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What NOT to do with your retirement savings in a crisis – MarketWatch

Posted: September 23, 2020 at 7:57 am


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A trader returns to work at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during the Covid crisis Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Ouch.

If you want to see how important it is to stay the course with retirement savings during this crisis if you can look no further than what happened last time around.

Those who took withdrawals from their individual retirement accounts or IRAs during and after the financial crisis of 2007-9 suffered long-term major long-term damage to their net wealth, according to an analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a blue-chip Washington, D.C. think-tank.

Thats not only because they spent the money, but because they also had less invested during the massive stock market rebound that followed.

(Among the many mysteries is why individuals in personal financial crisis would plunder retirement accounts such as IRAs that are legally sheltered from their creditors especially after witnessing the 2007-9 financial crisis and its aftermath, when Main Street got fleeced and Wall Street made out like bandits.)

Analyst Zahra Ebrahimi ran the numbers on those with IRAs in their 50s and 60s during the financial crisis of 2007-9.

After 2006, as the housing, Wall Street and Main Street crises rolled around, the number of people who were not retired who withdrew money from their IRAs jumped by more than a third, from 11% of the total to 15%, she says.

And the size of the average withdrawal jumped too, from 9.6% of the balance to 11%.

What happened?

Those who withdrew money from their IRAs from 2007 through 2010 saw their average financial assets fall by about $55,000, EBRI calculates. Those whoavoidedwithdrawing money? They were actually up $14,000, on average, by 2010.

The numbers are rough, to be sure. The surveys are done biennially, and those who made withdrawals in 2007 and 2008 wont be exactly the same people as those who made withdrawals in 2009 and 2010, although the overlap is likely to be enormous.

And, yes, theres a chicken and egg issue here. People suffering the worst economic devastation were more likely to make withdrawals. No surprise there.

But on the other hand bailing out can make things much, much worse. (And thats even if you avoid the early withdrawal penalties, which often apply for those under 55.)

The S&P 500 SPX, +1.05% has risen nearly fivefold from its 2009 lows, which is another way of saying that if you withdrew $5,000 back then its the equivalent of withdrawing $25,000 today.

How this crisis is going to play out for retirement savings, naturally, has yet to be seen. Each time is different. The 2020 stock market crash was astonishing for its speed and brevity. The S&P 500 index is higher than it was at the start of March. And the federal government, somehow, has been able to print and send out trillions in bailout money without sparking any kind of systemic problems.

(Yet, anyway.)

On the other hand, if you think the stock and bond markets are going to produce a similar boom over the next decade that they have over the past one you are remarkably optimistic.

Valerie Radford, head of retirement retail solutions at Prudential Financial, said that the aftershocks of the last crisis are still being felt in retirement accounts today. Economic data show that those in their early 50searly Generation X and late baby boomers are in a far worse position regarding their retirement savings than those who are 15 or 20 years older, she says. I think thats likely directly attributable to the Great Recession, she adds. Now they have to deal with this.

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What NOT to do with your retirement savings in a crisis - MarketWatch

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September 23rd, 2020 at 7:57 am

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Fortis Inc. Announces Retirement of President and CEO Barry Perry and Appointment of David Hutchens as Successor Effective January 1, 2021 -…

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September 23, 2020 06:00 ET | Source: Fortis

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland and Labrador, Sept. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Doug Haughey, Chair of the Board of Directors (the "Board") of Fortis Inc. ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") (TSX/NYSE: FTS) today announced the retirement of Barry Perry, President and CEO, from Fortis and the Board, effective December 31, 2020. David Hutchens, currently Chief Operating Officer of Fortis and CEO of UNS Energy, will succeed Perry and join the Board, effective January 1, 2021.

Perry made a personal decision to retire after a nearly 35-year career, over 20 of which were with Fortis. He has led the Corporation since 2015. Prior to his current position, he served as President from June 30, 2014 to December 31, 2014 and as Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Fortis for 10 years. The Board's long-term CEO succession plan positioned the Corporation well for this transition and following a comprehensive process the Board confirmed Hutchens as Perry's successor.

