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Projecting Health-Related Expenses in Retirement

In Asset Allocation, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

For many, the largest unknown during retirement and a source of much concern and worry is the potential for “extraordinary”  health-related expenses.  These costs including Medicare, Medicare Supplement, prescription drug coverage, dental, vision and out-of-pocket costs (deductibles and co-pays) can vary greatly at an individual level. When working on a Retirement Feasibility or Portfolio Sustainability Analysis for clients, we are …

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Understanding Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Rules

In Asset Allocation, Company News, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Fast Facts: Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are based on: December 31st account values and… A person’s life expectancy There is currently no annual RMD requirement on Roth IRAs Neglecting to take a RMD can result in a penalty of 50% on the amount of the required to be withdrawn Required Minimum Distributions: A Deeper Look Those …

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Planning for Life in a Retirement Community—Things To Consider

In Asset Allocation, Company News, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

There is no doubt that people are living longer and enjoying a higher quality of life in their retirement years.  Given the high demand of retirement communities, which can include independent living and assisted living alternatives, many are taking a proactive approach in evaluating and moving into these communities—prior to health changes that could warrant the necessity to move in. …

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A Look Back on Black Monday: October 19, 1987

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Market Review, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since “Black Monday,” the day the stock market declined a whopping 22.6%! Although I was merely a sophomore in high school, I remember the day quite well.  Having my first real job and being a “saver” by nature, I had just become interested in investing.  I had recently invested in a …

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You are Never Too Old (or too Young) for a Roth IRA!

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

The ability to contribute to Roth IRAs can represent one of the most beneficial financial planning decisions that people can make for their future.  Roth IRAs were established by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and while most people are aware of the name, they may not be fully aware of all of the benefits. A Roth IRA is an …

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Estate Tax Planning: Be Proactive and Know Your Options

In Asset Allocation, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

The federal estate tax generally only applies to those who die with assets that exceed $5,490,000 (in 2017).  While only about 0.2% of the population is subject to the estate tax, those who are impacted can be faced with a significant estate tax liability as the estate tax rate quickly exceeds the 40% mark! Here is a simple example of …

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Sequence of Returns Risk: Considerations for New Retirees

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Research has shown that the timing of one’s retirement can be important – especially as it relates to investment returns in the early years of retirement. Someone who retired just prior to the “Great Recession” could have experienced significantly larger portfolio “drawdowns” than someone who retired during a period of economic expansion and higher investment returns.

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Economic Snapshot

In Asset Allocation, Investments, Market Review, Retirement Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

The Economic Snapshot is a sampling of a number of widely followed economic and financial market statistics.  Beacon Financial Strategies utilizes these and other economic indicators as a gauge of the general financial health of the economy when making investment decisions. The purpose of the information contained in this post is to provide you with a general gauge of domestic economic …

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Part 3: 10 Years From Retirement, What is Your Financial Focus?

In Asset Allocation, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

This article is the third of a three part series titled: 10 Years from Retirement, What is your financial focus? In Part 1, we discussed the importance of tracking and managing your living expenses, as well as, making projections around how much you will spend in retirement.  We also stressed the importance of making strategic Social Security decisions. In Part 2, we explored pension decisions, …

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2017 Tax Law Changes

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Happy 2017! As we begin a new year, it’s always important to re-examine certain elements of your financial plan – especially things that relate to tax planning. Here are a few of the more common items that may impact your financial situation this year. Social Security & Medicare Part B For those receiving Social Security, there is a cost of living …

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Part 2: 10 Years from Retirement, What is Your Financial Focus?

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

In Part 1, we discussed the importance of tracking and managing your living expenses, as well as, making projections around how much you will spend in retirement. We also stressed the importance of making strategic Social Security decisions. In this article, we wanted to spend some time addressing pension decisions, ideas for strengthening your personal balance sheet and helping you think through how much money you will likely need during retirement.

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Part 1: 10 Years from retirement, what is your financial focus?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

If you’re 10 years or so away from retirement, you’ve probably spent at least some time thinking about what your life will look like after retirement. How will you manage the transition? Will you travel, take up a new sport or hobby, or spend more time with friends and family? Should you consider relocating? Will you continue to work in some …

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Tax Free IRA Gifts To Charities Are Now Allowed

In Asset Allocation, Charitable Gifting, General Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

For those of you who are charitably inclined and over the age of 70 ½, we have great news that could impact your charitable gifting strategy!  In December 2015, Congress made permanent the ability for taxpayers to divert their required minimum distribution directly to a qualified charity. The ability to make this charitable election, technically called a Qualified Charitable Distribution …

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Fiduciary Responsibility FAQ for 401k Plan Sponsors

In Asset Allocation, Corporate Sponsored 401k Plans, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) imposes strict standards of conduct on fiduciaries who have discretion over the administration and investment of 401(k) retirement plans and plan assets. ERISA and its fiduciary rules apply to defined contribution plans like 401(k) plans, ERISA 403(b) plans and also defined benefit plans. Who are plan fiduciaries to 401(k) plans? Basically, …

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Social Security and Medicare Changes for 2016

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, legislation that raises the federal debt limit and establishes the framework for a two-year budget deal. The legislation, necessary to avoid an impending default on U.S. debt, also contains multiple unrelated provisions, including an elimination of two Social Security retirement benefit claiming strategies and a …

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Retirement Plans for Small Business Owners

In Asset Allocation, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Small business owners have a number of alternatives to choose from when it comes to establishing retirement plans for their business. Each plan type can vary in their contribution level and matching requirements, as well as their ongoing regulatory and administrative burden. In order to make an informed decision as to the type of retirement plan that works best for you, it is important that you consider the specifics of your business.

