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Archive for the ‘Retirement’ Category

Everybody Has a Story: They retired with two tickets to paradise – The Columbian

Posted: September 13, 2020 at 11:57 am


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As I spent my childhood playing on the shores of the Clyde River in Scotland, I watched ships as they headed eastward to sea. Where were they headed? What lay at their destination?

I did not know that halfway around the world was another child harboring similar questions as he stood near the shipbuilding yards on the Columbia River in Vancouver. We two were destined to meet in Canada where we married more than 50 years ago.

Once our family was grown, our innate love of the water surfaced. Wed enjoyed recreational sailing on the Columbia River, and set our sights farther. After reading, taking appropriate classes and attending talks by others who lived the cruising lifestyle, John and I were ready to pursue our own retirement dream. We sold our home, packed our car and began a two-year sailboat search.

We found her in Texas, renamed her Pacific Rose and began our quest to find paradise.

One afternoon, under a cloudless blue sky, we anchored off Sand Dollar Beach by Georgetown, Bahamas. I stood at the bow, clearly seeing scattered wisps of green grass swaying on the white sand floor about 10 feet below. John was swimming along to check that the anchor was holding fast. Pacific Rose swayed gently with the current under the bright sunshine.

We planned to spend the afternoon tending to boat chores. Having raised the dinghy onto the deck, John was using a felt pen and letter template to refresh the registration numbers on each side of its bow. I was going to soak the dock lines, which had become soiled and salt-hardened during our travels.

John glanced across the deck, adjusting his eyes from the effects of the glaring sun to the shaded cockpit. It surprised him to see my derriere in the air, toes clutching the cockpit floor. The rest of me was slung over the edge of the starboard storage locker, my arms stretching downward into the space below.

My fingers almost reached the pail that rested on the floor of the locker. I was attempting to grasp the handle in order to lift it onto the deck so I could go ahead with soaking the lines.

Nan, for heavens sake, let me do that, shouted John, who is over a foot taller than me.

Its OK. I can reach it, I said.

But you cant, he said knowingly.

Yes, I can, was my assertive reply.

Confident and determined, I suddenly banged my elbow against the lever on the fire extinguisher attached to the side of the locker. Unbeknownst to us, the safety pin was not replaced when the extinguisher was last serviced. Before either of us could utter another word, the inanimate fire extinguisher spouted to life. It spewed forth a fine talc-like substance, covering everything stored in the locker: lines, pail, bosuns chair, tarp and miscellaneous marine equipment and supplies.

Of course, I was not immune. I grabbed the edge of the locker, pulled myself to standing position and turned to John with white face and prematurely white hair.

I guess I couldnt, I quipped.

We spent the rest of the afternoon emptying the storage locker, wiping down its walls and contents before neatly replacing each item. We were pleased about one thing: We knew the fire extinguisher worked. Now all we had to do was have it recharged at the marine supply store down island.

And so it went, one of our many adventures in paradise.

Everybody Has a Story welcomes nonfiction contributions, 1,000 words maximum, and relevant photographs. Send to: neighbors@columbian.com or P.O. Box 180, Vancouver WA, 98666. Call Everybody Has an Editor Scott Hewitt, 360-735-4525, with questions.

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Everybody Has a Story: They retired with two tickets to paradise - The Columbian

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September 13th, 2020 at 11:57 am

Posted in Retirement

6 Ways the Pandemic Has Been a Dress Rehearsal for Retirement and How You Can Take Advantage – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

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Uncharted territories are difficult to navigate, but what if you had the ability to do a test run for one of lifes most important milestones retirement? This pandemic has been just that in more ways than one.

Families, schools and businesses have been left feeling whiplashed by the efforts of government and officials as they close, re-open and re-close aspects or our economy and our daily lives. The global pandemic has tested our true grit on so many levels as a nation and economy.

It is also shining a spotlight on many of the areas where we have done a good job at preparing for retirement andsome areas that still need some work.

As the saying goes, the show must go on. The good news is if youre not retired yet, then theres still time to make some changes.

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You may be finding yourself working on various home projects, taking on new hobbies, or reviving old ones during the lockdown. What has been your experience? Maybe the initial thought of a wide-open schedule and an unplanned day sounded exciting, but it turned out to be unfulfilling and boring. Or maybe it was heaven.

Figuring out what to do with all the extra time youll have during retirement to live a purposeful and meaningful life is just as important as figuring out how youll allocate your money.

