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Business Cents: The Sequence of Returns

Provided by Garrett German What exactly is the “sequence of returns”? The phrase simply describes the yearly variation in an investment portfolio’s rate of return. Across 20 or 30 years of saving and investing for the future, what kind of impact do these deviations from the average return have on a portfolio’s final value?  The […]

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Should You Pay Off Your Home Before You Retire?

Provided by Garrett German  Should you own your home free and clear before you retire? At first glance, the answer would seem to be “absolutely, if at all possible.” Retiring with less debt … isn’t that a good thing? Why not make a few extra mortgage payments to get the job done? In reality, things […]

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The Retirement Gender Gap

Provided by Garrett German What is the retirement outlook for the average fifty-something working woman? As a generalization, less sunny than that of a man in her age group. Most middle-class retirees get their income from three sources. An influential 2016 National Institute on Retirement Security study called them the “three-legged stool” of retirement. Social […]

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Business Cents: The Retirement Mindgame

Provided by Garrett German What kind of retirement do you think you’ll have? Qualitatively speaking, what if the success or failure of your retirement begins with your perception of retirement? A whole field of study has emerged on the psychology of saving, spending, and investing: behavioral finance. Since retirement saving is a behavior (and since […]

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Business Cents: Retirement Planning Weak Spots

Provided by Garrett German Many households think they are planning carefully for retirement. In many cases, they are not. Weak spots in their retirement planning and saving may go unnoticed.  Couples should recognize that they may face major medical expenses. Each year, Fidelity Investments estimates how much a pair of newly retired 65-year-olds will spend […]

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Business Cents: Adjusting Your Portfolio as You Age

Provided by Garrett German If you are an experienced investor, you have probably fine-tuned your portfolio through the years in response to market cycles or in pursuit of a better return. As you approach or enter retirement, is another adjustment necessary? Some investors may think they can approach retirement without looking at their portfolios. Their […]

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Taking a Loan from Your Retirement Plan Is a Bad Idea

Provided by Garrett German Thinking about borrowing money from your 401(k), 403(b), or 457 account? Think twice about that, because these loans are not only risky but injurious to your retirement planning.  A loan of this kind damages your retirement savings prospects. A 401(k), 403(b), or 457 should never be viewed like a savings or […]

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Are Your Beneficiary Designations Up to Date?

Provided by Garrett German Here’s a simple financial question: who is the beneficiary of your IRA? How about your 401(k) or annuity? You may be saying, “I’m not sure.” It is smart to periodically review your beneficiary designations.  Your choices may need to change with the times. When did you open your first IRA? When […]

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