Best Places to Retire in 2024

We read an article recently examining more than 800 locations in America, comparing everything from housing costs to taxes to health care, air quality, and natural hazard risk. What they found were some of the best places to retire in 2024.  The town of Las Cruces, for example, a town of 116,000 people, has a median home price of only $284,000 (which is 28% under the national median).  Interestingly, their only choice down in Florida was Pensacola, a city of 53,000 with a median house price of just $262,000–the rest of sunny Florida apparently had too high of hurricane risks

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How Would You Answer the Question? 

Nobel laureate, the late Daniel Kahneman, proposed a question; “How does the experience of a loss compare with the experience of a gain?” There were four possible answers to choose from:  Which answer would you choose? Kahneman’s research study concluded that losses are twice as painful as gains are pleasurable:  “This phenomenon—known as loss aversion—suggests the pain we might feel from losing $100 is disproportionately more intense than the joy we would experience from gaining the same amount. One implication is that people tend to go to far greater lengths to avoid a loss than they would to rack up

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Fine-Tuning Your Retirement

It’s been a while since the Secure Act of 2022 came about, but it’s time to refocus on its impact in 2024. Did you know that, beginning in 2024, Roth 401(k)s are no longer subject to RMDs? This means that Roth savers, whether in a 401(k) or an IRA, can keep their contributions invested their entire lifetime.  Did you know that the penalty for failing to take an RMD drops from 50% to 25%? And, the penalty can be further reduced to 10% if corrected in a timely manner. Did you know that the RMD age is now 73, and

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Financial Conflict Between Couples 

Strategists who work with couples have found there to be a few conflicts that are most common between them. Different priorities: financial management done predominately by one partner, helping adult children, and disagreements over an inheritance. Each seems to resonate in different ways as we all know how common it is to have one partner be more of a spender than the other, or more inclined to save than the other. Or, perhaps one partner finds it easier to take the reins of being in charge of the money while the other finds it overwhelming or confusing. As it relates

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What Happens? 

We’ve been asked a few questions regarding what happens to those portions of your estate that aren’t treated consistently with what you say in your will.  Many people assume wills and trusts are the pillars of a perfect estate plan. However, asset titling–the way you own an asset–is just as critical. Conflict instructions can create unintended consequences for your heirs, and results that may not be the ones you wanted.  If you state in your will that you want your home to be given to, for example, your children from a previous marriage, but the property is titled with your

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Roth IRA Vs Traditional IRA

Having just taken a look at your traditional IRA, you may be wondering if the time is now to convert it to a Roth IRA.  Choosing between a Roth and a traditional IRA requires you to estimate what your tax situation will be when you start drawing from the account. This analysis is different from person to person, and there is not a right or wrong answer necessarily.  For some, the immediate tax break of the traditional IRA might make that type of account more appealing; for others, the prospect of tax-free income in retirement makes the Roth the clear

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The Busyness of Life

What does retirement really, truly mean? What are your plans for after you retire? We’ve been thinking about this recently. Many would define it as “retreating from the ‘busyness’ of life.”  When do you plan on retiring? How old will you be? How long do you think you’ll spend in retirement? Getting away from all the “busyness” costs money; you need to afford to not just support yourself but enjoy your retirement to the fullest.  Call us. We may have some ideas about where and how you can have sources of income you can’t outlive, an income stream that will

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Bridge the Gap

We’ve heard many times that it’s a good idea for retirees to put off receiving Social Security payments, as waiting can allow you to get more out of them than if you were to start as soon as age permits.  One way to make this more feasible is to include annuities in retirement strategies to create income during the interim years. Annuities are most commonly used by retirees as part of their retirement strategy because they provide a consistent, predictable income source you can’t outlive. Call us, and we can explain in more detail how this product works. We’re always

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Stay Active During Retirement

Retirement is a new beginning. As a new retiree, you enter a new stage of your life, where your time is now regulated by you and you alone, rather than revolving around your work.  Unfortunately, many new retirees find this isn’t what they’d expected it to be. Many people begin to feel bored, and worry about how they’ll spend their time. For some, their health begins to falter and they may even spiral into anxiety and depression.  One way to counteract this decline? Stay as healthy as possible in retirement. And living a healthier (and happier) life starts with being

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Money in College Savings Accounts Can Instead Be Put Towards Retirement

Starting in 2024, due to the Secure Act 2.0, up to $35,000 of the money in a 529 college savings account to be rolled over to a Roth IRA for the beneficiary of the 529 account. Although funds in a college savings account going unused is rare, it’s not unheard of, and now you may not have to face a penalty for withdrawing those unneeded funds.  For example, a student may decide not to attend college, or choose a more affordable school. In this scenario, the option to potentially move the money from the 529 into a Roth IRA may

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