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As a result of the shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, families and loved ones had nowhere to go and were forced to spend more time together. This presented a unique opportunity for families to find meaningful engagements in relationships that were often pushed aside or hurried as a result of everyday life demands. On the flip side, coronavirus has amplified problems between some couples as theyve been stuck in close quarters and forced to confront compatibility issues and navigate the unique problems of the pandemic. In fact, divorce rates have skyrocketed amid coronavirus, and 31% of couples admitted the lockdown has caused irreparable damage to their relationships.

Stress levels will hopefully not be as high during retirement as they are now, but couples should similarly expect more time spent together and garner a sense of what that means for their future whether positive or negative.

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With the economy shut down and many areas faced with stay-at-home orders, weve been forced to hunker down and focus on what we need to survive. The common epiphany shared by many is that, well we dont really need all that much. You probably noticed that besides food, housing and utility costs, there wasnt much else you needed.

If you were lucky enough to transition to telework, your transportation costs likely declined. And shopping for business attire and dry-cleaning bills? Those costs likely plummeted as well. There are expenses that may well increase in retirement like medical bills so take this time to note how your spending has changed throughout the pandemic. It should give you a good indication of what you really might need to get by in retirement.

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This pandemic has also highlighted more than ever the importance of having a cash cushion for emergencies. When an unforeseen expense occurs, its best to have three to six months worth of expenses in a liquid account. This is no different during retirement.

Its especially helpful to have a cash cushion when your investment accounts take a dip and youre best off pausing distributions from these accounts. Being dynamic with your distributions and temporarily bridging expenses from savings will allow your portfolio time to recover.

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Whether youre furloughed, searching for employment or are a business owner re-working your strategy, youve probably been forced to look at how long you can manage all your bills, given how much you currently have. Although not an exact science, calculating your retirement is much like that.

Regardless of whether youre living off a 401(k), pension, Social Security and/or investment income in retirement, youll need to weigh your current investment income plus expected future income against your annual expenses.

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If youre nearing retirement, this last bout of market volatility probably made you acutely aware of how market shocks can impact your carefully laid-out plans. It likely also underscored the importance of managing risk as you get closer to retirement.

Luckily, weve seen a rapid recovery in the markets this time but take this opportunity to revisit your portfolio allocation to make sure that your risk is aligned with your goals and time horizon. Sometimes there are no second (or third) chances.

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Being flexible and able to adapt to the worlds uncertainties is always a great strategy. Having the ability to pivot and re-tool their finances is helping individuals, families and businesses survive right now. Everyones path to retirement looks different. But a test run is one thing that will certainly help you run the show as you get closer to that date.

Wealth Adviser, Halbert Hargrove

Julia Pham joined Halbert Hargrove as a Wealth Adviser in 2015. Her role includes encouraging HH clients to explore and fine-tune their aspirations and working with them to create a road map to attain the goals that matter to them. Julia has worked in financial services since 2007. Julia earned a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in Economics and Sociology, and an MBA, both from the University of California at Irvine.

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6 Ways the Pandemic Has Been a Dress Rehearsal for Retirement and How You Can Take Advantage - Kiplinger's Personal Finance

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September 13th, 2020 at 11:57 am

Posted in Retirement

Looking to retire early? The move has its drawbacks, here are 3 to consider. – USA TODAY

Posted: September 8, 2020 at 7:59 am


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Early retirement sounds like a great idea if you picture having ample cash to travel the world or hang out at the beach. But in reality, retiring before your mid-60s could cause a whole host of financial consequences that affect your ability to enjoy your later years to the fullest.

In fact, here are three big reasons early retirement could end up being more hassle than it's worth.

It's stating the obvious, but the earlier you stop getting a paycheck, the sooner you must start relying on your investment accounts (and the sooner your balance starts to fall). Not only do you begin making withdrawals earlier when you retire younger, but you also lose some prime investing years when you're eligible for catch-up contributions and may be able to afford to make them.

The consequences can be far-reaching. If you maintain a safe withdrawal rate, you may limit your opportunities to enjoy retirement because your income could be too small. But if you indulge your retirement fantasies by taking out too much money too early, you could run out of money later in life when healthcare expenses rise, and working to get back on track is impossible.

If you claim Social Security prior to full retirement age (FRA), you're subject to early filing penalties that reduce your benefits.

And even if you can retire early without starting your benefits ahead of your FRA, you could still see less lifetime income. The problem comes from the fact the Social Security Administration bases your monthly checks on average wages earned during the 35 years when your earnings were highest (after adjusting for inflation).

If you don't work 35 years, your average wage will be lower due to the inclusion of years with no wages. And even if you manage to work 35 years, chances are good you'll be leaving the workforce when your salary is higher than at the beginning of your career. By quitting when your salary has peaked, you miss out on the chance to replace lower-earning early years in the calculation of your average wage.

