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Money Management For Senior Citizens

December 10th, 2010

Senior CitizensThe idea of having that luxurious retirement is enticing to us all. It’s also hard work, as many of us tend to live for today and not for tomorrow. For some senior citizens, the idea of retiring comfortably doesn’t become reality until they actually retire – and that can be a time where financial assistance is still a priority.

Money management can be an issue whether you’re 17 or 70. Here are some helpful tips for senior citizens to make and maintain that nest egg you’ve always wanted:

  • Get a financial planner: If you don’t know where to start, financial planners exist for a reason. First and foremost, meet with a professional – and treat it as if it’s an interview. If you feel you need to speak with three or four representatives, then so be it. Keep in mind that your financial planner will be the person who is assisting you manage your money. That’s important.
  • Budget, budget, budget: A lot of seniors live on fixed income, so budgeting is a huge ordeal. Make the budget stick, and do not live outside your means. It’s always good to have money left over at the end of the week where you can put it away for a rainy day.
  • Don’t touch the credit card: People think it’s only the younger crowd that has credit card issues. Finance charges know no age, and they will sneak up on senior citizens just as fast as college students. The last thing you want are ridiculous interest rates to worry about.
  • Be you, not “a grandparent”: This one may rub some senior citizens the wrong way, but in order to budget, you have to take care of yourself first, your grandchildren second. Many grandparents want to give their last dollar to a grandchild that’s only going to buy candy or something else that isn’t totally necessary. Also, you cannot be the financial go-to person in every situation for someone who doesn’t manage money well.

There are plenty of tips that can help all senior citizens manage their money and live comfortably. Let our financial advisors in Fort Worth TX assist you with all of your financial needs. Call us today, or contact us online for more information.

Defining Stocks and Bonds

December 2nd, 2010

Stocks and BondsHow often have you heard the term “stocks and bonds” in conversation and just let it pass?

It’s amazing how often we hear words but we don’t quite understand them. We all have heard about stocks and bonds one way or the other, whether it’s on TV, on the radio or via the Internet. Ironically, a large majority of those same people wouldn’t know how to purchase either, let alone explain the difference in the two.

Stocks, simply put, are shares of a company. These companies sell stocks as a business capital fund-raiser of sorts.  A stock is offered to an investor, making that person a partial owner of the company. Bonds basically are large loans borrowed by companies. It is a formal contract issued by the government or a company to repay borrowed money with interest in a specified amount of time.

Both stocks and bonds are securities, which are instruments that represent some form of financial value. A mortgage (for you first-time homeowners) is a security. Stock can be purchased through a stock broker or via online.

Stocks and bonds can really become an intriguing discussion once you know the jargon and once you familiarize yourself with the actual process. Our financial planning professionals in Fort Worth TX will be more than happy to assist you with additional information. Call us, or contact us online for details.

Which IRA is Best: Traditional or Roth?

November 19th, 2010

Whether you’re 17 or 70, there’s nothing wrong with thinking about retirement and primary investment retirement vehicles. An individual retirement account (IRA) can make your retirement a lot more relaxing financially. IRAs offer a way to save money for retirees while earning major tax benefits in the process. They provide tax advantages while saving.

Perhaps the two most common IRAs are the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA. Both offer excellent opportunities when it comes to tax benefits. Both also have specific advantages, depending on the person and his or her financial situation.

The real difference between the two involves the option of paying taxes now versus paying taxes later. Lots of people want to pay taxes up front so they won’t have to worry about it in the future – and also not worry about which tax bracket they’ll be in upon retirement.

With traditional IRAs, tax-deductible contributions are available depending on a person’s level of income. With Roth IRAs, there are no tax-deductible contributions. With Roth IRAs, you can take money out at any given opportunity without a tax penalty. With traditional IRAs, withdraws can occur for individuals at age 59 ½ and can be considered mandatory at age 70 ½.

While some like traditional IRAs, others are more comfortable with Roth IRAs. It all depends on you.

There are plenty of similarities and differences between the two, and our investment advisors in Fort Worth TX will be more than happy to assist you with your questions about IRAs or investment retirement. Call us today, or contact us online for more information.

Train Your Kids, Early and Often

November 8th, 2010

I’m sure we all have sat back, looked at our current financial states and said, “If I could do it all over again …”

Many of us who say that are now parents of young children, and the last thing we want is for our children to make the same mistakes that we did. Let’s be honest with ourselves, a lot of those mistakes were financial.

