April is National Financial Literacy Month! @NatlJumpStart http://www.jumpstart.org/
Spring is traditionally the time to clean up the old and get ready for the new. Why should your finances be any different? Now is the perfect time to spring clean your retirement plans.
Check the beneficiaries on your existing IRAs, 401k and 403B accounts
Assets held in these types of accounts (Roth IRAs too!) will pass outside of your will. This means that your retirement assets will pass to the beneficiaries that you named when you opened your account. So, make sure that the beneficiaries that you named are still those that you want to pass your retirement assets to. –You would be amazed at how many ex-spouses are the beneficiaries of their former spouses 401ks! This oversight leaves the current spouse with no claim to these 401k assets.
Reclaim the 401k or 403b held at a former employer
Many folks have the set it and forget it mentality especially when it comes to their retirement assets held in an account at a former employer. Well, this is probably not the best idea.
Consciously decide what to do with your 401k, 403b, IRA held at a former employer. Do you really need to leave your monies there? Should you move them to your current employer’s 401k? Or should you roll the monies over into an IRA? These questions need to be answered and action taken. If you are not sure what to do, consult with a trusted financial advisor. Research your options and take action. Make time to reclaim your abandoned retirement money!
Review and adjust your portfolio asset allocations
While most of us are content to let ‘things rock along’ and leave our investments untouched for years, your retirement portfolio should be analyzed and rebalanced annually. Make sure that you have an asset allocation plan and stick to it.
In keeping with your plan for asset allocation, sell both assets that have gone up and holdings that no longer serve you. Then, buy more of the assets that have gone down in value. It’s the perfect way to execute your ‘buy low, sell high’ strategy.
Springtime is the perfect season to ‘till the asset allocation soil’ and prepare your portfolio for future growth, check your beneficiary designations and reclaim those 401ks that you have left as orphan investments .
If you need help with your asset allocation or reclaiming your abandoned retirement accounts, just give me a call at 770-333-0113 option 1 x110.
Jane Nowak is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ™ at Kring Financial Management in Atlanta, GA. Jane is a Retirement Specialist and Divorce Financial Analyst who provides financial planning for clients in their prime.
She has recently had articles published or has been quoted in articles that have appeared online at theNASDAQ, Yahoo Finance, Womenetics.com, Smart Money Chicks, Fox Business News, CreditCards.com, U.S. News &World Report, Financial Planning Association (FPA) and Equifax Personal Finance blog web sites.
Paying for your kids’ college vs. your own retirement @USAToday
http://ow.ly/6khq1 NEVER use #401K or #IRA to pay for college for your kids
You might be wondering why I’m writing about elder abuse on a financial blog, right? Unfortunately, all types of elder abuse are on the rise in lock step with our aging population -including financial abuse. Regarding abuse of our seniors, in a study done by MetLife in 2009, only 1 in 6 cases of elder abuse is even reported. And, in dollar terms alone, the estimated losses from reported cases of elder abuse adds up to whopping $2.6 billion per year. So, what is being reported is just the tip of the iceberg.
From a health care point of view the concerns are multiple. The early stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s often go undetected by friends and family members. The number of cases of Alzheimer’s in our population is on the rise. And, these cognitive diseases whether diagnosed or not diagnosed can make our seniors even more vulnerable as targets for emotional, verbal, physical and financial abuse.
Recently actor Mickey Rooney, now 90 years old testified to Congress about the alleged financial abuse that he suffered at the hands of his stepson. Rooney a fixture on the American screen since the 1920’s is quoted as saying “If it happened to me, it can happen to anyone.”
When it comes to elder financial abuse, what are some specific things that you should be on the look out for?
- Disaster-home repair fraud after a tornado, flood, hurricane etc.
- Price gouging for goods and services
- Unscrupulous charities
- Unusual changes to financial situation
- Monthly bills going unpaid
- Changes to wills, trusts or powers of attorney
- Lottery scams
Frankly, the list is potentially endless. The ‘bad guys’ and their scams are coming after our seniors from all over the world via telephone, U. S. mail, email and the internet. And, sadly, sometimes the ‘bad guys’ come in the form of trusted care givers and family members.
What can you do?
- Keep an eye out for your parents, grandparents,elder friends and family members
- Be aware of changes in their financial, emotional and mental health
- If cognitive diseases run in your family, plan ahead on how you are going to deal with financial and health care issues that will come up due to dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Be ready to take appropriate action
- Use the National Elder Care Locator if you need a starting place for available resources www.eldercare.gov 1-800-677-1116
- In Georgia to learn about available resources contact the Georgia Department of Human Services
About Jane Nowak, CFP® – MoneyGal2020
Jane Nowak is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with a focus on Women’s Retirement and Financial Planning for Women. Located in Smyrna, GA, Jane’s goal is to educate and empower women to take control of their daily finances so they can fully fund their retirement dreams and needs. Jane has recently had articles quoted and published on-line at the NASDAQ, Womenetics.com, Smart Money Chicks, Fox Business, Credit Cards and Financial Planning Association websites.
Securities offered through Triad Advisors, Inc. Member, FINRA/SIPC