"I'm humbled to have spent the past two decades of my career with Fortis. It's been an incredible journey to lead the company during a time of such transformational growth. Thank you to our employees, both past and present, for contributing to the success of Fortis," said Barry Perry. "Fortis has become a North American utility leader focused on a cleaner energy future. I have absolute confidence that David and the team will continue to serve our customers well, advance our strategy and grow Fortis for years to come."

In expressing his support for Hutchens, Perry said: "David has decades of utility experience, including as CEO of our subsidiary UNS Energy in Arizona. He has a deep understanding of our business, strategy and culture, is forward-focused, an innovative thinker and most importantly, shares the values of Fortis."

Hutchens was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Fortis in January 2020 while concurrently serving as the CEO of UNS Energy. In this position, Hutchens was integral in the development of the Corporation's strategic business plan and led initiatives on safety and operational excellence. In his prior role, he served as Executive Vice President, Western Utility Operations with Fortis beginning in January 2018. In this role, Hutchens maintained his responsibility as President and CEO of UNS Energy and provided oversight of the operations of FortisBC and FortisAlberta.

"I would like to sincerely thank Barry Perry for his outstanding leadership and immense contributions over the past 20 years," said Doug Haughey. "Barry led the Corporation's acquisition of our largest business, ITC Holdings, the listing of Fortis on the New York Stock Exchange and, following our strategic expansion into the United States, he successfully pivoted the Corporation toward organic growth. Total shareholder return during Barry's leadership of Fortis was 105%, or approximately 12% per year. Furthermore, Barry advanced many priorities at the Corporation, including safety, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, investor relations and cybersecurity."

"We are pleased to announce David Hutchens as the next President and CEO of Fortis," said Haughey. "David has been a key leader in the Fortis organization and offers a unique combination of operational and regulatory expertise in both the electric and gas sectors. David is the right choice to advance the Corporations growth strategy and support a cleaner energy future."

Hutchens has been with UNS Energy for 25 years, advancing through various management positions, overseeing wholesale energy trading and marketing, and energy efficiency and resource planning. He assumed the position of President and CEO, UNS Energy in May 2014. He earned a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arizona and is a former nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. David is a member of the Edison Electric Institute's Board of Directors, the Western Energy Institute Board of Directors and numerous other charity and civic organizations.

"I'm excited about leading Fortis into a new chapter of growth driven by our transition to a cleaner energy future," said David Hutchens. "Our continued focus on energy delivery, our effective business model supporting our growth strategy, proven dividend track record and outlook, and our strong ESG profile make Fortis a premium North American utility. With my colleagues, I look forward to leading this incredible company, inspiring excellence in customer service and strengthening our partnerships with community and industry."

"Fortis will remain a Canadian-headquartered company and our success in this evolving industry will continue to be built on our strong foundation of safety, culture, responsibility, and commitment to our customers, employees and communities," said Hutchens.

"Id like to thank Barry for his tremendous contributions to Fortis," said Hutchens. "His insights, passion and leadership are widely recognized in our industry and have been greatly appreciated by those of us fortunate enough to work closely with him."

About Fortis Fortis is a well-diversified leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry, with 2019 revenue of $8.8 billion and total assets of $56billion as at June 30, 2020. The Corporation's 9,000 employees serve utility customers in five Canadian provinces, nine U.S. states and three Caribbean countries.

Fortis shares are listed on the TSX and NYSE and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at http://www.fortisinc.com, http://www.sedar.com, or http://www.sec.gov.

A .pdf version of this press release is available at:http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/bceba61e-4eff-4c3f-ad1b-eb930ef36aaf

For further information contact Investor Enquiries: Ms. Stephanie Amaimo Vice President, Investor Relations Fortis Inc. 248.946.3572 investorrelations@fortisinc.com

Media Enquiries: Ms. Karen McCarthy Vice President, Communications and Corporate Affairs Fortis Inc. 709.737.5323 media@fortisinc.com

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September 23rd, 2020 at 7:57 am

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National Institutes of Health staffer to ‘retire’ after being outed as author of online attacks against Dr. Anthony Fauci – USA TODAY

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Dr. Fauci responds to comments from members of President Trump's cabinet that are critical of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Associated Press

WASHINGTON The National Institutes of Health said on Monday that apublic relations staffer who had been using apseudonym on a conservative website to attackDr. Anthony Fauci, who runs the agency, and discount the seriousness of the coronavirus, will retire.