In order to make sure our children don’t repeat history, here are a couple of tips you can offer to them (and they are worded accordingly). Even if they are 10 or 11 years old, these tips can be very beneficial as they mature.

Take out the trash: When you see those pieces of credit card junk mail come through your mailbox, throw them away immediately. The last thing you need to worry about is a card that will give you 6 % APR for a couple months and then 25 % APR for the rest of your life.

Don’t touch the piggy bank: In other words, try to maintain a stable account, one that doesn’t have to be dipped in every other week (or day). Treat it as if it’s the emergency fund for your emergency fund.

Eat your food: By “your food,” we mean the healthy food that YOU purchased at the grocery store. You don’t need to buy a pizza or visit the local burger chain every day or every other day. Save that junk-food money and put it away for a rainy day.

Do your homework: Even though you receive advice here and there from everyone, it’s never a bad idea to do financial restoration research on your own. This, in addition to re-emphasizing important facts, also gives children a sense of achievement and teaches self-satisfaction and self-motivation.

Our financial planning professionals at Robinson Wealth Management Group are here for you for all money-saving questions – no matter what the age is. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Wealth Management Topic: Types of Income

October 22nd, 2010

Wealth ManagmentIncome can be divided into three categories: active income, portfolio income and passive income. The earliest type of income you’re likely to experience is active income. Active income is the money you earn by working a job. Portfolio income is money you make through investments, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and precious metals. Your earnings or losses in this case are tied to the increases or decreases in the value of the particular investment. Passive income is money you earn without working or residual money generated from work performed in the past. Sources of passive income include stock dividends, real estate rentals, royalties and interest.

If you are thinking about retiring some day, portfolio income and passive income probably seem attractive to you. With proper financial planning, you can turn your active income into both portfolio income and passive income. Ultimately, you want to phase out the active income and make sure you have enough of the other two types of income to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. A successful retirement is the result of careful financial planning. For information about wealth management and retirement planning, contact a qualified Fort Worth wealth management advisor.

Under 30? Stay Above Average w/Your Finances

October 15th, 2010

“Gen Next.” millennials-personal-finances-rwmg fortworth
“Generation Y.”

No matter how you identify yourself, there is one thing that truly sets you apart from the generations before you–overwhelming debt.

I know by now you’re well aware of the sobering statistics–according to a November MetLife personal finance poll, 70% of Millennials were not setting aside savings and 43% were burdened with credit card debt (with 20% carrying a balance of $10,000 according to Fidelity Investments).

I’m not writing this to overwhelm you with statistics. I want to encourage you to start an action plan to not just help manage and eventually eliminate your debt and to approach educating yourself about personal finance management with the same gusto you have for acquiring the latest iPhone/iPad app!

Call our offices at 817-479-9245 to schedule a free consultation. In the first 45 minutes, we’ll discuss your personal circumstances and help you start to formulate a practical plan for getting you out of debt, how to realistically manage your finances and how to start setting aside money for your future goals–whether you’re planning to continue your education, start a family, want to explore market and other investment opportunities (or all of the above!).

We look forward to meeting you.

Increasing Wealth Begins by Reducing Debt

October 8th, 2010
reduce debt, increase wealthIf you’re trying to plan for your retirement, your children’s education, setting aside savings or considering a plan to substantially increase your personal wealth, it all begins with eliminating or radically reducing your current debt load.

Sound impossible?

It’s not.

We’ve helped hundreds of clients who have come to us seeking advice and guidance to manage and grow their financial assets–and many of them have been saddled with debt, primarily credit card debt.

Because our services are highly customized to meet every individual client’s financial goals given their unique circumstances, we don’t advise blanket plans for reducing debt, but here are a few general tips that can help you start to tackle your debt–in particular your credit card debt–so you can save more:

1) Pay off MORE than your minimum credit card balance each month. This may not be new news–and it may be hard news to swallow on a monthly basis. Usually, the interest on a credit card is the highest APR you’re paying on any of your unsecured debt (and secured debt for that matter). You’ve heard the refrain before, but this is why it holds true, the sooner you pay off your credit card debt the better.

