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3 Things You MUST Think About When Changing Jobs

Fall seems to be the time of year many people either willingly decide to change jobs or are forced to due to downsizings or restructuring. If you are changing jobs, here are the top financial considerations:
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SWITCHING FROM ONE JOB TO ANOTHER CAN LITERALLY PAY OFF

Data from payroll processing giant ADP confirms that statement. In the first quarter of 2016, the average job hopper realized a 6% pay boost!

That’s a pretty significant jump in pay, so it’s definitely something to consider. We all get comfortable in our jobs, but as you can see it may pay to look elsewhere. You never know what opportunity may be out there for you if you are not looking.

Nevertheless, before you make that leap, be sure you address these matters:

CONSIDERATION #1

HEALTH CARE

How quickly can you arrange health coverage?

If you already pay for your own health insurance, this will not be an issue. If you had coverage at your old job you will need to figure out how to replace it.

If you were enrolled in an employer-sponsored health plan, you need to find out when the coverage from your previous job ends – and, if applicable, when coverage under your new employer’s health plan begins.

If the interval between jobs is prolonged, and COBRA will not cover you for the entirety of it, you may want to check whether you can obtain coverage from your alumni association, your guild or union, or AARP.

If you are leaving a career to start a business, confer with an insurance professional to search for a good group health plan.

CONSIDERATION #2

YOUR RETIREMENT SAVINGS

What Happens With Your Retirement Savings?

You will likely have four options regarding the money you have saved up in your workplace retirement plan: you can leave the money in the plan, roll it over into an IRA (this is the option we help with at Weiss Financial Group), transfer the assets into the retirement plan at your new job, or cash it out.

Keep in mind that the last option will be taxable and may incur a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are not yet 59 1/2.

Here is a link to another blog post that goes into greater detail about what to do with your retirement account when you leave your job: 4 Options for Your 401(k) When You Leave Your Job

CONSIDERATION #3

YOUR CASH FLOW

Can you manage your cash flow effectively between one job & the next?

First, you’ll need to truly understand if you can make this work. I suggest taking pencil to paper and filling out a cash flow worksheet to figure out what your needs are.

Here is a link to our cash flow worksheet to make things easier for you: http://bit.ly/CashFlowWorksheet

Use can also online tools to help with this. We use first step cash management with our clients. In my opinion this is the best cashflow planning strategy available. If you are interested, as a thank you for watching the video and reading this post I will give you free access. Simply send a private message request to the Weiss Financial Group Facebook page and I’ll get you set up.

This all makes the case for having an emergency fund in place. Do you have one? Take a look at this blog post I wrote: How Big Should Your Emergency Fund Be?.

Finally, I recommend postponing big purchases, and avoid running up large credit card debts you will regret later.

BOTTOM LINE

  • Make sure you keep your household money needs top of mind
  • Make sure you address your insurance needs
  • Strive to keep saving for your future at your new workplace

Sources

  1. qz.com/666915/when-to-switch-jobs-to-get-the-biggest-salary-increase/
  2. money.cnn.com/2016/04/12/news/economy/millennials-change-jobs-frequently/
  3. healthcare.gov/quick-guide/dates-and-deadlines/
  4. lifereimagined.aarp.org/stories/14481-Financial-Checklist-for-Job-Changers
  5. This material was prepared, in part, by MarketingPro, Inc.

Stay On Track: 3 Financial Tips for October

Staying on top of your financial life can be a daunting task, however if you tackle a few smaller tasks every month it becomes more manageable. Here are 3 things you can do in October to help to keep your financial life on track this year:

#1
OPEN ENROLLMENT

Open enrollment is the perfect time to review what your employer offers to help you manage your finances.

Did you have a baby this year? If so, you may be interested in the dependent care flexible spending account.

Is your employer offering a high-deductible health insurance plan? If so, you should learn more about the benefits of a health savings account (HSA)

#2

SUBMIT YOUR TAX RETURN

If You’ve Filed for an Extension Submit Your Taxes by October 15th.

October 15 is the last day that you can submit your taxes if you’ve filed for an extension.

#3
ESTATE PLANNING TASKS

Since you may be dealing with open enrollment this month, you can also tack on some estate planning tasks.

First, check the beneficiary designations on your retirement plans and make updates if needed.

Also, while you’re at it take a look at your will and health care directive to see if want to make any changes there.


