Podcast of the Month: Planning for the Unexpected

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You may be healthy today, but what about tomorrow? When Mark’s mother was 84 she seemed perfectly healthy, but that all changed in the blink of an eye. Tune in as Financial Professional Mark Wutt shares the obstacles he faced when handling his mother’s long-term care arrangements, what he wishes he had done differently, and how you can plan for the unexpected.

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Need to Know: Emergency Savings Plans

Robin Weingast Retirement SavingsWhile we tend to focus our tips and tools on retirement and long-term financial planning, the truth is that every day life can sometimes interrupt your long-term financial plans.

If you don’t have an emergency savings set up or a plan in place to fund one, you’re not alone. About 57 million Americans have no emergency savings. While this is an improvement from last year’s estimate of 66 million Americans without emergency savings, the truth is that most of us would likely see our financial path derailed if a sudden, emergency expense popped up.

The first step is to acknowledge that emergency saving is part of your overall financial plan. While it’s vital to think about retirement and insurance planning, don’t forget that short-term financial needs are real and can come up at any time.

An ideal is to have three to six months’ savings available to you, though it may not be possible to accumulate that much savings immediately. The trick is to start small, and always make sure you have at least one months’ savings on hand at any given time.

Here are a few ways you can start building your emergency savings:

1) Figure out how much money you need. This is the first step for any financial goal, but it’s especially important for emergency savings. Take a look at your expenses and figure out how much you would need to cover them for one, three, and six months. You can start with a smaller goal, and work your way up to having a three to six month emergency savings fund.

2) Set up a separate bank account for your emergency fund and deposit a portion of your paycheck directly into that fund. Companies that allow for direct deposit of your paycheck may also allow you to deposit into multiple accounts. Look at your budget and determine what amount you can put into an account that’s specifically dedicated to emergency savings. If you don’t have direct deposit for your paycheck, then schedule an appointment each week for you to transfer money out of your primary account into your dedicated emergency savings account

3) Use technology to help you. There are many digital tools that are specifically designed to help you reach short-term savings goals. Check out this rundown of the best options available to you for building your savings with the help of your phone.

There’s no reason to sacrifice retirement peace of mind while preparing for the unexpected.

Need help taking the first step? CONTACT THE ROBIN S. WEINGAST & ASSOCIATES TEAM and we’ll discuss your entire financial future — emergency savings plan and beyond!

Podcast of the Month: Don’t Worry, Retire Happy!

Are you worried about running out of money in retirement? What tools and strategies are available to help protect your retirement income despite all the risks?

Who better to talk about those options than Tom Hegna, best-selling Author of “Paychecks and Playchecks” and “Don’t Worry, Retire Happy!” Tune in for some great tips you can discuss with your own financial professional!

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What Robin’s Reading: Disability Insurance

Robin Weingast Reading RecsMay is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, so the Robin S. Weingast & Associates Team has been reading up on the latest trends and news on this important topic. We’ve discovered some interesting insights we want to pass along to you!

1) Only 1/3 of Americans have disability insurance, and many are doing without it because their employer doesn’t offer it, according to a new survey by OneAmerica and the Harris Poll. The survey of 2,100 U.S. adults, revealed that among employed Americans who do not have short- or long-term disability insurance provided by their employer, 43 percent say the reason is because their employer does not offer it. Click here to learn more about what the survey found and what the forecast looks like for disability insurance in the United States.

2) According to the Social Security Administration, just over one in four 20-year-olds will become disabled by age 67, yet disability insurance is often last on the list of priorities for this generation. This interesting piece breaks down why millennials should seriously consider disability insurance, and how to evaluate employment opportunities based upon available disability options. Click here to read “Why Some Millennials Need Disability Insurance”

Are you prepared if you become unable to work due to a disability? Are you a business owner who wants to explore what it would take to offer your employees this valuable coverage? The Robin S. Weingast & Associates team is here to help. Click here to contact us today and learn how we can help you and your employees prepare for anything that comes up in their lives.

Resource of the Month: Sources of Disability Income

Image credit: graphicstock.comMay is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, and if you’re like most people, you probably haven’t planned for the possibility of becoming disabled, nor are you aware of the options available to you if you are unable to work due to a disability.

Our May Resource of the Month outlines sources of disability income available to you, as well as the pros and cons of each one. Read it today and get up to speed on the options available to you and your family!

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Podcast of the Month: What if you couldn’t go to work tomorrow?