The Daily Beast first identified and reportedthatWilliam B. Crews was also the managing editor of right-leaningwebsite RedState where, under the fake name streiff,derided the governments workagainst thecoronavirusoutbreak, calling it"massive fraud."

The articles directly contradict and demeanthe agency's recommendations about COVID-19. They also trashFauci,the nation's leading infectious disease expert,calling him a "mask nazi," among other insults.

Other media outletslaterreportedthat the NIAID said it "first learned of this matter this morning" and that "Mr. Crews has informed us of his intention to retire. We have no further comments on this as it is a personnel matter."

Many of his posts alluded to coordinated schemes by public health officials to damage Trump politically."Streiff" wrote that the "Trump administration were failed at every turn by" Fauci.

Bob Woodward book takeaways: Trump admits 'playing' down COVID-19 threat

TheDaily Beast reported that the postsbecame increasingly conspiratorial as the pandemic continued.One posted to RedStatein March was titled: When Covid-19 Kills 18,000 People Call Me, But Until Then Stop the Scaremongering.

In June, he wrote, "I think were at the point where it is safe to say that the entire Wuhan virus scare was nothing more or less than a massive fraud perpetrated upon the American people by 'experts' who were determined to fundamentally change the way the country lives and is organized and governed."

Another of his postsimplied that government officials responsible for the pandemic response should be executed.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a House Subcommittee on the coronavirus on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on July 31, 2020. (Photo by KEVIN DIETSCH / various sources / AFP)(Photo: KEVIN DIETSCH, AFP via Getty Images)

'He loves his rallies:' Biden says Trump puts supporters at risk with big events while keeping himself safe

Fauci has repeatedly stressed the importance of social distancing and wearing masks, while alsorecently saying the fight against the coronavirus pandemic will only become more strenuous as the year reaches its close.

According to The Daily Beast, Crews has contributed to RedState since 2004, the year it was founded. He haspenned more than 400 posts this year alone, sometimes publishing as many as five a day.

Election 2020: Sen. Kelly Loeffler says she is 'more conservative than Attila the Hun' in new campaign ad

In his role at the NIAIDs office of communications and government relations, Crews did not deal directly with reporters or the public,according to The Washington Post,but ratherinternal communication. According to his LinkedIn profile, Crews has been at the agency since 2007.

Posts on RedState this year have oftenbeen published during the workweek and duringnormal business hours, raising possible questions about the ethical use of taxpayer resources,according the The Daily Beast.

This news follows anothergovernment health agency employee's coronavirus PR controversy.

Michael Caputo, who was the top spokesman at the Health and Human Services,the NIH's parent agency,was accused of trying to manipulate COVID-19 data for political purposes, and ended up apologizingfor espousingconspiracy theories.

Without offering evidence, Caputo, who was the assistant secretary of public affairsat HHS, accused scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of "sedition," and falsely claimed they had formed a "resistance unit" against Trump.

After he apologized, Caputo announced last week that he would be taking a medical leave.

Contributing: William Cummings, USA TODAY

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National Institutes of Health staffer to 'retire' after being outed as author of online attacks against Dr. Anthony Fauci - USA TODAY

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September 23rd, 2020 at 7:57 am

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Here’s what your monthly budget will look like if you retire with $1 million – CNBC

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The S&P 500 has averaged around 10% in annualized returns over the last 90 years.

But you can't plan your retirement based on best-case scenarios.

You should aim to spend around 4% of your nest egg per year in retirement, according to financial advisor Winnie Sun. That percentage can drop, however, based on several factors such as if your home isn't paid off or if you have high health-care costs, Sun said.

This strategy also assumes that you have a balanced portfolio, focusing more on bonds and cash-type investments for your short-term needs. This allows the stocks in your portfolio to grow for the future, according to Sun.

Check out this video to see a few different case studies of how much spending money you'll have if you retire on $1 million.