Sources:

1.http://www.learnvest.com/knowledge-center/your-january-2016-financial-to-dos/
2.http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/12/02/your-end-of-year-financial-checklist
3.http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/01/04/your-financial-to-dos-for-every-month-in-2013/#14fe6d3d41d4

 

Are You Properly Insured? Should You Insure Your Kids? [VIDEO]

September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month – a good time to think about the value and importance of insuring yourself.
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Too many Americans Have No Life Insurance At All

According to a recent Bankrate survey, 42% of Americans have no life insurance at all. (1) Many growing families have inadequate life insurance coverage. The Bankrate survey discovered that 37% of parents with children under age 18 had no policy at all. The Good news life insurance coverage has become much more affordable than it once was.

What Life Insurance Does for You

Life insurance is about managing risk, and if other people rely on you financially, you need to have it in place in case your passing puts them at financial risk. When a spouse or parent dies, there are financial matters to address: a sudden lack of income for a household, bills and mortgages or rent to pay, final expenses such as funeral or cremation costs, and the cost of children’s education. Without adequate life insurance coverage, a household is hard-pressed to meet these immediate, financially draining challenges.

How Much Coverage is Adequate For You?

Ideally, you should determine that with the help of an insurance professional. As a rough rule of thumb, the death benefit on a policy should be about 15 times your income.
Ideally, you should determine that with the help of an insurance professional. As a rough rule of thumb, the death benefit on a policy should be about 20x’s income in your 40’s 15x’s income in your 50’s. You can use this calculator to help determine what may be right for you.

What Kind of Insurance Should You Get?

There are basically 2 types of insurance: Temporary (Term) and Permanent (Whole Life). What’s right for you depends on so many factors you will probably need to discuss this with a professional. Term is significantly less expensive but will end after a specified period of time. If you are considering a term life policy, the term should not end before your envisioned retirement age.(2)

Should You Have Life Insurance on Your Children?

A small life insurance policy could help cover these expenses if the unthinkable occured:
  1. Outstanding Healthcare costs
  2. Lost income from taking time off to mourn
  3. Funeral costs

Make Sure You Have Coverage in Place

While you may decide you prefer one kind of policy over another, the important thing is to have coverage in place – not just to reassure yourself, but those you love. Life insurance can help a spouse or a family maintain financial equilibrium at a time when it is most needed.


Sources

  1. bankrate.com/finance/insurance/money-pulse-0715.aspx [7/8/15]
  2. forbes.com/sites/timmaurer/2016/01/05/10-things-you-absolutely-need-to-know-about-life-insurance/ [1/5/16]
  3. nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/should-you-consider-cash-value-life-insurance/ [5/6/15]
  4. This material was prepared, in part, by MarketingPro, Inc.

Worrying About Your Portfolio? Why You Need to Know Your Risk Tolerance [VIDEO]

Knowing your Risk Tolerance or Risk Profile is important for smart investors. Below you’ll learn what it signifies AND why you need to know it.

Which Model Portfolio is Right For You?

If you work with an advisor they often use a few model portfolios which they’ll adapt for the unique needs of each client. Your risk profile indicates which of these model portfolios might become a good basis for your own, custom portfolio.

TYPES OF INVESTORS

  • Conservative

  • Moderate

  • Aggressive

Investors are usually categorized as “conservative”, “moderate” or “aggressive”, with in-between categories of “moderately aggressive” and “moderately conservative” which are based on your questionnaire responses.

The Conservative Investor

If you absolutely do not want to risk losing money, or if your first priority is consistent income to live on, you are a conservative investor. If these are your concerns and you are retired or about to retire, you should probably avoid high-risk investments.

If you retire with an aggressive portfolio and your investments tank, it could take (many) years to rebuild your savings, years you might not have.

The Moderately Conservative Investor

However, many pre-retirees and new retirees are moderately conservative: they are cautious with money in their lives and don’t want to take on a risky portfolio, but they still have a need to accumulate assets because they have either started saving for the future too late or lost assets as a result of market downturns or poor or unfortunate financial decisions.

The Aggressive Investor &

Moderately Aggressive Investor

Aggressive and moderately aggressive investors commonly want to match or beat the markets. Or, they are looking to save for retirement at a highly accelerated rate.

Some are “market junkies” who watch Wall Street on a daily basis. Most of them are expecting to build substantial wealth someday.

They tend to be young investors or in the middle stage of life. Most of have NOT been hit hard financially as a result of investing, and many of them have substantial income or savings.

The moderately aggressive investor is willing to wait a bit longer to reach his or her goals, while the aggressive investor tends to be in a hurry by comparison.

The Moderate Investor

Typically, the moderate investor starts investing roughly about the time of major life events – that first stable job with a corresponding 401(k), a marriage, the start of a family.

Often, the moderate investor is a younger investor saving or investing for long-term goals (usually their child’s college education and retirement). These midlife investors frequently have a “balanced” portfolio, with a mix of conservative and riskier investments across varied investment classes. These investors are willing to accept some losses and risks and are pragmatic and usually educated about the realities of investing and their investment options. Some moderate investors are retired or nearly retired, having either retained their investment stance out of necessity (they need to continue accumulating assets in retirement) or out of preference (they do not want to “miss out” when the bulls run on Wall Street).