If you're retiring early, that almost guarantees you're leaving the workforce well before 65, when you become eligible for Medicare. And that can be a big problem because you can't afford to go without health insurance.

While maintaining your employer-provided coverage through COBRA should be an option, as is purchasing an individual insurance policy, chances are good your premiums will be pretty high especially if you're used to your employer subsidizing coverage. If you buy an individual policy instead of sticking with a group plan, you're also likely to have higher deductibles and co-insurance costs than you're used to.

The extra costs can quickly eat into your retirement savings, which can mean your account balance falls even faster or you have less to spend on other things. And that, combined with the possibility of lower Social Security benefits, plus the fact you'll be living on your savings for longer, can be a recipe for financial disaster.

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Early retirement sounds like a great idea if you picture having ample cash to travel the world or hang out at the beach. But in reality, retiring before your mid-60s could cause a whole host of financial consequences that affect your ability to enjoy your later years to the fullest.

In fact, here are three big reasons early retirement could end up being more hassle than it's worth.

It's stating the obvious, but the earlier you stop getting a paycheck, the sooner you must start relying on your investment accounts (and the sooner your balance starts to fall). Not only do you begin making withdrawals earlier when you retire younger, but you also lose some prime investing years when you're eligible for catch-up contributions and may be able to afford to make them.

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Looking to retire early? The move has its drawbacks, here are 3 to consider. - USA TODAY

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September 8th, 2020 at 7:59 am

Posted in Retirement

Pros and Cons of a Do-It-Yourself Annuity in Retirement – The Wall Street Journal

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Im approaching retirement, and the turmoil in the markets this year has me thinking, for the first time, about buying an annuity. I like the idea of predictable income, but I dont like the idea of handing my money, permanently, to an insurance company. What do you think about a person building his or her own annuity? Is there a good way to do this?

Yes, there are ways to create an annuity. And I think its wise to consider how an annuity might help you and your nest egg. But I think the do-it-yourself approach can be difficult for many investors and carries some sizable risks.

To start, Ill focus on the product you seem to be considering: an immediate fixed annuity. In other words, you hand a lump sum to an insurer, which, in turn, guarantees you a monthly paycheck for life. Period. (Well save, for another day, talking about more-complicated products, such as equity-indexed annuities.)

If you wish to build something resembling an immediate fixed annuity, you could, for instance, assemble a TIPS ladder, a collection of Treasury inflation-protected securities of various maturities. Or you could construct a bond portfolio with high-quality corporate and municipal bonds. Both approaches would produce a predictable stream of income.

Even something as simple as a balanced mutual fund, one with a mix of stocks and bonds and a long history of solid returns, could, in theory, serve as an annuity. A good example: (RPBAX) has posted an average annual total return of 9.46% since its start in 1939.

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Pros and Cons of a Do-It-Yourself Annuity in Retirement - The Wall Street Journal

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September 8th, 2020 at 7:59 am

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Majority of workers expect their ‘retirement’ to include a job, survey shows – CNBC

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John Lund/Marc Romanelli | Getty Images

For many workers, a traditional retirement is not part of their plans.

Among baby boomers still in the workforce, 59% expect to keep working into retirement, a new study from Voya Financial shows. For Generation X, that share is 60% and for millennials, 49%. Overall, 54% of all workers say their retirement years will include a job of some sort.

"The definition of retirement is evolving and will keep evolving," said Charlie Nelson, CEO of Retirement and Employee Benefits for Voya. "It's not going to be about working until a certain age and then switching to no work."

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The study, based on a survey of about 1,000 people done in waves from March through July, explored workers' attitudes about retirement during the pandemic. Voya defines baby boomers as those born 1946 to 1964; Gen X, 1965 to 1980; and millennials, 1981 to 1996.

The results come as economic uncertainty from the pandemic persists and unemployment remains relatively high, at about 10%. At the same time, however, the stock market despite dropping in Thursday morning trading is far above its lows earlier in the year.

The S&P 500 index closed Wednesday at 3580.84, up 60% from its March 23rd low of 2237.40. The Dow JonesIndustrial Average has gained 56.5% since bottoming out in March at 18,591, closing at 29,100.

Many respondents (56%) noted their reasons for wanting to continue working in retirement included for their mental well-being, while 40% said it's because they want a safety net to cover unexpected costs and prepare for market volatility.

"There may be financial reasons they want to keep working, or it might be because they want to stay mentally alert," Nelson said.

