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Retirement Planning

The Tale of Two … Parents

Todd D. Heckman

I just returned from a holiday trip ‘up north’ to visit my parents and mother-in-law….. Stop me if you have heard this story before…there are two sets of parents, my parents and my in-laws. My parents, both in their 80s, are cared for in a well-run retirement community and lead a very active lifestyle. This is despite the fact that my father continues to fight a two and a half decade old battle with a dread disease (leukemia). They travel together, volunteer and participate in...

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Cat’s in the Cradle…

Todd D. Heckman

There’s a great Number 1 song from 1974 by the late artist Harry Chapin called: “Cat’s in the Cradle.” Written as a poem for Chapin by his wife Sandy, it tells the story of a father’s relationship with his son. More importantly it describes how the march of time robs us of our intent to take care of the things we need to take care of in the here and now. Predictably, as the song’s melody plays on, the father is struck by an observation...

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The Simplicity of Annuities in Retirement Income Planning

Todd D. Heckman

What does the principle of Occam’s Razor, the conundrum of the Gordian Knot and Annuities have in common?  First, here is some background on these: Occam’s Razor is a line of reasoning which states that the simplest explanation is usually the right one.  It is used in a wide variety of applications throughout the world as a means to slice through a problem or situation and eliminate unnecessary elements. There are two points that are considered the basis of Occam’s Razor: The Principle of Plurality...

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‘Tis the Season…to Plan Ahead

Todd D. Heckman

Shoppers are busying themselves with last minute deals and savings with less than a week left until Christmas. This flurry of consumer activity, both online and in person, should result in happy gift recipients on the 25th and a review of your financial statements on the 26th as we all look forward to the next season…planning season! OK, there is no official planning season, but should there be? Now is the time to look ahead and start the process of planning for the future. There...

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How Can I Be Sure My Assets I Leave Behind Go To My Loved Ones?

John CasaSanta

During our careers the emphasis on retirement planning shifts many times.  When we begin our working careers the emphasis is on purchasing that first home.  The focus turns to our family and making sure our children have all of the essentials needed as they are raised.  During this time we are aware that someday we want to retire.  We focus on setting enough back to match what our employer is placing in the work 401K plan.  When we receive a raise or bonus often times we...

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Re-Characterizing a Traditional IRA to a Roth

John CasaSanta

Written By: Barry Goldwater in Newton, MA As a planner, I talk to people every day about financial priorities. It’s the usual stuff; retirees who need income, people changing jobs want to understand rollovers, young families wanting life insurance. Financial priorities are where you are right now in your life and they usually change as you live longer. Whatever your financial priority, you still need the right strategy creatively getting you to where you need to go. I say creatively, because there is always more...

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Get Your 401k and IRA on Track and Arrive at Retirement on Time: 6 Key Points

John CasaSanta

Written By: Jeffrey Kiesel in Chester Springs, PA Remind yourself verbally, especially when you are listening to the business reports with all of their expert opinions about what will happen in the next quarter or next year: “There is absolutely nobody who knows what’s going to happen in the future. Not next week, month, year or decade. If they did, why didn’t they avoid the latest economic debacle or market disaster? Or why didn’t they retire on all the money they would have made?” Later...

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Can You Withdraw Money From A Life Insurance Policy?

John CasaSanta

Question: Is it possible for me to withdraw some money from my policy? from Joanne A. in Chicago, IL Answer: YES!!!  Cash value life insurance policies are excellent ways to accumulate monies.  The great news is when you withdraw money from them they are considered tax free dollars.  During my twenty years of assisting families and business owners, I have established many “Tax Free” Retirement Plans.  By purchasing either a whole life or universal life insurance policy and contributing monies on a monthly or annual...

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Why Are Investment Reviews Necessary?

John CasaSanta

Question: Why are investment reviews necessary? Answer: Investment reviews are very valuable for many reasons.  Due to life events, people purchase investments at various times of their lives.  It could be when you change jobs and need to roll over your 401K to a private plan, when an inheritance is received, or if you receive a bonus and want to invest for a rainy day or future event.  Depending on how aggressive you would like to be and amount of time to reach your goal will...

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Market Timing and Mutual Funds

John CasaSanta

Written By: Allen Trimble in San Antonio, TX Much has been written about mutual funds over the years. On one end of the spectrum, mutual funds have been credited with the “democratization of investing” by making the stock market available to virtually everyone; on the other, they are demonized as if they were Wall Street ponzi schemes!  Much of the negative press about mutual funds is due to their complex and sometimes hefty fee structures, and much of it has to do with the “all-in...

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