These midlife investors frequently have a “balanced” portfolio, with a mix of conservative and riskier investments across varied investment classes. They are willing to accept some losses and risks and are understand the realities of investing and their investment options.

Some moderate investors are retired or nearly retired, having either kept their investment stance out of necessity (they need to continue accumulating assets in retirement) or out of preference (they do not want to “miss out” when the bulls run on Wall Street).

What’s your risk number?

Now that you know all this it’s time to figure out your risk tolerance. You can use our free tool to learn what your risk number is. It’s great information to help you build the best portfolio for your goals.


 

Source:
This material was prepared, in part, by MarketingPro, Inc.

 

Why It’s Wise To Diversify Your Portfolio

We all seem to know a day trader or two, someone constantly hunting for the next hot stock. That’s not what I’d consider smart investing. Here’s why it’s wise to diversify your portfolio:

Diversification Helps You Manage Risk

We all want a terrific ROI, but risk management matters just as much in investing, perhaps more. That is why diversification is so important. There are two great reasons to invest across a range of asset classes, even when some are clearly outperforming others.

REASON #1:

Potentially Capture Gains in Different Market Climates

If you allocate your invested assets across the breadth of asset classes, you will at least have some percentage of your portfolio assigned to the market’s best-performing sectors on any given trading day. If your portfolio is too heavily weighted in one asset class, or in one stock, its return is riding too heavily on its performance.

Your portfolio is like a garden. A good gardener will plant a variety of flowers to ensure something is always blooming. The gardener knows that some flowers eventually die off or may not grow well but if there is enough diversity the overall picture will still look good.

REASON #2:

Potentially Less Financial Pain if Stocks Tank

If you have a lot of money in growth stocks and aggressive growth funds (and some people do), what happens to your portfolio in a correction or a bear market? You’ve got a bunch of losers on your hands. Tax loss harvesting can ease the pain only so much.

Diversification gives your portfolio a kind of “buffer” against market volatility and drawdowns. Without it, your exposure to risk is magnified.

ADVICE:

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

Believe the cliché: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Wall Street is hardly uneventful and the behavior of the market sometimes leaves even seasoned analysts scratching their heads. We can’t predict how the market will perform; we can diversify to address the challenges presented by its ups and downs. 


Sources

  1. usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/perfi/retirement/story/2011-12-08/investment-diversification/51749298/1 [12/8/11]
  2. This material was prepared, in part, by MarketingPro, Inc.

How Will A Clinton (or Trump) Presidency Affect the Market? [VIDEO]

Whoever wins the election, the status quo will likely remain on Capitol Hill. As a Morgan Stanley report commented in July, “Current evidence suggests the U.S. elections in November won’t yield outcomes that substantially change market fundamentals.”

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SCENARIO #1:

What Happens if Clinton Wins?

Morgan Stanley analysts foresee Clinton winning the election and Republicans retaining their majority in the House of Representatives. In that scenario, Clinton wins, but her administration has difficulty enacting any of its planned reforms.3

SCENARIO #2:

What Happens if Republicans Lose Control of the House or Trump wins?

If the Republicans lose control of the House or Trump wins, Wall Street could see some pronounced short-term volatility, which is also an outcome that could possibly affect market fundamentals. Even if one candidate or the other wins by a landslide, their most ambitious proposals may never get off the ground. As Morgan Stanley asserts, “attempts by Clinton or Trump to exercise transformative power domestically will be stunted” by a lack of support in Congress.3

So, What Should You Do?

Should stocks rollercoaster before or after Election Day, keep calm. Any disturbance may be short-term, and your investing and retirement saving effort is decidedly long-term. The election is a big event, but earnings, central bank monetary policy, and macroeconomic factors may have a much bigger impact on the markets this fall.

———–

Sources
4 – This material was prepared, in part, by MarketingPro, Inc.

3 Important Personal Finance Tasks for September [VIDEO]

Here are three things you should be doing this month to keep your financial life on track:

#1 Review Your Credit Report

For the second time this year, download a copy of your credit report from http://www.Annualcreditreport.com. Just remember that each of the bureaus will only give you one free copy a year, so if you received a copy from Equifax in May, pull your report from either TransUnion or Experian now.

