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Visiting an Assisted Living Facility

Today I dropped by to visit my friend John DeCecca and see The Herrick House – an assisted living community that is  on the campus of Beverly (MA) Hospital and now part of Lahey Health. Herrick House is relatively new construction (1994) and offers the typical amenities found in assisted living communities (they also have …

Are You Counting on Your Home Equity to Retire?

cover photo courtesy of 401(k) 2013 on Flickr A recent survey by financial planning behemoth Amerprise (reported by NY Times) revealed that nearly half of older working Americans expect to count on their home equity to help with retirement. This result is up sharply from the 37% who expected to use home equity before the recession. …

Building a “Barbell” Portfolio

I hadn’t thought of my barbell portfolio page in a while when Tim, a friend of mine emailed me recently. Here’s what he wrote: I am listening to Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s new book Antifragile, and he discusses the barbell investment strategy at some length.  I googled it and Walnut Hill came up about number four on the …

Why IRA Contribution Indexing Is a Boon to the Self Employed

images courtesy of Tax Credits via Flickr Millions of small businesses in the US are owned by people who need to invest for their future but who don’t have a generous 401(k) plan in place. When looking to save for the future, many options present themselves offering different benefits and costs. For many though, especially …

Is Your Insurance Company at Risk?

Is your insurance company safe? Or at risk? Editor note 2/3/16: I wrote this article in 2012. Much of what I wrote about has happened. Rates stayed low for a long time. Many institutions like pensions, have had to boost yields and returns by adding more stocks and junk bonds. To replace low yielding government …

HSA: Mysteries of The Health Savings Account

Understanding Health Savings Accounts… What the dickins is a health Savings Account? Since many people still use low deductible HMO’s and PPOs, there has been no need to know what an HSA is. However, as more and more companies try to control health insurance costs  – Whole Foods and Target being two large corporations that …

In-Force Annuities – Buying Someone Else’s Foolishness

Millions of people, in search of yields over 2%, have moved money from their banks accounts to financial markets. Buying up REITs, MLPs, Preferred stocks, High Dividend-Paying Stocks and Junk Bonds has been the solution for some. And even though yields on those investments are still much higher than bank account yields, many a scared …

Late in Life Retirement Planning for Boomers

Photo courtesy of 401(k) 2012 A number of clients approach me (often they are referred) worried about a retirement shortfall. Often it’s someone around age 60-64 who for whatever reason, has not saved significantly for retirement. Reasons often include:

Should You Take A Pension Roll-out Lump Sum Option?

A pension roll-out lump sum should only be taken after the most deliberate study of the figures. I’ve been getting a few inquiries lately about whether or not clients should take the lump sum pension roll-out benefit option from their employer pension. Before I get into analyzing that decision, let’s review how the offer comes …

Financial Independence by 50 (or 40) for Regular People

What does Financial Independence mean to you? “Financial Independence” is what we used to call “Retirement.” So if you like that word better, so be it. What does it mean to you? For older generations, they may have looked forward to stopping work and relaxing – and seeing that we had a larger blue collar …