2) Enroll in 0% balance transfer programs if you can. If you qualify for a 0% interest transfer, you’ll be able to pay off the principal that much quicker that your current APR rate. Be cautious though of the plans you enroll in. The 0% interest may be for a limited time. So be aware of these time limits and if future interest rates could exceed what you’re currently paying.

3) Just say “no” to offers of higher credit limits. Despite these hard times and the temptation to take “the easy way out,” it really is in your best interest to avoid an increased credit limit altogether–and no credit cards if possible.

When our clients come to us looking for help to improve their financial circumstances, these are some of the guidelines that have proven helpful. Our goal is to help everyone who walks through our door achieve a state of financial fitness and a healthy perspective for their future. The first step begins by following at least one of the above.

If you have questions about how to achieve financial fitness, give us call at 817-479-9245 for a free consultation today.

Roth IRA Explored

September 20th, 2010

Nest Egg ImageA Roth Individual Retirement Account (Roth IRA) is one of many retirement vehicles. You can make contributions to a Roth IRA account regardless of whether or not you contribute to a 401K plan or similar through work. Unlike a traditional IRA, you don’t receive a tax deduction for the money you contribute to your Roth IRA; however, you are able to withdraw money from a Roth IRA tax free during your retirement years. The maximum yearly contribution you can make to your Roth IRA is determined by the U.S. tax code – your tax professional or Fort Worth investment advisor can provide you with more detail.

What Are the Main Advantages of a Roth IRA?

When compared to the traditional IRA, the Roth IRA has a few potential advantages. These include the following:

  • Tax-free withdrawal when you are over 59.5 years of age and at least 5 years have passed since the Roth IRA was created.
  • No required minimum distributions. With a traditional IRA, you are forced to begin withdrawals when you reach 70.5 years of age.
  • Certain early distributions may be made without incurring early distribution penalties.

Is a Roth IRA Right For Me?

This is a question that is best answered by a professional. A high income level, for instance, may prevent one from participating in a Roth IRA. So, while Roth IRAs may benefit most people, it is important to have your Fort Worth retirement planning professional analyze your individual situation to determine the appropriate retirement savings strategy for you.

401k Expanded Upon

September 7th, 2010

Whether you have no idea what a 401k is, or you’ve been planning for years, our Fort Worth TX wealth management firm can lend a helping hand.

When one hears of a “traditional” mode of investment in the USA, one usually thinks of 401k planning, mostly because it is the longest running “quality-tested” retirement option for generations. It has remained a conventional choice for most Americans. This direction allows the employees to decide consensually on a sum that the employer will take out of their wages to be put in their individual 401k accounts. This way, a fixed saving has to occur every month. On many occasions, employer contributes to the employee’s 401k planning account too.

These days a new type of 401k planning called participant-directed plans is being undertaken everywhere. Under this scheme, the employee has the choice of picking up a package of bonds, mutual funds, and the lot. A lot of companies these days are providing their own stocks to employees as 401(k) plans. Whatever is earned through these investments is also, thankfully, tax deferred. And on top of it you also have compound interest too.

So, if you want to ensure a good retirement income, do not forget to read between the lines. If you’re putting your chips on our Fort Worth retirement planning firm, we can make a solid outcome into a reality.

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The Changing World of Retirement Planning

August 26th, 2010

If you’ve tuned in to any news program over the past year or two, you’ve probably noticed that our economy is changing. Our Fort Worth Wealth Management Group can help provide you with a custom-tailored plan to suit your needs, but here are the basics.

If you’re receiving Social Security, you are likely aware that the government is paying out more benefits than they’re receiving. By 2037, Social Security will be exhausted and beneficiaries will begin receiving only about three-quarters of what they should be, barring any Social Security reform. When Social Security was instituted in 1935, the life expectancy was 62; that’s not that case now. Retirement planning is crucial to avoid the eventual downward spiral of the Social Security program.

We all know that private pension plans have failed all over the place, and many more companies have just discontinued their plans without any warning. To pour salt on the wound, the government backup for failed plans is massively underfunded by billions of dollars. Even state and local government plans are at risk of failure. Contacting a Fort Worth financial advisor is key to planning past your pension.

Inflation is also important to consider. While the rate of inflation hasn’t generally seen any major spikes yet, they will soon – because of our country’s financial state. Inflation has, in the past, gone up to nearly 14%. If it got that high again, what would happen to your hard-earned savings? Robinson Wealth Management Group can help you plan for the unthinkable – give us a call today.