While the coronavirus has caused economic uncertainty and a squeeze on households that have lost income from being laid off or furloughed, Voya's survey suggests that saving for retirement remains a priority, with 55% of respondents saying they'd rather save more for retirement than be completely debt-free.

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Majority of workers expect their 'retirement' to include a job, survey shows - CNBC

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September 8th, 2020 at 7:59 am

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Covid-19 Was the Second Major Setback for Near-Retirees. Heres How to Get Your Plan Back on Track. – Barron’s

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Ed Daizovi, a 57-year-old career diplomat, entered the retirement homestretch earlier this year: He had just moved back from Africa and was setting up a new home in Miami where he planned to retire next year with his wife of 29 years, after investing diligently to fund a comfortable retirement.

But the coronavirus pandemicand the volatility stirred first by the markets crash and quick recovery, and now by uncertainty heading into the electionis making Daizovi wary about his retirement timeline.

If the market tumbles 30% to 50% by the time Im ready to retire next year, Im looking at one more tour in the foreign service, Daizovi says. Thats far from ideal, as it would mean having to live apart from his wife as she settles into their retirement home.

For near-retirees, the Covid-19 recession marks the second major setback in little more than a decadeand this one strikes as many are hitting peak earnings and savings years. Now, they find themselves grappling with ways to preserve their retirement securitywith fewer years to bounce back.

Preretirees are getting the wind kicked out of them, says Ken Dychtwald, head of consultancy Age Wave, of the challenges and confusion that those five to 10 years from retirement are facing. Their portfolios are taking a hit. They cant work longer with [high] unemployment. Their mom is sick, and their kids are moving back home.

Among the near-retiree set of 50- to 64-year-olds, confidence about having enough saved for retirement has fallen to 48% from 65% before the pandemic, according to a poll by Edward Jones/Age Wave released in August. And among those in this group with adult children, 28% have provided them with financial support during the pandemic, exacerbating savings shortfalls.

These concerns come at a time when some families budgets are already strained by a variety of factors, such as job losses, income cuts, or efforts to keep small businesses afloat. Almost a third of small-business owners and 8% of baby boomers said their household income had fallen by half or more during the pandemic, according to a financial-wellness survey from Prudential Financial, released in July.

On top of those immediate issues, the pandemic is stirring uncertainty around a number of other key concerns in retirement, including taxes and pensions, as governments reassess budgets and spending priorities. Investors should also reassess what their savings could generate in long-term market returns as global economic growth takes a hit and interest rates are at historical lows in much of the world.

The pandemic also has had an impact on many near-retirees who are still employed. Roughly 15% of employers have either suspended or cut matching contributions to 401(k)s, with an additional 10% considering doing so, according to a survey of 543 employers by Willis Towers Watson. And that can have an impact on overall retirement security. Among those with enough savings to fund their retirement needs, a 10% reduction in employer matches for a year along with a 10% reduction by employees in plans where the match is suspended cuts roughly 14% off the total surplus for 50- to 54-year-old workers, according to projections by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

On an individual level, there are ways to mitigate the Covid-19 hitand not all have to be drastic. Barrons canvassed financial planners and retirement experts to see what adjustments near-retirees can make to bridge a difficult period without derailing retirement plans.

Given the health risks created by the pandemic and uncertain outlook for certain industries, early retirement may seem like an attractive option. But advisors recommend that those who are five to 10 years away from retirement should stay in the workforce, if possible.

The best way to improve retirement financial outcomes is to work longer, says Jamie Hopkins, director of retirement research at Carson Group. A year or two before retirement, we see people tighten their belts and reduce spending, but that has minimal impact versus working six months to a year longer. Indeed, 34% of 50- to 64-year-olds in the Edward Jones/Age Wave survey said that Covid-19 has changed their retirement timeline.

Of course, working longer is easier said than doneeven more so now with a spike in unemployment. While older workers typically have substantially lower unemployment rates than those 25 to 54 years oldroughly 15% to 20% over the past decadethat hasnt been the case through this pandemic, says Richard Johnson, director at Urban Institutes Program on Retirement Policy. As of July, the overall unemployment rate for those ages 55 to 64 sits at 8.7%, just 5% lower than that for younger cohorts.

Thats a troubling trend, as it has also taken longer for older workers to get rehired out of past downturns, with those 62 and older who lost their jobs only half as likely to be re-employed as people in their 30s and 40s, Johnson says.

This situation has given me a reason to take a hard look and come up with a plan B.