#2 Gauge Your Tolerance For Risk

Once a year you want to check your tolerance for risk. “Risk Tolerance is an important component in investing. An individual should have a realistic understanding of his or her ability and willingness to stomach large swings in the value of his or her investments. Investors who take on too much risk may panic and sell at the wrong time” – Investopedia. Market conditions, your age or life events could affect your risk tolerance this this so it’s good to gauge where you are at to determine if changes to your portfolio are necessary. Use my free tool to gauge your current comfort for risk: http://bit.ly/YourRiskNumber

#3 Review Your Asset Allocation

You should have set up the assets allocation in your portfolio at the beginning of the year. Now, you want to check in to see if any of the allocations have drifted and if you need to make any adjustments. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself I advise you to talk to your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and he or she will be able to help you making smart decisions.

Sources:
1.http://www.learnvest.com/knowledge-center/your-january-2016-financial-to-dos/
2.http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/12/02/your-end-of-year-financial-checklist
3.http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/01/04/your-financial-to-dos-for-every-month-in-2013/#14fe6d3d41d4

3 Smart Financial Moves For August [VIDEO]

#1 Check Your Credit Score

It’s that time again: Review your credit score at http://www.CreditKarma.com, paying special attention to any fraudulent charges, so you can report it to your credit card company.

#2 Review Your Insurance

Review your auto and homeowners insurance coverage and to shop around. Make an appointment with your agent, or go online and see what other insurers charge for similar coverage.

#3 Review Your Benefits

Review your current benefits situation. Each fall, employees have a brief window of time when they can make changes to their insurance policies or set up and adjust contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Check out any new options that are available and decide whether you should make any switches

Sources:
1. http://www.learnvest.com/knowledge-center/your-january-2016-financial-to-dos/
2. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/12/02/your-end-of-year-financial-checklist
3. http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/01/04/your-financial-to-dos-for-every-month-in-2013/#14fe6d3d41d4

What is Financial Planning and How Can it Help You? [VIDEO]

You may have heard the phrase “Financial Planning” before but what exactly does it mean?

Process NOT Product

Simply put, Financial Planning is about building and maintaining wealth through an on-going process, it’s not just about investing or purchasing financial products.

Goals and Values

It’s about understanding all the goals you have for your money. And, it’s about understanding what matters most to you in life and figuring out how your wealth relates to your values.

Your Entire Financial Life

The Financial Planning process looks at the entirety of your financial life to figure out how everything can work together optimally specifically for you and your situation. You’ll look at things like your:

  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Investments
  • Income
  • Taxes
  • Insurance

 

The problem is, people typically people deal with these things in individual silos, not really understanding how they affect one another. The financial process brings everything together in a clear, concise, actionable plan so you can take the steps necessary to can achieve your financial goals.

Let’s take a look at some of the things a Financial Planner can help you with:

  • Saving For Retirement
  • Handling an Inheritance
  • Preparing for Marriage
  • Dealing With Divorce
  • Planning for a Child
  • Facing a Financial Crisis
  • Caring for Aging Parents
  • Coping With A Death
  • Funding Education

On-Going Process

Keep in mind that Financial planning is an ongoing process. Your planner should help you make smart decisions about your money at every stage of your life so you can ultimately live a better financial life.

If you want to get going on your own, and learn more about implementing the financial planning process into your life right now, download a copy of my free report “8 Steps to Organize & Optimize Your Financial Life”: http://bit.ly/OrganizeAndOptimize.

It’s a great way to start your journey toward living a better financial life.

July: 3 Simple Tasks to Improve Your Financial Life [VIDEO]

TASK #1: Run a Retirement Plan Projection

Run a retirement plan projection so that you know where you are and what you need to do to get closer to YOUR goals. You should do this once a year to see if you are heading in the right direction. Use our free Retirement Check-Up Wizard here to get a general idea of where you stand with your retirement plans. If you want a more thorough calculation you should work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. They’ll have access to more sophisticated software and will look at your entire financial life. If you are working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ you will want to revisit their projections at your annual review to account for changes in your financial life.

TASK #2: Increase Your 401(k) Plan Contributions

For most people, setting a goal to max out your 401(k) or 403(b) plan contributions should be key. If you’re saving in a 401(k) or 403(b) and aren’t already on track to max it out, increase your contributions by 1%. Re-evaluate in 6 months and increase your contributions by another 1% until you ultimately max it out.

TASK #3: Review Your Investment Strategy

Has anything changed over the last 6 months that would cause you to have to make changes? Births? deaths? New goals? If so, review your plan or speak to your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ to help you make smart choices

For more financial planning tips, download my free report: “8 Steps to Organize and Optimize Your Financial Life”. Thanks for reading!

Sources:

  1. http://www.learnvest.com/knowledge-center/your-january-2016-financial-to-dos/
  2. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/12/02/your-end-of-year-financial-checklist
  3. http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/01/04/your-financial-to-dos-for-every-month-in-2013/#14fe6d3d41d4