More from Invest in You: 'Predictably Irrational' author says this is what investors should do during pandemic Coronavirus forced this couple into a 27-day quarantine on their honeymoon cruise How to prepare for a family member with COVID-19

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Here's what your monthly budget will look like if you retire with $1 million - CNBC

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September 23rd, 2020 at 7:57 am

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If you’re in your 40s, it’s time to put together a strategy to rescue your retirement – CNBC

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Westend61 | Westend61 | Getty Images

Retirement often seems like a far-off destination.

But once you hit your 40s, it's no longer the distant country you once thought it was.

On the plus side, you still have time to make some smart money moves with retirement savings.

On the minus side, saving what you'll need may be a bit more challenging than it was when you were younger.

The reason is the power of compound interest, says Elijah Kovar, co-founder of Great Waters Financial in Minneapolis.

"You don't need to invest a ton of money if you start in your 20s but if you wait till your 40s, you have to invest so much more to make up for what you didn't invest in your 20s," Kovar said.

More from Invest in You: How to get more years for your retirement buck Gen Z needs to know some hard facts about saving for retirement Here's how to keep the well from running dry in retirement

Here's the difference that 10 years makes: A 25-year-old and a 35-year-old both invest $6,000 a year. Each gets an 8% return. At age 65, the 25-year-old has $1,678,686. The 35-year-old has $734,075. Try this compound interest calculator to see what your own savings rate looks like.

Since retirement is still 20 years off or more for 40-somethings, certified financial planner Mark Brown, president of Brown and Co. in Denver, tells investors in that age bracket not to be too conservative.

"You want to over-favor equities over bonds," he said. "You have the time to ride out the ups and downs."

Here's a look at some different strategies to nail down a secure retirement.

The amount you save, no matter where you save it, is the most important factor in whether you'll have enough for retirement, says Jean Chatzky, CEO and co-founder of HerMoneyMedia in New York.

Under-saving is the top issue for people who hope to retire someday.

The answer seems simple enough. "Figure out a way to get the savings rate up, and do it quickly," Chatzy said.

Make sure your money is working for you by investing wisely. If you're not a pro when it comes to managing your money, use a one-and-done target-date fund, Chatzky advises.

These funds automatically rebalance to an investment allocation that grows more conservative as you get closer to retirement or the target date. Otherwise you can put together your own portfolio and diversify it on your own.

But the most important thing is to save an adequate amount. "People should be saving 15% of whatever they earn," Chatzky said. "If you do that consistently through your working life, you will generally have enough to get through."

Keep in mind, though, that if you missed out on saving in your 20s and 30s, you may have to ramp that up to 20% or at least try.

Here's how to turn up the heat on your savings.

"The way to get there is not to go from 20% to 30%," Chatzky said.

That could feel like too shocking a difference in what you've got in your wallet. Instead, nudge yourself upwards in smaller increments.

Michelle Jackson's retirement savings journey started when she paid down more than $60,000 in debt.

Source: Michelle Jackson

Michelle Jackson, a Denver podcaster and entrepreneur, shows how you can break some rules and still feel confident about retirement prospects.

She left a university job of 10 years. She was deeply in debt more than $60,000 when she went into business for herself. Jackson, who is in her 40s, also hopes to help support her mother.

"Culturally, it's a conversation a lot of African-American families have," Jackson said. "It's not unusual to have to help your parents with retirement.

"I want to make sure my mom has the best retirement ever."

Studies suggest you need 70% to 80% of your annual salary to have a comfortable retirement.

Dan Herron

principal of Elemental Wealth Advisors

Jackson calls her goals aggressive: She aims to save about half her income for retirement. "It's ironic, given where I started," she said.

But leaving a job when she was ready for a change helped give her the energy to mow down debt and lower expenses she'd taken for granted. While working, she paid $1,200 a year for her cellphone. She now spends $400 a year.

While working, saving 50% wasn't even a glimmer, she says. "Once you start working for yourself, you get it," she said, all the ways you can optimize your time and get the most bang for your buck.

Jackson wants people to know it's not too late to start saving in their 30s or 40s even their 50s. "OK, you haven't started," she said. "You made the decisions with the information you had." Ditch the regret and start saving.