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Understanding Risk—Capacity, Tolerance, Perception & Risk Required

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

This article explores four elements of an investor’s risk profile – risk capacity, risk required, risk tolerance and risk perception. Understanding each type of risk is an essential element of building an investment portfolio that can both meet your specific investment needs, while allowing you to sleep easy during times of personal and financial stress.

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Dementia – Do You Have a Game Plan?

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Increasingly, families have to figure out how to best deal with dementia and other memory-related impairments that naturally happen as people age. This is especially true when navigating the complex and often times confusing area of personal finances. So, what can you do to prepare yourself should you, or a member of your immediate family develop dementia? Here are a few ideas that you may find helpful.

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Pension Decisions – Consider Your Options

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

There is no doubt that pensions are an extremely important asset and making decisions regarding these plans can be daunting and stressful. This is especially true since pension decisions are irrevocable! This article addresses common questions that should be considered when making decisions about your pension.

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Surviving the Financial Stress Test

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Market Review, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

When making financial planning and investment decisions, we believe that it is important to consider the probability of negative outcomes. We call this “stress-testing” a financial plan. By stress-testing financial planning assumptions, we are able to help our clients identify and protect against financial risks that could derail their financial plans.

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Long Term Care Insurance—Is it time to consider a hybrid?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Normally, when someone mentions hybrids they are referring to fuel-efficient, money-saving cars. Like hybrid cars, the intention of hybrid long term care insurance policies is to provide cost-saving insurance coverage by combining both life insurance (or an annuity) with long term care coverage.

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Has Investor Complacency Arrived?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

With over 20 years in the investment industry, we have helped clients navigate through a number of economic and market cycles. Through the years, we have developed our own set of descriptive names that are used as an indication of where we are in the market cycle. These names are generally based on client emotions and range from “malaise” to “exuberance”. Currently, we are in what we call the “investor complacency” phase.

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Chip Hymiller, CFP® Interviewed about Financial Wellness

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, College & Education Savings, Company News, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Chip Hymiller, CFP® was recently interviewed on the show Community Matters with host, Bill LuMaye. The topic for the show was financial wellness. Chip’s segment of the show highlighted the need to prioritize financial goals, manage debt and develop a strategic long term plan.

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Intra-Family Planning: 5 Wealth Transfer Strategies to Consider

In Charitable Gifting, College & Education Savings, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Through hard work and sound financial planning, some find themselves in situations in which they are contemplating intra-family financial planning. That is, identifying financial planning techniques that can be used to financially strengthen the next generation—children and grandchildren.

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Be Proactive When Helping Aging Parents with Their Finances

In Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Let’s face it, in today’s world, managing your personal financial affairs can be complex. There are many decisions that need to be made on a weekly or even daily basis. For a large and growing segment of the population, who are trying to help (often unwilling) aging parents with their finances, this can be incredibly frustrating, stressful and burdensome.

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The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

In Charitable Gifting, Estate Planning, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

When we begin new client engagements, one of the first things we review is whom our clients have chosen as their primary and contingent beneficiaries on life insurance policies, qualified plans and IRAs.  There have been many occasions that we discover a serious mistake or oversight during this process.

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Should You Payoff Your Mortgage?

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

One of the major goals that most people have is to, at some point, be debt free.  This is a goal that we (Chip and Erin) strive for in our personal lives and we highly encourage our clients to prudently consider as well.  In fact, research has consistently shown that people with manageable debt levels tend to be happier than …

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Planning for Retirement and Increasing Life Expectancies

In General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Let’s face it, seniors today are healthier, more active and are likely to have longer lives. So what are the financial implications for retirees who will likely live well into their 80s and possibly their 90s? We believe that from a financial standpoint, retirees need to make financial planning decisions that reflect the high probability that they will live longer. Here are a few recommendations to consider.

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Increasing Your Odds

In General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

As we help clients make long-term financial decisions, we also like to consider the probability of various negative outcomes. While we consider ourselves generally optimistic people, we believe that it is both important and helpful to also think about “worst case scenarios” – those financial uncertainties that have the potential to derail financial goals.

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At What Age Should I Obtain Long Term Care Insurance?

In Estate Planning, Insurance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

A major consideration when conducting a retirement feasibility analysis for clients is how potential long term care costs would be covered.  With the cost of long term care increasing at a projected rate of 5% to 7% for the foreseeable future, in ten years from now a three year stay in the average facility in North Carolina could cost upwards …

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Strategic Social Security Decisions To Consider

In General Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

One of the most important financial decisions people face with regard to retirement planning is when to start taking their Social Security retirement benefit. Making the most of this decision requires careful consideration of a number of variables including tax, cash flow and even elder care issues. The economic downturn has forced many families to consider taking Social Security earlier than expected. With that in mind, here are some ideas to consider, when making this important decision.

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Is that type of insurance necessary?

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Insurance, Personal Finance, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

A key component of our one-time financial planning engagements involve assessing how much insurance coverage our clients need while also reviewing the insurance policies that clients have in order to determine if they are adequate or necessary. In doing so, we often find that people have purchased insurance products that are either not necessary or entirely too costly.

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A Rule of Thumb for Withdrawal Rates

In Personal Finance, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Much has changed over the last year—especially for those who are taking withdrawals from their investments to fund living expenses.  Even investors who maintained a moderate portfolio allocation may have sustained significant investment losses over the last year.  With portfolio declines, some retirees may find that they are having to distribute a greater percentage of their portfolio to fund “lifestyle” …