Advisors recommend taking a closer look at retirement savings, deferred compensation, and stock options to see if other paths to employment are feasibleincluding a job that pays benefits but doesnt necessarily provide the same level of income, or turning a furlough into a phased retirement where workers transition in steps from full-time work to full-time retirement. Workers could tap savings to set up a consulting business, hire a career coach, or get more training to pivot into a different career.

Being realistic about the changes the pandemic has brought to various industriesand how long it could take to get back to a level of normalcyis also important. Some clients hold out for an equivalent offer and spend so much time out of the workforce they end up with a two-year gap, says Jeffrey Levine, director of advanced planning at Buckingham Wealth Partners. Then they are even older, and it becomes even harder to get back in the workforce.

Finding a job could take time, and even those who have emergency savings may be running low nearly six months into the crisis. Yet the sharp stock market rebound from the March depths and historically low interest rates offer an opportunity to replenish and expand cash cushions.

Advisors recommend anywhere from 18 months to three years of expenses in liquid assets, depending on circumstances. For those who have gotten an early-retirement package or severance, Katherine Liola, founder of Concentric Private Wealth, suggests keeping much of it liquid to generate an income stream, since it could take some time to secure another job.

For small-business owners near retirement, having a cash pile is paramount, given the pandemics impact on many companies revenue and sale valuations. Some advisors recommend that business owners have two years of cash on hand to keep operations going until conditions return to more normal levels, enabling them to possibly sell the business. That might mean cutting expenses, negotiating with vendors, or tapping credit lines as well as any available pandemic aid.

We dont know what the recovery path looks like or the speed at which it could happen, says Brandt Kuhn, managing director at Beacon Pointe Advisors. If you qualify for [government relief] programs, take the opportunity and make your runway as long as possible.

When it comes to freeing up cash, the pandemic has upended some of the traditional ruleslike not taking on debt on the eve of retirement. With interest rates at record lows and housing prices holding up, some advisors recommend that near-retirees look to their homes as a possible source of cash.

If the rate on their mortgage is a percentage point or more than the current rate, refinancing could make sense. Would you rather sell equities in a portfolio that you expect to earn 6% to 7% or borrow from a home at 3% to 4%? Use the asset with the lowest return in the portfolio, which is home equity, Hopkins says.

Another option: opening a home-equity line of credit that can be drawn on in increments if markets take a turn for the worse. The idea is to tap the line of credit and pay it back when markets recover.

The next best place to free up cash is through investment accounts, taking into consideration taxes and asset types for a guide on what to tap first. Here, too, the pandemic has made it acceptable, if not ideal, to break some long-held guidelines, such as not raiding a 401(k).

Policy makers have made it easier for those affected by the pandemic to do just thatand advisors say those who need to bridge an income gap should take advantage of the changes. The Cares Act allowed those affected by the pandemic to tap up to $100,000 in retirement assets this year without getting hit with the 10% penalty if they are under 59, and the act also made it easier to take out a loan of up to that same amount that can be paid back over a period of five years

Of the two options, advisors slightly favor the loan because, behaviorally, it increases the chances that the money will be replenished. If the loan is paid back in five years, there is no tax hit. And for those who opt to take distributions of up to $100,000 from their 401(k) or individual retirement account this year, taxes will be spread out over three years. But for those who manage to repay the distribution within three years, a tax credit is applied, essentially making it akin to a tax-free loan.

The determination of whether someone wants to take a loan or distribution has to be decided up front, with loans required to be paid back on a specific schedule.

Tax considerations also support use of retirement assets for those who have lost their job or had their income reduced. Savers who find themselves in a lower tax bracket could minimize taxes paid on a withdrawal from a 401(k) or individual retirement accountsomething that could become even more important when the Cares Act provisions are no longer in effect.

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute's Retirement Security Projections

However, if someone has already made substantial income this year, Carolyn McClanahan, founder of Life Planning Partners, says that it may be better to draw from taxable accounts where the 15% tax on capital gains may be a less costly way to free up cash than paying income tax on retirement assets. Whats more, with stocks in certain sectors still down after the crash, an investor might be able to sell at a loss and take a tax deduction.

Which assets to sell first? Given the markets rise, advisors recommend taking profits in stock portfolios with the most-aggressive profiles, or rebalancing to rebuild cash cushions, if possible.

Heres one rule that has stayed largely the same: If you are in good health, try to wait to claim Social Security as long as possible. The roughly 8% increase in benefits each year a worker delays claiming through age 70 is difficult to match elsewhere. Plus, the payout is for lifeso the bigger it is, the betterand tapping it early can have ripple effects for the surviving spouse.