You'll want to know how much you need to save for retirement, says CFP and CPA Dan Herron, principal of Elemental Wealth Advisors in San Luis Obispo, California.

"Studies suggest you need 70% to 80% of your annual salary to have a comfortable retirement," Herron said.

Next, figure out how much you'll need to save to provide that annual cash flow. Herron recommends using 90% to provide a cushion.

Start by calculating yourtotal income and total expenses.

If you are in the black, Herron recommends trying to allocate a portion to increase your retirement savings rate. If you truly want to play catch-up, you are looking at at least 20% more of your salary toward savings.

Another possibility: Readjust your expectations for retirement. You may need to consider a lower amount of money for retirement so you don't have to save as aggressively, Herron said.

"Look at working longer," Herron said. "The longer you work, the more time you allow your savings to compound."

Alyson Duffey, 42, doesn't think she'll be able to retire.

"I set everything up when I started in my 20s and haven't touched anything since," said Alyson Duffey, 42, who works for a Boulder, Colorado, nonprofit.

An advisor came to the organization and helped employees enroll in a 403(b) plan. Duffey isn't sure of the funds or how the money is invested. "I don't know what's normal," she said.

One thing she does know: She doesn't have much saved. "I might have $28,000 in retirement funds," she said.

"I think the retirement system is set up for a specific segment," Duffey said, meaning people in "the wealthier income brackets, people who are able to land certain jobs and aren't living paycheck to paycheck."

"It's taken me a long time to get to this point, but I make $60,000 a year, and that is high for a nonprofit," Duffey said. The cost of living in Boulder is lower than San Francisco, she says, but it is still quite high.

Duffey made one move she sees as a possible boon in retirement: She purchased a condo in Boulder through an affordable home ownership program and thinks it will be suitable for her later years.

Oliver Rossi | Stone | Getty Images

For people balancing the needs of their own kids while they help their parents, it's an issue of how to do it all.

"It's a balancing act," Brown said. "If you can't increase your income, it means you're going to work longer or live on less or say no, either to parents or to children."

Before adding your funds, make sure you can utilize all financial resources, Herron says, whether pensions or government assistance or savings.

Look to other generations in the family to help out, Herron suggests. If your kids are older, perhaps they can assist, whether taking your parents to medical appointments or helping with care.

If your kids are younger and your parents are capable, perhaps they can help with school pickups and drop-offs. It could mean a great savings on childcare costs.

If you have siblings to pitch in and help care for parents, that can help ease the financial, as well as the time, burden, Herron says.

"A team effort on both ends can have tremendous positive impact not only on financial items, but family well-being as well," he said.

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If you're in your 40s, it's time to put together a strategy to rescue your retirement - CNBC

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September 23rd, 2020 at 7:57 am

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The two things that are most likely wrecking your retirement savings – MarketWatch

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If you earn a decent income but have trouble saving, the culprits could be the roof over your head and the car in your driveway.

Retirement savers who contribute more to their 401(k)s often spend less on housing and transportation than their peers, according to a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Better savers also spend less on food and drink, but housing and transportation are bigger expenses that tend to be less flexible. Once you commit to a place to live and a car payment, youre typically stuck with those expenses for a while.

It may be decisions that youre making as you are building your life that will ultimately crowd outsaving for retirement, says Katherine Roy, chief retirement strategist for J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

The researchers divided 10,000 households into three groups: the 25% who contributed the least to their retirement plans, the 25% who contributed the most, and the middle savers whose contributions landed them in the middle 50%. High savers, not surprisingly, had higher incomes than the other two groups. Middle and low savers had similar incomes, but middle savers contributed about 5% at the start of their careers while the low savers contributed about 2%.

See: What if Im in my 40s and dont have a retirement fund?

That 3 percentage-point difference in contributions is largely attributable to the lower savers spending more on housing, transportation, and food and beverage, the researchers found. By retirement age, middle savers had accumulated savings equal to twice their salaries. Low savers had accumulated about half as much.

Drivingolder vehiclesand owning amodest homeare the top two sacrifices cited in a study of Principal Financial Group customers ages 20 to 54 who contribute big chunks of their income to retirement accounts.

