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Plan and be happy!

July 30th, 2013 Posted in Business, Finance Tips

From a Fortune cookie “Money is gratifying not satisfying”. To make sure you are satisfied, have a well thought out plan. Down the road do not wonder what happened to your money.  Many people fail to plan and then are not happy. Be happy and plan ahead.

save your money

save your money

Planning Retirement (and current) Expenses

July 25th, 2013 Posted in Educational Forum

PLANNING RETIREMENT EXPENSES

 WHY PLANNING IS SO IMPORTANT

There are expenses that can decrease and expenses that may increase as folks get into their retirement years. Both factors need to be considered when planning for retirement’s “Golden Years”. Generally you will need about 70-80% of your pre-retirement income to live comfortably, not taking into consideration potential changes in your health.

Income Sources:                                                                         Fixed Expenses:

Social Security / 401K / Pension / Investments / Savings           Mortgage / Car payment / Phone (landline)

 

NOTE: MOST OF THE BELOW CAN BE UTILIZED EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT CLOSE TO RETIREMENT!

 EXPENSES THAT MAY BE CONTROLLED:              EXPENSES THAT MAY INCREASE:

 

Housing costs: consider moving into a smaller home – this can save you money in several areas. (heating/cooling costs, water, maintenance, upkeep, and property taxes)

 

 Home insurance / maintenance / repairs / taxes:          (annual expenses: include the prorated amount into your monthly expenses)

 

Cable TV, Cell phone, Gym Memberships, Subscriptions: cut back on the ‘extras’ such as premium channels and/or extra features; choose between a landline and cell phone (a cell phone is more portable – add a booster for better reception).

Subscriptions: are you really reading all those magazines? The library is free!

 

Car insurance / Tag: (these are also annual expenses – include the prorated amount when calculating your monthly expenses)

 

Car expenses: gas, oil maintenance

 

Utilities: electric, gas, water, sewer, trash

Miscellaneous: expenses for eating out, travel entertainment, gifts, haircuts, etc. can be reduced. (attend community/church events; beauty schools)

 

Health Insurance: There are premiums for Medicare Part B, Part C, Part D, Supplemental plans.

Also out of pocket dollars for health care expenses!

 

Life Insurance: have an agent review your policies to determine if the coverage you have is sufficient or can be reduced. (if you have none – get some!)

 

Health Insurance from your job: if your employer has been paying part/all of your premium, this expense will now be your responsibility.
Investments: have your financial advisor check your expense ratios, transactional fees & account costs of your investments. (some advisors recommend keeping the ratio close to 1% of your total portfolio – this can potentially save you thousands) Dental / Vision care: ‘shop’ for discount plans.

 

Debt: pay off as much debt as possible before retiring to reduce ongoing expenses and accumulation of interest fees.

 

Groceries: try grocery co-ops, buy non-perishables in bulk

 

EVEN SMALL CHANGES IN LIFESTYLE & HABITS CAN MAKE A SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE OVER TIME!

 

THIS IS A BRIEF SUMMARY- REMEMBER:

SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PROFESSIONAL TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!

Carol N. Brown, CSA      386-848-0543     CarolNBrown@aol.com     www.carolnbrown.com

Ideas for Financial Plans

July 24th, 2013 Posted in Crafts

Here is an idea that may help with your financial plan. Decide what you really want in the big picture. Write it down and put it where you keep your money. Read it before you spend, then make the decision to spend or not to spend.

moneyFlies

Gateway Center for the Arts Summer Camps

July 17th, 2013 Posted in Crafts, Educational Forum, Local Events

 

Don’t Miss Out on the Summer Camps
at Gateway Center for the Arts…
After many sold out weeks…don’t miss your chance to
participate in these wonderful art and theater camps.
Only 4 weeks left!

July 15 – Pottery Week 2 – Clay Work
July 22 – Making art into games
July 29 – Sculptures
August 5 – Paper Masterpieces

July 15 – Theater-Alice in Wonderland

crayon shirts totem cups kids

logo group

 

386-668-5553

www.gatewaycenterforthearts.org

Planning for the future

July 17th, 2013 Posted in Business, Finance Tips

When planning for your future you need to have a well thought out plan that is written down.  Have a time line for your dream so that it becomes a goal with a definite date when it will happen, other wise you may never make it.  Remember you only get to live once so make it count!

save your money

save your money

Social Security Simplified

July 15th, 2013 Posted in Educational Forum

SOCIAL SECURITY “SIMPLIFIED”

WHY IT CAME ABOUT

“To provide a basic floor of protection to working Americans against the financial problems brought on by death, disability and aging.” It was/is NOT intended to replace financial planning for the retirement years!

 

Social Security is an entitlement program – with eligibility requirements:

a)    based on your accrued work “credits” (up to 4 credits are earned each year)

b)    the required number of total (lifetime) credits earned is generally 40 (about 10 years of work earnings)

 

The amount of benefits you receive is based on your earnings over the years that you contributed to OASDI (Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance) via your payroll taxes paid (FICA). The employer and the employee share paying this tax. (There are certain workers who do not qualify for this insurance)

 

Covered vs Eligible:

Covered – you are actively contributing via FICA contributions (may or may not be eligible for benefits).

Eligible – based on your insured status:

Fully insured – means you and/or your family are entitled to full retirement and death benefits. (have accrued the required number of credits)

Currently insured – means you are qualified for a limited range of survivor benefits. (must have earned 6 credits during the 13-quarter period ending with the quarter in which the worker died)

 

TYPES OF OASDI BENEFITS: 

Death Benefit (survivor benefit): to the survivor of the eligible worker – i.e. spouse / dependent child.

Lump Sum: single death amount (max $255) paid to the spouse / dependent child of the deceased worker.

Surviving Spouse’s Benefit: to the surviving spouse – can receive a monthly income equal to the insured’s benefit at age 65, or as early as age 60. If the surviving spouse has a child under age 16 (or 22, if disabled) and the child was a dependent of the worker, spouse will receive an additional amount until child reaches age 16 (or indefinitely, if disabled and dependent on the care of and living with the spouse).

Parents’ Benefit: at age 62, each parent of deceased worker can receive a monthly benefit if the parent was at least half supported by the worker at the time of death (more if 2 parents are eligible).

Maximum Survivor Benefit: is the total amount of benefit that Social Security will allow a family to receive.

Disability Benefit: a fully insured worker who becomes disabled (and the spouse / dependent child) is entitled to benefits. (benefit will be equal to the amount eligible for at the time of disability)

 

Requirements for Disability Benefits: worker must meet Social Security’s definition of disability –

a)    Must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful work.

b)    Must be the result of a medically determinable physical / mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in an earlier death.

c)    Benefits begin after satisfying a wait period of 5 months (benefits will be paid retroactively – up to 12 months – excluding the waiting period).

 

SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS ARE MEANT TO SUPPLEMENT, NOT REPLACE

A WELL-FOUNDED PERSONAL INSURANCE PROGRAM.

 

THIS IS ONLY A BRIEF SUMMARY- REMEMBER: SEEK THE ADVICE

                                        OF A PROFESSIONAL TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!

Carol N. Brown, CSA    386-848-0543     CarolNBrown@aol.com     www.carolnbrown.com

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Market Ups & Downs

July 1st, 2013 Posted in Business, Finance Tips

Remember that the markets normal is to move up and down, going from overbought to oversold. Stick to your plan, do what works for you. Stay humble the market is bigger then you. If selling you also have to have a plan to get back into the market.

— Michele

stock-market-apps-for-ipad-iphone

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