer-sponsored 401(k), what are your options?


New ebook! Financial health for every stage of your relationship

Sabrina Lowell / Dec 12, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Financial Planning

Love and money

You’re in a relationship; it has shaped the course of your life. Regardless of what stage your relationship is in, you’ll have to deal with money. Doing so can promote open communication, trust around money habits, and can lead to a positive experience around money conversations for both partners.


Teaching your child money habits for life

Mosaic / Sep 28, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Investments / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

Teaching children about money and what it can do helps build crucial 21st century skills. Most education curriculum falls short in teaching kids about the basics, and sadly many parents don’t seem to have the time or skills necessary to address this crucial topic.

Still, without basic financial expertise and behavioral understanding, children run the risk of getting trapped on a hamster-wheel of debt that our consumer-oriented culture seems to conspire to enslave us.

Here’s how to give kids the edge they need to successfully navigate modern money culture.


10 Tips to Help Retired Couples Use Money Wisely

Sabrina Lowell / Sep 21, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Financial Planning

If you’re like most couples, you’ve dreamed big together about how you’ll enjoy your retirement, but you haven’t really addressed the specifics of how you’ll turn those dreams into reality. A NerdWallet survey found that while 76 percent of couples saving for retirement say they’ve discussed general decisions such as what age they want to retire and where they want to live, 30 percent say they don’t talk about how much money they will need to retire.

Communication about financial matters is important throughout your married life, including when you’re ready to retire. As you approach retirement, your money dialogue will evolve. Now, instead of just saving toward retirement, you’re beginning to develop a strategy for how to manage ongoing withdrawals from your portfolio, understanding how you’ll spend your nest egg, and knowing what you need to do to ensure it keeps growing so that it lasts for your lifetime. Discussions will grow to include health-related planning, and preparation for the possibility of one partner outliving the other.


Navigating Retirement Together: Tips to Help Retired Couples

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, I’ve worked with numerous couples who were entering or navigating retirement. Here are the 10 most important lessons I’ve learned from couples who’ve retired successfully—meaning they have enough money to fund the lifestyle they choose, and a plan in place to sustain themselves financially for the rest of their lives.


Self-Employed Retirement Planning: Individual 401(k) or SEP IRA?

Liz Revenko / Jul 25, 2017 / Retirement Planning

Working for yourself can be pretty great. As the boss, you can set the dress code at “jammies.” While you miss out on having a 401(k) plan set up for you (along with an HR department reminding you to make contributions), you can take care of those things pretty simply yourself. And you should, because as a self-employed worker, you have access to more and better retirement plan options than most people who are working for someone else.

Two of the most popular retirement savings accounts for the self-employed are Individual 401(k)s, otherwise known as Solo 401(k)s, and SEP IRAs. You’ve probably heard of both of these. Which is best for your situation?


Retirement Income FAQ

Mosaic / Apr 18, 2017 / Retirement Planning

Your sunset years shouldn’t be spent worrying about money. 

When crafting a retirement portfolio, you need to make sure it is positioned to generate enough growth to prevent running out of money during your later years.

You may want to maintain an investment mix with the goal of earning returns that exceed the rate of inflation. Dividing your portfolio among stocks, bonds, and cash investments may provide adequate exposure to some growth potential while trying to manage possible market setbacks.

Here’s a short list of frequently-asked retirement income questions to get you thinking about your options when it comes to your individual retirement planning process. 



Tax Considerations for Self-employed Consultants

Mary Ballin / Apr 11, 2017 / Tax Planning / Retirement Planning

Nearly 15 million Americans were self-employed in January 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Being a self-employed consultant means you can work for more than one company, direct your own work, balance your own books, manage your business and be responsible for all of your own business expensessuch as technology, transportation, office materials, and the likepretty much, the buck stops with you. You are the employee of the month. Every month.

Under these conditions, the IRS would consider you a self-employed independent contractor.

But before taking your well-honed list of contacts and embarking on a new career as a consultant, you’ll want to understand the tax implications involved. The differences between your tax obligations as an employee and as a self-employed consultant can be significant.

A little knowledge and preparation now can save you a big headache down the road. Let's look into what you need to know.


Effective Financial Strategies: The Q1 2017 Newsletter

Mosaic / Mar 16, 2017 / Mosaic News / Retirement Planning / Investments / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Financial Planning
What's Inside:
  • Tips for the Trump era - what investors should prepare for;
  • Learn how coaching strengthens and enhances client service, from financial planning to investment management;
  • Find out how to craft a personal financial policy;
  • Read about how shared values kept one couple together for five decades;
  • Get re-acquainted with advisor and CCO Geoff Zimmerman and his why
  • Read about upcoming Women's Circles, and other events;
  • Stay up to date on Mosaic advisors: their speeches given, conferences attended, and books read, with takeaways from each.

To read the new issue of Effective Financial Strategies, please click here


Turning 30 and Getting Serious About Finances

Mosaic / Feb 9, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

This article profiles one hypothetical investor in order to highlight the benefits of beginning to pursue important financial goals as early as possible.

Throughout her twenties, Nancy McKinsey dreaded the day she turned the big 3-0. It signified adulthood, closing the door on her young adult years. 

The day finally came—and went. “And it was no big deal,” said Nancy. “It was really sort of a letdown after all that worrying,” she joked.

One thing did change for Nancy, however. After turning thirty, she decided to get serious about her financial life—and her future. “I wasn’t dreading the future anymore. I started to plan for it.”

Here's how she pivoted.


Key Assumptions Make or Break Your Retirement Planning Process

Mosaic / Jan 17, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Financial Planning

In order to effectively plan things like your business, your budget, and your retirement, you need to make a few assumptions. The retirement planning process combines art and science, and creating a sound plan requires making important assumptions.

Mixing qualitative and quantitative data can help you arrive at useful conclusions, but many people don’t understand the critical role assumptions play in a financial plan. Nor are they clear how those very necessary assumptions can affect their retirement savings over time.

As you craft or update your retirement plan, here are three often-overlooked financial planning assumptions you must make — and how to make sure your assumptions are as useful and accurate as possible.


Process of Retirement Planning: Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?

Mosaic / Jan 10, 2017 / Retirement Planning

Investors at any level of income can convert assets from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Should you convert all (or a portion) of your traditional IRA assets to a Roth account? The answer depends on your circumstances, goals, and taxable income bracket. Let’s take a closer look at your options for this process of retirement planning, beginning with the characteristics of the two IRAs involved in a conversion.

Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA

Each type of investment retirement account has its own specific rules and potential benefits. Before we get into the pros and cons, let's look at the characteristic differences between the two, which are summarized in the table below (including the age for IRA distributions).