One of those savers is Erryn Ross, 30, of Tigard, Oregon. For several years after college, the accounts receivable coordinator lived at home and drove a beater truck, a hand-me-down from his dad. By the time he was ready to replace the truck, he had saved enough to pay cash for a new one while also maxing out his 401(k) contribution.

Ross credits his mother who drives a 2002 Honda Accord, previously owned by her father with getting him started.

She said, OK, you can either pay me $1,000 for rent, or you can put $1,000 in index funds every month, Ross says. He put the money into his retirement account.

Ross recently bought a house with his fiance, and they chose a home that cost about half of what their lender said they could afford. They figured out how much they felt comfortable spending each month and based their purchase on that amount.

I dont really need a million-dollar home here, Ross says. I just need something thats going to house the family.

Both studies have their limitations. Perhaps the biggest one is that the researchers studied only people who had access to workplace retirement plans. Before the pandemic, 55 million working Americans lacked such access, according to Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives. Access makes a huge difference: AARP found that people are 15 times more likely to save for retirement if they have access to a payroll deduction plan at work.

Also see: Has COVID-19 stopped Americans from chasing early retirement? Not exactly

The researchers also didnt factor in the cost of living, which varies widely across the country. Living expenses are 46% higher in San Francisco and 86% higher in Manhattan than in Portland, Oregon, for example.

Peoples personal costs of living matter hugely as well. Someone with health problems and lousy insurance likely will have more of their income eaten up by medical bills than someone in excellent health who has good coverage. The number of people you have to support children, elderly parents, for example affects how much you can save. People with student loan debt have less discretionary income than those whose parents paid for college. And so on.

Income matters, of course. Some people save on small incomes, while others dont on large ones. But the more money you make, the easier it is to save.

Also read: The pros and cons of buying a certified used car

In other words, any number of factors such as, say, losing a job during a pandemic can affect someones ability to save.

When you do have choice, though, choose wisely. The decisions you make about the big expenses now can have a huge effect on what you can spend in retirement.

Often in our financial wellness programs, we lead with, You need to have a budget or Dont have that Starbucks SBUX, +0.07% cup of coffee, Roy says. I think its more fundamental than that.

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The two things that are most likely wrecking your retirement savings - MarketWatch

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September 23rd, 2020 at 7:57 am

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After 30 years of service, retiring Sarasota officer offers perspective on police relations – FOX 13 Tampa Bay

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Heartfelt goodbye for retiring Sarasota officer

Kimberly Kuizon reports

SARASOTA, Fla. - Retired Sarasota Police Department Sgt. Eric Bolden received a heartfelt 'thank you' from officers, co-workers and friends Tuesday upon his retirement.

Bolden served 30 years with the department. He became a role model and dedicated his life to kids and the community.

"You've been a role model and a mentor to so many," said Chief Bernadette DiPino. "You'll never know all the lives you impacted, but you impacted a lot, keep doing what youre doing and I wish you all the best."

From a young age, Bolden had his sights set on the uniform.

"I was that kid that always wanted to be a cop. I was the kid that always went up to cops and asked them what does this do, what does that do," he said.

Bolden has seen the good and bad along the way. Watching the country divide over law enforcement has been the hardest.

"I feel sad about it, but I know there can be changes. There does need to be changes, all the stuff with defunding the police departments, thats a little crazy and a little radical," he said.

Bolden has seen it from both sides.

"All of the rioting and the looting, I dont agree with it at all, but I understand the frustrations of some. I understand the pain over the course of my career as an African American and a law enforcement officer, Ive experienced it myself. So I understand," said Bolden.

Bolden knows there's a lot that needs to be done to bring communities together. He believes it starts with the moment the badge is pinned on.

"I always have believed in the quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. that, 'every man can be great because every man can serve.' I did this job for 30 years because thats what I wanted to do, I wanted to serve the public," said Bolden.

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After 30 years of service, retiring Sarasota officer offers perspective on police relations - FOX 13 Tampa Bay

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September 23rd, 2020 at 7:57 am

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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

Written by admin

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

Posted: at 11:57 am


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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

Written by admin

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.

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

Written by admin

September 8th, 2020 at 7:59 am

Posted in Retirement


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