Archive - October 2010

1
6 Steps To Building Your Retirement Portfolio
2
When Can Your Social Security Benefits Be Reduced?
3
Viatical and Life Settlements – Selling Your Life Insurance Early
4
Should You Refinance Now?
5
Forecasting Financial Doom in The Stock Markets

6 Steps To Building Your Retirement Portfolio

For those of you who are entering the retirement phase of your lives, my preferred strategy is to use a process sometimes referred to as “asset dedication” to fund your retirement plan and create the overall asset allocation.  This process fits in well with my preference for income-producing assets such as high-quality dividend paying stocks.  It’s really quite simple, but is also highly customized for each client.  It involves the following steps:

1. Analyze the current budget and income requirements.

2. Compare the current budget to the projected retirement cash flow need.

3. Factor in extraordinary expenses such as projected …

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When Can Your Social Security Benefits Be Reduced?

In earlier articles we talked about the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).  These two rules within the Social Security Administration’s procedures reflect reductions to Social Security benefits for receiving pension benefits from a job where your salary is not subject to Social Security withholding.  Usually these are federal, state, or local government jobs, including teaching jobs at public institutions.  The WEP applies to your own Social Security benefit and pension, while the GPO applies to your spousal or survivor’s Social Security benefit and your own pension.

The WEP may impact you if you are …

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Viatical and Life Settlements – Selling Your Life Insurance Early

Early in the twentieth century John Burchard was alive, but not for long. He was ill and in need of surgery that he could not afford. John had one asset though, a life insurance policy. Though worthless to him, if he could sell it he could get the money he needed, but how much was a life policy on a dying man worth? About $100, as it turns out. Mr. Burchard sold his life insurance policy to a Dr. Griggsby for that $100, and the good doctor would have to maintain the premium payments from then on.  I assume (but …

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Should You Refinance Now?

Mortgages haven’t been this cheap for decades. You would have to go back to the 1950s to find mortgage rates that compare with those in 2010. On October 14, Freddie Mac’s weekly survey estimated the average interest rate on the 15-year FRM at 3.62% (a record low) with 0.7 points. Additionally, the 30-year FRM was averaging 4.19% nationally with 0.8 points.(source)

On October 14, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that applications for refinance had increased 24% in the past week to a pace unseen since April 2009.(source) Rates like these just beg homeowners to refinance.

If …

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Forecasting Financial Doom in The Stock Markets

The Hindenburg Omen. Ooooooo-eeeeeee-ooooooo. Sounds like a Halloween horror flick, doesn’t it? Named after the iconic 1937 Zeppelin disaster, the Omen was brewed by a financial newsletter author and former physics teacher Jim Miekka, relying on a batch of backward-looking technical measurements to predict future market movement. According to The Wall Street Journal, (WSJ), Miekka’s Omen had predicted every market crash since 1987.

On Thursday, August 12, 2010, the Omen predicted another stock market crash. A really big one. You probably heard about it.

But August 12 came … and went. No crash. World still here.

What happened? …

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