The pandemic is the type of event that calls for introspectionand that holds for finances, as well, with advisors encouraging clients to re-examine their risk tolerance and long-term return projections. Near-retirees should also use this time to consider how they want to be cared for as they age, and their expectations about pensions and taxes.

Indeed, nearly a quarter of older Americans said the crisis had caused them to reduce their risk tolerance for the long term, according to a June survey of 56- to 75-year-olds with at least $100,000 in investible assets by the Alliance for Lifetime Income, a group focused on educating the public about annuities and promoting them as a tool for retirement income.

The pandemic has upended the plans of many near-retirees

One place to start a reassessment is with a look at asset allocation. For near-retirees who have lost jobs or are worried about layoffs, McClanahan has been encouraging them to shift closer to a 50/50 stock and bond portfolio, taking advantage of recent market gains to rebalance. For those under 59 who may need to rely on nonretirement assets next year, McClanahan recommends an even more conservative allocation in the taxable brokerage account, if it needs to be used as a bridge after this years Cares Act provisions expire.

The unprecedented amount of stimulus pumped into the global economy also means that investors should take a closer look at the safer, fixed-income part of the portfolio, as some bond funds have suffered double-digit losses.

Preretirees are getting the wind kicked out of them. Their portfolios are taking a hit. They cant work longer with [high] unemployment. Their mom is sick, and their kids are moving back home.

Some advisors favor bond ladders once clients are beginning to tap portfolios, rather than bond funds, to minimize volatility, especially as many funds have veered into riskier assets to generate returns. The premise is simple: buy bonds that mature in different increments with the intent of holding them to maturity, collect interest income along the way, and replenish with new bonds as old ones roll off.

Other advisors, like Jason Fertitta, head of registered investment advisor Americana Partners, are wary of exchange-traded bond funds whose sharp losses could precipitate selling from investors, exacerbating possible pain for investors. Of all the asset classes, fixed income is the one you need to be most careful in, he says.

Given all the easy money being pumped into the global economy, Fertitta says he has turned more defensive and sees a case for a longer-term inflation hedge by increasing clients exposure to real assets like real estate to 10%-15% from 3%-5%. My biggest concern is that the levers the Federal Reserve is having to pull to keep this market going is very experimental, and we dont know when inflation is coming, he adds. We have to put in some assets that could benefit from inflation. Real assets historically were a small part of the portfolio, and we are certainly open to that being a larger piece.

Near-retirees are also rethinking another risk: their long-term care plans, with the Edward Jones/Age Wave poll showing that the pandemic prompted almost 30 million Americans to have end-of-life discussions for the first time.

The pandemics toll on nursing homes and other congregate-care facilities has further increased near-retirees preferences to add at-home care to their retirement planning, Hopkins says. Such care isnt cheap: A home health aide can range from $150 to over $350 a day, with Genworth Financial estimating $50,000 a year for a home health aide working a 44-hour week, and rising to an average $150,000 for full-time care.

The trillions of dollars being spent to help the economy out of this recession means that investors should also reassess expectations for pensions and taxes. Many state and local governments were already struggling financially, but the crisis has exacerbated the situation, and pension funding levels are forecast to take another hit, says Olivia Mitchell, executive director of the Pension Research Council and a professor at University of Pennsylvanias Wharton School of Business. Among the most precarious are states such as Connecticut, with a funding level of just 28%, and Illinois, at 20%.

The fallout will take timeand a lot depends on Congress and what it does to deal with local governments fiscal distress. As of now, many states have constitutional provisions that require pensions to be paid in full, but Mitchell notes that the bankruptcies of Puerto Rico and cities like Detroit brought pension cutsa 4.5% haircut in Puerto Rico and the elimination of the cost-of-living adjustment in Detroits case. Congress would have to change laws for states to declare bankruptcy.

Barrons brings retirement planning and advice to you in a weekly wrap-up of our articles about preparing for life after work.

Still, the potential hit to pensions is enough for planners like Jody DAgostini at Equitable Advisors to be cautious. She bakes in a reduction in expected pension payments for clients, and takes a conservative approach to Social Security that factors in no cost-of-living adjustment and a 20% to 25% reduction in benefits for wealthier clients who could be the first to see a reduction.

Then there are taxes. At some point, the bill is also going to come due for the trillions being spent to help the U.S. economy. If taxes have to double because of the fiscal hole we are in, that does tend to threaten peoples planning, Mitchell says.

The November election could offer some clarity, but for now, advisors are stressing diversification, including adding to Roth IRA accounts if possible, as well as tax-efficient investments like municipal bonds. As the postpandemic world becomes clearer, the name of the game for near-retirees will continue to be flexibility.