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May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month! This special 2-in-1 episode features the incredible story of Rosemarie Rossetti’s terrible accident, and how she managed to stay financially stable during her recovery. Next, Disability Insurance Specialist Corey Anderson breaks down this highly-misunderstood coverage, so you can find out how it really works.

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Need to Know: Spring Cleaning Your Finances

money-growth-concept_My4Uq1YuDespite what the thermometer might say, spring really has arrived! April is Financial Literacy Month and this season of growth and renewal is also the perfect time to spruce up your financial future. Here are some tips on how to clean up your finances:

Evaluate your Financial Goals

Before you can move forward, you need to make sure you’re on the right track. Have you looked at your financial goals in the last six months? Are they the same as they were the last time you did? Have any major life changes happened that might shift your goals? It’s important to draw up a roadmap before you proceed any further.

Examine your budget

Your budget will give you a day-to-day framework that will keep you on track to hit your financial goals. Budget planning involves evaluating your expenses against your income; if your income doesn’t cover your spending, it may be time to re-think your budget. Evaluating your budget is only half the job — once you know what your budget should be, you have to stick with it consistently. Budgeting, like working out, should be something you make part of your regular routine. And like fitness, there are plenty of mobile apps that can help you build up your budgeting muscles. Check out the top apps of 2017 here. 

Create a debt payoff plan

Your budget will benefit from paying off debt as quickly and efficiently as possible. Take a look at your accumulated debt and be sure you are making payments on time and that you are aware of high-interest debts or debts with hidden fees.

Be aware of your credit history

Do you know your credit score? Do you know how many inquiries have been made into your credit in the past six months? Both things may affect your ability to secure home or auto loans. It’s vital that you understand your credit score and history, ensure that what’s on your report is accurately reflecting your credit and payment history, and that you take steps to rebuild credit if your score is a hindrance to achieving your financial goals. You can receive a free credit report annually from each of the major agencies, and banks are increasingly offering credit report monitoring as a benefit of having an account.

Review your investments

Your investments play a major role in helping you reach your financial goals. Spring is the perfect time to review your investment portfolio to make sure you are taking the right risks relative to your retirement timeline. It’s important to remember that all investments involve risk, including the loss of principal, so it’s vital to consult with an adviser if you have any questions.

Revisit your tax planning

Tax returns submitted in April can be a great roadmap for tax planning in the spring. Did you get a very large refund? Did you owe money for taxes? Both may signify that you might benefit from changing your withholding level, which you can do by re-submitting a W4 with your employer.

Want a partner as you tackle spring cleaning your finances? The Robin S. Weingast & Associates team is here to help! Contact us today to see how we can help.

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Podcast of the Month: Prepare for the Unknown — How Taxes Affect Retirement

Robin Weingast TaxesUnless you have a crystal ball you just can’t tell what the tax rules, laws, and brackets will be when you retire. So what will happen to that IRA nest egg that hasn’t been taxed yet? How much could you lose? Tune in as Ed Slott, one of the nations most renowned CPAs, explains how taxes can take a toll on your retirement funds, and what you can do about it.

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What Robin’s Reading: Women & Retirement Planning

Robin Weingast Reading RecsMarch is Women’s History Month, so this month, Robin’s been reading upon tips and tools that will help women set themselves up for financial security and peace-of-mind.

Here’s an overview of what Robin’s been reading this month:

1) Retired women and financial crisesDid you know that over 70% of nursing home residents are women and that the average daily cost of a room in a nursing home is $90,000 (it may even be higher in New York and other metro areas)? With a longer life expectancy, higher healthcare costs, and lower wages compared to their male counterparts, women need to be particularly vigilant about planning for their futures. This article details the risks and solutions that women can employ to avoid a financial crisis during retirement.

2) Working women and successful planningDo you find yourself taking a back seat in financial planning when it comes to your husband or partner? Are you certain you have your bases covered when it comes to life insurance, child financial planning, investment planning, and retirement planning? If you’re worried you may not be an equal partner in financial planning for you and your family, here are some areas to pay attention to and tips to help you secure equal footing in your financial relationship.

3) Overcoming financial obstaclesFeel like there are too many obstacles standing in your way when it comes to financial planning? While women do face significant hurdles when it comes to financial security, it’s easy to turn obstacles into opportunities if you know what to do. We found this article particularly helpful.

If you need expert advice on how to plan for your financial future, get in touch with the Robin S. Weingast & Associates team.