Hot Topics

Calm Seas Breed Complacency

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Behavioral Finance, Behavioral Finance, Bonds, Economy, Investment | Comments Off

back deckFive plus years of exceptional stock and bond market returns may be breeding complacency. Investors tend to exhibit what is known as “recency bias.”  They expect recent performance to persist in well into the future with no expectation for stormy performance.  When investors review statements and are almost shocked to see a negative month in their portfolio or a particular fund, it is a bad sign.  In fact, losses are a normal part of economic and business cycles and should be anticipated.  A continuous string of nine positive quarters for the S&P 500 (US Large Cap stocks) is about as rare as a cold July day in Columbia, SC, yet that is that has occurred since January 2012. (more…)

Using Pinterest to Piece Together a Retirement Plan –What’s on Your Bucket List?

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Financial Plan, Life Plan, Plan Retirement | Comments Off

pinterestlaura_2012When I counsel clients on retirement planning, I try to help them envision their future in a way that motivates them to make changes today to achieve those dreams for tomorrow. Research shows that doing so is not just a speculative exercise — it actually spurs us to save more money.

I tell my clients to be as specific as possible when crafting the vision.  Where will you live?  How often will you travel and where would you like to go?  What activities will you engage in?  How often will you see family and friends?  What will a typical day in retirement look like?   I often recommend that pre-retirees put together a visual collage of the things they want to do, be, and see in retirement.     (more…)

How the “Doc Fix” Bill Will Increase Your Medicare Bills

Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Government, Healthcare, Medicare | Comments Off

thumb_healthThe Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 also known as the “doc fix” was recently signed into law.  It provided guidance for the fees that doctors charge for Medicare services going forward.  Previously, rates were based on the SGR (sustainable growth rate) and were slated to decline by over 20% this year if Congress did not act.  In previous years, temporary fixes were voted in to ensure that this did not happen. The new bill will result in annual increases of 0.5% for doctors who bill Medicare over the next 5 years.   During this transition period, Medicare will transition to a pay system based on “quality of care” metrics.

In order to pay for the bill, however, Medicare Part B fees will rise, most notably for upper income retirees.   (more…)

Choose to Cruise – Considering a Cruise for Your Next Vacation? Here are Some Tips to Consider Before You Book Your Trip

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Plan Retirement, Travel | Comments Off

back deckBy Doug Caviness

Cruises are one of the best values for your vacation dollar and have become increasingly popular over the past 10 to 15 years.  But how do you decide if cruising is for you and which experience makes sense for your lifestyle and budget? (more…)

Man versus Machine, the Rise of the Bionic Advisor

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Fee-Only Financial Planning | Comments Off

RobotGentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better… stronger… fasterExcerpt from The Six million Dollar Man

Retirement Requires an Emotional Plan, Not Just a Financial One

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Plan Retirement | Comments Off

Retirement Road Sign with blue sky and clouds.You’ve worked hard for decades, invested carefully, and now you have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of your life. That means you’re ready for retirement, right?

Not necessarily. Although money may not be a concern, that doesn’t mean you are emotionally ready to make the big leap to a retirement lifestyle. (more…)