For the diplomat Daizovi, the stock market rebound has provided an opening to sell some of his positions and build a bigger cash buffer, so he can follow through with his original retirement planand still have some money to buy stocks when the market dips. This situation has given me a reason to take a hard look and come up with a plan B, he says.

Write to Reshma Kapadia at reshma.kapadia@barrons.com

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Covid-19 Was the Second Major Setback for Near-Retirees. Heres How to Get Your Plan Back on Track. - Barron's

Written by admin

September 8th, 2020 at 7:59 am

Posted in Retirement

Q&A: Retiring Col. Larry Suther reflects on career, future of Carroll County Sheriffs Office – Baltimore Sun

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A: I have worked in a number of positions from the rank of police officer to major in Baltimore County and most recently colonel of the Law Enforcement Bureau in Carroll County. I worked patrol for several years, mid-to-late -70s, in Catonsville, particularly the Oella sector. At that time Oella was a working class, and in some cases, an impoverished area with outhouses still in use. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the folks in that area, striving to keep the community safe. I worked as a supervisor in a plain clothes unit, as well as patrol and detectives. After a couple years as the Precinct 12 (Dundalk) commander I spent the later part of my career in Baltimore County working in Homeland Security and Support Operations at the supervisor and command level overseeing tactical teams, aviation, K9, crash teams and the mobile crisis team.

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Q&A: Retiring Col. Larry Suther reflects on career, future of Carroll County Sheriffs Office - Baltimore Sun

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September 8th, 2020 at 7:59 am

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Long-time Thomasville employee announces retirement | News – The Albany Herald

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THOMASVILLE Kha McDonald, the city of Thomasvilles executive director for Human Resources and Community Relations, has announced her retirement, effective Dec. 1. McDonald has served the city for more than 30 years. She joined the city of Thomasville in 1988 as its first personnel director.

At the end of every great journey, you should ask yourself: Did I have fun would I recommend it to others would I do it again was it worth the trip? McDonald said in a news release. In my case, working with the city of Thomasville for 32 years has been a source of pride, a means of community fellowship, and an opportunity to work with some of the most talented and dedicated individuals that I could have ever imagined.

McDonald began her career with the city as personnel director, which would later be reclassified as human resources director. The Thomasville native continued her professional growth within the organization, adding the title of assistant city manager in 1999 and five years later, through a departmental reorganization, had her title changed to senior assistant city manager for employee & community services. In 2018, McDonald would be called upon to step into an even larger leadership role when she would serve as interim city manager.

When I was hired, I thought I was just going to be a personnel director, she said. However, over the years I have had oversight of various projects and departments that gave new insight to the phrase, Sure no problem.

Thomasville City Manager Alan Carson said that McDonalds time has been influential and consequential, not just for the organization but for the city as a whole.

Kha lives and breathes Thomasville; her experience and knowledge about our local community has been invaluable throughout my first two years as city manager, Carson said. Her overall experience and the year she spent as interim city manager have been invaluable to our leadership team. Kha spent her career committed and dedicated to doing what is best for the city and Team Thomasville. While she will be missed greatly, we wish her nothing but the best as she moves into this new phase.

In McDonalds current role, she provides direction, oversight and overall leadership to many key areas, including human resources, community relations, risk management, historic cemetery preservation, and planning. She has been as an advisor, coach, and advocate for staff and has worked integrally with them on projects. One of McDonalds most recent projects has come in her leadership of the citys Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team, whose focus is to highlight and bring awareness to the importance of the organizations overall workplace diversity.

McDonalds impact has stretched beyond the walls of the citys administration building to the local community and throughout the state. Across Georgia, she has served on the board of the Georgia Alliance of Preservation Commission and as a region director, vice president of the Georgia Municipal Cemetery Association and a board member of the American Public Power Associations Human Resources Committee. Her passion for the community has allowed her to serve on many local boards and committees, including Southern Regional Technical College, Goodwill Industries, MacIntyre Park Middle School, Thomasville Landmarks, Hands on Thomas County, Habitat for Humanity, Marguerite Neel Williams Boys & Girls Club, Thomas County Historical Society, and Archbold Medical Center Board of Directors. She has been recognized for her community service by commanders with the 1230th Army National Guard and by Veteran Boosters Inc.

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Over thirty-two years McDonald has impacted employees in a multitude of ways.

The first time I spoke to her, I did not like what she said to me, said Anthony Choice, manager of Purchasing & Fleet Services. Those words turned out to be life-altering; they helped me become a man that took responsibility for my actions. Years later, I came to realize that was the day she became Ma to me, and I am forever grateful that God placed her in my life.

