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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Social Security Benefits

Ever wonder how the Social Security office compiles your benefit amount? Well, believe it or not, there is a formula that is followed. And don’t worry, even though you only made $2,500 for the year back in 1962, the Social Security office does index for inflation. The easiest and simplest explanation of figuring your retirement benefit can be found on the Social Security website. Some other potential unknowns in addition to indexing for inflation include: Social Security uses your highest 35 earnings years for its benefit calculation and allows people to receive their benefits before their full retirement age-as early as 62. Benefits are reduced by a certain percentage however, if received before full retirement age. For help in estimating your benefit, set up your personal Social Security account, or read this  2 page Social Security document.

Social Security income is typically a large component of a financial plan. Be familiar with the program and how it works and talk to your financial advisor about how Social Security income fits into your goals!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Car Loans

I was reading this article about the length of car loans and thought I would give my thoughts:

Let’s harken back to 5-6 years ago when lending standards for cars, mortgages and other loans were very strict. Now, the above article says 6 and 7 year car loans are becoming more common. Folks, 84 months for a car loan is wild. Please consult with your advisor before jumping into decisions like this.