RETIREMENT INSIGHTS

News and information for current and future retirees.

MOST AMERICANS THINK THEY WILL WORK IN RETIREMENT

A life of leisure? That may not be what retirement looks like for baby boomers and Gen Xers—and in fact, it may not be what they want their retirements to look like.

Market research firm Ipsos surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults earlier this year, and found that 54% of participants believed they would work at least a little during their retirements.

Sixty percent of Gen Xers (those born during 1965-80) held this belief, along with 59% of boomers (those born during 1946-64). Forty-nine percent of millennials also held this perception (the survey defined millennials as Americans born during 1981-96). A significant percentage of those polled looked at the possibility of working in retirement as a plus, rather than a minus: 56% felt that it would be good for their mental well-being to keep working, and 40% believed the income could provide them with more household economic stability in case of volatile unexpected expenses or turbulence in the financial markets affecting their investments. The pollsters also asked which of two possibilities respondents would choose: being totally debt-free, or being able to save more for retirement while carrying some debts. Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they would take the second choice over the first.1,2

 

1 – InvestmentNews, September 3, 2020

2 – CNBC, September 3, 2020

CUTTING DOWN ON THOSE DRUG COSTS

GoodRx, which tracks prices of nearly 1,000 different drugs across more than 75,000 U.S. pharmacies, says that on average, prices of brand-name and generic drugs rose 6.8% during the first half of 2020. What moves could you make to try to save money on medications? 

One possibility is to simply pay cash and buy drugs straight from a pharmacy, whether it is brick-and-mortar or online. Out-of-pocket costs for drugs are usually less than health plan co-pays, sometimes much less. Pharmacy savings cards (and equivalent online apps) may bring you deep discounts on select medications at local pharmacies, regardless of your insurance coverage. Online pharmacies that don’t demand insurance may let you buy a 90-day supply of a drug instead of a monthly refill, which could lead to savings. Also, remember that a doctor won’t necessarily prescribe the most inexpensive version of a medication for you; you may want to ask about the availability of a cheaper generic. Finally, as Medicare Open Enrollment Season runs through December 7, it might also be time to compare your current health or prescription drug plan with others. A different plan could offer you better options.1

 

3 – NextAvenue, October 14, 2020

YOUR YEAR-END FINANCIAL CHECKLIST

Aspects of your financial life to review as the year draws to a close.

The end of the year can help remind us of last-minute things we need to address and the goals we want to accomplish. To that end, here are some aspects of your financial life to think about as this year leads into the next.

Keep in mind, this article is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Make certain to contact a tax or legal professional before modifying your tax strategy. The ideas presented are not intended to provide specific advice.

Your investments. Set a goal to review your investments with your financial professional. You’ll want to come away from the meeting with an understanding of your portfolio positions. Look over your portfolio positions and revisit your asset allocation. Remember, asset allocation and diversification are approaches to help manage investment risk. They do not guarantee against investment loss.

Your retirement strategy. You may want to consider contributing the maximum to your retirement accounts. It’s also a good idea to review any retirement accounts you may have through your work. This is also a great time to decide on making catch-up contributions if you are eligible.

Your tax situation. It’s a good idea to consider checking in with your tax or legal professional before the year ends, especially if you have questions about an expense or deduction from this year. Also, it may be a good idea to review any sales of property as well as both realized and unrealized losses and gains. Look back at last year’s loss carryforwards. If you’ve sold securities, gather up cost-basis information. As always, bringing all this information to your financial professional is a smart move.1

Your charitable gifting goals. Plan charitable contributions or contributions to education accounts and make any desired cash gifts to family members. The annual federal gift tax exclusion allows you to give away up to $15,000 in 2020, meaning you can gift as much as $15,000 to as many individuals as you like this year, tax-free. Such gifts do not count against the lifetime estate tax exemption amount, as long as they stay beneath the annual federal gift tax exclusion threshold. Besides outright gifts, you can explore creating and funding trusts on behalf of your family. The end of the year is also a good time to review any trusts you have in place. Using a trust involves a complex set of tax rules and regulations. Before moving forward with a trust, consider working with a professional who is familiar with the rules and regulations.1,2

Your life insurance coverage. The end of the year is an excellent time to double-check that your policies and beneficiaries are up to date. Don’t forget to review premium costs and beneficiaries and think about whether your insurance needs have changed. Several factors could impact the cost and availability of life insurance, such as age, health, and the type of insurance purchased, as well as the amount purchased. Life insurance policies have expenses, including mortality and other charges. If a policy is surrendered prematurely, you may pay surrender charges, which could have income tax implications. You should consider determining whether you are insurable before implementing a strategy involving life insurance. Finally, don’t forget that any guarantees associated with a policy are dependent on the ability of the issuing insurance company to continue making claim payments.

Life events. Here are some questions to ask yourself when evaluating any large life changes in the last year: Did you happen to get married or divorced this year? Did you move or change jobs? Did you buy a home or business? Was there a new addition to your family this year? Did you receive an inheritance or a gift? All these circumstances can have a financial impact on your life as well as the way you invest and plan for retirement and wind down your career or business.

 

1-turbotax.intuit.com, October 20, 2020

2-irs.gov, September 19, 2020

On the Bright Side

A study from researchers at the University of North Carolina and Harvard Medical School found that the older people, the less distressed they were about the coronavirus pandemic. As an example, just 10.7% of study participants aged 18-34 reported “low” levels of distress from the lockdowns in May, while 40.3% of participants 65 and older characterized their level of stress as “low.”

Source: University of North Carolina Pandemic Impact Report, June 2020

Did you know?

Sliced bread was once banned in 48 states.

In January 1943, the federal government barred bread slicing in bakeries and cafes. The Office of Price Administration had artificially boosted flour prices, and in addition, bread-slicing machines were considered costly to operate. By banning bread slicing, the OPA hoped to keep bread prices low for consumers, and conserve wax paper, which was in short supply on the home front. The ban was widely criticized, and rescinded less than two months later.

Source: MentalFloss.com, January 3, 2019

Investment Advisory Services offered through BCJ Capital Management LLC., a (SEC) Registered Investment Adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only. It should not be considered specific investment advice, does not take into consideration your specific situation, and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. For specific tax advice on any strategy, consult with a qualified tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. DISCLOSURES