According to Thomasville Police Chief Troy Rich, McDonald has not only impacted the city of Thomasville, but she has also played an influential role in the careers of many employees, including his own.

Kha has been a mentor, leader, and above all, a dear friend, he said. I attribute my hiring back in 1990 to her and believe that her leadership assisted me in my journey. Kha is invaluable and will be missed dearly by all of Team Thomasville.

Sheryl Sealy, executive director of Marketing & Customer Service, has worked with McDonald since 1989 and said she considers McDonald a mentor.

Ive been fortunate enough to work with and learn from Kha for a very long time. It was by watching her that I learned what it meant to be a true professional, Sealy said. She has set a very high example for me and many others. Kha has always been the heart of Team Thomasville, and she will be missed.

Working with the city of Thomasville has been challenging, fun, fresh, and full of camaraderie, McDonald said. My kids gained many mentors, cousins, aunts and uncles that have been instrumental in their overall development. I gained lifelong friendships that will be in my heart forever, and my gratitude list is endless. My HR Divas Sandra Piland, Lawana Jackson, and Christine Forbes along with so many others, have been my rocks. Thank you for making this a one of a kind, unforgettable journey so remarkable.

McDonalds last day with the City of Thomasville will be Monday, November 30th.

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Long-time Thomasville employee announces retirement | News - The Albany Herald

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Retiring Well: Using Rental Income to Fund Retirement – 9 & 10 News – 9&10 News

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Every weekend on 9&10 News we share some extra tools to help you plan your retirement.

The finance tips come to you Sunday mornings on Retiring Well at 11:30 a.m.

Each week they talk about ways to help you get ready for retirement and to protect your financial future.

This week theyll be talking about the need for life insurance, and using rental income as a way to fund your retirement.

Rental income is a great investment instrument, because you can raise rent, so its inflationary. If theyre paid off, theyre a great source of income. They can be a headache because youve got to be a landlord, but you can always give that headache away by having a property manager, explained Larry Flynn, a financial advisor with Centennial Wealth Advisory.

Retiring Well is put on by Centennial Wealth Advisory.

You can catch it on 9&10 at 11:30 Sunday morning.

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Retiring Well: Using Rental Income to Fund Retirement - 9 & 10 News - 9&10 News

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Back to the office or off to retirement? – Federal News Network

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For a lot of obvious reasons the year 2020 is one for the books. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything for just about everybody. Fortunately for most of us, life, at least so far, goes on. There may be light at the end of the tunnel.

In the real world, before 2020, most federal workers did their jobs in offices or workplaces or from approved sites, but not from home. Before the pandemic a number of agencies, either to improve delivery to customers or to sock it to federal unions, were cutting back on work from home programs.

Now all that has changed. For some, maybe forever?

People who never thought theyd get to telework or are in agencies that were cutting back on the perk, have now had three, four or five months at home. Many like it and say that productivity is up. Also in the real world, December and January are the most popular months to retire from the federal government. Feds who time it properly can get larger lump sum annual leave payment, save on taxes and get other breaks.

So we asked long-time fed and financial coach Abraham Grungold to check out the 2020 situation. He said that for workers under the Federal Employees Retirement System retiring in 2020, they should seriously consider the following in this most unusual year:

Insight by Equinix Government Solutions: U.S Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and CBP address the components that make up a zero trust architecture in this free webinar.

This year has been the mostly challenging for federal employees around the world. COVID-19 has put so many stressful situations on the federal workforce, there are too many to list. When September rolls around, it is the month that federal employees start to think about submitting their retirement papers. Some agencies have provided financial incentives to encourage those who maybe wavering on the idea of retirement.

I help my clients to work through all their decision-making choices. It is a difficult process and there are many variables and family considerations.

Everyone has their own distinct retirement objective and this Top Ten list will help them to start thinking about making the appropriate choices for their retirement. Their decisions may be tweaked as the date grows closer; however, they will be ready, and all this preparation will make for a seamless transition.

This list is a good starting point for anyone considering retirement.Financial success can easily be achieved; it only takes a little effort.Any questions or comments please contact me onLinkedInor myFacebook page.

By Amelia Brust

Some farmers in theOkavango delta region of Botswana started painting eyes on the behinds of cattle, as a way to trick lions and other carnivores that prey on the livestock. The results seem promising, according to arecently published studyfrom Australian and Botswanan researchers.

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Source:University of New South Wales-Sydney

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Back to the office or off to retirement? - Federal News Network

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September 8th, 2020 at 7:58 am

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