Posts by Eric Scott

The Importance of Having a Budget

In last month’s blog I wrote about the importance of getting your financial house in order, beginning with forming a foundation with some key protections against the unexpected. Among the cornerstones for this foundation is emergency savings – with the recommendation that you have at least 3-12 months’ income set aside in case of an unexpected financial crisis. I drew inspiration for that blog post from my book, The Five Crossroads: How The Choices We Make Affect Our Retirement Journey. This month I want to continue with another theme from my book, beginning with The Crossroads. Each Crossroad, as the
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Establish an Emergency Fund – Commit to Being Prepared for When ‘Life’ Happens

Like most journeys of a thousand miles, getting to a joyful, successful and prosperous retirement begins with one step. So if you had the chance to better prepare for retirement and important life-changing financial decisions now would you take that first step? Most of us probably would, right? “No matter your situation now, there is a way to reach a better position for the future.” This is what the character, simply named “The Guide,” writes in the letter John & Sue Smith receive in the prologue of my book, The Five Crossroads. Preparing for the so-called thousand-mile journey ahead and
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Medicare Open Enrollment Begins October 15 and Runs Through December 7

Medicare’s Open Enrollment period is upon is. If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, are considering making changes from Original Medicare (Parts A and B) to a Medicare Advantage Plan, or are newly eligible to evaluate your Medicare options, now is your chance to make changes or enroll. During the Open Enrollment Period you can change Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year. Medicare health and drug plans often make changes to their policies each year, including changes to costs, coverage, and what pharmacies and providers are in their network. It’s your opportunity
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A Good Financial Plan Can Help Sync Up With What’s Truly Important To You

Competing priorities, burnout, confusion and overwhelm in our lives can sometimes get in the way of what’s important to us and what we want to achieve in retirement. Have you taken some time recently to consider what you value in retirement? Is it your family, leaving a legacy, or finding your purpose? Maybe it’s leading a mission-driven business or living and sharing your life in abundance? Whatever you value in retirement and, indeed, in life, are what’s most important to you. These values drive our actions. They’re what motivate us and also act as an after-the-fact evaluation of our actions.
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Resist Tapping Into Your 401(k), Employer-Sponsored Plan If You Can

‘Leakage’ can erode assets and negatively impact your retirement wealth If you find it difficult to save or pay for big financial emergencies when they arise, tapping into a pot of money can be tempting – even if it’s your 401(k)-style employer-sponsored plan. But if you’re able to resist, rewards do come from the power of compounding. The problem, though, is that a small percentage of Americans take early withdrawals and withdrawals after age 59½ from their 401(k)s each year or cash out of their plan when they switch jobs. A large percentage – typically about 20% of plan participants
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September is Life Insurance Awareness Month

Risk Management Is About More Than Your Investments A lot of financial services professionals talk about “risk” when it comes to your stock market investments. But risk can encompass more than your investment risk tolerance. The broader definition of financial risk is the possibility of loss from any unexpected life event. For instance, what will happen to your family’s income if one spouse passes away, becomes disabled or unable to work, or needs long-term care? What happens to your kids’ education fund, or your retirement? Risk management in this case means shifting risk of financial loss from adverse events to
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7 Things You Should Know About Medicare Before You Retire

It’s important to understand the facts about Medicare before heading into retirement. Here is a basic overview of seven things you should be aware of when it comes to this important federal health insurance benefit. But keep in mind that certain parts of the Medicare program vary by state, so you will want to get more in-depth information before you turn 65 based on your primary retirement residence. It’s not free. Even though studies have shown that Medicare is cheaper than most health plans offered by private insurers, it still does not cover all health costs when a person retires.
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When Should I Seek Financial Advice?

Here are some life milestones and events that mark when you should make the call to a financial advisor. When there’s a new baby in the family. Parents, grandparents, siblings—everyone is affected when the new baby comes along. Now is the time to plan for what this tiny family member will grow to need in the future—especially college funds. And now is also the time to make sure that you have the right insurance and protections in place to see the child through to adulthood should something unexpectedly happen to you. When you get married. Two people joined together in
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How the Rich Think About Their Wealth

  The 2018 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey found that while increased wealth provides greater freedom, only half of high-net-worth individuals have a plan in place to optimize the opportunities their wealth provides. However, creating and continuously evolving a customized plan is the key to putting wealth into action.   Findings from a recent survey of high- and ultra-high-net-worth adults across the United States revealed that while increased wealth brought greater freedom to people, most felt they had still not optimized their opportunities for taking risks, pursuing passions, giving back and making a bigger impact on the
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What You Should Know About Annuities

Annuities are similar to a pension you purchase for yourself.   Company pensions are pretty much a thing of the past in corporate America. While the ubiquitous 401(k) plan might help workers save pre-tax dollars for retirement, they’ve also shifted the responsibility for retirement planning to the individual. And as many people saw in 2008, 401(k)s can be fraught with market risk, including the risk of losing it all and having to go back to work. Annuities can be thought of as a way to transform savings into income. When you purchase an annuity, you are exchanging a sum of money
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